After 70 Hours, Monster Hunter: World Is Still Teaching Me New Things

My Monster Hunter: World save file says I've played for about 70 hours. You'd think I'd have learned everything this game has to teach me. You'd be wrong.

Last night I sat down with World for the first time in a few days. I'm currently making my way through the early "High Rank" missions that come after the conclusion of the story. There are still a few extra-tough monsters I haven't seen or fought, but most of what I'll be doing for the foreseeable future involves fighting tougher versions of the beasts I already faced in the main game. (I'll get back to you on whether I'm psyched or terrified to fight Diablos all over again. I guess it's a bit of both.)

After narrowly winning a tough fight with a High Rank Anjanath, I visited the research center back at HQ and found that my Monster Field Guide had been updated. The Monster Field guide is a database with information on all of the large and small creatures you'll find in the game.

Each time you do a mission, you can study footprints, markings, spoor, and other leavings to raise a creature's Research Level, which adds information to the database. This time, I opened up my Field Guide and found that the Anjanath entry had been updated with a fourth page called "High Rank Rewards." That tab isn't all that different from the Low Rank rewards tab, but it made me slow down and really look over and internalise the information on both rewards pages.

In addition to a few smaller facts about the creature's body parts and weaknesses, I learned that if I ever need a High Rank Anhanath fang, I'll have to either knock it off while fighting it or kill Anjanath and carve the fang from its corpse. I avoid killing creatures whenever I can these days, since you get more rewards for doing so.

I now know that I should hit an Anjanath in the head as much as possible when fighting it. That will "break" its head and cause a fang to drop.

It's a small piece of information, but it's indicative of just how much this game still has to teach me. (It also follows a wonderfully gruesome logic: if you want a fang, you have to knock it loose yourself.) Each creature in the game has its own Research Level, and the more I track and fight them, the higher those levels will climb.

Soon there'll be another new rewards page for each of them telling me which body parts to aim for, which parts are rarest, and whether I should focus on killing or capturing them.

That's not the only thing I've recently learned. In the last few days I've also learned new techniques for using my slinger, new types of environmental traps I can exploit, how to do a sliding attack to launch myself up onto a monster's back, and plenty of other things that aren't immediately coming to mind.

I've already written about how impressed I am with Monster Hunter's approach to loot. It's a more active system than other loot-centric games I play, and feels much more rewarding as a result.

I'm doubly impressed that the game goes even deeper than I realised, giving me the information I need not just to hunt the right creature for the item I want, but to hunt it in a particular way and even aim for the specific parts I'll need.

Monster Hunter: World is not a particularly gentle teacher. This series has been around for almost 14 years, and World bears the weight of that legacy in ways both good and bad. The menus, tutorials, and interface are messy and convoluted, and the game frequently chokes on the volume of information it must impart. Even this more approachable Monster Hunter - which is indeed more approachable! - will still frequently confuse new players.

But part of the reason it can be confusing is because there is so much to learn in the first place. I find myself delighted enough by each new discovery that I'm willing to put up with some lousy menus along the way.

Seventy hours into most video games, I've learned just about everything there is to know. Seventy hours into Monster Hunter: World, I'm still wondering what it will teach me next.


    This game does sound pretty darn interesting. I'll be adding it to my incredibly long list of games I'd like to play once I finish the incredibly long list of games I have on backlog.

      this game is very interesting. I would you pick it up while the whole world is playing it right now.

    I was pretty shocked that I'm like 120 hours + into it already.

    Now I kind of feel I need more players to catch up to me and start posting some Tempered monster investigations.

    Xeno'jiva, HR Kirrin, twin tempered Betelguese I had to do all alone. Randoms kept dying. In the end I had to study the monsters and really learn their animations Dark Souls style. It made me much better equipped to deal with them in future.

    I'm now pretty beastly and prepared for more or less anything.

      Yeap. The good thing of playing solo is that you actually learn how the pattern of the enemy through the long fights and makes you better in multiplayer.

      I have a friend that can't do anything solo and needs help all the time.

        It doesn't hurt that solo lets you use a healing palico and the monsters are significantly weaker than if you were playing with 2+ players at 2.6x monster health, with all faints subtracting from a shared pool.

        Still, there's something to be said for dropping into a HR: Arena with three players already wearing their bandit cloaks and an arena floor just glittering with shit to keep you tied up for days of collecting. Thank God I was playing glaive at the time with rapid sheathing.

          its only subtracting from the Gold pool.. so that doesn't mean much.. just pickup everything you see and sell it.. you get more gold than what the quest rewards give you.

          Don't let that stop you from playing with others.

      Plus you get all that sweet cash bounty to yourself, rather than split 2-4 ways ;)

    I'm really appreciating how much of the game is locked behind progress. If you'd tossed tailraiders, botanist gardening, the full suite of canteen ingredients, an intimidating weapon upgrade tree, decorations, augments, arenas, and all the rest at me from the get-go, I'd have been completely fucking overwhelmed.

    Introducing new mechanics right when you thought you'd beaten the game was one of the most pleasant surprises I've had in gaming in a while.

      One of the things that Monster Hunter does well as a franchise is the way it handles its own legacy. It's super iterative and derivative of itself, even when a game like World is a bit of an overhaul, so there's some need to pace itself out instead of throwing everything at people as if they've just come hot off the heels from the endgame of the last one. By all accounts, World seems like it does that pretty successfully.

    Just unlocked the high rank stuff? Oh no, the story is barely half done mate.

    I really struggle with the absurdity of this game. Everything I've seen of it just makes me roll my eyes. I don't know why it's only this one, most games are absurd by design, but those ridiculous Swords (I know there's an explanation for them, it hasn't changed how I feel about them) and the OTT character interactions just make me cringe.

    That said, one of my favourite games is Saints Row the Third - so... yeah... I'm not allergic to absurd - this one just seems to push the wrong buttons for me.

    Is there something I'm missing, or is it perhaps that this game just isn't for me?

      Something that might put it into context for you is that Monster Hunter is decidedly Japanese/anime-esque (for lack of a better word) in its design. Despite having a relatively realistic style for the human bodies and environments, everything else about the game's sensibilities and how it looks in motion is taking heavy inspiration from that space.

      A slightly more subtle contributor is that flashy, exaggerated animations for simple things (like drinking and eating, attacks that lock you in for a long time) are good for its gameplay sensibilities too. A big part of why the game format works well is that it's very clear about what's going on, thanks to those animations.

      None of that is meant to be a justification or condemnation of how the game looks, of course. That's just a basic overview of why the style might seem a bit weird on the surface.

        Yeah, I get that. I can definitely see the anime influence and anime is something that I'm not a huge fan of. It's why I suspected that MH:W might just not be my sort of game.

    ...exaggerated animations for simple things (like drinking and eating)The cooking/crafting animation are cute, but annoying after a while. I was happy to find you can skip them by pressing the Options button.

      Omg! Thanks so much, I hadn’t realised that you could skip them they annoy me so much. Specially when I’m already on the field, never knew you could skip them.

    I'm 105hrs in, beat the campaign, and I'm finally starting to do some research on what specific skills/set bonuses do, how beneficial they are for my playstyle, what they do and don't cover - learning what "effluvium resistance" actually does, what is/isn't covered by the generically named "blight resistance"... and actually coming up with builds tailored specifically for the monster I'm farming.

    The flexibility of skills coming from multiple gear pieces, decorations and charms, and all able to stack with each other, is pretty nuts.

      Oh, and speaking of effluvium, PSA for anyone who hasn't realised it yet, you can disperse effluvium in a small area by tossing a scorch pod at the ground. Another option is to put on a mantle - all mantles have a mask that will prevent you from inhaling the effluvium and taking constant damage.

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