If you ever wanted to watch Street Fighter's Ryu shoryuken a dinosaur or run around with a wibbly, wobbly snake hat, Monster Hunter: World's bonus quests can make your dreams come true. But there's a catch. Random level requirements and lacklustre stats make the gear tricky to get and tougher to use.
Monster Hunter: World helps keep the experience fresh by adding limited time bonus quests that grant unique outfits and items. Quests pop up a few times a month and last a week or two. Larger promotional events last the longest.
These special quests grant items that are crossovers with games like Street Fighter V and Horizon: Zero Dawn, but the requirements vary. To play as Ryu, players currently need to have a Street Fighter V save file and reach a measly Hunter Rank 3. Players looking to unlock a Horizon: Zero Dawn robot skin for their palico cat companion had to be at Hunter Rank 6 while anyone eager to cosplay as Aloy can only run the new quest to unlock her at Hunter Rank 11. That's a much stiffer challenge and one new players can't easily access.
Monster Hunter is a serious time commitment. Individual hunts can take 20 to 30 minutes, and you need a lot of hunts to level up. It's not always possible for players to speed through ranks, particularly if they want to spend time crafting specific armour sets along the way. Monster Hunter's notoriously fickle random drops can leave players hunting dozens of the same monster for an afternoon. Some people can climb ranks fast but others will take much longer.
It's not the worst grind, but players eager to collect bonus content might miss out as they work up the ranks.
At least players get more than one crack at the quests. "These post-launch quests, including the recent Horizon Zero Dawn content, are on a rotating schedule and will be reintroduced at a later date, so even new hunters will have a chance to get the content as they get more experience," a representative of Capcom told Kotaku via email.
Monster Hunter: World's unlockables aren't great for high level hunters, because the stats are relatively weak, especially for players who have already grinded and earned excellent armour. The Ryu gear offers lightning resistance but its other stats can't hold a candle to other armour, even when upgraded. The Aloy gear provides good starting gear for higher rank hunts but loses value as time goes on.
Players on forums like Reddit have noticed a different way Capcom could design its armour that might work better. They note that the samurai armour set, which is downloadable content released with Monster Hunter: World's deluxe edition, works as a cosmetic that is worn over other equipment.
It doesn't force players to choose between flashy bonus armour with bad stats and better, regular game gear. It lets players wear their best armour but keep the visuals of the bonus gear. As I look for solutions that can give move value to optional quests, this seem ideal. It gives players a chance to enjoy their rewards without seeing them eventually turn useless.
Veteran hunters such as YouTuber Gaijinhunter have different thoughts. Gaijinhunter is a top Monster Hunter content creator whose analysis of events and in-depth weapon tutorials has given him over 230,000 subscribers. He's mostly pleased with the current direction of event quests.
"I am really happy they didn't go transmog with this like the samurai set," he said."In my opinion, it would cheapen it," Gaijinhunter said via Discord message. "The point is to become [Aloy], and she is a fleshed out character. So, throwing her outfit on over a hammer set would feel off. It would also mean way more people wearing her gear, which is not good — as they want players wearing a wide range of gear, as that helps promote hunting many different monsters and individuality."
For Gaijinhunter, the limited usability of special armour helps ensure that players will show off armour sets crafted from their fallen enemies and ensure diverse character designs within the higher ranks. Showing off various armour sets would drive players to craft them as well, encouraging hunters to go on a variety of hunts.
"The only thing I wish they did differently was to offer the [low rank] gear during the same period as the [high rank] stuff, as some people like to collect stuff," Gaijinhunter said. In the case of Horizon: Zero Dawn's crossover, this would mean offering the Watcher palico cat armour again. "I think a lot missed out, thus why it's my only 'complaint.'"
Regardless of whether or not hunters believe bonus rewards should remain equippable armour or cosmetic skins, it seems agreed upon that the extra content is pretty damn cool. Capcom's pledge to bring back these rewards is a good way to ensure all players can get the gear they want. What holds the bonuses back, ever so slightly, is the short availability and the diminishing usefulness of the rewards.
There are plenty of ways to improve Monster Hunter: World's exciting rewards. Bringing back old rewards alongside similar promotions, improving their statistics, making them purely cosmetic or even just keeping quest requirements consistent could go a lot way to making a good game even better.