Monster Hunter World

Agitator, power creep, and the view on ‘spammy’ monsters.

I fought Black Diablos today.

Three times.

I ended up with a 5-reward Tier 2 investigation, and farmed all three runs out of it, two with my new set. During this, I noticed something… odd.

What struck me was this: Black Diablos wasn't spamming attacks (well, not as badly as normal).

Then I realized it. I wasn't wall-banging, wasn't constantly forcing enraged mode. My new set completely lacks Agitator. I run Artillery 5, WEX and Crit Eye for attack skills when playing SAED CB, and that ends the hunts fast enough. The hunts took between 15 and 20 minutes to finish, and I found myself actually enjoying Black Diablos of all things!

So I decided to go in on the last run with my previous set, with Agitator 7, Artillery 3, et cetera – you get the drill. Lo and behold, twenty-seven minutes and half a dozen wallbangs later I had the capture. This was with a CB that had higher raw, the same base affinity, and much higher theoretical overall attack.

So what exactly is going on here?

Enrage is a state originally envisioned to slow down the player if too much damage is being dropped onto the monster too quickly. Challenger, as it was known in the old games, countered this by giving the player a decent attack boost – not enough to justify enraging the monster, but definitely enough to make enrage a less undesirable state.

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Iceborne came along, and with it the ability to force constant enrage. Brachy's 3-piece set bonus made Agitator even more meta than it already was, since you could in theory have almost a perpetual attack boost. The meta slaves, and even less meta-focused people like myself accepted this and started building it into our sets.

The issue lies in the constant enrage. Because realistically, a set's DPS only matters if you can hit the monster. And if it's constantly enraged, and as such spamming attacks left right and center, you may not be able to.

I'd encourage you, if you want to enjoy your hunts instead of grinding them, to ditch Agitator altogether. Ignore the fact that the Clutch Claw or wallbangs exist, and use the old-fashioned Attack and Crit Eye skills to get your DPS instead of tenderizing.

Trust me, you'll enjoy it a whole lot more. And who knows – you may even get better kill times, or find yourself enjoying previously 'spammy' and 'unbearable' monsters.

Nota bene: I, the author, am well-aware of fights such as Fatalis and AT Velk where max DPS is required to clear before the timer; in this case, Agitator is unfortunately a necessary evil. Beyond that though? Nah.

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