Monster Hunter World

Balancing the myriad of gear mechanics

I'm making a wild guess and saying that most people on this subreddit know about the fundamental differences between raw and element, ammmotypes, hitzones, the different skillsystems pre- and post-World, and weapon-embedded skills. I'm still gonna outline some of it.

There are a lot of problems concerning the implementations of pretty much all of them and i will make an attempt at outlining them as well as some rudimentary suggestions on how they might be fixed or at least lessened.

First off, Raw and Element. It has basically always been the case that Raw is much preferable over Elements, except for the usual weapons, the Dual Blades the Bow, and sometimes the Sword and Shield. Element is ofc best used against monsters with high elemental hitzones but the amount of monsters where an elemental weapon is preferable over raw is very low. The most prominent examples i can think of are Gravios/ Uragaan and Plesioth/ Kulve Taroth for their Water and Thunder weaknesses respectively.

The system is just immensely binary due to raw being easier to build into, the elemental hitzones on most monsters being at best on par with the raw ones (except for some outliers) and some weapons just being so stupidly good with element while others definitely are not. I am completely NOT sure on how to 'fix' this. Some monsters already have a mix of hitzones on different bodyparts (tail being more vulnerable to shot while wings are weak against thunder for example) but one bodypart is always the best one to hit: the head. This makes sense but making other parts weak against other damagetypes might spice it up a bit. Capcom is already attempting to make certain weapons more viable with elements by giving specific combos high elemental values and i think that might be the best solution, though i have no idea what to do with Dual Blades. It's not like raw DBs are weak, elemental DBs are just very strong.

Now for ammotypes. Normal has always been at least ok. Easy to use and almost all bowguns support it with some nice multihit potential on Normal 3. Pierce was/is either the weakest one or outdamages everything by far (GU for example), with Pierce 1 usually being the best because you can actually get all the damageticks to hit. Pierce 2 is still good but you need large monsters and Pierce 3 never got used because of the skill investment/recoil. Pellet/Spread is normally the least used one with the exception of very specific scenarios and World/Iceborne, where Spread was and is king.

Looking at Rise, I think Normal is in a good spot, maybe a bit weaker than the other two but not bad by any means. Pierce was OP before World, a bit lackluster in World and a joy to play in Rise due to FINALLY being able to move the reticle while firing + optional gyrocontrols. Yes, World had re-aiming too but a salvo would still fire into the same spot. A small dmg modifier if you hit the same bodypart with multiple damageticks might encourage more careful aiming. Spread itself is ok too but HBG in Rise feels really unsatisfying and shields are balanced badly. If anything, Capcom really dropped the ball by not reintroducing internal special ammo, which would immediately make the HBG charging mechanic useful and fitting, and the gameplay more facettous.

Ammo should stay infinitely restockable, except maybe Sticky and Cluster, imo. Not having ammo is akin to a weapon being in orange sharpness without whetstones. I won't talk much about Wirebug moves. Some are hit, some are miss. Whatever. Stuff like Dodgebolt or Rage Slash is fantastic and I hope it stays. Stuff like Healing Wyversnipe on the other hand…

I already said some things about hitzones. Streamlining is ok in moderation and the head as a weakpoint makes sense, but please give me alternatives. Why are Zinogre's claws not weaker to blunt than cutting when they are obviously very hard and inflexible? As an example, I really like the shot weakpoint on Fulgur Anjanath's tail. And stuff like Uragaans chin break is flavourful and gives a gameplay reason to hit it, even with the gigantic resistance against raw.

And at last, the different skillsystems. To preface, i like the new system far more as it is les restrictive, i hope that negative skills return in the future, the RNG system for charms is completely borked and would only be usable with some fallbacks (yes, pre World and in Rise, charms are simply horrible), decorations that make-or-break a weapon shouldn't have existed like they did in World and arbitrarily gimping droprates for certain decorations in World was obviously stupid. And if the horrible Swordmaster/Gunner division for armor returns i will cry bloody tears.

Ignoring all that, the weapon categories work against themselves. So many Longswords for example are just worse than others to the point that no one crafts or uses them. Balancing weapons through their damage, sharpness and slots only works to a degree. Much more interesting are weapons with innate skills. Case in point, Seregios weapons have the mechanic that you reload a single bullet each time you evade (bowguns), that dodging sharpens your weapon (melee) or that Close-Range Coating works like Powercoating. The weapons were very popular in 4U and remain so in GU, even though they got nerfed and don't deal quite as much damage anymore. Why? Because they are unique and fun to play with branching possibilities for builds. AT Kulve weapons are still the prime elemental weapons, tied with Safi, due to their innate Crit Element and the Whetfish DBs make for some funky builds and different style of play.

Set bonuses in World are great, especially stuff like Frostcraft. Seperating weapons more from armor by making them more unique would also enable Capcom to make armor less slot focused. Giving lower tier weapons innate skills that make them more useful with specific builds would also solve the issue of there always being one or two "best" weapons in a category (for Raw.)

More powerful effect could even come with innate negative skills to balance it out. The sky's the limit.

I am sure there is some things i forgot to mention but will simply add them in a comment should the need arise.

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