Content of the article: "Lets set the record straight as to why Alatreon is hated and considered badly made"
Alatreon is hated by quite a few people, that's no secret. But despite some people's opinions, it isn't just because its "too hard." The reason Alatreon is hated is that it commits a development sin: taking away player choice.
Taking away player choice is something that 99% of the time is a bad decision. It restricts players, takes away some of the wonders of playing games, and overall usually just makes games less fun and far more agitating. What's the 1% you ask? Well, the one time taking away player choice is good is for when it truly serves a dramatic purpose. If any of you are familiar with the end of "The Last of Us," you should know what I am talking about, and you should also know that MHW is definitely not trying that with Alatreon. The reason Alatreon is designed the way it is is to create a difficult gameplay experience, not to tell a story. So why is the difficulty considered bad and artificial, and how does it take away player choice?
I'm sure you all are aware that everyone's issue with the fight comes down to escaton judgement, a move that is a guaranteed insta-cart if you do not play the fight in a certain way. This is everyone's problem. Alatreon requires players to fight it in a certain way, that way being a heavy focus on elemental damage. Without said damage, escaton judgement is impossible to beat. This takes away player choice. MHW has tons of decorations, armor pieces, and weapons. The game is all about having options and being able to approach hunts in whatever way you wish to, even though I'm sure some elitists would love to disagree. No matter what the monster is, you can always beat it if you have the skills to do so, regardless of whatever your build is. This means that players can build themselves in whatever way they want and they can still enjoy the game and succeed in it. This is an example of player choice. Now, some choices make certain fights harder, that is bound to happen in a game like MHW. Monsters are all different and therefore some are more vulnerable to certain strategies and vice versa. However, no matter what, a hunt is always possible. I can build myself completely around dealing blast damage to a monster and then decide to fight a Lunastra. It will be much more difficult than normal, but it will be possible. Alatreon breaks this idea. You simply don't have a choice when it comes to fighting Alatreon. There is only one way to fight it, elemental damage. All other options are quite literally not possible. They aren't just hard, they are not possible.
This is why people are not having fun with Alatreon. It isn't just "hard." Alatreon simply does not allow certain people to enjoy the game, because they lose their choice to play how they want. I for example, always play with a focus on speed eating, medicine and wide range. That's just what I enjoy doing, and MHW always allows me to do so. Alatreon does not. I cannot play the game in a way that is fun for me because that choice is just not available. This is not seen anywhere else in MHW. Let's also discuss why the difficulty surrounding Alatreon is considered "artificial."
What even is artificial difficulty? Well, it is difficulty that players don't have a say in. Genuine difficulty in games is designed to be capable of being surpassed by a player. A player has the final say in whether or not the challenge the game presents them will hold them back or not. This represents the player's skill. Difficulty in MHW is for the most part very genuine. Whenever a player carts, it is almost always because they messed up. They failed to dodge that attack, they failed to heal themselves when they should have, etc., it isn't because the game forced it. And again, this is where Alatreon breaks this idea and becomes Artificial. Players don't have a say in escaton judgement. No amount of skill can prevent the attack, nor can it save you from its unstoppable damage. Now, I know people will say something along the lines of "That's not true, players do have a say, they can run elemental damage." And while you are technically correct, many players refuse to acknowledge that method. Players want to have the freedom to play how they wish, they want their skill to be the defining factor in their success. So when the game simply does not allow that by forcing one specific play style, it results in people labelling the fight as artificial. Well made and fun difficulty will challenge a player, badly made and artificial difficulty will restrict a player.
So if this is an issue, why are there players who are simply calling people out by saying they are whining about a fight? Well, honestly I think it boils down to a larger problem in gaming as a whole. There are a lot of people who simply do not like calling developers out when they make mistakes. They grow complacent with whatever content comes their way and they don't really ask themselves if it is well made or not, they just play and go with the flow. If the game forces them to do something, they do it, all while under the assumption that that is just how games are supposed to work. They fail to understand the difference between genuine difficulty and poor design because they simply can't spot poor design to begin with. This is something I have seen many times. People don't like to hold developers accountable for their mistakes and as a result, they start to lose the ability to do so. This is why there are people who will defend certain games and certain developers to the bitter end, even when there are obvious mistakes. So that's how you end up with the "git gud lol," players. They fail to understand the bigger picture and can't comprehend a reason for people complaining other than "Well they must just be bad at the game."
Capcom does need to hear the criticism, and those who try to shut down said criticism are frankly unhealthy for the game and honestly for gaming as a whole. If all players were willing to criticize developers on their mistakes and if developers were all willing to listen, we would have a far better world of games. I feel I should clarify here that I am not accusing Capcom of failing to listen, at least when it comes to MHW. I fully expect a change or nerf to Alatreon to come within the coming days/weeks.
Point is, Alatreon is receiving backlash for a reason. I'm sure there are a few people out there who legitimately despise every single monster who gives them any semblance of trouble, but when a vocal majority of players take issue with something, that should not be ignored.
- I think one of the biggest reasons Alatreon received such a mixed reception is actually a flaw that the entire series has had since the first game.
- Bad Design
- But legit though, why are you guys really complaining about Alatreon?
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