Monster Hunter World

Returning Player Observation – The New Player Experience has changed quite a bit!

Content of the article: "Returning Player Observation – The New Player Experience has changed quite a bit!"

Honestly, I'm not sure if for the better – though it hardly breaks the game.

So, a brief backstory. When MHW came out, I bought it day one and while I never actually made it to the endgame (I backed out around the double Bazelgeuse 'skill check') one could argue that's still making it reasonably far. I was distracted by other games and since I didn't have a strong social circle for MHW on my console of choice, revisiting the game just… didn't happen.

Recently, I've made a few mates in the other games I play (I play the Dark Souls titles a lot as well as Nioh and made some great connections in both) and the ones I play with the most frequently have expressed interest in MHW. As has my closest friend, with whom I've always had trouble finding proper co-op titles for us since our tastes are very different. He's usually more FPS or open-world exploration oriented whereas I'm more ARPG centric. So, when he recommended MHW as a game he was interested in playing it immediately put the game back on the radar for me because I absolutely loved it when I originally played through it and would love to revisit with a solid group of people to play alongside regularly.

Anyway, it's downloading right now for the PS4 – where I play with all these people – but I decided to make a new character on my original Xbox One copy to practice a bit and check out the new player experience. Boy, is it ever different from what I remember!

Okay, let's get the obvious out of the way first. Defender Equipment. I think it's brilliant that they're giving you a somewhat competitive armor set straight out the gate but after playing with it, it's become clear that it's honestly too competitive. You shrug off damage like it means nothing in the early portion of the game (I haven't allowed myself to go further than Ancient Forest until I can do it on my PS4 copy, so maybe it becomes less noticeable – I don't know) and the abilities are honestly really good across the board.

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I don't think this is a problem, necessarily. But it limits the need for build variety and most people I run into online around my HR are running that. I chose to eventually just go back to the original experience and just start crafting all my gear and ignoring the set but now I'm at a huge disadvantage compared to the players I'm grouping up with. It's not like MHW is very competitive, so that part isn't an issue – but it makes me feel like a burden to the team for not funneling myself into this one very specific set of equipment. I feel the same about the Defender weapons, as well.

Another thing about the online experience is that I'm seeing high HR players in early game quests a lot more often. I think that's because back before I dipped out of the game, high HR players were grinding for higher quality gear of course. You'd occasionally see someone 20-30 HR above the host, but never 100+ like I'm seeing so regularly.

Which, of course, kind of makes things a little bit dull, too. Maybe I should embrace it and just leave my quests open so they can essentially 'carry me' through a story I've already experienced and don't mind rushing. But if I'm just looking for some casual fun with a bunch of low HR players who are probably just as rusty and unfamiliar as I am, well I don't really get that experience because eventually someone in full endgame gear comes along and absolutely trivializes the monster we're hunting.

I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing, but I'm not seeing a way to leave quests open while also keeping them tailored to the same HR range as you so it's hard to get around if you want an online experience but one where you can actually still play a role and get yourself into the game.

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All that being said, I'm actually really excited to embark on this journey again. It's obvious a lot has changed – not just the new player experiences, but I know there are new monsters, equipment, quests, events, and so forth waiting to be discovered and I'm really looking forward to my second playthrough.

Anyway, if you read my little opinion piece thank you for the time. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, too, since I'm imagining 99% of the people reading this have played this game far more often recently than I have and have interesting insight that'd be worth hearing!

P.S. Charge Blade is fun.


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