The first time I played Monster Hunter: World on PS4, I reached the Tempered Kirin fight, which had a requirement of hunter rank(HR) 49. It was a fair chunk of time invested.
On the PC, I’m currently HR 23 which isn’t exactly reflective of the middle point of the game. In fact, I’ve killed every single target but the two who were not in the PS4 version when I stopped (Deviljo & Lunastra). Now it’s about taking on monsters to fill out specific armor/weapon sets. So I guess you could say I’ve killed half the monsters that I did last time. Now it’s about putting my head down and running investigations on repeat.
One of the neat things about RPGs is the player flexibility when it comes to power progression. MH:W is a prime example, where all power increases are based on player choices. If I took off my armor, I would be as powerful as a level 1 character. Every weapon, armor, charm, decoration has a direct impact on power. Every temporary buff (potion or food) has a direct impact. And it’s time/effort to unlock those various pieces. Not like all of a sudden you get that 1 unlock and game transforms – it’s a slow and steady build.
Example. I had forgotten about Power/Armorcharms. There are two items you can buy that sit in your inventory and provide passive boosts to DEF and ATK. You can boost this effect through crafting by combining a drop from Bazelgeuse. Then buy the base items again. The progression goes 0/0 –> 12/6 –> 18/9 –> 30/15. To compare, one piece of rank 5 armor has ~40DEF. Rank 7 has ~70DEF. So when you first get this piece, well it’s a near 20% boost of power. As you get much stronger, the effect is still there but the overall impact is lesser. To compare again, a large food buff is 15ATK, but goes away when you faint. Every bit helps.
Great games operate on the concepts of gradual improvements, and a world that grows with you. There are times where it’s fun to just faceroll through an event, but people typically play for the challenge. MH:W has ever increasingly dangerous enemies that you can tackle, either through pure skill (bit of luck too), or through investment in power levels. I’m sure I could kill Teostra in beginner gear… it would just take 50 minutes to do and a whole lot of attempts.
In my journey so far, Diablos was the one that gave me the most headaches. I was trying to learn to guard point (use shield to be invulnerable) and it really wasn’t working for me. I’m sure I tried that quest a dozen times until I got the timing just right. Well, I needed to capture the bugger for a quest and ended up fighting him in the Arena the other night. He died in 4 minutes.
Rank 8 weapon and Rank 7 armor, all the canteen items unlocked, a Palico with rank 8 gear and a maxed Palarang. I put on the Vitality Mantle (prevents some damage) and went to town. Running up walls and crashing down to mount him for massive damage. Dodging at the right time. Using Guard Points on every charge. I felt like one of those instructional YouTube videos on how to play the game. With a Charge Blade and long windups, you really need to have some luck on your side for a couple of the swings. Felt super easy.
That was the last arena battle in normal mode. I’ve done nearly every optional quest available, but one hidden part of the game is the need to capture monsters and fight them in the arena. I have most of them for High Rank mode… now to get 1 or 2 more. If it goes anything like Diablos, it should be fairly smooth sailing.