MH:Rise New Players

I’m a jaded middle-aged fart, with nearly 40 years of gaming under my belt. There are a lot of things I take for granted in gaming, and when those basic tenets are broken, I get frustrated. Basic things, like movement with the left analog stick, that jump is spacebar, that X = OK, or that shooting is the right trigger. When games swap that stuff around, like Dark Souls having attacks mapped to triggers, it messes up with my brain!

MH is not an accessible game. Blizzard’s old motto of easy to learn, difficult to master is not applied. You are thrown into the deep end, and then the game throws rocks at you.

This could not be more evident than watching my eldest take a try at the game. She created a character just fine, not really understanding all the choices. Game starts, she sees the Chief give a speech and asks ‘is he the bad guy?’ The game then says she needs to find someone in town, but doesn’t explain how to find anyone. Sure, there are tutorial screens but they are so high level it’s really not of any value.

After 10 minutes of tutorial screens and the main town, she figured out how to start a mission. She couldn’t figure out how to ride her Palamute (the game’s commands buttons are not really explained), and then after 5 minutes she couldn’t figure out what to do. Finally sees the icon on the mini-map, then a bunch more tutorial screens that don’t say anything useful. Finally fights some tiny lizards, but couldn’t figure out the attack buttons or combos. She really enjoyed the Wirebugs though!

Contrast that to my experience after World. I know what 90% of the mechanics are in this game, I’ve configured equipment and item loadouts, I get food, I have a configured action wheel. I really understand the concept of counters and evasion. Going HAM doesn’t work in Monster Hunter (it certainly does in Dauntless). I’ve killed dozens of monsters and only failed one mission – Almudron – as I was learning it’s movesets and got chain stunned. But I’m good at this because I have like 100 hours in World.

My daughter has ZERO experience in any MH, really no experience in anything that’s this complex with perhaps Ghosts of Tsushima as the closest bit. Compare that to something like Mario Kart 8, where there’s a gradual learning curve and she’s just getting miles better every time. Or Rocket League, where she pulls off moves that I am really stunned to see.

Now, I realize that my daughter is not the typical gamer, and that there are plenty of folks that love the complexity of an MH game. Further, that with some practice I’m sure she’d be better than I am. It’s just a weird situation to see the gap between my experience and her expectations so clearly put on display.

Maybe I can find some YouTube newbie videos she can take a look at, then practice some together. Would be really neat to see this expand as a family thing.

5 thoughts on “MH:Rise New Players

  1. I recall once running across the new players guide for WoW on the forums. I recall Netharea was a co-author and mentioned it to her on Twitter. She said it had been there for years. I found it in a round about way as a 6+ year player.

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    • Path of Exile and Grim Dawn forums both have a starter guide and a ‘what’s changed in the last patch’ set of guides. There’s no easy way to find them though, unless you know where to look.

      I sort of get why it’s less important now, what with streamers everywhere, but at the same time you need to filter through so much crazy junk to find anything of value…and never actually in the game proper.

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  2. There’s that whole Razbuten series where he chucks his initially non-gaming wife at a whole sequence of games to film her reactions. There are a lot of gaming conventions and shared design elements that are completely non-obvious to someone unfamiliar with the language of games.

    Add on something as esoteric as Monster Hunter, which evidently draws on different cultural roots and conventions (it’s not even a JRPG per se, it’s an odd hybrid spawned from a mix of handheld console + Japanese culture + multiplayer cooperative origins), and it’s little wonder why it will feel alien to even other gamers, who are just not familiar with the franchise.

    I really miss oldschool guidebooks for getting familiar with this sort of thing. I fondly remember a childhood of surrounding myself with information-dense paper, going over general concepts and switching back and forth between reference and game.

    I suppose today’s equivalent are a whole bunch of introductory videos, but they always strike me as too much “push” info dump and not enough self-served “pull” on-demand, just-in-time info.

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    • Yeah, hard to find the right balance between skill / challenge over time. Something like EvE is ALL deep end, and the intro portion is notoriously lacking.

      I’ll have to check the Razbuten series… perhaps I can find some ideas to smooth the path for my daughter.

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