Monster Hunter: World celebrated its one-month anniversary last Monday and has already cemented itself as was one of the strongest titles of 2018. It has dominated sales in Japan, managing to hold on to the top position on sales charts since its arrival, has become Capcom’s fastest-selling title to date and was even recently crowned the company’s best-selling game in history.
However, with everything that Monster Hunter: World has done right, there is one thing that it has failed completely: lack of endgame content.
When you’re playing through World’s story, it seems the game has just the right amount of things to do and offers them in a way that doesn’t overwhelm the player. Things start off slowly, letting the player get acquainted with each map’s environment, while building up the skills and experience needed to fight your run-of-the-mill monster, before pitting him/her against the strongest monsters each zone has to offer.
Upon beating the first part of the story, you’re introduced to High Rank and a new set of monsters — subspecies — which take on the same general appearance of their regular counterparts, but feature new abilities that will catch the unprepared hunter off-guard. In reality, this is when the game really begins. Monsters hit harder and they last longer, requiring players to refine their play or find themselves unable to take down the game’s flagship monster, Nergigante, once they reach the second arc’s conclusion.
Once Nergigante is gone, the monsters who it preyed upon, Elder Dragons, come out to play, leading to a showdown against two of the series most iconic monsters. And once that is over and done with? You go head-to-head with the game’s final boss: Xeno’jiiva.
In the past, this is when the game starts to open up. In Monster Hunter: World, however, that’s pretty much it — you’ve seen pretty much everything the game has to offer.
Long gone are the days of G-Rank, where players were met with even more monsters and enhanced versions of previous ones. Instead, Monster Hunter: World has Tempered monsters as its endgame.
These creatures offer nothing in the way of new armor or weapons, but they do drop decorations and streamstones for you to enhance your equipment with. If you think that grinding for a specific monster gem was a pain, then spending hours in order to get one decoration that you actually want will leave you with nightmares (I have yet to find any extra Attack Gems or even a single Elementaless Jewel after about 150 hours).
Of course, grinding is nothing new in Monster Hunter. The issue is the lack of monsters to actually grind your desired items on. Monster Hunter: World sports a rather lackluster 30 monster lineup, many of which are dumbed-down when compared to past entries, but only five of them — Kirin, Nergigante, Teostra, Vaal Hazak and Kushala Daora — can drop anything of legitimate value, meaning you’ll be spending your time only farming those specific monsters.
Farming the same five monsters hour after hour is already boring for many as is (not to mention the way they’re unlocked is tedious), and things only get worse when you realize that these monsters aren’t really different from their non-tempered counterparts. Compared to monsters in G-Rank which had a new set of attacks, more health, increased aggression and dealt more damage; tempered monsters only get the increased damage.
That isn’t to say that tempered monsters can’t pose a threat, though. Tempered Kirin is probably the hardest thing this game has to offer and it isn’t hard to find horror stories of random players causing missions to fail in multiplayer because they kept getting hit by Vaal Hazak’s breath attack. It’s just that if you know how to handle a regular version of an enemy, there is nothing stopping you from handling the tempered one — they’re fundamentally the same.
Unsurprisingly, this hasn’t been an issue for some. As mentioned previously, grinding relentlessly in order to make a perfect sets of gear has always been a major aspect of the series. However, for many — including myself — there’s little appeal in farming the same monsters repeatedly for the chance of getting an item that allows me to shave some time off my kill times. Admittedly, I still willingly suffer through this process, but I’am getting anxious for something to spice up the endgame.
So what can be done? The obvious thing would for Capcom to add a proper G-Rank or at least make tempered monsters behave differently and have new characteristics (like Apex monsters in MH4). If monsters were beefed-up and provided a decent challenge, then many could at least stomach being forced to fight the same ones. As is, all you really need is the Rocksteady/Evasion Mantle and a Health/Affinity Booster and you’re mostly golden.
There are other alternatives, however, such as more quests. And no, I don’t mean event quests.
It’s fantastic that Capcom has an ongoing schedule where players can do unique quests for special rewards. For example, there was a quest two or three weeks ago where players had to fight a Great Jagras, Great Girros and Dodogama at the same time, but offered more gems; while another has players fight every monster in a specific zone.
The problem is that they’re time-limited and most of the awards are inconsequential. Yes, it’s cool that players can dress up as Aloy from Horizon: Zero Dawn, but aside from the disappointing Anjanath encountered during the mission (I expected something on the scale of MH3’s World Eater Deviljho), the armor set itself isn’t all too strong and mostly exists as a novelty.
Instead, it would be cool if there were quests where the conditions randomly changed midway or if they offered new combinations of monsters to fight (and make them permanent arena quests as an added bonus). In both cases, the chances of monotony would be avoided by tossing players into unexpected situations with gear that might not be useful to them.
Lastly, there’s the monsters. Like mentioned before, World has a mere 30 monster roster and though that is due to the transition from the Nintendo 3DS to home consoles, the fact still remains that this number falls short of the 75 in MH4U, 73 in Generations and 93(!) in XX.
Having a wider array of monsters is the “easiest” way to erase the monotony that many players are facing. Not only would they get to fight more monsters in the endgame (including those eligible for high end streamstones), but they would likely come with more weapons and armor for players to mess around with.
Fortunately, it looks like this is the route that Capcom seems to be set on taking for the time being. Deviljho is confirmed to be coming and hopefully more favorites such as Nargacuga, Alatreon and Seregios will also be added in the future. Of course, new monsters — such as subspecies for Odogaron, Tobi-Kadachi or Anjanath — would be welcome as well.
Monster Hunter: World is a fantastic game, but the lack of content and weak endgame is the one area where it fails. If Capcom seriously wants this game to support this game (why bother releasing a balance patch if it didn’t?), then this is something that it’ll need to rectify. We already know that it won’t be treated like a service, but we should at least expect more content past the PC release.
The series has finally entered the mainstream and though some lament the dumbed-down nature of the game, the real thing to lament would be interest in the game dwindling due to a lack of stuff to do. This is something that can be amended with regular updates, there’s no need for an enhanced version.