Monster Hunter World has been around for well over a year already, and it wouldn’t be a surprise for many Hunters to be familiar with the game’s ins and outs by now.
From speedruns to completing all the events and collecting all the gear sets, many who have played it since release would no doubt be feeling a sense of “been there, done that”. Seasonal events aside, we’ve only gotten minor updates on the New World, with only arch-tempered variations of Elder Dragons currently dominating the endgame — and even that many players have already milked dry.
Enter Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, which is due out in a few months. Capcom has declared that it will be a much “more difficult” experience for even the most seasoned of Hunters.
Besides the introduction of fearsome new beasts in Hoarfrost Reach such as the Banbaro, as well as the return of fan favourites such as Tigrex, one main indicator for a heightened difficulty will be the introduction of Master Rank for hunters.
Currently, High Rank is the most difficult rank of contracts Hunters can take on, and even then they aren’t all that hard to complete, leading to players sending feedback to Capcom requesting even more outrageous challenges that hearken back to the previous-gen Monster Hunter games.
“We’ve taken that feedback to heart from players who wanted more difficulty and more challenge and really delivered on that,” said executive director and art director Kaname Fujioka in an interview with Game Informer.
Of course, with greater difficulty comes greater responsibility, as the team anticipates having to deal with two main groups of players: those that have been playing MHW rather religiously, and those that are either new to the game or are returning after a months-long absence.
Fujioka feels that the former group will no doubt have an advantage when coming into Iceborne‘s endgame, since they’d be well-equipped with the top-tier equipment to weather most of the challenges presented in Hoarfrost Reach.
His team have also considered the prospect of new and returning players, and as such have prepared some shortcuts to enable progressing through the story much quicker, as well as making hunts easier by introducing new features such as the Clutch Claw tool, and the ability to ride smaller monsters such as the Jagras to blitz through the maps quicker.
“If it’s players who have been going in-depth into the content for Monster Hunter World and the updates, then they’ll feel a much smoother transition for difficulty than other players will,” said Fujioka.
One of the things about difficulty that was a point of feedback from players was about the number of options that they had, and that’s something we really adjusted this time around. There is a higher volume of difficult challenges they can take on in the game while at the same time observing a natural difficulty curve that will make it easier for players to enjoy that difficulty naturally.
If anything, Fujioka and his team are well-prepared to take on the new challenge of managing the increasingly diversifying player base in Monster Hunter World when Iceborne drops on September 6 for PS4, Xbox One and PC.
Marion has a serious RPG addiction. Sometimes it bleeds into real life; he forgets to sleep because he thinks he has a Witcher’s body clock. Forgive him in advance if he suddenly blurts out terms such as “Mind Flayer” and “Magic Missile”, because never once does he stop thinking about his next Dungeons & Dragons game.