You ever uninstall a game after a while, forget that you did so, then see it on your Steam library, wonder why it’s not on your hard drive, reinstall it, and then are immediately reminded what it was that caused you to uninstall it in the first place? Yea, that’s where I’m at with Monster Hunter: World.
That’s not to imply that MHW is a bad game. Far from it. This is absolutely one of Capcom’s finest releases in the series and ultimately is a refinement of an extremely tired formula that needed to happen. It also is built with one of the single worst multiplayer setups I’ve ever had the misfortune of going through.
One of my biggest gripes with playing Monster Hunter World as an online multiplayer title is that forming a pick-up group is arduous. You would think this would be a boon, forcing people to reach out and find others, but I just find it an obnoxious hindrance, particularly since I play these series of games at a far more leisurely pace than most. Most fans of these games are some of the most driven, most determined, and most voracious of game content locusts, plowing through the early parts of the game and soaring to high-end hunts at an alarming speed. I’ve never played that way, and when it comes to playing this game with others, if you’re not ahead, you’re behind.
This fault of my playstyle clashing with the greater playerbase particularly rears its head in MHW by way of forming a group in-game. You have to first be in an active quest, and then fire off an SOS Flare, which lists your mission in a specific section of the Mission Board that others can see. After that, it’s basically a matter of crossing your fingers and hoping that there are others who are just as lowly as you who will join you, or maybe you’ll be graced with someone who vastly overgears your hunt and effectively carries you. Neither of these is a particularly great solution in my mind; I’d like to have a group formed with me before I set out, and you just don’t learn anything if you’re carried and can even be an anchor to things by being hit too often and being the sole reason a quest fails.
Believe me, I know.
Yes, I will be one of the first to admit that I am not very good at Monster Hunter games, even though I’ve been playing them for a long while, getting into the series ever since Monster Hunter Tri. Even if my skill is lacking pretty severely, though, there’s still a point that many vets of the game will be familiar with, and that is the Wall.
Lots of players of this game seem to have their own personal Wall, but the event is basically the same: There’s just this one particular monster that has your number and you can’t beat it no matter how many times you try either solo or in a group.
For me, my Wall in MHW is Nergigante.
This spiky son of a gun has evaded defeat every single time I face him, no matter how often I try by myself or when people are kind enough to respond to my SOS Flare. Every single time, without fail, something happens that makes me lose until frustration sees me angrily uninstalling. Or I just resign myself to answering other people’s SOS Flares, which almost never sees me making any meaningful progress. But hey, at least I get to play with other people.
This is the point where Dauntless rises above for me. Grouping is the simplest possible thing, and practically every hunt you take on has you finding people to play with of all sorts of skill levels. It handles it all for you like an online multiplayer game ought to. Monster Hunter World, meanwhile, is just this bafflingly esoteric series of steps and conditions that have to be met that I can only assume come from a dev team that just didn’t know how to build an online game.
What makes this whole ordeal extra frustrating for me is that MHW truly is a spectacular game otherwise! It’s visually gorgeous, the way you track and find monsters is so much better than it used to be in previous entries, the weapons are varied and intriguing but full of depth and nuance, and learning a monster fight enough to become a master of its moves feels extremely good. I just wish I could play with others more easily! Just let me play with others more easily!
I know that some folks want Dauntless to be steamrolled by Monster Hunter World, but it’s my pleasure to report that so far, it seems like both are keeping a playerbase; Dauntless has touted new high-water marks in terms of registered players, and MHW just recently celebrated another milestone in sales. By all accounts, they’re both able to live alongside one another, and that makes me extremely happy to see. I don’t want just one type of this game around.
I guess, then, I’ll just uninstall Monster Hunter World and keep Dauntless on my desktop. I’ve made my decision, and this week’s Choose My Adventure romp absolutely affirms that I made the right choice for my preferences.
But that’s this past week. It’s time to move on to another week! And this time, I think it’s time I take a little break from the hard-charging online combat RPG thing and unwind, relax, and explore a vast galaxy. This coming week in our Not So Massively edition of CMA is No Man’s Sky, which should be pushing out its massive new Beyond multiplayer update by the time voting wraps up. So, yes, I’m looking to get in on some of that new small-scale multiplayer action, but the question for our poll is: What should I do?
For the sake of ease and exploring as much of what this game’s new update has to offer, I’ll be kicking things off in the resource cost-free Creative mode, unless playing in that mode limits my access to the multiplayer features of the Beyond update. The question for this week’s poll, then, is one of focus: Should I keep to exploring around by myself and with others, build up a swanky base to show off to people, or work with others on a bunch of missions?
What should be my primary focus in No Man's Sky?
- Missions. Get to the Nexus and find some people to do stuff with. (18%, 30 Votes)
- Base building. Make the swankest of houses. (21%, 36 Votes)
- Exploration. Maybe with others. It's what this game is meant for. (61%, 102 Votes)
Total Voters: 168
As usual, polling wraps up on Friday, August 16th, at 1:00 p.m. EDT. For now, I’ll lick my wounds and swallow my pride regarding myself and Monster Hunter. Maybe some sunny day I’ll kill that damn angry cactus dragon.