The Legend of the Five

Once, there was a world without time. The world was nothing but white light, inhabited only by people and five dragons. In that world, there was only eternity, and a sun that burned without beginning or end. And because there was only timeless eternity, nothing was ever lost…yet nothing was ever gained.

One day, the people began to wonder why their world had no beginning or end, so they asked the dragons. The dragons opened their mouths as if to answer, but from their mouths poured water instead of words. It rushed out in streams to create the sky and the oceans, and the dragons swam away.

The dragons swam to the center of the ocean, and there they began to transform into an island. One dragon sank into the sea and became the land. One dragon lifted its gaze to the sky and became the mountains. One dragon stooped low and became the lakes, and scattered its scales to create the rain. One dragon fell into a deep slumber and became the forests. The last dragon climbed into the sky to become a star of sapphire blue, shining brightly above the island.

The people could not understand why the dragons had left, or why they had transformed. Eventually, a lone youth decided to go to the island to seek the answers from the dragons themselves. He donned a simple cloak, climbed into a simple boat, and cast off alone into the murky seas. At last, guided by the light of the sapphire star, he reached the Island of the Five.

Some time passed, and the youth returned. “Did you speak with the dragons?” the people asked. “Yes, I spoke with them,” he replied. “Then tell us, why did they create the island?” But the youth did not answer. Instead, he reached into his cloak and pulled out five dragon scales, which he gave to the people. And then, before anyone realized, the youth disappeared.

The people left their white world and sailed across the ocean. Using the five scales, they created their own lands, their own mountains, their own lakes, and their own forests. Last of all, they created a bright moon, so that the sapphire star, which had guided the youth during his voyage to seek the dragons, would no longer shine alone in the sky.

The land grew large enough to obscure the sun, and day and night were born. The mountains, lakes, and forests breathed together, and the seasons were born. The moon cast its light on the ocean, and waves were born. And thus time was also born. Swept up in the almighty current of time, the people came to know death. But the people also came to know life.

Countless days and countless nights have passed since people first came to live on the lands they had created. As time passed, they lost their memory of the Five Dragons, and even the memory of how time itself had been born. But deep in their hearts there dwelt a quiet knowledge of the Island of the Five, the most sacred place in the world, which to this day sleeps in the middle of the ocean, uninhabited by people, and unchanged even by the relentless flow of time.

-The Tale of the Five

Monster Hunter: World_20180322131339

Good evening, everyone. In this article, I’m going to take a bit of a segue away from the gameplay elements of Monster Hunter World in order to discuss story elements. I have said before that the story is more of an excuse plot than anything else, and that is true as far as it goes. But while the playable story doesn’t shift much from, “Pursue elder dragon; local monster makes things difficult; defeat monster and unlock new options; continue pursuing elder dragon,” I believe that there is another level to be had: specifically, the myth above, the Tale of the Five, goes a long way to taking the “excuse” out of “excuse plot” in my mind. Let’s pick it apart a bit, shall we? Continue reading

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MHW: Welcome to Astera!

Phew… glad I had the foresight to take yesterday off. It ended up being a bit brutal on my poor, fragile psyche… Never would have managed to get this article done. In fact, I’m not sure I’ll get it done today. If this post goes live on Wednesday, you’ll know I didn’t make it. 😛

Well, setting myself aside, welcome to Astera, your home away from home! Except, now that you are stuck on this side of the ocean in the New World, I guess it’s the only home you have? Well, there are definitely worse places to live, and it’s scenic as you could ask, so let’s go sightseeing, shall we? Continue reading

Sunday Update: The Bestiary (Final Part)

Hey, everyone, happy Sunday! Today is the last day of my monstrous presentation, and I hope my humble commentary has been helpful in some small fashion. I really like how the game escalates the difficulty of the missions, and then doesn’t hold your hand as you figure out how to clear them. You are free to use any weapon, any tactic, any item you want…

…And now, you’re going to need all of it.


Large Monster #7: AnjanathMonster Hunter: World_20180318192451

Yup. It’s a T-Rex. It’s absolutely a T-Rex. Big freaking T-Rex. It has big gaping jaws and teeth like a T-Rex. It has short stubby forelegs like a T-Rex. It can breathe fire like a T-Rex [citation needed].

I call it “Angie.”

(Yeah, I know it doesn’t fit the rest of my naming scheme. But, see, the nickname for the tyrannosaurus from Jurassic Park is “Rexie”; and since Angie is absolutely a tyrannosaurus, I wanted something similar.)

So, we first meet Angie when it unintentionally saves our character and the Handler from Dreadlocks at the very start of the game (y’know, right after the ship your riding gets stuck on an elder dragon and you plummet into the jungle. Man, I love this game. 😀 ) There is a chance that you have had it chase you around the Ancient Forest while out on an expedition. If you have attempted to fight it, however, you may have learned something very, very important: the Anjanath is an absolute beast. Harsh attacks, a hair-trigger temper, and yes, the ability to breathe fire make Angie an absolute terror.

Monster Hunter: World_20180318192401
Its favorite pastime is savaging Dreadlocks, though, so it isn’t all bad. It’s like sharing a hobby. 😛

That’s not to say that you can’t defeat Angie early; as mentioned earlier, it often wanders around the Ancient Forest during expeditions (but not early investigations, fortunately) and you can give it a shot in a (relatively) risk-free environment. Of course, the thing to remember is that during expeditions monsters will leave the area after a while, and if you have any trouble damaging this monster, it will probably run down the clock on you; on at least two occasions I had Angie on the ropes, only for it to burrow under the water and disappear, leaving only my consternation and rage. (And a few loose scales, so it wasn’t a complete loss.) 😛

But you will eventually have to fight this behemoth. Fortunately, despite being a T-Rex, Angie is not invincible; but it can become a big scary wall if you’ve been scraping through fights by the skin of your teeth. Here, therefore, is my vague checklist for preparing to face your fears:

  1. Practice, practice, practice. Fight Wedge, fight Nessie, and fight Fluffy until you are comfortable with fighting large, mobile monsters. Learn your chosen weapon inside and out, and be aware of when you are most vulnerable while using it. (When in doubt, Aqua Hammer. Actually, why wait until you are in doubt? 😉 )
  2. While you are fighting and practicing, you will naturally gather materials for making armor and weapons. Make the highest available water weapon of your favorite type, and start picking out the armor you want to wear. There is no advantage to wearing an entire set (yet 😉 ) so evaluate what skills you would like to have, and whether it has extra fire defense. Two pieces worthy of note: the Kulu headdress has the skill Fire Resistance and decent base stats; and as I mentioned yesterday, Kestodon Armguards have both good physical defense and significant resistance to fire. (Of course, when you pick and choose pieces from different sets you end up looking like a fashion disaster; but what’s more important, looking good, or survival? Don’t answer that. 😛 )
  3. Take and complete bounties, especially easy gathering bounties. Completing bounties scores you Armor Spheres, which you can use to level up your armor’s physical defense. Hopefully you have been doing this all along, so you won’t have to deliberately grind these too much; but leveling up your armor can be the difference between being one-shot by a giant T-Rex, and surviving until the second bite. >.>
  4. Carry a full inventory of Potions and Mega Potions, and make sure you are comfortable selecting them off the item radial dial. I would also suggest creating and carrying items to increase your defense and attack power, especially defense. Finally, if you are using a weapon that needs sharpening often, I suggest fishing up some Whetfish Scales: these items greatly decrease the amount of time needed to sharpen your weapon, and are much safer to use in a combat situation than the ordinary whetstone. (Safer, but not safe; it’s still best to find some cover before fixing your weapon.) And if you really want to treat yourself, carry an Ancient Potion for emergencies.

Now, if you wait until the story assignment to face Angie, the battle will start with a cutscene of you dropping a bunch of rocks on Angie’s back. Take that as a hint: the battle will be much smoother if you take advantage of the environment. Lead it into traps, lead it to other large monsters, and generally do everything you can to make sure you don’t have to face 100% of its gentle attentions. 😛

Inevitably, however, you’ll have to wade in and deal your damage directly. Things to keep in mind: if you stand in front of Angie it will charge and bite you, if you stand behind it you will be smacked with a strong tail swipe, if you stand beside it then it will shoulder check into you, and if you stand beneath it Angie will kick you. The takeaway? Keep moving. Don’t stand in one place and whale away unless you are absolutely sure Angie isn’t about to tag you. Take a couple swings, dodge away, and check to see if it is looking at you before heading back in again.

Now, large monsters have a berserk state where their attacks become more deadly; and Angie goes berserk early and often. Watch the little eye marker on the minimap while you are fighting; when it turns red, Angie is about to unleash its most violent attacks, including a huge diving body slam which will absolutely ruin your day — especially if you get caught between it and a tree, in which case you might be in serious trouble. Finally, it can pick you up in its mouth and toss you through the air, which is fun to watch although bad to experience. Fortunately, this attack doesn’t do additional damage past the initial bite, but it will leave you prone and vulnerable to follow-up attacks.

The other thing that happens when Angie gets ticked is that it will start spouting fire from its mouth. If you get bitten at this time, you will be set aflame (in addition to taking damage from being chewed on, naturally). Fortunately, all you have to do to put yourself out is to do a series of dodge rolls, which since you were just bitten by a giant dinosaur, you are probably doing already. It can also spout sparks in front of itself in an arc, like it’s swinging a fiery sword, so watch out for that. Lastly, it can take a deep breath and spit out a huge flamethrower-esque line of pure death. Yeah. Don’t get hit by that. You’ll be sad. :\

And if worst comes to worst, there’s nothing wrong with running away. Heal up, make new potions, maybe eat at the mini-canteen at camp, and go find Angie for another round. You have fifty minutes, so don’t try to rush too much. Play it safe, and keep up a steady pressure, and eventually Angie will capitulate.

And your reward for victory (apart from access to Anja materials and better bounties) will be a major setpiece battle against the world’s most volcanic elder dragon, Zorah Magdaros! It will be grand! Seriously, though, it’s fun, so look forward to it.

Oh yeah, armor set:

Monster Hunter: World_20180318193015

Wild.

Small monster #7: KelbiMonster Hunter: World_20180318201851

It’s a deer. Yup. It’s a dear deer. You’ll find them immediately when you enter the Wildspire Wastes.

It is harmless. It won’t even pay any attention to you until hit it with your large, scary weapons, and then it will zig-zag away and try to find some cover to watch you from, and hope you don’t come after it.

You can carve it for its hide (a craftable material), its liver (worth commision points), or bog-standard raw meat. It doesn’t even have an armor set of its own, and is only used as a secondary material in a few other sets.

So why do I even mention it, you may ask? Well, if you strike it directly in the head, you might break off one of its horns (why the horn can’t be carved from the body itself is, of course, an open question.) This horn is used in a very useful crafting recipe that I think you should know about. For this recipe you will need:

1 Bitterbug

1 Honey

1 Mandragora

1 Kelbi horn

First, mix the Bitterbug and the Honey to create a Catalyst, which has no use on its own but is part of many other recipes. Next, mix the Catalyst with the Mandragora mushroom to create Immunizer, which… apparently increases your recovery rate? I haven’t actually tested it yet… but never mind. Take the Immunizer and add ground Kelbi horn (Ok, ok, you don’t actually have to grind the horn, just work with me here. 😛 )

The final result will be the Ancient Potion. Not only does this little beauty heal your wounds, it also maxes out both your Health bar and your Stamina Bar, very useful if you want to finish a long drawn out fight against a monster in peak condition. The bad news? You can only carry one at a time. How big is that potion, anyway…? 😐

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why you should go out and hit gentle deer-creatures in the head with dangerous weapons… Man, it sounds even worse when I put it that way. Seriously, check your conscience at the door when you join the 5th Fleet, people… ^^;Monster Hunter: World_20180318201825


Ok, that concludes my coverage of interesting monsters in the early game. Naturally, there are many more to find, confront, and “research”, but this is definitely enough to get the beginning hunter started. I’m going to take tomorrow off, but I should be back the day after with coverage on the home base of the Research Commision: Astera. Hope you have a good week, and see you later! 😀Monster Hunter: World_20180317234833

MHW: The Bestiary (Part 6)

Sat down to write this article → Fell asleep. Not an excuse, just the reality. Still yawning, even… :\

Large Monster #6: Tobi-Kadachi

Monster Hunter: World_20180317120241

I call this one “Fluffy”. Don’t you love its fluffy tail? …Until you look closer, and you realize that the tail is actually a mass of scales and spikes, anyway. >.>

Tobi-Kadachi is a bizarre cross of snow fox, flying squirrel, and lizard. Like our old friend Mohawk, it tends to mind its own business until you agitate it, and it will likely wander right by you as long as you don’t start poking it with sharp sticks. (Makes it easier to screenshot, I’ll say that much.) It prefers the upper levels of the Ancient Forest, but it will commonly wander downwards in search of water and food. At least, I think it’s looking for food? I’m not actually sure what it eats…

Monster Hunter: World_20180317120037

Anyway, start a fight with the cute little(?) monster and you will quickly learn just how dangerous a flying squirrel can be. You see, Fluffy is a thunder-element wyvern, and it can channel that energy into its tail for a powerful rotating swipe, or cause a powerful arc between the horns on its head that looks absolutely painful. On top of that, it is fast and agile, able to leap onto the trunks of trees to launch attacks from above, and even from level ground it can jump into the air and glide for a few moments before somersaulting into an extremely powerful full-bodied smackdown with its electrified tail. The more it moves around, the more severe its electric attacks become; according to the field guide, this is because it builds up static electricity in its body, but I prefer to believe that it is just getting more excited as the fight goes on. It also has a chance of inflicting a status blight that makes you vulnerable to stunning, so keep the Nulberries handy.

Monster Hunter: World_20180316135145
So cute… Hmm? I have weird tastes? Well, maybe. 😛

I would say that you don’t need any new tactics to fight Fluffy, beyond learning its attack patterns and tells, of course. The real way to gain an advantage in the fight is to properly prepare beforehand; because your character does not level up, the only way to improve is to change and upgrade your gear, which in turn encourages you to go back and hunt previous enemies multiple times to gather the things you need. In this case, Barroth armor provides both excellent physical defense and Thunder element defense, so creating a full set and upgrading it with armor spheres is an excellent way to prepare. It’s a pity about its appearance, though… Additionally, Fluffy is weak to Water damage, and conveniently enough, Jyuratodus parts make for excellent water element weapons of every type. So if you have trouble with Fluffy, go hunt Wedge and Nessie for a while, and get the gear you need. 😉

Of course, once you can beat the Tobi-Kadachi reliably, you will be able to create the most fashionable armor:

monster-hunter_-world_20180317122157.jpg

Ah, that’s much easier on the eyes than the previous two sets. And it provides a significant amount of Thunder defense, too, so it’s great for additional fights with Fluffy. (It’s weak to water, though, so don’t wear it into a fight with Nessie.) 😉

Oh, and if you think this entry hasn’t been fluffy enough… allow me to deliver the finishing blow:

Monster Hunter: World_20180317111340

Now that’s fluffy. 😀

Small Monster #6: Kestodon

Monster Hunter: World_20180317124831

So far, the only monster with pronounced sexual dimorphism, and indeed they are identified as Kestodon (Male) and Kestodon (Female). The females are small, and act something like proximity detectors: they get upset when anything passes nearby, and if a hunter or monster continues to loiter, they will incite the males to attack. The males are bigger, and their headgear is more extensive. Both genders will try to headbutt you, but the females will generally hang back and let the males do the fighting if possible. They usually hang around in groups of two males and three females, but variations exist; there will always be more females than males, however. Not the toughest monsters on the block, all in all.

Like the Gajau, they don’t have a full armor set, but they do make a very good armguard:

Monster Hunter: World_20180317123155

Not only does it have good defense and a significant resistance to fire, it has the skill Sliding Affinity, a skill that literally increases your weapon Affinity for a brief period of time after sliding down a hill. Affinity is a bit esoteric (I had to look up an explanation myself) but it basically allows a weapon to occasionally deal more damage than it normally would — a critical hit, if you would. It is possible to have negative Affinity on weapons (Barroth-based weapons are a good example), where they will occasionally do less than base damage. So in conclusion, this skill lets you increase your critical damage (or eliminate reduced damage) in hilly areas. Um… that was a long explanation, but it’s better than it sounds, trust me. 😉

Monster Hunter: World_20180317120105


Well, then. A difficult fight looms on the horizon, so join me tomorrow as we meet an escapee from Jurassic Park, whom I like to call: “Angie.” See you then! 😀

Monster Hunter: World_20180317121837
Somehow, posting a picture of a paralyzed and tranqed enemy has become the norm for these posts… 😐

MHW: The Bestiary (Part 5)

I accidentally killed a Rathian today. I felt bad. (Because I wanted to capture it.) 😛

Large Monster #5: Jyuratodus

Monster Hunter: World_20180316134545

I call it “Nessie”. I don’t have to explain why, right? Nessie hangs around the marshy, muddy areas of the Wildspire Wastes. You’ll see it cruising around, minding its own business, popping its head out occasionally, savaging the local wildlife, and starting turf wars with Wedge. Of all the monsters we’ve met so far, Jyuratodus has the most limited range; since it never leaves the water areas, you will never have a hard time finding it during the hunt.

Yesterday, I alluded to how Nessie was something of a retread of the Barroth: they share the same, mud-based armor layer, and mud based attacks. The biggest difference on that front is that Nessie can accurately spit mud at you, not just shake it off in your general direction. It also has a good chance of causing Water Blight when it hits you with its mud, a status effect that slows your natural stamina regeneration to a crawl. Pack some Nulberries, though, and it isn’t too big a problem (and conveniently, there are several of the plants right in the center of Nessie’s range.) Other than that, the Jyuratodus has a suite of sweeping and lunging attacks to smack you around with.

Monster Hunter: World_20180316105650

There is something very strange about the monster though… See, you can see from the pictures that it is pretty huge, right? And it cruises around the marshes partially submerged, and in certain attacks, completely submerged, right? But… the swamp is never more than waist deep on your hunter. So it isn’t just swimming through the water, but swimming through the earth underneath as though it were water… I mean, it doesn’t seem to be burrowing, because you can still see ripples as it moves… so confusing. Oh, and if you see it submerge, move, because it is about to burst out from under you.

Fighting Nessie is, again, a remix of the Wedge fight — use a water weapon or Puddle Pod to knock off its mud armor, then wade in with strong attacks. If you are fighting alone, I would suggest using Puddle Pods over a water weapon, since the unarmored Nessie takes less damage from water element attacks. Of course, you are also fighting in the water, so be aware that your speed and evasion is going to be hampered. Other than that, watch for Nessie’s forward lunge, 360 degree spin, and of course its submerge & breach assault. It’s just a personal opinion, but Nessie feels like less of a hit-sponge than the Barroth, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble putting it on the ropes. Just expect it to refresh its mud armor a few times; you’ll recognize it by the way it starts twisting around in a spiral in the mud after getting a bit of distance. (It’s actually a good moment to find some cover, and heal up and sharpen your weapon.)

Monster Hunter: World_20180316105811

If there is one major takeaway, I’d say it would be customizing your radial item shortcuts (accessed by holding L1, and moving the right stick to the item you want to use.) It is inconvenient to rotate through your full item inventory whenever you need to switch between healing potions and Nulberries, so assigning the berries to a shortcut can potentially save you in a dangerous situation. This goes for any item you use habitually, like the Well-done Steak, Nutrients, or in my case, Whetfish Scales. Otherwise, if you can handle Wedge, you can likely handle Nessie. 😉

And as is my tradition, here is the full Jyura set:monster-hunter_-world_20180316113503.jpg

…pfft, those shoulders… Yeah, a bit too ornate for my tastes. 😛

Small Monster #5: Gajau

Monster Hunter: World_20180316105256

So, if you were thorough in exploring the Ancient Forest, you might have come across a couple of these toothy fishies lurking in a pool slightly off the beaten track; if not, you will definitely come across them in the Wildspire Wastes. They are vicious little jerks, and possibly the most violent of the smaller monsters in the first two areas, as they will attack you if you loiter nearby for any amount of time.

Gajau attack by launching themselves at you in a straight line, like a tackle with teeth, and the potential to send you flying. Well, it sounds worse than it is, really — they don’t do a lot of damage, they’re just irritating, mostly. Since they live in the water, they can be annoying to target with your melee weapons, since the water slows you down. :\

Unlike large monsters or Vespids, the Gajau don’t get a full armor set, just a pair of greaves for your legs:

Monster Hunter: World_20180316113532
The rest of this outfit is the Leather set, about which the less said, the better. 😐

This footwear does have two good points, though: first, it has a good amount of Water defense, and secondly it has the skill Aquatics Expert, which makes it easier to fight in water. In other words, great equipment for hunting Nessie. 😉

Monster Hunter: World_20180316105222

Well, much as I would like to tell you about how dangerous the Diablos is (on a scale of one to ten, it ranks “yikes” 😯 ), it is time to leave the Wildspire Wastes behind and travel back to the Ancient Forest, where “Fluffy” is waiting for us. See you tomorrow! 😀

Monster Hunter: World_20180316112755

MHW: The Bestiary (Part 4)

So, first monster in a new area, the Wildspire Wastes! The previous three monsters were all from the Ancient Forest (although, you’ll find Mohawk wandering around the Wastes as well.) Now, there are even more large monsters that appear in the Ancient Forest: the Anjanath for example, and the Rathian. But you won’t get quests to defeat them until you raise your Hunter Rank a few times, and therefore will only encounter them when out on Expeditions. The storyline quests are fairly good about not tossing you enemies out of your league too often, so I’m going to move on to the next monster you will definitely have to fight as you progress. Sounds good? Awesome, here we go.

Large Monster #4: Barroth

Monster Hunter: World_20180315181341

I call it “Wedge”. Couldn’t say why… The Barroth is classified as a “brute wyvern”, and it’s easy to see why with its large body, strong physical attacks, and tough physique. It lives in the marshy areas of the Wildspire Wastes, but it has no problem venturing deep into the dryer areas to the north for… actually, I’m not sure why. Fun, maybe? I’ll have to observe it some more.

Anyway, Wedge packs a couple neat tricks that we haven’t seen before, in addition to its extremely dangerous charging headbutts. The monster is covered in a layer of mud, which it can shake off to leave large piles of movement-impairing mud around the battlefield. To be honest, it is actually fairly hilarious to watch your hunter fall into those piles… but it leaves you extremely vulnerable to being trampled, which ain’t good. You can struggle free faster by dodge rolling out, but you will completely exhaust your stamina in the process, leaving you in a bad position. In other words, quit playing around in the mud. 😛

Monster Hunter: World_20180315125217
Yes, you too.

That same mud also forms a protective layer on the surface of the Barroth, making it even more durable, and protecting it from fire elemental damage. However, using water elemental damage washes the mud off, leaving it vulnerable. I find the best way to exploit this is to load some local watermoss into your slinger (creating Puddle Pods) and shell Wedge’s head, tail, and body until the mud sloughs off, and then wade in with your favorite weapon. I think this also reduces its ability to leave big piles of mud around the place, but I’m not 100% sure.

Wedge teaches us two important lessons: first, keep an eye on monster elemental and status effect strengths and weaknesses (recorded in your Monster Field Guide), and adjust your tactics to suit. Secondly, and probably more importantly: if the monster pauses and turns its head in your direction, get ready to dodge! 😀

Monster Hunter: World_20180315131131

Finally, allow me to present to you the height of Barroth fashion:

monster-hunter_-world_20180315193709.jpg

…Sorry, I have no words. :\

Small Monster #4: Mernos

Monster Hunter: World_20180315181422

These are the main mode of transportation ‘round these parts, transporting you from Astora to the camps from which you set forth on your hunts. I’m not precisely sure how the Commission manages that, since they don’t seem to be tamed, just… conveniently handy whenever you need to fly somewhere. Huh.

Well, but you can also find them fluttering around in the Ancient Forest and the Wildspire Wastes, usually in the vicinity of their food source, Scatternuts. You can shoot them down and carve them up for their hide, but a more interesting options exists: if you tag them with a rock or something similar from your slinger, you can manually latch on with a grapple to their leg, and fly around the current location for a nearly-literal birds-eye view. Quite cinematic. Not useful, as far as I can tell, but fun. 😉

Monster Hunter: World_20180315181459
Whee! 😀

Other than that, they represent exactly zero danger. Feel free to ignore ‘em. They don’t even have an armor set, although their hides are used as secondary materials in a couple pieces of Kulu armor.


Let’s see, what’s next… ah, I remember. Mr. “Like-Wedge-Only-More-So”, whom I shall call… call… Hmm. Let me think about that one… Ah, got it. “Nessie”. See you tomorrow! 😀

Monster Hunter: World_20180315131153

MHW: The Bestiary (Part 3)

I almost blew off this article to go fishing. (I need more Whetfish Scales. :P) But I got it done in the end! Besides, I like today’s monster.

Large Monster #3: Pukei-Pukei

Monster Hunter: World_20180314145108

So good they named it twice! Personally, I call it “Goggles.” Couldn’t say why… Cross a chameleon with a parrot and a pterodactyl, and you get the Pukei-Pukei. I guess. It also has a couple tricks up it’s non-existant sleeve.

Goggles is much more aggressive than the previous two entries. Where the Great Jagras will walk right by you, and the Kulu-Ya-Ku will run away even after being provoked, the Pukei-Pukei will get right up in your face… and then spit poison at it. Yes, Goggles is the first beast that can poison you, and it might be a bit of a wake up call if you breezed through Dreadlocks and Mohawk.

Further bad news: Goggles can fly. Good news: it usually doesn’t. When fighting the Pukei-Pukei, it relies on lunging attacks, getting licks in with its giant tongue (yes, ew), and spinning around to whip you with its tail. The tongue attacks in particular have a pretty big windup, so it isn’t difficult to dodge — as long as you are being careful, of course. It will occasionally hover off the ground, but doesn’t seem to care for combat in the air.Monster Hunter: World_20180314145119

It’s still a good idea to be careful when it lifts off the ground, though — it might be eating scatternuts hanging overhead. These semi-explosive nuts (which you can use as slinger ammo yourself, by the way) let Goggles really pump up his poison attacks, increasing their range, damage, and frequency. Alternately, it might be running away; if so, now’s a good time to sharpen your weapons, reload, and otherwise get ready for round two. 😉

The important takeaway from the Pukei-Pukei is to be properly prepared for the monster you are hunting. Make sure you have at least a few Antidotes on hand; the poison itself acts pretty slowly, but it lasts a long time, and interferes with healing. Other than that, you will learn that standing behind the monster does not make you perfectly safe, after Goggles knocks you flying with a spin a few times. Once you’ve got your eye in for defeating this one, you can gather the materials needed to craft the following outfit:

Monster Hunter: World_20180314102837

Personally, this is one of my favorites from the early game. Love those goggles… wait. 😛

Small Monster #3: Vespids

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Yeah, these guys don’t even get a nickname. They are weak. Very weak. But in large numbers… nope, still weak. The only thing about these bugs is that they can paralyze you with a single sting. After which they will… just kind of hover there watching you. Unless they happen to get you when you are fighting something far more dangerous (there is a bunch of them right next to the Pukei-Pukei nest, for example) they represent the least threatening monster ever.

In fact, they are so damn weak, hitting them tends to cause them to completely disintegrate. This is not a huge problem, except that you can’t gather materials from them if they go all to pieces on you. And you probably want to gather materials from them, so you can make this rather good-looking armor set:

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Pretty cool, given that its base components are giant mosquitoes. Anyway, if you do want to gather materials from them, the best way is to take them out with ordinary stones or Redpit seeds from your slinger. You’ll still break a bunch of them, but there’s a much better chance of their corpses surviving than if you hit them with, say, a Great Sword. Oh, and they make great fodder for the “Hunt small monsters” bounty — but more on that next week. 😉

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Damn things. Stay still so I can screenshot you! 😛

Let’s see, after Goggles comes… Wedge, I think. Look forward to it! Now, about that fishing… 😀

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MHW: The Bestiary (Part 2)

It’s a bird! It’s a wyvern! It’s… a bird wyvern!

Ok, maybe that needs a word of explanation. It seems that each of the large monsters is classified as a type of wyvern — which to me, means that they are all dragons, not dinosaurs, but whatever. Or maybe dinosaurs are actually dragons? Sure, why not. The Great Jagras is a fanged wyvern, which I guess means it has sharp teeth? Sure, why not.

Large Monster #2: Kulu-Ya-Ku

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I call him, “Mohawk.” Couldn’t say why… You might say that the Kulu-Ya-Ku looks kind of like a dodo crossed with a chicken crossed with a velociraptor. Or, y’know, I might say that. But it’s more dangerous than it looks — although to be fair, not much. It is definitely smarter than it looks. It has very dextrous hands… er, fore-claws, too. You’ll often see it walking around with a big egg that it stole from somewhere, which it will bring back to its nest to eat.

I don’t want to say Mohawk is a coward, exactly, but it definitely practices the better part of valor. For one thing, it is almost impossible to aggro it without actually hitting it. Not only that, but after taking a few hits, it will quickly run away, and watches to see if you follow. If you do, it will start taking the fight seriously — often by digging up a big boulder to hold in front of itself, both to smash you with, and to protect its front from your attacks. It doesn’t protect it’s vulnerable sides and tail, of course, but props for using tools, Mohawk. 😛

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I’m just going to repeat, it’s seriously chill about hunters, too.

The Kulu-Ya-Ku is fast and nimble (for a large monster, naturally) but as you might expect from his behavior, he’s not the sturdiest. Stay out from in front of him and he won’t tag you with his triple beak attack, or his big rock. Oh, and even if it is carrying a rock, you can “encourage” it to drop it — it’s really fun to watch it fumble the thing before dropping it. 😀

The lessons Mohawk teaches you are to stay mobile, don’t stand in front of the monster, and don’t use large slow attacks without a good opening. In other words, the same things you learned fighting Dreadlocks, but with slightly less leeway for error. Not a huge threat, in other words. And your reward for defeating it enough times is, of course, clothes! 😛

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…Not bad. 😉

Small Monster #2: AptonothMonster Hunter: World_20180313205955

Nickname: Lunchmeat. Yeah, it seems disrespectful, but for all they are decently sized, they represent actually zero danger, and they exist almost entirely for one purpose: being prey for everything else. The Jagras eat them, the Anjanath eat them, the Rathians eat them; even the hunters of the Commission, legendary for making neat stuff out of monsters, has no use for them other than as a nice source of raw meat.Monster Hunter: World_20180313210058

So, when you attack an Aptonoth, any other Lunchmeat in the area immediately run away. Usually. On occasion, they just hang around and watch you slaughter their cousin without reaction. I’m… pretty sure that’s a bug? Maybe they really are that blasé. I’ve noticed that sometimes, when they are disturbed by a large monster, instead of running away from it they will run towards it instead. Maybe they are just easily confused… :\

Well, as I mentioned, there is no specific armor set you can create out of the Aptonoth (not even commission hunters want to layer themselves in raw meat, apparently.) So instead, here is a set built out of generic bones, harvested from bonepiles:

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Ok, you must admit that that looks badass. …Evidently, today is midriff day. Didn’t notice that till now. >.>


Moving on, tomorrow I will present the first monster that provides a decent challenge. See you then!Monster Hunter: World_20180313211945

MHW: The Bestiary (Part 1)

Welcome to Monster Hunter World, a game all about dressing up your character in amazing outfits — not, it’s about hunting monsters. (Although you do play dress up, for fun and profit.) And so, let’s take a moment or two to talk about the many monsters you will ruthlessly slaughter “research” during the early parts of the game. Well, I say a moment or two, but it’s going to be seven days just like my weapons expose. 😛

Large Monster #1: Great JagrasMonster Hunter: World_20180312125143

I call it “Dreadlocks.” Seriously, nice hair, bro… The Great Jagras is the first large monster you meet in the game; in fact you meet it before you even have a weapon to fight back with, when it ambushes and savages your Handler (read: quest-giver). After narrowly evading that crisis (in a case of Deus ex Anjanath), it naturally becomes the target of your first major quest.

As far as large monsters go, the Great Jagras is… actually pretty squishy. It really is a tutorial sort of monster… I mean, it can still take you down if you aren’t careful, but it isn’t really very tough itself. I’ve killed it by accident more a few times… Also, its attacks are all fairly largely telegraphed, so it is ridiculously easy to dodge.

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The easiest way to attack Dreadlocks is to approach from the side. Although it can rotate fairly quickly, it can’t deal well with flanking attacks. The only thing to watch out for is that its attack pattern changes after it has had a big meal. When its stomach is distended, it gains the ability to lunge or roll sideways, and also adds a big plowing attack. But really, for a boss, it’s kind of a scrub. ^^;

So, each large monster (and several small ones) have an armor set you can craft from it’s parts. This, therefore, is the very latest in Jagras fashion:

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…Why is it so fuzzy? ^^;

Small Monster #1: Jagras

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So, the Great Jagras is the leader of a pack of lesser animals of the same name. Or possibly Dreadlocks is an evolved form of the Jagras? Whatever. These little guys are only dangerous in a pack, where one will try to keep your attention while the others ambush you from the back and sides. Once you’ve killed all but a few of them, the survivors will run away — occasionally to get reinforcements, but usually just to get away. Clever, aren’t they? 😛

Incidentally, the lore is that the Great Jagras is the pack leader, but honestly, it acts more like a meals-on-wheels for its lesser brethren. Dreadlocks will go swallow its prey, then bring it back to its territory and regurgitate it for the smaller guys to feast upon. Yeah, it’s pretty much as gross as it sounds. Other than that, it really doesn’t work together with the little guys, so you can usually take them on without worrying about the big guy suddenly joining in; it’s more like they’re just sharing living areas. So yeah. 😉

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As it happens, Jagras materials make up the Hunter’s armor set, probably the first full set you will complete:

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Phew, not nearly as fuzzy. I can take a hunter much more seriously in this set. 😉


One down, six to go! Incidentally, there are well more than six large monsters, but I’m only going to detail the earliest ones. If you want to see more, play the game! Ok, see you tomorrow, y’all! 😀

Sunday Update: The Armory (Final Part)

…Late. This is late. It was a busy day, so let me off, ok? I thought I was supposed to have more time on Sundays, not less… Well, never mind. Weapons! 😀

Light Bowgun, Heavy Bowgun

For those hunters who wish they were playing a shooter instead. Yeah, I’m presenting these two together; unlike the rest of the weapons, which all operate in a unique manner, the bowguns work pretty much the same with only minor differences between the two. I mean, the differences are enough to justify having two different weapons, but they operate more or less the same.

Attack Power: Low

Attack Speed: Fast (Light) / Moderate (Heavy)

Movement Speed: Normal (Light) / Slow (Heavy)

Unique Abilities: Multiple ammo types

Stamina usage: None

Advantages: As with the bow, the main advantage of the bowgun is range. Of course, there are many monsters who can cross that range extremely quickly, but it still gives you a better view of the battle than you might have otherwise. The core differences between the bowgun and the bow are twofold: first, the bowgun can use numerous different types of ammunition with various effects, including elemental damage, status effects, and even tranquilizer ammo for capturing monsters (versus the limited number of coatings available for the bow); second, the ammo is loaded into the bowgun like bullets, meaning that you will have to periodically reload. The light bowgun has a lower capacity for ammo than the heavy bowgun, and bigger recoil; in exchange, the mobility of the light bowgun is much higher, and it fires slightly faster. Both types can be modified at the smithy with custom modifications, either to shore up a weak point, or exacerbate an advantage. The biggest difference between the two types is the special ammo linked to the circle button. The light bowgun has a small number of explosive traps that can be deployed at will; shooting these traps, or encouraging a monster to strike them, will cause a nice explosion. One version of the heavy bowgun loads a special type of rapid fire ammo, essential turning it into a heavy machine gun; the other type loads a single powerful sniper round. All types of special ammo regenerate over time, for no readily discernible reason except game balance. ^^;

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Disadvantages: You can only carry so much ammo in your pouch, meaning you either have to be good at conserving your better ammo types, or get used to crafting them out in the field. To be fair, to hunt a single large monster or two, you probably won’t run out; but it’s one more thing to manage. Otherwise, the weapons are fairly straightforward, so as long as you watch out for the heavy’s lack of mobility, they are fairly easy to get used to. Just remember to put the bowgun away before trying to loot corpses; I continually find myself placing extraneous traps with the light bowgun because I forget to sheath it before trying to grab something. I’m… kind of glossing over the different ammo and customization options, but there is a lot of things to look at when comparing different bowguns, and to begin with it’s better just to grab one you like. 😛

 

Well, there you go. Fourteen weapons, each with something to recommend it. As for my personal favorites, I’d rank the top three:

1. Hammer

I was surprised how much I enjoy using this weapon. Although it looks like it should be quite cumbersome, it’s actually fairly easy to move around with; and while attacks can leave you quite vulnerable, you can also deal out fairly huge damage fairly quickly and easily.

2. Long Sword

Something about this weapon just feels intuitive to me. It also occupies something of a sweet spot where, although it doesn’t reward button mashing, it isn’t too difficult to chain combos and evasion. A very good weapon for learning the game, and teaching you to be accurate with your strikes.

3. Switch Axe

Frankly, I think this weapon is even easier to use than the Long Sword. It even works well even if you aren’t particularly thinking things through and just mashing buttons. I just hove to expect to take a few big hits when things don’t go my way; it is not a very defensive weapon.

Honorable mention go to Great Sword and Bow, which I don’t like quite as much but still very much enjoy. My least favorite weapon, at least for now, is the Charge Blade; I just can’t get used to it or make it do what I want.

Well, ok. That’s all for the Armory. While it might seem strange to start with the weapons instead of the monsters (the game is called “Monster” Hunter, after all), the choice of weapon is really the first major decision you have to make in the game, and every single weapon is already in your inventory. So take your time, test each one in the Training Ground, and find one that feels right to you. I hope my impressions will help guide you to the playstyle that you desire. 😉

But enough beating around the bush, it’s time for the main draw: Dinosaurs! 😀

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…Yes, some of the dinosaurs are birds. 😛 Starting tomorrow: The Bestiary! See you then! 😀