Monster Hunter: World Adopt-a-Hunter Impressions

Adopt-a-Hunter, a player-driven Monster Hunter: World initiative we covered briefly in the past, was launched to improve the new player experience of Capcom's highly complex action-RPG. Back then, it was just a neat idea. And if you'd like to know how that idea panned out or how you might benefit from being "adopted" by a Monster Hunter veteran yourself, you can check out this Eurogamer article that documents one novice's experiences with Adopt-a-Hunter. An excerpt:

Don't worry, it's not boot camp. You're not signing on for a rigorous training regime of X unmissable sessions a week. It's a much more laid back pairing between two people. Really what you're gaining is advice and a helping hand if and when you need it - a live guide rather than a static webpage, so to speak.

I didn't ask for a lot of help to begin with. The game was doing such a good job of teaching the basics I was plodding along fine. I was answering other people's multiplayer SOS calls for help and progressing from monster to monster. Did I even need a mentor at all? There were always online guides if I needed help. It wasn't until after I plucked up the courage to fight alongside my mentor I realised my error.

What I hadn't considered, and this was crucial, was the incidental question. The kind of question which springs to mind but doesn't stay in mind. The "Oh how does that work by the way?" kind of question. Something not important enough to consult an online guide about and not important enough for a guide to answer. But the countless bobbly bits of braille felt while playing, which, when understood, unlock a whole new understanding of the game.

I underestimated the value of having someone there in person showing their working, too. The people I grouped with before never explained what they were doing or why, but now I had a chance to study someone else's mission preparation, someone else's tracking and fighting style - and I had someone else to study mine. I was learning many tiny lessons I wouldn't have known to pinpoint before, and my skill and confidence were growing.

I enjoyed the company, not to mention having someone experienced and communicative to fight alongside me. There are bottleneck fights in Monster Hunter World, and while they may differ from person to person, the Anjanath seems to come up time and time again. It was a fight which had been frustrating for me after a few failed SOS attempts, but became a pleasure with my Monster Hunter mentor, and the same was true of many fights after.

Tip by tip the game demystified around me. I learnt about having tricks up my sleeve to debilitate monsters so I could hammer their faces into the mud. I learnt about plants I could eat to nullify afflictions monsters spat out at me, and I ironed out what felt like a million misgivings about one system or another. And my enjoyment of Monster Hunter World rose steadily.