I'm going to celebrate the 15TH anniversary of my favorite game ever by doing my favorite thing about it, speculate the shit out of it. So, here's my full list of (largely wishful thinking and forced assumptions) for Iceborne. Take this as just one fan's wet dream.
What we know for sure / too likely not to be true: New Areas / New Rank / New monsters / Nargacuga / New armor, weapons / New Palico Gear / New "moves"
Probable: New slinger ammo types, new mantles and boosters.
I'll classify monsters in 4 distinct "tiers", similar to how they are now in-game: T1 (low-tier large monsters) T2 (mid-range large monsters) T3 (Elder Dragon + Jho level large monsters) and T4 "Specials" (Xeno / Zorah / Behe / Kulve level monsters, with special mechanics and unique areas)
T1 and T2: Equal in number, more or less. I'd think about 3-4 for each new zone, for a total 6-8 sub-T3 large monsters or more per zone. Reason for that number is expeditions. You need at least 4 monsters available in any zone for the turnout to be varied enough once you kill or make a monster flee. I'd have to include old monsters being present in the new zones too for the 8 to be a safer bet but I'm convinced we're going to be surprised on this.
T3: I'd reckon 2, maybe 3 initial Top tier ED level monsters (It can be 2 elders and 1 Jho level monster), + 1 "invader" or additional T3 Elder.
T4: 1 initial "end story" Special Elder Dragon, + 1 more after release (I'd wager on a siege type monster, since KT was a success). I would add a third additional "Absolute end of ends last monster ever" quite a while after release.
- The addition of Nargacuga and the ice theme makes Barroth (and Tigrex if you have MHFreedom2 mountain nostalgia) a logical choice for added monsters. The skeleton is there and there's no real reason not to use it. There's also the fact that most monster types come in pairs or 3-4 monster groups (Rath family, Diablos / B. Diablos, Uragaan Radobaan, G.Girros / Odogaron / Tobi Kadachi, ect)
- Gold Rathian and Silver Rath have been a staple of "G-Rank" end game content for years, and while I think it's a bit of a lazy choice, it's an easy and understandable one too.
- I don't think current elders will get significant updates. There's already 3 tiers of EDS (Normal, Tempered, and AT), and from the general reaction of players towards the repetitive nature of these tiers I'd say Teo, Luna, Nergi, Kushala, and Vaal will not get higher versions than AT.
- Oroshi Kirin seems to be a sub favorite, even if I'm not to keen on the idea myself, I guess it's possible.
New tier of armor specifically for Master Rank monsters.
Two options for this. They either add some new monsters to high rank if the transition is not direct between high rank and Iceborne – only Master rank (For example Nargacuga A and B, and then a master rank Gamma) or starting directly from Iceborne Master rank begins and a new tier of armor for old monsters is added.
Evidence for this comes from the famous "skimpy" anjanath-looking set teased in the official site, and I speculate that the Rathalos seen in the trailer is a tease for old monsters going into Iceborne, and as such going into Master Rank. I would call this "Delta" armors if all of current monsters get a power-up in Iceborne, just to differentiate them, but it might be that Gamma goes Delta and old non elder dragons get Gamma variants.
datamined back in september that purple sharpness already exists in the game's code. With that + master rank it's safe to assume we'll be getting a higher rarity (Rarity 9) for new and existing weapons. This on it's own has a huge impact on the meta, if it wasn't obvious enough that that is going to happen.
The only realistic way that Iceborne can break the current powercreep in skills is adding hybrid skills in the way MH4U did in it's G Rank. Instead of having a Helmet with Atk Boost 2 and a LVL 3 Slot for handicraft, you'd get a new helmet with a hybrid atk + handicraft skill that also has a level 2 or 3 slot for something else. There's already a few skills in the game that have hybrid effects (Mind's eye and Free element) so a compound skill is not much of a stretch.
Or they could add higher tiers of skills, like attack boost 8, 9, 10…But most if not all skills would either completely break, not benefit at all, or stay virtually the same.
Gems and charms that follow those new skills would be part of this too.
The only thing that we can really use to assume what type of areas Iceborne might have is to use the current areas as refference, appart from Icy areas (Duh). The way we can imagine areas is by using the monsters. In the current roster there's 3 types of monsters: Endemic, Adaptative, and Invasive. Endemic monsters are monsters that only appear in specific areas. Great Jagras / Anjanath (Great forest only), Diablos / Barroth (Wastes), Legiana / Paolumu (Highlands), Dodogama / Uragaan (Recess). I speculate that the presence of Nargacuga, a monster based on a panther or large felyne forest predator indicates that Iceborne may not be exclusively ice-based, and that there will be certainly at least 2 (though I bet on 3) distinct biomes. World's ecosystem seems to have at least some semblance of congruence and the zones seem to be overall related to their geographical position (humidity, altitude, mountain presence, etc)
Already spoke about this in another comment so I'll just do a quick rundown:
- 4 to 5 stars of new quests (3 seems more reasonable but I'm just averaging current low rank-high rank distribution
- First ranks similar to post HR50 difficulty (Tempered EDs up to but before ATEDs or "Master 1"), Mid ranks above ATEDs and probably the first "Oh shit" moments for fully end-game geared players ("Master 2"), and Late ranks (Iceborne Elder Dragons) truely above anything else currently in-game right now ("Master 3")
- Difficulty will spike at the end of mid-range "Master 2" because of the usual Monster Hunter Difficulty curve (Mid G Rank in previous games usually had a couple of really tough quests because you are getting close to max rank, but don't have end-game gear to compensate yet *gets flashbacks of Stygian Zinogre – Brachydios MH4U G2*
- After that spike, difficulty will flatten out and normalize as we get through Iceborne's late Master Rank elder dragons and start getting true endgame gear.
- As stated in the previous post, a hypothetical Master Rank Nergigante will be the same to a Master Rank 3 Geared player as a Tempered Nergigante is right now to a player in Behemoth gear, plus the new monster attacks.
Source: Original link
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