Monster Hunter World

Low-sodium criticism of the Alatreon fight

MonsterHunterWorld1 - Low-sodium criticism of the Alatreon fight

This would be the part where I preface the post saying that I killed Alatreon both solo and multi, but tbh it's not really such an impressive feat and in most post I read it came across as humble brag, so I'll skip to the chase and say that I did clear the content before writing this, and also took some downtime to lower both the dopamine and salt level in my bloodstream. After several hours spent on Alatreon learning all the mechanics, and after reading the community reaction to the new fight, I felt like most points have already been addressed, but there are a few aspects that I think haven't been properly "digested" by the playerbase, hence why I felt like this post could be needed.

I think Alatreon's mechanics suffer from several issues, from burden of knowledge to illusion of choice. I'll try to explain what I mean by points. While I don't agree with the call for nerfs, because I think the fight itself has only a couple of pain points but for the rest is quite fair, I also think that the mechanics aren't as smooth and elegant as some people make it out to be, and that Capcom twisted some of the concept behind the MMO inspiration that they used in designing Alatreon.

The timer is a lie.

While the alatreon quest has a 50 minute timer, I don't think it's actually possible to hit that time without idling in base. The reason for this is that once destroying both horns , you have exhausted your options to lock Alatreon in your elemental weakness of choice.

When Alatreon switches element, it becomes really hard to actually clear the DPS check with a weapon that isn't Fire or Ice. While this is possible, the uptime needed to clear the DPS check with the wrong element is so high that, when reached, it probably means you are good enough at the fight to no longer require Water/Thunder/Dragon element as a fail safe mechanic. This means the game only gives you the illusion of choice, while actually the only thing that matters is how good your uptime is and how good your build is.

Clarifying illusion of choice.

What I mean with this is that, on a surface level, judging from what the Hunters notes tell you, you should be able to bring any element on the hunt and be able to clear the DPS check. And that's true, to an extent, unless you purposefully bring the wrong elements (Fire and Thunder against Fire, or Water and Ice against Ice). However, what the game doesn't tell you is that on top of the DPS check, there is another cart mechanic in solo, and fail mechanic in multi: the 4th Eschaton.

"But you shouldn't take that long to clear the quest"Exactly, but what I want to stress is not that you shouldn't take that long, is that you can't take long because you will either cart in solo or fail.

After the third Eschaton Judgement, Alatreon will switch element no matter what because both his horns are broken (unless you failed previously). At this point, the game dictates that you should kill Alatreon or cart, fail.

On paper, it would be possible to reach the element threshold because Alatreon is vulnerable to all elements in Dragon Phase. However, if we take a look at the monster's
alatreon - Low-sodium criticism of the Alatreon fight

Hitzone value chart , we can see that the element weakness in that phase is just 8 or 10% with the four elements, and 14% with dragon, and that's with a smaller time window consisting of just the dragon phase.

Hence why I said "illusion". If you are good enough in DPS to reach the element threshold with such a limited time window, you are most likely going to kill Alatreon before the 4th Eschaton Judgement regardless, making the niche of water/thunder/dragon element obsolete.

Bringing Fire/Ice will be enough to kill Alatreon in under 20 minutes, and that way you won't have to cart on the 4th.


On Enrage timers, and what Capcom didn't quite get.

It seems that some of the mechanics behind Alatreon were inspired by other multiplayer games that adopt similar features, and after the FFXIV collab, behe and Safi it's evident that, even if by osmosis, the team did take some page from the MMO handbook. However, I think they misunderstood some concepts. Specifically, read the Lewd Have Mercy section of this blog post. The reasoning behind certain mechanics where the monster instakills you (rather, the raid boss if we are talking about MMORPG) when failing DPS check is that the game wants to tell you "look, you aren't doing well enough to clear the content, we'd rather stop you here rather than make you waste 10-15 minutes and die at the enrage timer.

On the other hand, with Eschaton Judgement DPS threshold you could be doing enough elemental damage to clear the mechanic but then not be doing enough overall damage to clear the other check, the 4 EJ attack.

On top of that, you also have the horns: while the horns could be broken with wallbangs, mounts, topple, etc., they still fundamentally are another check that the game puts on you. If you fail to break the horns in the first 2 phases, you are locked in the opposite element, drastically lowering your chances of clearing the DPS check on subsequent element phases. Which brings me to my last point.

Elemental weaknesses are slightly misleading

I'll admit that with this I might seem nitpicky and biased, but if you check the hunter's notes, the game uses 1 star for both Water/Thunder when doing the opposite phase and dragon in elemental phase. However, the difference between the hitzone values are substantial.

Dragon element has a 2% hitzone value against Ice and Fire on the arms, where it's strongest, and 14% during Dragon Phase.However, water and thunder range from 5% to 8%, while still supposedly being one star. Sure, the average is mostly there, and in favor of dragon (it makes sense since the hunters note also suggest that Water and Thunder aren't really effective), but this bring me to my previous issue.

Basically, dragon deals negligible amounts of elemental damage during elemental phases, and requires high uptime during dragon phase. Water and Thunder lags even further behind Dragon. This makes them useless as a failsafe mechanic, as they would work if you are good enough to don't need them in the first place.

Conclusions (TL;DR)

In a way, the Alatreon fight is consistent with Alatreon's armor, good against the monster itself but requires enough clears that, when you can finally craft it, you no longer need it.

Similarly, the mechanics in Alatreon fight can be summed up with "bring the Opposite element and hit like a truck for the whole fight".While there are certain weights and balances in place to not make it exclusively a DPS check, they are designed in such a way that they still fundamentally rely on the hunter's skill in … doing high DPS.

Even the horn breaks is something that can be done during the dragon phase just by hitting the head, which in turn makes it another DPS check. Perhaps the only true "save" mechanic is getting a wall bang if you are lucky and he's not enraged in dragon phase (but if he isn't enraged… well you are probably low on DPS and will fail the fight because of the 4th EJ).

And that's it, I don't hate the fight but I can totally get where the criticism and salt comes from as, while there are many suggestions in place on how you could circumvent certain issues, like failing to break the horns, they would only work with someone already good enough to clear the fight without resorting to these gimmicks in the first place.

That's it, my 2cents, I'd rate the fight 7.8/10 because it has too much element. See ya.

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