As title says, everytime I look at the World Map in MH-World, there is this chunk of the screen to the left that sees a number of islands that remains "unmapped" even after you've explored and discovered all the Expeditions-compatible locations of the game.
There is a small chunk to the right that is unmapped as well, but is almost exclusively empty water that also happen to be right under the very UI infotab that pops up to give the informations about an Expedition location and it's monster population when your cursor is above one.
Meanwhile, the only UI on the left is the "World Map" text and "low rank/high rank" selector…. which still leaves a chunk of "unmapped" space larger that that given to the Research Base, and almost comparable to the chunk of paper used to cover the areas corresponding to the Rotten Vale marker on the map.
It also feels odd because while it could be that the "map" chunk of the Coral Highland doesn't cover them because it's not a visited location… the Coral Highland's chunk still nonetheless sees fit to cover some of the forested areas to the west of itself, on the otherside of the Great Ravine… yet stop just shies of covering those lone islands. Yet, to the south, the Chunk supporting the Ancient Forest seemingly see no issues stretching to the very far left of the screen to cover even the likes of similar offshores island… even covering half of one of the larger ones. And meanwhile, while the paper chunk of the Coral Highlands does stop shy of the low rank/high rank selector bar UI, the Wildspire waste's map chunk has no issues sliding a under a lot of elements to the bottom right of the screen, especially that expedition infotab when it pops out.
It's just extrapolation, and it might indeed be that things are such simply because it looked better composition wise, but there's already been a lot of rumor at least one new environment might be added to the game at some point, especially coming from the same source(if I recall what I'd read in forum posts dating back to before these updates) that guessed/leaked the timing of the content updates that added Deviljho and the first appearance of Kulve Taroth. Considering "map chunks" were always added with new expedition markers, I wonder if it may not be a coindidence that such a sizeable chunk was left "open" in possibly the best place where the developer could add yet another scrap of paper representing the "map" of a new Expedition marker? Especially with the franchises history of adding such new content updates over the year of a game's release.
Granted it might still remain there'll never be anything there. It could be that the current layout is purely for assymetric visual composition that felt "nice" to the art tream(the Coral Highland's thinner stretch definitely would look almost weird if it stretched that far west) or that they already decided they might not add new environments but had preemptyively left the space open "just in case" before making their decision.
I don't know. Though I still can't help but feel that if anything is coming, it may well be there.
Now, what such an environment may be, I have no ideas. Jungle/Forest environment are already covered by the Ancient Forest. Desert(which may be a poor fit for islands locations) is already well covered by the Wildspire Waste which also does some doubly duty with the Ancient Forest to cover elements of swamplands. Swamps aren't a true environment proper, but are featured in elements of both the Ancient Forest and Wildspire Waste as just said… at least to a degree. Volcanic Area are already well covered by Elder's Reccess.
Meanwhile the Rotten Vale already gave us a Dragon Graveyard. Whereas both the Coral Highlands and Elder's Recess gave us two different takes on "Unatural nature"(with the Coral Highland's beautiful otherworldly nature, and Elder's Recess massive unnatural crystalline formations and cavers).
That leave but a few possibilities I feel.
First the "easy" one would be an artic environment… and it would be a good excuse to introduce Hot Drinks and the Cold environment condition. But… in light of the entire new world being seemingly such a warm climate(jungle-like Ancient Forest, arid Wildspire Waste and Great Canyon, Volcanic Elder's Recess… the Coral Highland is the closest thing the setting has to a "Cold" environment and only to a degree most likely related to altitude)… even offshores islands feel very unlikely for an "Arctic" environment.
That leaves Swamps proper. We see elements of "Swamps" in the Ancient Forest and Wildspire Waste, but in both environment they are but a smaller portion of the greater biome. In this regard, these islands might be a pretty good spot for a dedicated "Swamp" environment.
The last possibility(that I can think of) I would feel otherwise would be…. Ruins. This could tie into a swamplike environment around them, but the Monster Hunter franchise already has multiple examples of ancient ruins of one form or another. From the Massive Tower(s) featured in multiple games(sometimes even as a fullblown multiple-layered environment supporting multiple rooms like a traditional mission environment) to other settings such as the many unrelated ruins found across Moga Island within Monster Hunter Tri's settings and missions.
Even without including the Ancient Civilizations(and a lot of the "lore" surrounding it that's already been pointed out to me as rather iffy) the thing remains that "ancient ruins of ancient people" are a thing in Monster Hunter, even if just thematically so with little lore behind it.
But this said… Monster Hunter World has already potentially unwittingly(or knowingly?) provided us the perfect excuse for future ruins environments. Though almost the entirety of the continent is pure wilderness with little sign of settlement, there is one population that has already been there and seemingly for a long time even: The First Wyverians.
By all account, they've been here since well before the arrival of the first Fleet. Not only that, they seem so well integrated within the environment of the New World that just finding one is supposed to be an achievement as they were previously thought almost a myth. Meanwhile… despite the fact they seemingly "live" within the wilderness, they seem to sport surprisingly amount of knowledge. It's implied they are masters of the art of melding and so on.
Not only that, but while never stated outright it's often seemingly implied that Wyverians are surprisingly long lived, which often ties into themes of them being an "ancient" race that may have taught humanity to hunt in the first place(IF that lore is to be trusted. Though there are already lots of examples of some of the oldest hunters in the game being Wyverians such as the Kokoto Wyverian Chef or ye olde Immenseness of Dundorma).
But the Wyverians of the new world aren't just visibly ancient. They are literally called the "First" Wyverians which imply they might be some of the oldest members of the race or one of it's oldest group. They live among nature now, visibly…. but what if it wasn't always the case? If anything, their apparent ancient nature make them the perfect fit as builders of ancient ruins in their long past.
Plus… to a degree they almost seem… fatalistic? When they first tell the secret of Zorah Magdaros, they basically imply it's hopeless and nothing can be done, barely offering any suggestion such that it's literally the Research Commission that decide to develop an hurried plan out of the commander's own initiative to reroute Zorah Magdaros back into the ocean out to save the New World. Now that is almost extrapolation… but could it be that they already experienced major loss such as that of their own Civilization being brought down from great height by some phenomenon(perhaps related to what Xeno Jiiva, no matter it's origins, is in the first place)? Or the classic "reached to great height only to fall even harder" that may have led them to live in harmony with wilderness in the first place. Plus, Kulve Taroth likely had to get all those weapons in her hide from somewhere and I doubt the First Fleet(as many seem to suspect for some reason?) has been there long enough and in large enough numbers to be the source of these weapons when they already had a hard time just to catch the beast long enough to do anything close to cornering her. Meaning a lot of these weapons are likely ancient and even if the game never go out of it's way to tell where these weapons come from(I sometimes get the feeling a lot of Monster Hunter's lore, or what little of it that it has, has always been meant to be more "implied" than flatly spelled out. "Show, don't tell" method of doing things and all that)… well, the First Wyverian would be as ancient as any other groups if not moreso to be the source of these weapons.
Without even getting into the Ancient Civilization… ancient ruins as an enrionment would nonetheless remain fitting because it is a popular theme not just of the likes of Monster Hunter as it already used in informal fashions, but fiction in general. People can complain about "overused tropes", but these tropes are used because they are still popular to many people.
Now I can't say we "will" see Ruins environment for certain, and I have my doubt we might ever will… but at the same time if they wanted to do so, they would already have the perfect implied excuses to add some into the game.
© Post "[MH-World]Anybody else feel that chunk of island on the left of the world map is a new Environment waiting to happen?" for game Monster Hunter World.
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