A week ago I posted this survey. More detailed results at the end of the post.
So, with 549 responses, I ended up with just a little bit more than I was banking on. I didn't think people would be so keen to share their opinion on the internet. With so many responses and so many options per question, I feel it'd be best to list the top 5 answers for each question in the post, then link to a more comprehensive display externally.
1. In your opinion, which monster has the best mechanics for a fun battle?
1st: Nergigante. 248 votes
Not much of a surprise. I see Nergigante get a lot of praise for being a great example of how fights should be designed in MHW. With an all-out brawl that rewards aggression, but punishes stupid aggression, Nergigante is like the fast food of MHW, here and gone very quickly, but leaves you satisfied. Still, quite the landslide.
2nd: Odogaron. 67 votes.
An interesting one, given Clifford hasn't much in the way of unique mechanics barring bleed. Perhaps there's a preference for gimmick free, fast paced brawls in MHW.
3rd: Teostra. 39 votes.
My personal second, Teostra is a great fight that tests your ability to read a monster well and how quickly you can react to certain telegraphs. Or you could just use a lance.
4th: Bazelguese. 22 votes.
Really Reddit? You like fighting this guy? I suppose being a flying pinecone of a weak spot makes him fun to use your dragon piercer on, but those one shot bombs from tempered goose, ouch.
5th: Diablos – Kirin. 19 votes.
I smell lance mains. Seriously though, I would have been surprised to not see these in the top 5, so it's fitting they tied for 5th. Between Kirin being the fairest fight in the game with the telegraphs and punishing nothing but greed, and Diablos being an intense bullfight against a freight train with wings, I'm glad to see recognition here.
2. In your opinion, which monster has the worst mechanics for a fun battle?
1st: Kushala Daora. 111 votes
Answers here were more varied than that of the previous question, but that didn't stop another elder stealing the top spot. Kushala Daora, as we all know, is the absolute bane of a melee player who doesn't want to be shoehorned into specific builds, plus. With heavy physical damage and somewhat unclear hitboxes, he's no slouch against a ranged player either. Being knocked about by invisible AoE effects and not being able to see are definitely not popular mechanics.
2nd: Lavasioth – Zorah Magdaros. 105 votes.
It appears that the siege mission type still lags behind the rest of the game in terms of fun. So much so, that poor Zorah, who probably sucked up more development time than any monster, ties with the hot fish for 2nd least fun encounter. Considering Lava's delayed hitboxes and frustrating hardening mechanic and Zorah being an overly long execution of simple tasks with little skilled input, I won't contest this result.
3rd: Bazelguese. 38 votes.
Managing to get on both lists for best and worst mechanics comes the true target of every HR investigation. I feel Bazel is going to have a trend of dive-bombing onto multiple lists because how dare we not pay attention to him.
4th: Deviljho. 26 votes.
The first showing of our wonderful hamburger garnish, Deviljho appears to frustrate a lot of you. With two irritating debuffs that are applied all too easily, hitboxes spawned from him being awkwardly massive and a transcontinental hip check, the great glutton seems to suck the joy of using big things to beat up bigger things right out.
5th: Black Diablos. 24 votes.
It appears that the Diablos family teeters on a fine line between great fun and not fun at all for some of you. Black Diablos is the only monster in the game that can successfully stun with one hit, which can mean a very early cart that feels unwarranted. She hits hard, is aggressive and eats cacti. Hard-core.
3. Aesthetically, which monster has the best design?
1st: Nergigante. 104 votes.
The pit-bull/hedgehog of elder dragons tops another positive list, this time for being the best example of visual design for monsters. Who doesn't love spikes coming out of spikes, especially when they're tripped and squirming. The flagship monster of the new MH generation was chosen well.
2nd: Xeno'jiiva. 71 votes.
Baby blue boi gets his first showing. An alien looking dragon, pulsing with pure energy… I can see why many of you find that badass. He certainly looks the part of the final showdown for the story. If only killing him wasn't truly death by a thousand cuts.
3rd: Vaal Hazak. 57 votes.
The effluvial elder sneaks in a 3rd place for best visual design. It's not too surprising, with a double jaw and a rotten, dark presence that truly encapsulates the pit that is the Rotten Vale; few monsters are truly a microcosm of their habitat like Vaal is. Graceful yet off-putting, Vaal looks like something out of Dark Souls, with theme music to match.
4th: Legiana. 42 votes.
The apex of the Coral Highlands used aeroplanes as an inspiration for its sleek, bird-like design. With a lovely navy pelt, long, aerodynamic horns and leathery wings that splay almost like feathers, Legiana is a unique take on the more reptilian creatures found in MHW, and certainly communicates his role in the ecosystem with just one look.
5th: Odogaron. 35 votes.
Man's best friend gets another shout out. With double, razor-sharp claws on the end of muscular forelimbs, an agile frame coated in blood red and cute little blue eyes, Clifford balances awesome and intimidating very well with his design. Either that, or you all just voted based on the female armour set.
4. Aesthetically, which monster has the worst design?
1st: Jyuratodus. 145 votes.
It would seem that mudskippers aren't cut out to be awesome as far as monster design goes. Jyura pulls out a win in a contest where the only true loser is the winner. I'm not surprised, given he's a big muddy fish in a game with fire lions and thunder ponies.
2nd: Lavasioth. 71 votes.
Piscine wyverns are not crowd pleasers it seems. What can you say about this guy that isn't just talking about Jyura with orange glowy bits? The answer is nothing. Lavasioth is the most obnoxious retexture in the game, or Jyuratodus is; I've no idea which came first.
3rd: Zorah Magdaros. 48 votes.
The visual spectacle of the game is apparently the 3rd ugliest monster in the game. That's nothing short of a failure for the design team here. It doesn't help that you spend most of the battle viewing Zorah as an uninspired volcano biome, and from a distance he looks like a walking tar pit.
4th: Uragaan. 38 votes.
Uragaan isn't the most interesting monster in the game, but it would appear that many people are put off by that hulking great big chin. He's a golden brown lumpy mess with little explosive sweetcorn nuggets. Crap with a chin.
5th: Paolumu. 31 votes.
The first true mammalian wyvern to make it onto the list, Paolumu is a jarring mix of cute and hideous that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Furry inflation fetishists aside, it appears many people feel that a giant inflatable bat doesn't carry the x-factor that so many other members of the monster crew do.
5. Which monster do you believe has the most memorable first encounter?
1st: Nergigante. 126 votes.
With a campaign-long build up to this conflict, Nergigante steals the show once more as the most memorable first encounter. This fight is as cinematic as one can be, without relying on scripted BS to convey the intensity. Once again, Nergi shows the best in what the designers can do when allowed to go ham.
2nd: Anjanath. 81 votes.
The first goal-setting monster in the game, Anjanath is shown early, and you're free to go and fight him should you please. He exists to demonstrate to a newer player that you may need to develop your skills and gear before trying to take on everything you see, as many, myself included, ignored the handler's warnings about him being two strong and instead took that big d*ck energy all the way to the morgue. He feels like the first true accomplishment for many players.
3rd: Bazelgeuse. 67 votes.
DUN DUN, DUDUDUDUDUN DUDUDUN DUDUDUDUH.
4th: Diablos. 40 votes.
Diablos bursts onto the stage by suplexing a four-ton monster through the ground before you fall into his lair. First, he's bloody huge for this point in the game as well as fast and aggressive. Many players may be cautious to even approach him, let alone try to hold out toe-to-toe. Diablos was my first wall, but he didn't half leave an impression looking back. It appears I'm not the only one.
5th: Xeno'jiiva. 35 votes.
Have you ever watched something being born? That stuff sticks with you, hauntingly. Xeno is no exception, as you watch him emerge from an energy cocoon, before blast the living daylight out of the elf with braids. He's the biggest thing you've had to fight one on one, and if the concept doesn't burn an image of him onto your brain then the bioluminescence will burn him straight onto your retina.
6. Which monster do you believe has the least memorable first encounter?
1st: Great Girros. 133 votes.
The omega of the Rotten Vale hardly cuts it for memorability. So what, he's snacking on a dead thing and you throw a bit of fire and he peaces out? That's it? Diablos suplexes Barroth, Anjanath throws another monster at you, Great Girros runs away. There's no requirement to ever fight this monster, and he defines filler for his habitat. Considering how late into the story he appears, it's easy to just forget he ever existed in the first place.
2nd: Jyuratodus. 72 votes.
It all seems great, a dead Barroth and a scholar who seems to have gone mad with the eldritch truth, until he points out that mudfish isn't the cause of the problem. Mudfish then proceeds to bravely defeat a corpse before vomiting mud at you. Intimidating. Jyura is easy to forget about once you clear him for story. His fight is slow and dull and his design just blends in, quite literally.
3rd: Lavasioth. 48 votes.
I can't even remember this guy's intro. He's swimming in lava and then he isn't? Is that right? Once again, the piscine wyverns show that they can't really compete as far as memorability and design go. Perhaps having monsters based on fish in a game with no underwater combat makes them somewhat underwhelming.
4th: Great Jagras. 46 votes.
Apparently being baby's first large monster isn't enough to prevent this fella from fading into obscurity. The ravenous Rastafarian doesn't cut it for many of you. I mean, he is just a big lizard with a funny hairdo. There isn't much else to say, is there?
5th: Kulu-Ya-Ku. 32 votes.
The big chicken bursts onto centre stage by breaking a pot and running away; truly a gaming moment that will stick with me for years. He's not difficult, he's not intimidating and he's not even got the meme status of some of the other garbage-tier wyverns. His armour set looks cute on female hunters, though.
7. Which monster do you find to be the most difficult?
1st: Deviljho. 87 votes.
Tempered Jho is currently the most difficult encounter on PC for most players. He hits incredibly hard and is extremely mobile. Pins, tremors, debuffs and constant roaring can make it hard to even fight back, unless you're a lance main, despite not being the biggest challenge for console players. This question is likely the one that is the most unreliable thanks to the PC-PS4 patch disparity.
2nd: Kirin. 83 votes.
The gateway to the deco-farming endgame is no slouch for difficulty, and is likely fresh in the minds of many fledgling PC hunters. Kirin does huge elemental damage which is increased further by many of the best sets most players will be running at this point in the game. He forces you to consider your build carefully and requires a much more tactful approach than other monsters. Kirin is a one-shotting, paralysing, stunning and anger-inducing machine of a monster.
3rd: Black Diablos. 68 votes.
Likely the most difficult of all T2 tempered encounters, Black Diablos can easily catch the most seasoned of hunters off guard, powderising them in one-two hits. The unrelenting nature of her physical attacks complement her huge damage potential perfectly, resulting in some players very quickly finding their place on the food chain – beneath the cacti.
4th: Behemoth. 57 votes.
Hi there, console players. Nice of you to show up. Behemoth is currently the definition of hard for many players, but finds his way lower on the list due to not being available for a huge swathe of the player base at present, myself included. Behemoth requires coordination like no other monster. He checks your ability to tank and DPS, meaning people must dedicate roles in order to win. He also one shots the whole map unless you hide behind a specific rock, a specific rock that won't spawn if you fail the DPS check and can even be broken by Behemoth if you fail to control him. Yeesh.
5th: Kushala Daora. 56 votes.
The kryptonite of crit elemental dual blades shows up once more. Kushala is deceptively tough, given how easily he can chain stun a player without guard into a frustrating cart, as well as stay firmly out of reach for many players when not doing so. Either that, or his framerate debuff is too much for many a poor hunter to handle.
8. Which monster do you find to be the easiest?
1st: Great Jagras. 348 votes.
I mean, what were you expecting? He's the first monster in the game. Still, banana iguana can go home knowing he is the only monster to surpass 300 votes in any category.
2nd: Kulu-Ya-Ku. 30 votes.
Kulu is introduced as a joke monster and keeps up appearances in combat. Easily dispatched and putting up very little in terms of a fight, only presenting a marginal challenge above the Great Jagras, probably because people feel bad wailing on him.
3rd: Great Girros. 21 votes.
I'll be honest; I've fought this guy so few times that I'm not sure what he even does. I just walk in and hit him until he stops moving. I know he flops about and stuff but that really seems to be all he brings to the table. Low damage, low health pool and not enough in terms of power to capitalise on his paralysis, Great Girros is quite the pushover.
4th: Vaal Hazak. 16 votes.
Almost universally agreed upon as the easiest elder, no amount of badass visual design and/or vaping can save Vaal from his reputation as a pansy. He can hit hard, but is incredibly slow. He can cut your HP in half, but that can be entirely negated with 3 level 1 slots. He shoots a beam that sweeps an entire area, but he spends years charging it up, and lets you beat the tar out of him while he fires it. Vaal isn't likely the true 4th easiest monster in the game, but comparing his difficulty to how late in the game he is, it makes sense to see him here.
5th: Dodogama – Zorah Magdaros. 13 votes.
If you're hunting Dodogama at all you're a bad person. Stop it. Despite that, he's not too difficult. The final fanged wyvern of the game, if you could call his shovel mouth "fangs," Dodogama can punish with mortar-like explosives, but not do much else. He's not particularly fast or hard hitting, nor is he big enough to make him hard to damage. Zorah is hard to fail; at least until his AT variant is available to you. The game is so generous with time and the health of the barrier that, so long as you actually press the occasional button on the controller, you'll have no issues driving back this lumbering coal mine.
Phew, that's it! This took way longer than I was expecting. I had hoped to be done yesterday but IRL stuff got in the way. A spreadsheet of responses including bar charts is here. Please keep in mind that I'm not much of a data guy. This started as me just being curious, so forgive poor formatting.
© Post "MHW: A Monster Popularity Survey – The Results!" for game Monster Hunter World.
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