Welcome one and all to the second installment of MHLT (20% tastier than a BLT, or your zenny back). Today we're going to answer a question that has plagued Hunters for quite some time: How many Hunters does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
Wait, no. That's not it. The question is "Are Elder Dragons really rare if I have to go out on 500 quests to farm them so that I can get the two gems that I need to make this one weapon?" The other question is shorter, but this one has, at least, some lore that we can explore. So, fellow Lore Hunters, let's make it happen.
There are two standard theories about Monster Farming/Culling in-game versus what happens, and one not-so-standard one. I'll go over the standard ones first, and then the other to provide equal access to crazy on all sides. Then, finally, I'll reveal the recent lore tidbit from MHWorld that discredits one of the common theories and helps us answer the question on all of our minds.
Theory 1: Everyone Is Lying About Rarity This is the straight-up Gaming theory. You killed 300 Los to get your Ruby? That's 300 dead Los. Did 'em back to back in a week's time in-game? Even better. No one stopped you, so it must be okay. Elder Dragons aren't really rare, they just make you think that because they want you scared of them and hope to discourage you from farming them. But how else are you supposed to get gems? So, you kill them all, and no one actually cares.
Theory 2: Each Quest Is One. This idea stems from the fact that although you can farm the same quest over and over and over, it's still just the one quest. Same person is always on the request for the quest. Same description. Same everything. So while, in-game, you went and killed twenty of them, you didn't. You killed one, and the next quest for it that came up you killed another. Investigations and Expeditions/Free Hunts hinder this theory somewhat in just how much killing they allow, but it's still not impossible to narrow each of those down into a more limited scenario. For example, if you have three different Kusha Investigations, they might all be for the exact same Kusha, just with different conditions for fighting it. This doesn't make any particular option to "real" one, just means that you're still just doing the one and getting your investigation conditions in as gameplay later.
Theory 3: Loading Times This final option is one that, as I said, is an uncommon theory at best. It posits that the hunting you're doing spans a very long time, most of which is skipped over during the loading screens. Travelling to a quest you get a loading screen, which may be days of travel. Travelling between zones in older titles could, likewise, be a significant period of time. Hours or even a full day in some cases. All of this time, then, keeps you from actually being a threat to any particular ecosystem because by the time you're on your third Los run in a row, it's been a month since your first. Elders, likewise, don't actually show up often, but the time between is "skipped over" in the interest of not making you wait in-game. So it might be you killing all those Teos over the course of a decade instead of a few days.
So, there are the three which most people subscribe to. Some people do a bit of a mix, and others have crazier theories that I won't mention here (for the sake of brevity… well, what brevity I can still have at this point). However, I did promise you some lore before, didn't I? Well, Lore you shall receive! Some may have noticed that prior to the second quest in the new Lunastra line you… hold on.
MILD SPOILERS AHEAD (which I would normally just spoiler tag but they're pretty darn minor and I go on for quite a bit)
Ahem. Prior to the second quest you talk to the Smithy, who mentions your first quest in a line that made me do a double-take. Here's the link to the moments in the game where it all goes sideways:
#t=2m24s (If anyone has trouble with the link, search for TagBackTV's video entitled "HOW TO UNLOCK LUNASTRA!" and then skip to 2:24; the caps are his, not mine). As you can see, and as the videomaker comments, the Smith says that YOUR Hunter believes that the Teostra might be same one you just finished slaying. Note that the line indicates the Second Fleet Master is responding as though YOU said this, it's not just some random thing he came up with on his own.
How is that possible? Well, it doesn't seem possible if we give in to Theory 1. Can't kill a Teo and have it be up and running again during the next quest. It also doesn't make sense that it would be a "fake death" or even that you simply wounded it, since Repel objectives are pretty common (the second quest even has such an objective!) and the Teo shows none of the damage you inflicted in your first quest (no missing tail or horns if they were broken). In fact, none of the three theories I mentioned earlier fully explains this new bit of information, but it does pretty much outright state that you're not really killing a large number of monsters for each piece of armor or weapon (after all, you got quite a few rewards from that first quest, didn't you?).
So, you kill one, and in doing so you're likely rewarded with tons of materials and zenny. The game, however, to keep you grinding, only rewards you with a portion of both. You don't see all of your materials. You don't see all of your zenny. You actually kill/capture monsters perhaps only as often as you remember to call your mother (which you should do more often), or, at the very least, with Elder Dragons that seems to be the case.
So, take heart, you soft-hearted hunters. You're really not thinning the population all that much when you have to kill your 50th Dodogama, at least not according to this latest bit of revealed lore by, of all people, the guy who's helping you turn those monsters into some really cute boots.
And, as always, Happy Hunting.
P.S. It takes 4 Hunters to screw in a lightbulb. It only takes one to do the motions, but the other three have to keep the Jho busy.
Edited P.P.S: It occurs to me that some people might have missed Episode 1 of this series, so I came back to give a link to it. Next time I'll think of it beforehand.
© Post "Monster Hunter Lore Theory (Episode Two: How Many Hunts)" for game Monster Hunter World.
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