Fair warning, this is a fairly long post. Now let's dive right in.
The Abandoned Recess
This is pretty much what its name implies, an old Elder's Recess that was abandoned.
Unlike the current recess which is saturated with energy, with glowing crystals, volcanic activity and a wildlife centered around harvesting the bioenergy stored in the crystals, this recess is cold.
All the crystals are drained of their energy, pitch-black, on one side is a large labyrinthic network of caves and caverns, on the other is a mountain glacier, with a powerful stream of freezing water coursing it.
The water is so cold, you could say it is impossibly cold considering it is not frozen, and swimming in it is a guaranteed death, draining your life more quickly than even the blue flames from the rocks found in Odogaron's nest.
In the deepest layers of the caverns, is an old Xeno'jiiva nest, abandoned for an unimaginable amount of time, the Xeno'jiiva that used to live there must have absorbed all the energy in the area, transforming it from a place saturated with energy and volcanic activity, to a frozen lifeless place.
However, in the ground around the old Xeno'jiiva's nest there is still residual dragon energy stored, quite a lot of it actually, and if it is exposed with a high enough amount of energy to superheat the crystals, it will burst in a giant geyser of dragon energy.
As you can expect, you will need Hot Drinks when exploring the Abandoned Recess, otherwise your maximum stamina bar will deplete at a high rate, this rate actually varies depending on the area.
The natural rate of depletion is 25 every 15 minutes, and it increases to 25 every 10 minutes in the caverns and at the surface in the areas far away from the large stream ; it further increases to 25 every 5 minutes in surface areas in a medium distance away from the stream, up to 25 every 2 minutes when close to the stream and in the mountain, up to 25 every minute at the peak of the mountain and very close to the stream, finally up to 25 every 30 seconds when inside the stream ; this is all negated when you have the Hot Drink buff.
But this is not just it, the water stream applies 3 different stamina tickers when inside of it, the first one is described above and is negated by Hot Drinks, the second one is 15 stamina every 30 seconds and is negated when you have the Aquatic Expert skill, by 5 per point, the third one is 10 stamina every 30 seconds and is negated when you have a new skill on, Slide Master, it is a single point skill ; the Hunger Resistance skill only applies to stamina depletion that is affected by Hot Drinks. Finally the health depletion can't be prevented either.
The stream runs down from the peak of the mountain glacier to the base of it, where its strength dies down and becomes still water and rapidly freezes over, but it remains just as dangerous. When the stream runs down from the mountain, it is very powerful, you can try to cross it but it will be very difficult, as it acts like the landslide from the natural dam near Rathalos' nest in the Ancient Forest, it is just as damaging when in full strength and when it is more tranquil at the foot of the mountain, but at least you can easily roll out of it when it is still. If you enter the stream when it is in full strength, you will be afflicted by the Waterblight and Iceblight debuffs, it is extremely dangerous.
In terms of natural traps, you can trigger avalanches near the top of the glacier, one for each side of the stream, you'll typically need a monster to attack the glacier to trigger it, it'll cause ice and boulders to run down the entire half of the mountain, dealing tremendous damage to everything in its wake, finally coming to a stop at the foot of the mountain, creating a sort of dam for the stream, reducing the range at which the water will spread to, but in return, raising the water level in the areas that aren't blocked off, reducing your movement speed, the second avalanche will block the other half of the stream, further reducing the reach of the freezing water, but making it even harder to move in, this effect is negated by the Aquatic Expert skill.
There's also the stream itself which is a natural hazard for hunters and monsters alike. Then inside the caverns, theres the dragon geyser that you can trigger, the geyser stays for a while, and causes the area to heat up, such that you won't need hot drinks, but only the cocoon room, the rest of the caverns aren't affected, otherwise inside the caverns and even in the cocoon room, you can trigger stalactites to fall, much like in Nergigante's nest.
Finally, and this is a new mechanic, there's slippery ice, this slippery ice is slippery, in other words, if you try to run or dodge up hill on slippery ice, you'll slip on your butt and be vulnerable, on flat ground, if you dodge you'll have a chance to slip and fall on your butt, and when dodging or walking downhill, you'll enter the regular sliding animation, except you'll slide down even faster than normal. If you have the Slide Master skill, this is all prevented, but if you run downhill, you'll enter the sliding animation as usual, but retain the faster sliding, in fact, you can slide really fast on all sliding surfaces now, not just slippery ice.
However, you might think this is too annoying, but don't worry, this slippery ice is only found in some places in the caverns except the cocoon room, and under the still water, and if there's an ice dam, the slippery ice will remain even if the water is gone.
If enough attacks are done on slippery ice, it will become rough, so not slippery anymore, this doesn't work on slippery ice that is currently under water. On the other hand, torch pods and fire attacks from monsters will cause surrounding ice to become slippery, so be careful.
Now, about the monsters, this area is essentially a mix of the Tower and tundra areas, so you'll see ice based monsters, as well as extremely powerful Elder Dragons, such as Fatalis and Alatreon, which will be fought at the top of the glacier, a generally unaccessible area, that is only accessible on special occasions, much like Teostra's nest, it is one of the two large fighting stages in the area, the other being the old Xeno'jiiva cocoon room.
After a while, the Research Commission will have installed several dragonators, ballistae and cannons around the top fighting stage, due to the frequent encounters with extremely powerful monsters there.
You will also find a related species to Plesioth here, which is adapted to freezing water, and causes Iceblight and Waterblight, it can somewhat burrow under the ice, and is extremely adept with sliding on the ice, it is quite dangerous and somewhat larger than its Plesioth cousin.
In this area you will also find powerful wandering monsters here, such as Raging Brachydios, Savage Deviljho, Furious Rajang and a new variant of Bazelgeuse, their regular counterparts aren't mad enough to dare venture there, and fighting them in the caverns can be quite funny as they aren't adapted to the slippery ice and will frequently slip and fall. Stygian Zinogre can also be found here.
As you can guess, you won't find weaker ice based monsters here as they can't compete with the extremely harsh conditions, but you may find subspecies or related species of them that adapted to it.
It turns out Nergigante is not scared of powerful Elder Dragons such as Fatalis, and will try to eat it, and fail miserably, however, Elder Dragons are animals, and they aren't exempt of natural selection and evolution, so you will see a subspecies of Nergigante, one that has adapted to eating the most powerful of Elder Dragons, it can harness and control the dragon energy stored in them with its spikes, and further enhancing its regenerative capabilities, enough to go toe to toe with a Fatalis, it will still fail on each encounter, but always surviving it, and ever so slightly weaken it each time, its regenerative abilities allowing it to keep up with each encounter better than Fatalis, until eventually it takes it down.
Now onto the next map.
The Jagged Chain.
It is a chain of mountains, West of the New World surrounded by sea and connecting to the continent further up North. The mountains are very steep and narrow, the fighting areas are very long and claustrophobically narrow, this is where monsters like Tigrex thrive in, the top of the mountains are slightly cold, like the Coral Highlands, and this is where you can find some Popos, but also, Kirin, Rajangs and Kushala Daoras, and even the elusive Amatsu.
The geography of the area causes powerful wind current to course the mountains, allowing you to rapidly traverse the chain of mountains with the Gliding Mantle.
At the base of the mountain you may find some aquatic monsters such as Plesioth.
The natural hazards here are avalanches of boulders, and friable terrain on the coast line. The falling boulders can cause the friable terrain to crumble, as well as other regular attacks.
That was quick, now next to the next map.
The Great Deltas.
This is an shore area flooded with water, it is west of the New World and directly North of the Ancient Forest, its water is alimented from the Abandoned Recess, the Ancient Forest, and the Everstream itself, in other words it comes from all directions.
You can find monsters such as Ludroths, Jaggis, Plesioths and such, it is essentially a watery area, it is very flat and quite large, the terrain is quite simple, but this is also where Gore Magala and Shagaru Magala are found, this frenzy virus will be sure to easily change the atmosphere of this otherwise bland and simple area.
The sedment in some places of the area lends itself very well with pitfall traps, allowing them to trap monsters for much longer.
Well that was even quicker, but don't worry this is about to change with the next map.
The Dark Forest.
Behind this unoriginal name lies quite an interesting area indeed. You may have seen some suggestions for a mushroom forest out there, but this takes it to the next level.
It has no giant mushroom, but what it lacks it size it makes up for it in spores.
Indeed, the main gimmick of the area is a dense cloud of spore, you may think it's just a copy of effluvium but it goes much beyond that.
This forest, like all forests, is a network of tree roots and mycelia under the ground, they usually share nutrients, but it is the opposite in this forest, the trees and mushrooms are at an arms race of power, always trying to steal the nutrients from the other, and will create spores to weaken the competition.
The results are impressive, the trees grew to completely cover the sky with their leaves, and the ground is covered in a thick layer of dense spores, such that the trees evolved to raise their roots a few meters above the ground, much like in mangroves, but not that this doesn't mean that the water level ever raises to this level, as every bit of water in the area is completely sucked up by the tree roots, and any rainfall end up on the dense and thick roof of leaves.
Since the vegetation is in a parasitic relationship, they will never ever grow to the size of the ancient tree of the Ancient Forest, nor will they thrive so well, since the trees that make up the ancient tree are in a symbiotic relationship, instead of parasitic.
Now, about those spores, the fungi and trees actually form miniature biomes, each centered around a common theme, for example one minibiome is centered around the fire herbs, and the spore cloud will be fire element, and will cause Fireblight if you hang in there for too long.
In other words, the entire ground is covered in spore clouds which have an effect related to the local plantlife, such as fire for fire herbs, ice for ice herbs, etc.
The full list goes like this, please mind the lack of format, it is to save space.
Fire herb cloud causes Fireblight after a while, ice herb cloud causes Iceblight after a while, water herb cloud cause Waterblight after a while, thunderbug cloud causes Thunderblight after a while, dragonfell berry cloud causes Dragonblight after a while, nitroshroom, flamenut, blazenut, dragonstrike nut, bomberry and blastnut clouds cause Blastblight after a while, devil's blight cloud causes Blastblight instantly, toadstool cloud causes Poison after a while, parashroom cloud cause Paralysis after a while, sleep herb cloud causes Sleep after a while, mandragora cloud causes Defense Down after a while, adamant seed cloud gives the Adamant Seed buff after a while, might seed cloud gives the Might Seed buff after a while, godbug cloud increases the maximum life bar by 5 after a while, cannot go above the maximum health that a Max Potion would provide, exciteshroom cloud cause the maximum stamina bar to deplete by 25 after a while, Hunger Resistance doesn't prevent this, slashberry cloud causes Bleeding after a while, smokenut cloud hides you from sight, flashbug cloud stuns you after a while, antidote herb cloud cures poison instantly, herb cloud heals you slightly after a while, bitterbug cloud heals you extremely slightly after a while, honey cloud instantly gives increased natural regeneration of life, nullberry cloud instantly cures you of blights, spider web and ivy clouds increase the effectiveness of pitfall traps, rotting corpses create clouds of flesh eating spores, which slowly drain life, but at an extremely low rate.
Mushroomancer skill prevents all negative effects from clouds, depending on the level, and completely prevents them at level 3.
This area is where Chameleos hangs out, and when it is here, the spore clouds spread up to even above the tall roots. Chameleos has adapted to the area, and is capable to replicate any cloud of spore, so you'll never know what hits you, except by judging th color of the cloud.
You can also find Pukei-Pukei subspecies here, much fiercer than the previous one, but interestingly enough, there are no scatternuts in this forest.
The tall roots create a form of second layer that you can climb on, and is free from the spore clouds except when Chameleos is here. This forest is on the side of the mountain, and you can find a small cave, where you can find some water and fish.
And now for the last map.
The Sapphire Hell.
This is the homeland of Xeno'jiiva, while the Forgotten Recess is slightly Northwest of the Elder's Recess, directly North of the Coral Highlands, this otherwordly place is even further up North.
In this area you will find completely new and alien looking monsters, and many forms of Xeno'jiiva, including young ones, this place is the true origin of the Elder Crossing, and is millions of years old, you will uncover the truth behind Xeno'jiiva, and know more about Elder Dragons as a whole.
I know this isn't much, but I'm leaving this one up to interpretation.
I hope you had a good read.
What are your thoughts ?
© Post "New Map Ideas (long post)" for game Monster Hunter World.
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