Okay, this is going to be a novice of the series talking about mechanics and stuff. Just a heads up if you wish to exit now or facepalm, cause I'm sure I'm going to get some stuff either wrong or not completely right. Go easy on me please. :s
So elemental damage… been in every Monster Hunter game I've seen so far, which admittedly the earliest one I've seen full gameplay of (haven't played mind you) is Monster Hunter Tri. Yet the consensus of elemental damage over raw still seems to be "more hits on the weapon = better elemental damage overall" and "less hits = less important". I know WHY this is; basically elemental damage is added on top of the raw damage whereas the motion values are multiplied, so a single Dual Blade hit gets the same elemental damage added as a single Greatsword hit if both of their elemental damage is the same, even if without elemental damage, the Greatsword would be a hundred times stronger. I really hope I'm getting that right.
While I find this system between the two outputs of raw vs elemental very inventive, it's led to a weird consequence in gameplay in that some weapons feel like they should NEVER be used with elemental damage, period. The biggest contenders are Hammer, Horn, HBG, and Greatsword. And it makes me wonder… did Capcom really have to do this?
Why not allow for some more variety with elemental damage by giving generally bad elemental based weapons like the aforementioned four some sort of caveats in some way? I was given a cool way to do this by the many playstyles I see from Gunlance alone. I see the full burst style, which favors raw damage and uses Shelling, but a prime example of a way to use elemental Gunlance is a poking style more similar to regular Lance. In this way, this one weapon class has the ability to be useful both at quick hits that favor elemental damage AS WELL as burst favoring raw damage more, at least conceptually.
I feel like the next Monster Hunter game can try and make playstyles the key to using elemental damage on certain weapons. Here are some suggestions that will no doubt make everyone totally peachy:
HBG: The easiest solution to this is to bring back Siege Mode from the Generations games, giving the HBG its own form of "rapid fire" similar to the Light Bowgun. Have some specific elemental based HBGs allow for siege mode to use elemental damage, like the Shattercryst with Ice, Tobi with Thunder, or Anja and Rath for Fire.
Horn: Given the new emphasis on recitals, maybe the sound waves could create elemental explosions? If that's not enough, you could also just slightly speed up the Horn's attacks while lowering motion values a tiny bit, solidifying it more as the "sustain damage" version of a blunt weapon to Hammer's "burst damage".
Hammer: This is a bit harder, but I think a special way to make Hammer elemental damage work better without giving up its burst damage nature is to tie in elemental damage increases per hit with the Charge mechanic, making it a sort of opposite effect of what elemental damage usually wants, which is more hits. In this case, you deal less hits, but they deal more damage than raw should you have the right element for the job. In addition to this, it would make the only true rapid fire move on the Hammer, the topspin, MUCH more powerful with this working in tandem.
Greatsword: This one's a bit harder, because not only is it meant for hit and run, but it doesn't have a true rapid fire move like Hammer does. Plus, the weapon is mostly centered around charge unlike the Hammer where it's more secondary, so making the elemental damage charge up with charge would make it WAY too good. Because of all this, I think we need to emphasize the lesser used moves on the weapon, the Circle/B moves involving full sword spins and blunt sidehit. In this case, why not favor the high risk/high reward nature of the weapon and have the two spinning moves hit the monster multiple times a la Pierce Ammo? So to get the most out of the element of the sword, you need to do the spin in a way that allows for it to go through the most of the monster's body. Alternatively for the side hit of the sword, you could just make that the one move that multiplies the elemental damage, since it's so rarely used.
Well I hope you weren't turned away by my ramblings on a single aspect of a series I've grown to love VERY quickly. Just a minor gripe that I honestly think Capcom could make much better for all of us. If you somehow found this tolerable, what other weapons get little love in the way of elemental damage and how would you change them?
© Post "Regarding elemental damage…" for game Monster Hunter World.
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