Considering the pretty recent announcement concerning the expansion for Monster Hunter World, I started to wonder which returning monsters are probably coming to World.
First of all, it is currently unclear if the game will feature more than one new map. The icy mountain peaks in the trailer and the title of the expansion, Iceborne, clearly point towards at least one snow/ice map being added. This allows the allocation of completely different monsters compared to the original game. However, the appearance of Nargacuga at the end of the trailer, also raises another topic: Will there be new monsters for the current habitats and/or will there possibly be a second map in the Iceborne expansion. The wording at the end of the trailer, new locales, might indicate the addition of a second generic map or simply the addition of specific boss maps like the Xeno'jiva and Kulve Taroth maps. In case we do get at least two generic maps, the first map will clearbly be:
- A snowy, mountainous region as already mentionned. This map is pretty much guaranteed considering the name of the expansion and the shown trailer.
- A forest-like map with clearly different features than the Ancient Forest, e.g. a mountainous/hilly part, access to a river or the sea, but also darker and misty regions. Some major clues that lead me to believe this, are the announcement of Nargacuga and the route of Rathalos in the trailer. Nargacuga usually resides in forests with lush vegetation and would be a good addition for the Ancient Forest, but it might also be an indication for a second forest-like map with clearly different features. While the route of Rathalos in the trailer might have been simply chosen in order to show the new map(s), it could also indicate that Rathalos is flying towards another map. However, Rathalos dislikes cold and snowy regions and prefers forests. Later on, I will once more talk about this whole theory when discussing the possible monsters in the expansion.
Concerning the possible monster roster for the expansion, I took a look at the current monster roster, including their respective element(s) and their habitats in order to in order to consider which elements and maps are currently lacking some manpower. While a perfect balance of all elements might be an utopia, clearly lacking elements will probably get a few stronger monsters in order to unlock better weapons, e.g. the water element. First of all, I will be listing the number of monsters for each different element:
- Fire element (14): Anjanath, Bazelgeuse, Behemoth, Dodogama, Kulve Taroth, Lavasioth, Lunastra, Rathalos & Azure Rathalos, Rathian & Pink Rathian, Teostra, Uragaan, Zorah Magdaros
- Water element (1): Jyuratodus
- Thunder element (3): Behemoth, Kirin, Tobi-Kadachi
- Ice element (1): Legiana
- Dragon element (2): Deviljho, Xeno'jiva
- No element (14): Barroth, Diablos & Black Diablos, Great Girros, Great Jagras, Kulu-Ya-Ku, Kushala Daora, Nergigante, Odogaron, Paolumu, Pukei-Pukei, Radobaan, Tzitzi-Ya-Ku, Vaal Hazak
As you can obviously see, Monster Hunter World has an extremely unbalanced monster roster considering their elements. Almost the entirety of the roster uses the fire element or no element at all. The other elements are rather rare. While some monsters give weapons with elements they don't predominantly use, such as Kushala giving ice weapons and Nergigante giving dragon weapons, you only really need to care for the fire resistance stat in almost the entirety of the game. My suggested monster list will somewhat solve this issue.
Finally, considering the upcoming map(s) and current monster roster, I have compiled a list of the best candidates in my opinion. The list is sorted following the probability of them being added, starting at the most probable and going down to the least probable. I added an explanation for my assumptions for each monster. Here is the list:
- Nargacuga: Nargacuga was already teased/shown at the end of the Iceborne reveal trailer. No other monster matches those sounds, claw animations and glowing red eyes except Nargacuga. Nargacuga could be added to the Ancient Forest and/or the new forest-like map.
- Oroshi Kirin: Oroshi Kirin was on the leaked list for World and is based on Kirin, which means Oroshi Kirin is less tedious to implement because many assets are already present in the game. It will certainly be added in the new icy map and raise the number of ice monsters.
- Alatreon: Alatreon was also part of the leaked list for World. Considering the accuracy of the list till now, it will be certainly added in Iceborne.
- Barioth: The addition of Nargacuga implies the addition of its skeleton and thus, Barioth will probably also be added. Barioth is a perfect fit for the new snow map and would increase the ice monster count.
- Tigrex: Tigrex also uses the same skeleton as Nargacuga and also resides in snowy, mountainous regions. However, Tigrex could be used in a similar fashion to Deviljho and Bazelgeuse and roam all the maps.
- Jade Barroth: Barroth is already part of the base game and thus, Jade Barroth will probably be added in similar fashion as Oroshi Kirin. The addition of Jade Barroth would provide one more ice monster.
- Plesioth: Concerning the presence of Jyuratodus and Lavasioth in World, I suspect that Plesioth might also be added in Iceborne. Plesioth could be added to the second map (with an access to the sea) or simply jump out of the water in Ancient Forest in a similar fashion to Lavasioth jumping out of the lava stream in Elder's Recess. The skeleton is already in the game and this addition would increase the number of water monsters.
- Zinogre: The implementation of Zinogre would offer one additional strong thunder monster. Zinogre is one major contender for the second additional map I have suggested. Furthermore, there is sticker bundle for World containing Nargacuga, Zinogre, Gobul and Gigginox. If Nargacuga will be added, a strong argument could be made for the others. Why would Capcom select these monsters otherwise?
- Gigginox: Gigginox was also part of the sticker bundle and can befound in colder habitats, like a tundra. The needed skeleton is already in the game. Thus, he is also pretty likely to be added.
- Khezu: If Gigginox is added, Khezu could also be coming to the New Worl in the Iceborne expansion. Khezu would provide one more thunder monster and could live in the new snowy map.
- Gobul: Gobul was also part of the sticker bundle and could provide a rather refreshing fighting experience.
- Lagiacrus: Lagiacrus was originally planned to be in World, but needed to be removed due to problems with its skeleton and animations. However, I firmly believe that the developers have fixed these issues in the meantime or found another solution. The addition of Lagiacrus would imply the addiont of a second new skeleton, the Leviathan skeleton, and open plenty of opportunities for some very well-suited monsters. Furthermore, Lagiacrus would increase the thunder monster count.
- Agnaktor & Glacial Agnaktor: If Lagiacrus is added, then Agnaktor & Glacial Agnaktor will probably also be added. They are a perfect fit for the Elder's Recess and the new map, respectively. While there are already plenty of fire monsters, the addition of Glacial Agnaktor would improve the quantity of ice monsters. Agnaktor might just be added as well then.
- Brachydios: Considering the dominance of flying wyverns, World could really need the addition of more brute wyverns, such as Brachydios. Brachydios would fit perfectly in the Elder's Recess and would provide a new challenging experience.
- Royal Ludroth: The addition of Royal Ludroth would increase the amount of water monsters and would add one more similar monster to the Great Jagras, Great Girros and Dodogama bundle.
- Zamtrios: Zamtrios would perfectly fit into an icy map and would also provide a new water and ice monster at the same time. Similar mechanics were already implemented with other monsters, e.g. Great Jagras bloating after eating an aptonoth, and it would be a refreshing fighting experience.
While Blangonga & Rajang, Akantor & Ukanlos and the Fated Four would also be a great addition and there are some good options where to place them, this would require the development of more skeletons. However, if they were to be added, I doubt anybody would complain…
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