Monster Hunter World

World’s mechanics, and how they may affect attitudes towards RNG

A ya E n  SSa BA zWorld.0 1024x683 - World's mechanics, and how they may affect attitudes towards RNG
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Well, to be perfectly fair, this sub has always had a bit of a love-hate relationship with the RNG aspect of Monster Hunter. I won't come here pretending that we were all enamoured with insanity like MH4U's relic weapons or MH3U's charm tables. People weren't always pleased with the way the grind worked, and we always did grouse about gem drops and all that.

But I do think that, coincident with the influx of new players from World, there has been a general shift in opinion towards the "against" side. It's become more obvious with the Kulve Taroth event – more on that in a bit – because it's the most RNG we've seen in quite a while, but it's been building since before that. There seems to be a higher acceptance of the notion of RNG-resolving factors (trade-in mechanics, larger melding tables), and a greater distaste for RNG-intensifying mechanics.

Granted, these issues have sometimes gained traction before World too, even when we were a smaller community. Like I said, we didn't just out-and-out love the desire sensor's grind. And I don't claim to possess the True Path of opinion on how RNG should work in a game like this. Maybe less RNG is better.

 

I wonder, though, if the way RNG has been revised in Monster Hunter World has something to do with the sea change.

Decorations being RNG instead of charms, for example, has caused a massive shift in how armour set building is perceived. The new system allows players to accumulate their lucky drops over time, slowly building towards a "perfect armour set" with a full skill complement.

In contrast, under the charm system, it was generally discouraged (on this sub, can't speak for elsewhere) to plan for future armour sets based on the assumption of a perfect charm, with maximum possible points in exactly the desired skills. It was just too much, too crazy to hope for. While this did mean that very few people ever made a "perfect armour set", it also meant that people were generally more satisfied with never reaching that point. We still played, of course. Still threw ourselves against 140 GQs or Heaven's Mount mining rocks or coal mining quests, hoping for something better – but not really looking for a specific charm.

 

Kulve Taroth's relic weapons are another interesting case study.

(One thing I should immediately clarify is that I do identify one major failing of the development team here, which is that RNG stuff being on a timer just doesn't work well. Much as we've been assured that Kulve will return in the rotations, having a limited time to battle with the desire sensor is just begging to generate frustration and dissatisfaction. I don't think it's wise.)

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But let's analyse Kulve and her relic system. I think the big issue is the illusion of obtainability. Based on the fact that Kulve relics (unlike MH4U's relics) have fixed stats, the RNG is seemingly reduced from "insane" to "workable"… but not really. With a massive drop table at hand, and a double-layered RNG process in the way, it's actually very difficult to obtain one specific weapon. Yet that desire is exacerbated by those same fixed stats, which drive people to search for the one weapon that they really, really want.

Whereas in the MH4U days, if you wanted a weapon with a specific combination of stats… well, sorry, but you were insane (and even if you weren't, you certainly would go insane trying to get it). The impossibility of that RNG system was on a different level… but in a strange way, it also took the pressure off. Much like charms, most of us went in rolling for the generic possibility of a better weapon, and even that was crazy enough.

 

I guess what I'm proposing is that World's RNG systems are too nice without being nice enough. They fall into a sort of anti-Goldilocks zone, where the rewards are juuust possible enough for people to shoot for, but still sooo unlikely that many people will not see the payoff. I could make my perfect skillset! With six more Attack Jewels. I could get that specific Taroth weapon! But it never showed up.

Perhaps this generates a lack of fulfillment that inspires dissatisfaction. Where previous games encouraged people to essentially "give up hope", and just shoot for a nonspecific "better place", maybe World dangles its best fruits tantalisingly close, while still making them frustrating to reach.

I do, of course, acknowledge individual differences. I'm sure there were people who really were trying for a specific charm, or a specific MH4U relic stat spread. But I think it's fair to say that by and large, we weren't going out there with such specific targets in mind. And I'm sure many are ultimately satisfied with how the current state of RNG is.

It's just a theory. But I do think it holds some merit.

 

A bit on my opinion of RNG mechanics, since I've casually assumed everyone else's: I secretly kind of enjoy a bit of RNG. Maybe even a lot of it, sometimes.

Perhaps it's more to do with the rewards, but I kind of miss MH4U's relic weapons and armours. I never did get a max attack GS, by the way, despite that being one of the easiest weapon types to roll for (fewer parameters to care about). But I came pretty close, and I considered that sword my endgame weapon, even though there were better ones out there.

My little theory sort of implies that you should avoid the anti-Goldilocks zone: either go so mad with the RNG that you end up with everyone just making do with what they can get, or go to the opposite extreme and make it so the RNG is superficial enough that everyone can obtain the best-of-the-best stuff in a relatively decent amount of grind time.

And I guess I actually prefer the former. But that's just me.


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