The MMO Tourist term is a pretty much known one among MMO players. For those who never heard of it, the idea of the term is to describe those players that left the game but come back for a few weeks (or months) once a MMO receives some new content. Then once they see anything that might pique their interest they leave just as quickly as they came back.
I am starting to feel my behavior with Monster Hunter World mimics that even though it hasn’t had any substantial update for a while. In my case it is more when an event is announced. I get back into the game with the full intention of checking the event out, and finally finishing the base game’s story, only for a few days later to completely forget about it and then play something else.
I think there are a couple of reasons for that.
The first reason is mechanical. Part of why I like Monster Hunter games is the tactical part of it: learning the monsters patterns, figuring out when to strike, planning what kind of gear and other items to bring for the hunt and so on.
If it is a new monster the fights can take a long time though not only because of the learning part but because our equipment is probably rubbish to deal with the new hunt. And if it was just that it wouldn’t be a problem for me. The problem comes with farming the monster for materials to make further hunts easier. Even though the time to hunt the same monster gets shorter as you upgrade your gear it still feels like it takes way too much time hunting the same monster.
Yes, I find it satisfying when I get a full set of armor and weapon made from monster parts. I won’t deny that is pretty fun. It is just the amount of time required that feels too long. And I don’t know how it could be changed without fundamentally changing the game either. It is one of those conundrums I just can’t figure out the right answer for no matter how much I think about.
The other problem is also a conundrum, an emotional one, and a problem I am not even sure actually exists or if I fully understand it.
In Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (the only other Monster Hunter I have actual experience with) the multiplayer is off in an island separate from the single player campaign. I assume it is the same in the rest of the series.
In Monster Hunter World though, the game was designed for it to be played as a group from pretty much the start, even if the tools to do so are horribly clunky.
This created a complicated situation for me. While I’ve made progress as fast as a rachitic turtle my friends loved the game to a point where they just blazed through the story.
They offered countless time to help me with hunts and I keep refusing since the difference in power and player skill is so much now that I’d be carried no matter how much effort I put into it. Also, please don’t get me wrong. I love my friends for offering help and if the situation was inverted I’d do the same for them in a heartbeat.
But even when the gap wasn’t so big I was still not very satisfied. Like I said above what I like about Monster Hunter games is that tactical part of it: figuring out the monster patterns, how to fight back and planning for the hunt. But I found out that when playing with others it tends to be a chaotic rush to find the monster and kill it. It all feels very loud, confusing, too fast and very hard for me to gauge how much of the success is my contribution and how much I am being carried around.
I guess in the back of my mind there is a bit of a conflict where I want to play with my friends but at the same time I don’t because hunting with others is too chaotic and doesn’t feel really satisfying for me. So I guess that instead of making a real effort to catch up I subconsciously end up procrastinating at the lower levels so I still have an honorable excuse to not hunt with them. The mind can be a real jerk like that. :p
If any of my friends that I played Monster Hunter World with are reading this, please don’t take this the wrong way. I am not trying to guilty ride anybody or asking for any changes on how we do the hunts. This is just a problem with myself that I need to sort out. And if I can’t, well then I can just continue to play the game solo and we can talk about the game.
Having said all that I might still throw the towel and ask for help if a monster turns out to be too frustrating. I mean, Pink Rathian was already enough of a pain to hunt solo, I am not sure I want to inflict that kind of pain on myself again. :p
Now that this is all out of my mind and into… well, not paper, but written down somewhere maybe I can stop being a tourist, find some kind of renewed interest in the game and finally finish the main story! Hopefully before the expansion comes out too, unlikely as it is. :p