This weekend in theory was the weekend that I played catch up with Monster Hunter World. For awhile now I have been stalled out at the final boss of the game the insanely huge elder dragon Xeno’jiiva. First off… the fight is an annoying pain in the butt as melee. I am not sure if this is just a longsword thing or if it is an “all melee” thing but you spend all of your time trying to avoid being stepped on while roaming around trying to hit weak spots. Basically there are three glowing bits that seem to be weak… the tail, the front paws, and the head. Normally as a longsword you spend your time focused on the tail… but given this thing is about three times as tall as a normal monster it spends most of its time up in the air.
The fight as a whole is a lot of running around and avoiding breath attacks while attempting to pour damage into the front paws. After a point this will cause the monster to fall down exposing the head for a few minutes allowing you to get off a combo. The biggest problem I had was the monster has several things that can be a one shot if you are not careful, so my first attempt was mostly me sussing out what I should be doing and what I should not be doing. I am one of those people who learn by doing, and I doubt that reading a guide would have helped.
The second attempt was largely a ballet of attempting to do the right thing at the right moment. I managed to take down the monster but only had one faint left. Its funny how when you know there are no more faints… you shift into a sort of hyper focused mode because every move has potential success riding on it. Ultimately I really didn’t want to fail because the fight itself is cumbersome and has several phases of tedium while you are waiting for Xeno to finishing doing its nonsense and land so you can begin attacking again. I am sure those air phases are way more enjoyable if you have any semblance of a ranged attack… or if you are Tam and just playing the nonsense weapon.
Whatever the case I defeated a Xeno, and immediately shot up to 29 which was the next Hunter Rank plateau. It turns out you are phantomly gaining levels while you are playing the game, in spite of it appearing as though you are presently capped by a quest. I’ve talked about this before, but when you finish a game like this it always feels like you are obligated to sit and watch the credits as a sort of homage to the folks who poured all of the love into creating the game in the first place. The credit roll was on the short side allowing me to get right back into the action and as soon as I zoned into my room and back out… I picked up the next quest that was gating me.
The real highlight however is that I managed to pick up enough pieces from Xeno to craft the Extermination’s Edge… ultimately what is likely to be my primary end game weapon for awhile. The next quest involved hunting my very first tempered monster, and what did they give me as a target… a pair of Bazelgeuse. Until yesterday I had not ever actually killed a single Bazel… or Bagel as folks seem to call. It always seemed like it was more hassle than it was worth, and since I had never fought one… I personally found this quest insanely difficult and failed out completely on my first attempt. This lead me to believe that I should do some research, and wound up answering a few SOS flares for Bazel fights to learn the flow of how combat against it works.
Before going to bed last night after finishing Walking Dead, I decided to give it one more shot. It took me what felt like an eternity, but I managed to get both Bazel’s down and this time around I only managed to faint one time. This fight is a mess because Bazels interact with each other much the same as you would expect Bazel to interact with any other hunt. That means when they are dive bombing each other there are just giant fields of nope on the ground… and I spent most of the time rolling out of the way of impending doom.
Ultimately I focused on detailing both of them which seems to cut down on the sheer number of bombs by a bit and then worked one down to skull, attempting and failing at a trap only to wind up killing it outright. The other I tediously fought until it ran and finally managed to get a trap off finishing the nonsense. While I still hate this encounter… in a way I get why they forced us to do it. Fighting a Bazel as melee if nothing else teaches you that you absolutely need to call your shots and get in some strategic hits while you can… even if the rest of your time is spent avoiding everything else.
Now I am sitting at level 41, which I believe leaves me in an uncapped state until 49. In truth I have no clue how leveling works now… if I just gain some experience each time I take something down, or if I need to focus on tempered monsters to make forward momentum. Whatever the case I have lots of things to be hunting and lots of need for cash considering I went bankrupt making the armor and power talons… then rebuying the charms after getting bazel parts. In truth I am pretty happy with my gear as it stands… and I simply need to pour cash into it to level it up to maximum. I believe at some point Thalen still needs a Nergi kill, and ultimately Grace will need a slew of elder dragons as well so there is likely much monster slaying in my future. It was a good weekend and now I feel less lazy than I was for sitting high center on Xeno as long as I did.