This weekend was largely about collecting the final bits needed to unlock the layered cosmetic armor from the Harvest Festival in Monster Hunter World and seeing just how much further I could progress. As of Saturday night I had managed to catch back up enough to be sitting on the “kill the three elder dragons” quest that you can see in my quest tracker. On the podcast we talked a bit about how Monster Hunter World supports the acquisition of skills and how that is generally more important than the acquisition of gear. This is a weird concept for me personally since I tend to be a dyed-in-the-wool RPG grinder, that can seemingly perform repetitive tasks so long as there is a shiny gear payout at the end. My baseline is always to gather more gear to get over any obstacles that I might be dealing with.
However the importance of understanding how not to die… is extremely noticeable in Monster Hunter World. When I managed to get through Pink Rathian without breaking the tale, in one shot with no faints… and then similarly get through Nergigante on my first shot… with no faints… I started to question if I had simply gotten better at the game. For awhile I thought it was just me having a hammer this go around, but Nergi was sorta the turning point in my opinion. However the Elder Dragons still served as a bit of a roadblock. I managed to down Kushala Daora on the first attempt, which doesn’t shock me given I remember taking it down relatively easily before as well. However I spent the majority of Sunday afternoon working on Teostra and Vaal Hazak.
When I fought the Elder Dragons on the PS4 version… I did a lot more prep work than I did here. I rolled into Teostra with a significant amount of fire resist gear… something I did not have this time. The challenge with Toaster as I call him more frequently… is that he just does an awful lot of damage and likes to get in real close to you before ulting. I believe in the grand scheme of things it took me three attempts to get through Toasty this time around, and I am mostly okay with that… it was more about not getting hit than it was about dishing out massive amounts of damage. I think that is part of where I am at mentally now is I know not allowing yourself to get carted is seemingly more important than getting in and unleashing hell upon the monster… then opening yourself to a single hit attack that decimates your health reserves.
Similarly with Vaal Hazak the challenge was fighting… while having your health bar constantly shredded by effluvial building. Eventually I will have the parts to make a few pieces of gear that grants me complete immunity from the effects of the Effluvium, but for now I had to employ a strategy of stick and run… trying to avoid build up for as long as I could while dealing as much damage as I could. I think in the grand scheme of things it took me four tries to get through Vaal Hazak this go around. I’ve now entered the realm where I fairly comfortable feel like I can SOS Roulette my way into content, and that is probably something I am going to take advantage of more as I move forward.
Unfortunately however I cannot SOS Roulette my way through Xeno’Jiiva, because it does not show up in your list of available monsters until you have defeated it at least once on your own. I mostly got in long enough to unlock him and then bailed last night because I did not have the patience for this sort of fight. The problem with Xeno is that it is just soul crushingly long… no matter how well you do there is always going to be a lot of avoiding its movements while banging on its feet… for a good thirty minutes it seems. So instead last night I piddled around in World of Warcraft on the Paladin while watching the season premiere of Walking Dead, instead of trying to make progress on the giant blue dragon. All in all though it feels good to be getting back to around the place where I left off… I am not looking forward to getting through Tempered Kirin again… but I will have awhile to deal with that. I have not been grinding anywhere near as much as I did before, so I expect to defeat Xeno and still have a lot of ways to go until I hit the first bottleneck of Tempered Bagel.