Monster Hunter World: Iceborne has finally arrived on PC, surely to the delight of many players. Updates are gradually coming out, with both console and PC to eventually achieve parity. You’re not here for that though, are you? On the deck is Monster Hunter World: Iceborne producer Tsujimoto Ryozo, and directors Fujioka Kaname and Ichihara Daisuke, answering questions via this exclusive email interview. See if some of your most pertinent questions have been answered!
This Gathering Hub features the following people:
- Tsujimoto Ryozo: considered the face of Monster Hunter, and the series producer
- Fujioka Kaname: executive director and artist
- Ichihara Daisuke: director
GB: Ever since the introduction of Safi’jiiva weapons in the game, everyone had been using exclusively on the Safi’jiiva’s weapons. This makes craftable weapons kinda pale in comparison (due to Safi’s weapons by themselves are very powerful). What is your opinion this? Is this healthy for the game in terms of weapons variations?
We are happy to know that the reaction about Safi’jiiva’s weapons is great. From the surface data, you can see that we adjusted it as an “equal to or just a bit better than the most powerful weapon” in each weapon type. For those weapon types which just have few superior elemental weapons (such as water-element Great Sword), it will be a very attractive ability. The ability of weapons should be corresponded to the cost spent. Players may only look at the final values, but I think it is also the result corresponding to the cost you have spent to complete a satisfactory weapon. Considering production difficulty, craftable weapons have a number of merits. Like me, I am using Great Sword and the craftable Great Sword is useful enough already for fire element and blast element. And some of them are even superior to Safi’jiiva’s weapons.
Bonus armour skills can be integrated with Safi’jiiva weapons, making it highly sought after. This kind of flexibility is one of the basis of Monster Hunter. Some players may say, “it’s enough just to hunt Safi’jiiva”, but I think it is not correct. If players want to fully exploit the ability of Safi’jiiva’s weapons, simply using generic armor skills won’t be enough. Players still need to hunt various monsters to craft new armor to match their power level.
About the weapon variations, you may feel that everyone is using the Safi’jiiva’s weapons now if you look at the horizontal axis (the same progress as yourself). But if you look at the vertical axis (all users), the variation and significance of each weapon are at good and healthy balance. And it is not the first time that forefront players are using the same weapons. In addition, we have intentionally left out “No Element” for Safi’jiiva’s weapons, and there will be several updates in the future, so we will propose new weapon choices.
GB: The flying wyvern Bazelgeuse only has a turf war with Deviljho in the game, but interestingly enough, Bazelgeuse’s nature is prone to invade other biomes and constantly look for fights. With this, we felt that Bazelgeuse should have more turf wars with other monsters, but right it only has one with Deviljho. Is there a reason why Bazelgeuse only has 1 turf war?
Territory of Bazelgeuse is very wide and they always keep an eye on their territory in the sky. Under strong sense of territoriality, they want to eliminate other monsters when being invaded and disturbed. That’s why it intrudes into others’ fight. It doesn’t have a fixed turf war with each monster, but an intrusion can be considered a “turf war” for Bazelgeuse. Speaking of intrusion, Deviljho from MH3(tri~) is the representative for sure. And now, there are two intrusive monsters: the icon of intrusive monster—Deviljho and the new one—Bazelgeuse. In creating Bazelgeuse, the idea of a fight for pride between two intrusive monsters was quite appealing to me, so I had them have a typical turf war with each other.
GB: In the previous games, Kushala Daora always appear at snowy regions, and also being more powerful at snowy regions due to its breath will also inflicting the snowman status. But in Iceborne, there are no quests to hunt Kushala Daora in Hoarfrost Reach (although Kushala Daora’s shedded skins do appear). Why can’t we hunt Kushala Daora at Hoarfrost Reach?
Actually, Kushala Daora’s habitat isn’t in cold regions. First of all, Kushala Daora is covered by a steel shell. When its epidermis is oxidized and the rust spreads over the whole body, it will molt somewhere in the depths of a cold region. That’s why the shed skin of Kushala Daora can be found deep in the snowy mountain peaks.
In our game design, each region has its own symbolic Elder Dragon. In cold regions, that is Velkhana. In cold regions, Kushala Daora becomes “Ice” elemental when it raises gales. We think it is not necessary to have another Elder Dragon with the same element in the cold region when Velkhana is already there.
Editor’s note: Velkhana molts in volcanic regions, making Velkhana and Kushala Daora the inverse of each other!
GB: In the previous games, Rajang has an attack that throws a huge boulder towards the player. But currently the move is nowhere to be seen in Iceborne. Is there a reason why the attack was removed?
Originally, Rajang is a monster with powerful and rapid action. This time, we reconsidered this concept and pursued a new hunting tactic with higher speed in Iceborne. Therefore, Rajang didn’t keep the action of throwing boulders compared to previous games.
GB: When the team is designing monster subspecies like on Fulgar Anjanath or Ebony Odogaron, how do you decide on their respective element? Is there a reason why Thunder and Dragon elements were picked?
When we are going to decide the element of subspecies monsters, we need to think about the rank level players may have reached and the range of difficulty when the monsters appear, along with what elements can players choose for their weapons, etc. So, it is more than just to consider about the monster element.
Here are the steps of creating a subspecies monster.
For example, we decided to “create a monster with thunder element”.
First, we will look for an existing monster that may become more interesting with a Thunder element modifier that may change its attack patterns and the strategy required to fight it.
Then, like creating a subspecies of Anjanath with the Thunder element, we get our artists to design the monster with that element in mind, with its ecology to go with it.
GB: Lunastra and Teostra have a supernova combination attack, can we see other monsters also have these combination attack? Silver Rathalos and Gold Rathian are good candidates.
I can’t say it is a combination attack. But between the Tempered Silver Rathalos and Gold Rathian, their breaths will affect each other, so try and find out for yourselves.
GB: This coming May Capcom will introduce more familiar monsters to Iceborne. Did the decisions on releasing these monsters come from the fans or the dev team? Are there any surveys or votes that players can have a say on these monsters?
We are of course concerned about the popularity of monsters when adding them in to Iceborne, but whether we can provide a satisfactory gameplay to players is also another criterion.
GB: Full Layered armor is a fantastic feature that we love. Can we also have Full Layered Weapons?
It’s too wasteful to have armors covered with mold, so we strengthened the layered armor function in Iceborne. Our basic stance about weapons is not going to change, but there are issues that we need to solve to make it happen. Until then, we cannot fully answer this question.
Editor’s note: “Covered with mold” in this sense would be assumed to mean, those armors that you leave in storage and never use anymore.
GB: The Elder Dragon Shara Ishvalda is the final boss for Iceborne expansion. Can you tell us more about this monster like how does it fits into the ecology, or what sort of role does it play? Also please tell us the motive it had in the game.
We are sorry that we cannot answer this question.
Looks like there’s still mysteries Hunters can still try to find out for yourself, regarding that last question! But in any case, that’s all we have for now. We’d like to thank Capcom, Tsujimoto Ryozo, Fujioka Kaname and Ichihara Daisuke for answering as much as they did. We’ll see you out in the wilds!