Why Monster Hunter: World drove me to cheat – Reader’s Feature
A reader explains why he decided to cheat when playing Monster Hunter: World and why he blames RNG for pushing him into it.
Initially I was going to write into the recent Hot Topic on parts of your favourite games you hate, but it quickly became obvious I had a lot to cover. Now, before I go any further let me say this, I detest cheating in multiplayer gaming. Using something like aimbots or wall hacks in Apex, for example, or running a second account as a dummy on the opposing team in Battlefield (I kid you not) is totally abhorrent and no-one has the right to negatively impact another person’s experience. I also won’t be detailing the method I used. That aside, let’s begin.
I’ve said before how much I love Monster Hunter: World, with nearly 700 hours on my primary character and 150 on my secondary I still play every week, though we are currently in down time between events with one last update due before the Iceborne expansion in the future. One of the biggest draws for me is the core gameplay loop, you hunt monsters that let you build new weapons and armour, which in turn let you go after even tougher monsters, and so on. Progression is tied to your equipment: stronger weapons do more damage and amour has higher defence and decoration slots (more on these later) or has better built-in skills, especially set bonus skills.
Its these skills that make the biggest difference and they cover all sorts from increased health or health recovery to increased attack power, being able to block normally unblock-able attacks, sharpen your weapon quicker, or prevent attacks bouncing off armoured hides. The point is there are a lot, not all are equal and many have multiple tiers. In the case of set bonuses they can be game-changing, a prime example is elemental damage cannot normally have a chance to be a critical hit and do more damage, but wearing two pieces of Rathalos armour gives the crit element skill, allowing this and massively boosting damage. Or how about a chance to not use ammo up if using a gun weapon? Spare shot is very nice too.
After the main story most of the appeal is around creating powerful, or great looking (and sometimes both) sets of armour for various weapons and often trading off defence or elemental resistance for specific skills. Looking at all the skills you want, going out to farm monster parts to build the weapons and armour and then trying out that set is addictive. But you might not be able to get the highest tier of each skill from armour alone, and this this where decorations come in.
These are gems of three sizes that can fit into armour, and some weapons, and add either extra tiers of skills or in some cases complete skills. It’s also where we encounter my pet hate with the game, RNG (random number generation). A lot of the underlying principles of the game are built around this, some monster parts are rarer than others and may take multiple tries to get and some need you to break specific monster parts for them to drop. I like how this works and have always found them to be fair.
There are also quest types that have extra chances at the higher rarity ones and weekly bounties that you can complete to get a voucher for one of the rarest ones. If you just can’t get a Nergigante gem for love nor money that gold print you have been saving is your best friend. For decorations however they are all random drops. You get a selection of varying rarity, these are ‘appraised’ at the end of the hunt with lower being common skills and higher rarities having a better chance at giving the rarer ones. I hate this. You cannot work to towards a goal and get that sense of achievement. Worse still some of the most core and influential skills are locked behind this.
Let’s look at bows, my main weapon. Bows are normally limited to four attacks in a combo, but there is a skill that can boost this, which needless to say represents a substantial damage increase. You can get this from wearing four pieces of one armour set, but the other skills, defence, and decoration slots are so bad it’s not worth doing. The other option is to get lucky and find the mighty bow decoration, a single gem that grants this skill. Now, decoration drops have rarity tiers too, but if you get the highest level of decoration the chance of it turning into this particular one is 0.68%. That sucks and there is nothing you can do in a hunt to change the circumstances.
So, we have reached what some people deem the first example of cheating, deco sniping or save scumming. Within the hub area is a trader who will let you spend unwanted decorations for a chance to get some new ones. The trick here is what you get is not random, it’s a set table. So, if you back up your save game to a USB you can roll as many tries of this as you want, looking for good decorations, note them down as they appear, reload your save and be back where you started.
With a little knowledge of how the table moves you can get to the point where the next roll has what you want, and you spend a minimum amount of rubbish decorations to get a good one. Is this cheating? Not in my eyes, though I am definitely exploiting the game’s functionality to speed up getting some better decorations. But this still isn’t guaranteed and may take hundreds of quests to get the table to a decoration you want (more than 450 hours of hunts with this as an added extra for me to get at least one of each). It’s also not what I referred to in the title…
We come at last to the siege of Kulve Taroth, a rotating event that works differently in that KT, or Katie does not grant parts to build weapons, she has random weapon drops. Just like the decoration situation you cannot influence these and her pool is 457 weapons. Her fight is different in that it needs to be run multiple times in most cases to make a successful hunt, after which you will get around a dozen weapons, depending on how well you have done overall and with some give or take.
These all have different rarities, and they are ‘appraised’ again, giving a selection of weapons, and the chance of getting a specific one or a specific rarity is minute. Worse still many of the best in class weapons, and simply the best in the game, are locked behind this. I’ve hunted her hundreds of times, and not come close to getting a complete set. There is no weighing to the weapons and you can expect dozens of duplicates and hundreds of trash weapons too.
At around 60% ownership of the highest rarity weapons I finally broke down, 12 successful hunts over a total of 24 runs netted me not a single new weapon. The definition of insanity is truly doing the same thing the same way over and over again and expecting a different outcome. There is no fun in this, it’s a simple mindless slog with a soul-crushing finale of no rewards. It’s a waste of time so why would anyone do this? Oh, and did I mention I have two characters, yeah I’d have to do this all over again to get those weapons for my second.
So, I cheated. In a nutshell I set myself up to have 1,000 of each of the ‘unappraised’ weapon rarities and spent a fine old time letting the RNG show me what they became. I finally got the full sets of bows from this ridiculous monster. I got a full set of all the highest rarity weapons I think in the end, but only just. That’s with over 4,000 appraised weapons, though 1,000 of those can’t give the best ones, to get the missing 50 or so I had. How could I ever have got those legitimately? So now I’ve gone back to playing the game for fun, crafting new sets for weapons types I’ve not used before and just enjoying it all over again with new experiences. Nothing I have done affects anyone else and I have no remorse whatsoever.
But I can’t help feeling this wouldn’t have been necessary without the obvious padding of RNG-based drops and it tarnishes the game to a some extent for me. But maybe RNG is a topic all of its own.
Thanks for reading.
By reader Astartespete
The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.
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