With Monster Hunter Rise coming later this month, I’ve been reflecting on my experiences with the series. Monster Hunter‘s basic loop has a lot in common with Destiny, in that it’s a cooperative mission-based online game played primarily with small groups of people. The similarities got me thinking about some of the things that Monster Hunter World did so well and made it one of my favorite multiplayer experiences of all time, so here are some things I think Destiny would do well to crib from its monster-fighting cousin.
1. Tie Loot to Accomplishments
In Monster Hunter, when I see a player with a particular weapon or piece of armor, I know they took down the corresponding monster in order to get it. The closest we get to this in Destiny is Raid armor and Trials gear. Beyond that, loot in Destiny is mostly about luck. Personally, grinding for a God Roll of whatever weapon is good this season isn’t nearly as satisfying to me as finally being able to craft a Raging Brachydios lance. I’m not saying we need to start turning the Hive into weapons, but Destiny could go further to tie gear to particular accomplishments — preferably ones that aren’t just grinding a playlist activity for a dozen hours.
2. Scale Encounters to Player Count
Some activities in Destiny are meant to be done with a team, and that’s fine. But there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to run activities like Strikes solo. Monster Hunter solves the variable player problem by scaling monster toughness to the number of players present. Sometimes I’d like to be able to go through an activity at my own pace, rather than racing alongside players who have been dropped in with me, and I don’t see why the number or strength of enemies couldn’t be tweaked to maintain an even challenge.
3. Make It Easy to Experiment With Builds
I’ve spent a while playing around with builds in Destiny this season, and the system is certainly a lot better than it used to be. But one thing still irks me — it costs Glimmer to slot mods. I’m not sold on the idea of armor Energy types and corresponding mods either, but there’s really no excuse for attaching a cost to a simple action like switching mods around. Removing barriers to experimentation makes for a more dynamic experience and reduces the likelihood that players will simply not bother with the system at all until they hit the Power cap.
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4. Let Ghosts Do More
In Destiny lore, Ghosts are capable of all sorts of things, from hacking enemy defenses to scouting ahead and gathering information. In-game, our Ghost spits out exposition and is a generic door opening device. While we’ll likely never be as attached to Ghost as Monster Hunter players are to their customizable and nameable Palicos, letting Ghosts take more actions in combat would make them feel more important to the world. Instead of Ghost mods just being passive resource boosters, maybe we could have some that let them disable enemy shields, or give temporary buffs, or even take a potshot or two at our foes.
5. Pre-Mission Meals
A big part of Monster Hunter is fueling up before a hunt with a hearty meal, typically cooked by a friendly cat chef. How cool would it be to slide up to the disused ramen bar in the Tower and order your favorite bowl to get a little buff before launching a Strike against the enemies of humanity? Maybe you could even share a meal with an NPC to get some favor with them. Besides, Drifter’s always hungry — guy could use some spicy noodles.