Master Rank Is Not Kidding Around
The new expansion for Monster Hunter: World introduces a brand-new rank that is leagues higher than any of the ranks found in the base game. Like going from low rank to high rank in vanilla, Iceborne’s master rank will challenge you and test your limits.
I had pretty decent high-rank armor and weapons going into Iceborne but once I started dying over and over again on the first few story quests, I found myself having to actually make a more-than-decent build in order to deal with some of the monsters.
I melded tons of decorations, got some high defense/attack skills, and still had trouble getting through the story. Granted, I soloed the majority of the story which can be a bit more difficult than playing with a group.
Just be ready for some high-level quests, because you won’t be able to just beat these guys without getting a handle on how they work first.
Not All of the Story Quests Are in the New Region
If you’re like me, you probably thought that the majority of the new story quests for Iceborne would take place in the new icey cold Hoarfrost region, but it turns out that they actually don’t.
Once you start the Iceborne campaign, you will be introduced to brand-new creatures like the Banbaro and the Beotodus, two monsters that you will get to fight in the new locale.
But, a bunch of the other quests take place in pretty much all of the other locales like the Rotten Vale, Ancient Forest, and the Coral Highlands.
Even though the new area is pretty sweet, just be prepared to fight some of these new monsters in other existing areas. I’m guessing Capcom did this just so that players don’t get fatigued with exploring the same snowy area for dozens of hours.
Seliana Is Amazing
Astera, the outpost location in the base version of Monster Hunter: World was awesome and cool-looking at first, but players soon realized that it’s simply too large and a hassle to get around.
Going to get a meal before a quest, going to the smithy for some new armor, and actually joining a quest would take several minutes as you had to run around the massive area and even go through some loading screens.
Luckily, Seliana, the new outpost in the Hoarfrost region is way better and eliminates all of those issues.
Not only is Seliana smaller but it also gives the player access to everything they need by placing all of the shops and smithies right in front of the main entrance. It’ll take a while to get used to where everything is, but it’s so much easier to get around, making quest preparations go by in a flash.
The new gathering hub also has several hot springs for you to hang out in with your friends, so that’s definitely a plus.
The Clutch Claw Is a Game-Changer
If you’ve been keeping up with the promotional material for Iceborne then you’re probably very excited for the new combat item, the Clutch Claw, which will actually be available as part of the large Iceborne update.
The Clutch Claw doesn’t have to be equipped as it is just a new part of your hunter’s arsenal, just like how the slinger ammo is used.
You can use this long claw to grab onto any part of a monster, if they’re not thrashing about, and attack it to soften its body. Doing this will cause that section of its body to take more damage.
So, by making sure that your targeted monster has a softened tail, head, and arms/legs, your team will see that damage will be boosted. These softened parts will go back to normal pretty quickly though, so you need to make sure that you rinse and repeat to ensure optimal damage output.
It’s so much fun to use and adds way more verticality to the combat, especially if you’re used to using a heavy/ground-based weapon like the Great Sword or the Hammer.