Monster Trader

Monster Hunter Tri Ultimate was recently released in the U.S. for both the WiiU and for the 3DS.  Tri Ultimate was released as an extended version of Monster Hunter Tri for the Nintendo Wii with 50% more content.  Fans of the game flock to it for the larger than life monster fights, the multitude of weapon and armour combinations, the story-line, the online multi-player and oh so much more.  But the one thing that I’ve always thought of as a draw for games with online multi-player aspects is a trading system.

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Monster Hunter Tri Ultimate (MH3U) has no real trading system.  Where many of the online games have a vast array of ways to trade not only in-game usable items but also items used to forge new weapons and armour and the weapons and armour themselves.  MH3U doesn’t have a way for online players to trade equipable items and forging materials.  Every piece of equipment that someone uses shows their dedication and there strength since players have to obtain all of the materials for their equipment themselves, or from online missions with others.

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This picture shows  the characters item list.  All of the items listed are usable items for healing, fishing, and other in-game activities and are all slotted as able to be traded to another player.  Well, trade isn’t exactly the correct term for this.  There is no window that pops up between two players that allows them to barter for each other’s items.  There is instead the ability to give items to other players by selecting them and choosing the “give” option.  The game also has a chat function so that players can talk to one another and putting the two together creates a way in which players can jerry-rig a trading system into the game.

Other online games such as WoW, Diablo, and Star Wars The Old Republic all have online trading systems within which you can trade equipment with others.  And many consider the ability to barter with one another to be an invaluable feature toward enjoying the game.

Speaking from personal experience I can say that playing games online was always made easier and more enjoyable for me with the use of such trading features.  And when I started to play MH3U I couldn’t see myself enjoying a game where I’d have to go through large fights with frightening monsters over and over to collect what I’d need to make even a single sword, let alone an entire armour set.

Then I started to play.  The single-player mode had a fair difficulty curve and it was easy to see from the start that I’d need to repetitively battle monsters to get what I’d need to advance and that was the point where I started to wish that I could just trade with another player to get what I needed.  Who wants to fight the same thing over and over again?  I sure didn’t.  Not when fighting it the first time sucked so hard.

I was playing local multi-player with a friend and I started complaining about not being able to trade him.  I had a rare monster drop he needed, he had a bunch of stuff I needed, and it would be easy to just trade it and move on.  But he told me that that was what he loved about Monster Hunter.  You need to earn everything you get and though the monster fights are tough, they get much easier when you focus on their tells and their movements and that by the time you have everything you need you know the monster intricately.  I added that I was all cool with that, but if I’m able to give him supplies before and during the fight that I felt I should be able to trade for what I need and he countered by saying that the in-game give option for usable items was a sort of self preservation thing rather than aiding someone else.  Giving another player healing items kept them alive and so they were still able to help take the monsters down.

I continued to play and I had a feeling that my opinion on the lack of a trading system would never change.  Then I transferred my data from the 3DS to my friend’s WiiU and that’s when things started to change.  I played online for the first time (since the 3DS can’t go online on it’s own) and I started playing with players from around the U.S.  Now this isn’t a blog post on how cool the online MH3U players are but I thought I’d add that while I was playing, what truly had me entranced about the online mode was that everyone, even those sooooooo much farther than myself, were so willing to aid in quests they’d completed a hundred times because they know what it’s like to feel frustrated.

To me it seems that MH3U makes up for its lack of a trading system by building an amazing online community through the adversity of its lacking.

 

 

If any of that made sense…. hahahahaha

  3 comments for “Monster Trader

  1. peterguerber
    April 18, 2013 at 1:42 am

    I had bought the original Monster Hunter Tri when it came out because I heard that it was such a huge hit in Japan and got good reviews here. I had the same initial reaction as you; I thought the game would mostly just consist of repetitive fetch quests and hunting the same monsters over and over just to get up-to-date weapons and armor. At first, it was pretty much just that, but after I somehow beat some stronger monsters I felt satisfied and started to look forward to getting the strongest gear from my fallen foes. While the monsters originally seemed impossible to beat, I started noticing how easier they were to take down. I felt like I was actually accomplishing something. I was also worried about playing online since I thought I would hold my teammates back, but I found them to be understanding and helpful. For example, my first online mission had my group fighting a low level monster, but I still managed to have a hard time. That didn’t stop my companion from continually healing me no matter how much I got hurt. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t think trading resources is completely necessary because getting the items on your own enriches the experience, helps you help others to enjoy the game, and makes you feel like a true monster hunter.

  2. Dylan Tibert
    April 18, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Not only can I wholeheartedly attest to the tendency of the online Monster Hunter community to place those in the greatest need of help first, I can chime in with another element of the effectively trade-free that drastically enhances the online experience: begging isn’t an option. Rare loot, like with most any other online game that makes you work hard to stand out, is more often than not excruciatingly difficult to attain in Monster Hunter thanks brutal fights and far more brutal drop rates. As Michael said, when the RNG is boning you hard and your friend has just the monster bit that you desperately crave, the notion of a trade system seems oh so tantalizing. While trading isn’t an option, sympathy for this feeling of frustration is seemingly omnipresent in the online community; dudes and dudettes with armor sets and weapons that can turn that baddie you have trouble with to putty will more often than not fight alongside you regardless of how little they have to gain. There are no beggars to put a strain on the collective sense of generosity, so there is a huge presence of altruism that leads to good vibes all around. If it isn’t abundantly clear at this point, I am somewhat fond of this game.

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