Economic Shortages and Black Markets in Monster Hunter World: Part One-Intro

Enjoying and mastering Monster Hunter World (MHW) relies heavily on player persistence and repetition. Obviously, this is not a novel concept in gaming as the vast majority of video games follow a progression where the player learns the controls, levels up, gains new skills, and generally becomes more proficient at the game by simply playing the game more frequently . However, MHW takes this structure further than most games do as rather than handing the player overpowered weapons or spells that turn the endgame into a cakewalk, MHW forces the player’s skill to improve as the game progresses and gets more difficult. By defeating monsters, the player is then able to build weapons and armor (from the corpses of the dead monsters–slightly macabre) that act as the main “leveling-up” path as these items provide the player with better stats and more useful skills. Which then allows the player to fight tougher monsters. And that, in it of itself, is essentially the MHW gameplay loop. Defeat monster multiple times until you have enough materials. Build upgraded weapons/armor to fight harder monster. Repeat. Pretty simple and very repetitive concept.

That is not to say that it is a bad game. Rather, It is actually a phenomenal game. Two of my favorite past videogame series were Dragon Age and Mass Effect, two FPS/RPG franchises that were centered around aspects I loved such as story and player-driven narrative choices, neither of which are present in any capacity in MHW. Yet despite this absence, I would say MHW might just be my favorite game ever due to the quality of the gameplay. However, this is not a game review. Plenty of sites like IGN or Kotaku have already delved far more comprehensively into the game’s pros and cons than I ever could. Instead, what I am going to focus on is the endgame of MHW and how, from my perspective, it is broken in an economic sense and what this “gaming market inefficiency” leads to.

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