Monster Hunter is known to be intimidating to new players. It’s a good thing that those interested in checking out Monster Hunter: World, the series’ upcoming console entry — the first in more than a decade — already have a group of veterans in place to help them out.
Adopt-A-Hunter is a burgeoning fan community meant to invite more people into the series. The goal: Give individual players personalized help in navigating Monster Hunter World’s copious systems, varied weapons and crafting elements when the game launches on consoles Jan. 26.
“Historically, Monster Hunter is a franchise that has had a strangely high and somewhat prohibitive barrier of entry tacked onto a fairly steep learning curve,” said Woulfe Condra, the website’s co-founder, in an email to Polygon. “Many people start the game and then end up giving up due to frustration over lack of information, seemingly ‘clunky’ controls, or other traditional Monster Hunter obstacles — hitting what can feel like a ridiculously thick brick wall. Having personally brought many of our own friends into the franchise, we quickly learned that having somebody experienced helping you through the initial frustrations often ends up creating lifelong fans of the series.”
Both “novice” and “veteran” players can sign up on the website to either receive or get help when Monster Hunter: World is out. Adopt-A-Hunter’s staff will pair up individual players, in the hopes that people will have a direct contact, and new friend, to reach out to for guidance. Among the matchmaking criteria is home country and native language, so that players can communicate with someone local and without a language barrier.
As of now, Condra and the Adopt-A-Hunter crew have primarily used the Monster Hunter subreddit and other communities to pitch their campaign. That’s a good way to attract longtime players, but it may take a little more work to get anyone starting the series with Monster Hunter: World on board.
“For Adopt-A-Hunter to work, we have to have veterans that are able and willing to adopt novice hunters,” Condra told us. “With that being said, I am also aware of the challenges in continuing to reach and attract new players once the game is launched and into its life-cycle. This is a movement I would love to have persist at the very least through the entire development cycle of World, if not the future of Monster Hunter.”
Condra is relying on word-of-mouth in the meantime; they’ll also be at events like PAX South in order to promote the initiative. Community managers from Monster Hunter developer Capcom are also aware of and supporting Adopt-A-Hunter, Condra said.
The game’s director has recognized the importance of the novice-veteran hunter partnership in the past. When we talked to Monster Hunter: World’s director Ryozo Tsujimoto at a preview event last November, he told us that an unofficial Adopt-A-Hunter system has long been in place for fans.
“We also see quite a lot of the time, when you’re joining the online community after you’ve maybe taken a little time to get into the game’s single-player, a lot of veteran hunters like to show the ropes to newbies,” Tsujimoto said. “Have them tag along on quests and have them maybe even come along as a ... like a trainee, almost, where you don’t have to do all the work, but you can come along and see how we do things and relax.”
Although Monster Hunter: World has several changes in place to make it more open to first-timers, it sounds like Tsujimoto and Condra are on the same page. Condra told us that this same philosophy is among the group’s primary objectives.
“The group of hunters that have painstakingly crafted such a welcoming, helpful, and brotherly community over eight years deserve to have that work rewarded by us making the effort to preserve it,” they said. “While not an all-encompassing message; If we can keep a hundred angry players from quitting out of frustration and telling their friends that Monster Hunter sucks, then that’s a win for us.”
Update: We’ve added the updated, correct versions of the sign-up links above.