Didn’t play a lot of Monster Hunter World this weekend. Partially that was because I got it in my head that I was going to finally finish Far Cry Primal (which I did, and wound up earning the Platinum Trophy for it) but part of it is due to two “social” (I guess?) issues I have with the game.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love Monster Hunter World. Maybe a little bit too much if I’m being honest. I intend to keep it in my rotation when time permits, which gets me to my first issue.
It demands solid chunks of time. If I don’t know I have an uninterrupted 30-45 minutes to sit and play (and really an hour or more is better), there’s no sense in firing it up unless I just need to farm materials. Most actual monster hunts take me 20-30 minutes solo but there’s prep time and the time it takes to track the monsters down and then there’s those fights that end up taking longer. Quest time limit is 50 minutes and I have failed quests because I ran out of time. Thing is, there’s no pause and no save in the middle of a hunt and that can be a problem for me.
Now to be fair, this is not an issue unique to MHW: any and every multiplayer game comes with the same issue, but that is part of why I don’t play many MP games. I like to be able to pause when a family member (including 4-legged ones) needs me, which they seem to do as soon as I get committed to a hunt. For some reason this seems like a bigger issue in MHW than other MP titles, I think because your whole session tends to be one fight and if you’ve been whittling a monster down for 20 minutes and have to abort, it’s more disheartening than if you have to drop out of a COD match or leave an MMO group between pulls. I guess it’s like having to bail on a raid boss in an MMO. Not that I ever fought raid bosses.
The second, bigger issue, is that I’m kind of an asshole while playing. I find the game so intense that I get really focused on it, and when that happens I start getting really snippy towards poor Angela if she’s sitting with me, which she often is. Because of this, I’ve started to only play when I’m alone. I know I should modify my behavior and I try, but MHW is the kind of game where I get so engrossed that I forget to blink. After a session my eyes are always red and dry from staring intently at the screen. I don’t realize I’ve been being an asshole until after the hunt.
So right now, I play MHW when I know Angela is elsewhere doing stuff and will be for the next hour, and I know that Lola has been fed and taken out and there’re no scary wind storms to freak her out and no delivery men will be coming and… well really just about anything sets Lola off these days. And one last thing…playing it right before bed isn’t great either because I get so amped I can’t sleep after. So finding that perfect time period to play can be a challenge, and this weekend the stars never aligned.
I guess my problem comes down to the fact that MHW is too good and too engaging. How’s that for a complaint?