Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak's 1st Title Update Fixes (almost) all of its Endgame issues
Back when Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak was released a few months back, I lamented how the endgame loop felt unsatisfying compared to prior Monster Hunter releases. At the time, hunting Afflicted Monsters seemed like a waste of time - and the lack of specific customization/augments felt like a missed opportunity when both the base game as well as Monster Hunter World, allowed players to choose specific stats to buff with their weapons at the endgame.
Even more so than Monster Hunter Rise, Capcom has pledged a steady stream of Title Updates for Sunbreak through 2023 - and if the first Title Update is anything to go by, players have a lot to look forward to.
First things first; 4 new endgame monsters in Seething Bazelgeuse, the Metal Raths (Silver Rathalos/Golden Rathian), and Lucent Nargacuga. They’re all excellent additions to the roster, feeling like a proper ramp-up in difficulty compared to monsters at the current endgame. Lucent Nargacuga especially is a welcome addition, having been absent from the series since Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate.
Additionally, a new type of quest in Anomaly Investigations have been added - where players are tasked with hunting a specific Afflicted Monster (or even multiple), with a randomized set of parameters - maybe you’ll have more or fewer chances to cart, or less time to complete the quest, and so on.
Anomaly Investigations bring to mind the similar Investigation system from Monster Hunter World - where players could unlock randomly-generated quests to hunt specific monsters while in the middle of hunts. These were so engaging due to the fact that they would come with additional drop tables, and sometimes even a higher chance of obtaining rarer materials from hunting the monsters within these quests.
While Anomaly Investigations don’t offer the same benefit, they do offer a sense of progression to players that want to engage with the Afflicted Monsters endgame - as you continue to complete these quests, you’ll be able to unlock higher and higher levels of investigations, giving you access to different monsters within these investigations.
On top of that, players now have the ability to augment their weapons and armor with Qurious Crafting. Armor requires drops from Anomaly Investigations, and are completely randomized changes to your gear - sometimes you’ll get a straight upgrade, while sometimes it might give you a debuff, and even swap out or remove skills attached to your equipment. You always have the option to ignore the augment after it's been rolled, so even if you get a bad roll you’re only down some Augmentation materials - which are very easy to acquire from Investigations in the first place.
Qurious Crafting also lets you augment your weapons, in more or less the exact same way that players managed it in Monster Hunter World: Iceborne - just swapping out Guiding Land materials for Afflicted Monster materials. All in all the new endgame loop feels much more in line with what I’ve grown to expect and feels like an excellent foundation for Capcom to build on top of with the Title Updates to come.