Monster Hunter World: Iceborne keeps getting bigger. Today Capcom unveiled yet more new monsters and features in a trailer highlighting monster subspecies. In an accompanying developer diary, producer Ryozo Tsujimoto, executive director and art director Kaname Fujioka, and director Daisuke Ichira discussed new features in Iceborne, including dynamic difficulty scaling, the Seliana Gathering Hub and social features, and new Palico gadgets.
Let's start with the stars of the show, the monsters. Following up on a previous teaser, today's trailer showed Glavenus in all his glory. This monster uses its blade-like tail to attack and was one of the most popular monsters in Monster Hunter: Generations, so it's great to see it return. The trailer also confirmed that new monster subspecies are on the way, starting with Ebony Odogaron, a more aggressive variant with wide-range attacks, and Fulgur Anjanath, which stores lightning to augment its attacks. True to form, the trailer also ends with a teaser for another monster: Brachydios, a fan-favorite brute wyvern which uses explosive slime to wreak havoc. And that's on the back of the tusked wyvern Barioth, another returning monster which was recently confirmed for Iceborne.
If you want to hunt these and other monsters with just one friend in true co-op, you're in luck. Iceborne will add a dedicated two-player difficulty setting as an in-between for solo and group play. Additionally, difficulty will now scale dynamically, so if someone drops out or joins mid-hunt, the difficulty will change to accommodate them. This will make co-op play much more enjoyable, as you were previously punished for hunting with just one friend since the difficulty would automatically scale for four players. Many players - myself included - have been asking for dynamic difficulty scaling for years, so trust me when I say this is a very welcome change.
To further improve the way you interact with friends, Iceborne is also adding some social features centered around the new Gathering Hub in Seliana, the base in the Hoarfrost Reach biome. The Seliana Gathering Hub will let players access facilities like the smithy, resource center (bounty board), and botanical garden (farm) without leaving the room, which will make playing and staying as a group much more intuitive. This was another common bit of feedback from World's launch, and in the same vein, Ichihara says the number of loading screens in the hub has been reduced overall.
The new Gathering Hub also has a shared bath and sauna so you and your partners can enjoy a quick soak before hunts. You can further customize the furniture in your Seliana room, too, and invite players over to check it out. It's a shame World isn't on Switch, because that would be a great hold-over for Animal Crossing Switch. Oh, and whether you're relaxing in the bath or lounging in your room, you'll be able to take screenshots using the new photo mode-esque View Mode. This is only available from the main menu and seemingly can't be used mid-hunt, but it should still make posing and capturing your hunter much easier. New social features also include Squad invite cards which Squad leaders and sub-leaders can send to other players (without joining their Gathering Hub, which is nice).
Players aren't the only ones with new tricks, mind you. Palico partners have also gotten some new gadgets, such as the aggro-drawing Shieldspire Stooge, the fire bomb-shooting Meowcano, and the previously revealed Vigorwasp upgrade which can revive you after a faint. These gadgets will be especially relevant thanks to the new co-op difficulty since you and your buddy will both get to bring a Palico.
I think that's about everything. Hot damn, Iceborne is looking good. As a reminder, the big DLC will be out on PS4 and Xbox One September 6, and on PC later this winter. You can start preparing for Iceborne now with our Monster Hunter World: Iceborne monsters guide.