Monster Hunter: World is crossing over with Witcher 3 and has more updates on the way

While accepting the trophy for Best RPG at The Game Awards last week, the developers behind Capcom’s Monster Hunter: World teased “Great news for our fans soon.” Yesterday in a special developer update, producer Ryozo Tsujimoto gave Hunters worldwide some information about what’s planned for the game over the next year. All of the new content will be made available for both console and PC players, though it’ll roll out on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 before PC players get their chance with it.

Before 2018 ends, Hunters will be able to challenge an updated version of the Kulve Taroth siege with a new Arch-tempered version of the golden dragon. Players will still be able to earn rewards from the raid as normal, but by performing certain conditions before it loses its golden mantle they’ll be able to force Taroth into a new “furied” state which will change its behavior and make the encounter much more difficult.

The new encounter called “The Fury of El Dorado” will replace the current Kulve Taroth siege, and console Hunters will have their first chance at the redesigned raid on December 19. PC Hunters will have to wait a little longer but will get the new Taroth at some point in the near future.

The rewards for the Arch-Tempered version will be much greater than normal to compensate players for the increased difficulty; new Rainbow items including Incandescent weapons a grade above the Gold weapons players could earn from the normal Kulve Taroth event. There will also be a new armor set made from Arch-tempered Taroth materials, a golden suit of armor (The male hunter looks a bit like Shovel Knight with the full suit equipped).

Full stats for this set weren’t shown, but it looks like it’ll have 72 defense per piece (361 for the full set) with +4 to fire resistance and +3 to Thunder resist, and penalties to Water, Ice, and especially Dragon resistance. The armor ability bonuses weren’t shown in the video but will probably be similar to the bonuses on the regular Kulve Taroth set, possibly with additional Decoration slots.

Monster Hunter: World has provided players numerous free updates since its launch in January, and there are still more events planned for 2019. The first major update is called the Appreciation Fest, and it’ll probably start right around the one-year anniversary of the game’s worldwide release on January 26.

The event will introduce stylish white-and-gold tuxedos for both male and female Hunters, a disco-ball outfit for your Palico, a new outfit for your pet, and a full-body Palico costume for the Handler. It looks like players will also get a special dancing emote to go along with the fancy duds, but you’ll have to provide your own soundtrack. You may also be able to earn outfits normally only available from earlier seasonal events, as the final screenshot shows Hunters wearing clothes from the Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter festivals.

The biggest news from the announcement might be the next collaboration between Monster Hunter: World and another game series. Over the last year MHW has crossed over with other Capcom games like Street Fighter, Mega Man, and Devil May Cry in addition to other publishers’ works, including some excellent mashups with Horizon: Zero Dawn and Final Fantasy.

The next crossover event will bring Geralt of Rivia to the New World when Monster Hunter meets The Witcher. The Monster Hunter team went all out on this collaboration, hiring the original voice actor for Geralt in six different languages. This crossover event doesn’t have a specific date yet, but you can probably expect to see it sometime around February or March of 2019.

One more item MHW players will be able to look forward to soon is a new version of this game’s mascot dragon, Nergigante. The Dragon Eater will soon have a new Arch-Tempered version which, like Kulve Taroth, will offer increased rewards and a more punishing fight. Again, no specific date was provided, but Arch Tempered Nergigante will be available sometime in Spring of 2019. This is the final content update planned for the base version of Monster Hunter: World, but that doesn’t mean Capcom is abandoning the title.

The final news of the day is welcome for anyone who’s gotten a little tired of traversing Monster Hunter World’s same five biomes. Sometime in Autumn of 2019, a new expansion called Iceborne will be added to the game. The trailer promises a “Massive Expansion” with a new storyline, new quest rank (presumably G-rank, a staple of earlier titles), multiple new locations, monsters, abilities, and equipment.

Very little was shown, but it’s safe to assume the new area will be snow themed and will contain some Ice element monsters. That’s great, because the only Ice monster in World so far is Legiana, who isn’t much of a challenge after the midgame. Speculation is high that a monster from previous games called Nargacuga will make an appearance in the new expansion.

Tsujimoto says that the Iceborne expansion will be the size of previous G or Ultimate entries in the Monster Hunter series. Although a price wasn’t mentioned, this expansion won’t be free as all previous updates have been. Capcom has said more information on the expansion, including the price, will be revealed in Spring of 2019.

For those who haven’t purchased the game yet, a special trial version will be released soon which will allow players to go through the story all the way to Hunter Rank 4, play online with players who already own the full version, and carry over their progress if they choose to purchase the game later. The trial version will be available from today through December 17.