Iceborne is making the Guiding Lands less of a pain


Lots of craftable Monster Hunter: World layered armor incoming

With Monster Hunter World: Iceborne‘s October 10 content update, Capcom isn’t just bringing out the big lug Rajang and adding a volcanic zone to the Guiding Lands it’s also striving to make the endgame grind less frustrating. The developers want to give us more control over the ever-fluctuating area.

There’s a lot to dig into with this developer diary and the update 11.01 patch notes, but two elements, in particular, caught my eye. They’re the start of an ongoing effort to improve the Guiding Lands.

If you’ve cleared Iceborne‘s story and worked through the optional quests, you’re probably spending a lot of time in the Guiding Lands, the game’s endgame activity. The main idea is to hunt monsters and harvest materials across multiple biomes, slowly raise the level for said biomes, and take on tougher and more varied creatures, some of which are new. As it stands, there’s this constant tug-of-war between leveling up certain zones while trying not to inadvertently deescalate others. It can be a total pain to keep track of, especially if you have highly specific crafting materials or targets in mind.

With the new update, the developers hope to make the Guiding Lands “easier to play.”

Basically, they’re lowering the rate at which certain levels fluctuate, making it easier to obtain special tracks (which are used for luring out monsters), and are giving players the ability to set their region levels as “fixed,” even in multiplayer, and even if they’re joining another session and aren’t the host.

The end result should be a less stressful grind, which also ties into a new reward: layered armor.

Starting first with select early-game armor from Monster Hunter: World, we’ll be able to spend our hard-earned Guiding Lands materials to forge layered armor pieces. In other words, you can keep your ideal Master Rank gear and abilities, but you’ll be able to rock a different look. This isn’t the first layered armor in Iceborne, of course, but it’s a huge deal for some of us. Don’t neglect your fashion!

You can craft layered armor like the Pukei-Pukei set at the Smithy using materials from the Guiding Lands

Rolling out additional layered armor every so often will be a nice incentive to keep me playing.

A pair of fierce new foes tempered Gold Rathian and Silver Rathalos are also joining the Guiding Lands. You’ll be able to encounter them by leveling up the Wildspire and Coral regions, respectively.

Capcom also shared the Iceborne roadmap for the remainder of this year, with notable inclusions like that delightfully silly Resident Evil crossover in November and another new monster in December.

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne roadmap for October, November, and December 2019

If you’re wondering how to find Rajang, speak to the Admiral after visiting the Guiding Lands at least once and you’ll receive a special assignment, Sterling Pride, tasking you to hunt a Kirin in Hoarfrost Reach (you hate to see it!). Then you’ll report back with the boss man and undertake another assignment, Reveal Thyself, Destroyer, in the Guiding Lands. Here’s what the Rajang armor looks like.

A few miscellaneous tips: bring traps, cool drinks (for the new volcanic area), and lots of defense. Fighting Rajang feels like trying to tame a bucking bronco – the beast is relentless, so choose your openings very carefully. When he goes into his amped-up state, watch out for deadly electric attacks, particularly a huge airborne smash that you’ll want to dive away from. I carted. I carted so hard.

Rajang is most susceptible to ice attacks and, to a lesser extent, he’s weak to water. Do what you can to break his horns (for a Hardhorn), his forelegs (for a Hardclaw), and his tail (for a Tail, naturally). Iceborne doesn’t have Furious Rajang (at least not yet), but Tempered Rajang can pop up in the Guiding Lands.

I’m inching toward Master Rank 100 right now and I am as into this game as ever. GOTY contender.