My Crowning Achievement
Monster Hunter: World is the latest game in Capcom’s popular series of Monster Hunter games, it was released early last year (January 2018) and has received stellar reviews as the biggest and best improvement on the Monster Hunter franchise, removing various vexing and inconvenient mechanics which have irked fans since the first game on Playstation 2, albeit not to any detriment of their love for the series.
I first played Monster Hunter with Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate on 3DS, which I had an incredible amount of fun with, despite the long loading times, transitions between areas and awkwardly large hub areas. Monster Hunter: World was the next one I played and I was immediately captivated by the care and detail put into the world and the incredibly complex hunting mechanics which allow for a plethora of fighting styles and hunting approaches – There really is something for everyone!
But we all know this. In my opinion, Monster Hunter: World is one of the best games available at the moment and holds a shining spot in my Top 10 Playstation games, the game just received an enormous new update in the form of the Iceborne DLC, which changes many things about the game even further for the convenience of the player, and even includes it’s very own (much more difficult) platinum trophy!
This will undoubtedly extend the life of the game for at least another couple of years, so before the DLC’s release I wanted to get the platinum, and I did! Just around midnight, before the DLC’s launch here in the UK (but 6 hours before the DLC had finished downloading on my atrocious internet!) I had finally slain that last Gold Crown Kirin and secured myself the Platinum!
Since we all already know this game is incredible, I’m going to focus on my personal experience with the game, and write up some tips & tricks to act somewhat as a guide to getting the platinum trophy on Monster Hunter: World!
Join the Hunt!
My first experiences with Monster Hunter on MH4U for 3DS were shaky at best. I loved the game, but I was immediately encumbered by the torrent of stats and numbers and strategies and gear that I never really felt like I knew what I was doing. I felt like I’d become fairly good with Insect Glaive, however, so I just stuck with that and made the coolest-looking gear whenever I could. I believe the last set I crafted was some very snazzy-looking Tigrex armour.
Coming into Monster Hunter: World, my experience with the overwhelming number of numbers in the game was slightly better. The game has a very slow and steady progression from newbie to veteran.
I miss the early low-rank days of the game where I’d just craft Insect Glaives for every possible elemental damage and armour for every possible elemental resistance and then simply load up whatever gear had the best elemental advantage against each Monster before heading off to hunt them.
Then, high rank comes along. All the armour is loaded with even more numbers and stats and skills and you end up mix-and-matching to try and create a build which has the highest damage output or most crit damage. 310 hours in, I still don’t fully understand how all of this works and there are some skills I don’t even understand, possibly as they’re for weapons I never used. Affinity is a big and important value which seems to affect damage output but I don’t know how or why – all I know is you want high affinity and negative affinity is bad – not a clue what it actually is.
Just when you think you have the hang of this, decorations come into play, these gems can be loaded into slots on your gear adding even more skills to the gear and complicating the nuances of the meta-game even further.
And no, it doesn’t stop there! With enough time and effort and a lot of Tempered Monster hunts (took me around 42 Tempered hunts), you will get your first full Streamstone. There are 3 types of Streamstone from what I can tell:
- Warrior’s Streamstone: Specific to weapon-types such as Ranged, Blade, Lance, etc. These can be used to upgrade a weapon Rarity 6 or 7. You can either upgrade Attack damage, Affinity, Defence or Health Regen. You can also choose to add an extra decoration slot. A weapon can only receive a few upgrades.
- Hero’s Streamstone: Exactly the same as above except they can be used for Rank 8 weapons.
- Streamstone Shard: Used in order to remove the upgrade limit on armour, allowing more armour stones to be applied to your gear, increasing defensive values.
To be honest, I totally checked out as soon as Decorations were unlocked. It’s just too much, it’s too complex, there are too many skills and variables to consider and literally hundreds of weapon/armour combo permutations to explore. If that’s your kind of thing then great, but sometimes I just want to load the game up and get hunting, not doing arithmetics.
What makes things worse is that many of the numbers and values are weakly represented by the game or just totally hidden, meaning most of it is trial and error. Of course, you could also just do what most people including myself do, look up decent builds online. r/MonsterHunterWorld on Reddit is a great place to find decent builds and the community there is really wholesome, helpful and friendly… Mostly.
Personally, by the endgame, I’d found and put together a pretty incredible Chargeblade build which carried me through almost all of the Elder Dragon gold crown farming, which I eventually fully augmented. I’m excited to use it in Iceborne but I know it’s likely just going to be hilariously underpowered against the newly added monsters. EDIT: It’s okay in Iceborne, but it is very quickly becoming useless against the new monsters, time for a new build soon I think!
Aside from the overwhelming meta, the various internet-related issues I faced and the evil, cruel, sadistic RNG systems Capcom put in place, I had an incredible journey to the Platinum trophy and really genuinely loved the game 90% of the time.
A Smooth Start
The first few trophies you’re going to get are probably the story trophies. The story is broken up into 8 chapters, each of which will award you a trophy upon completion, it’s as simple as that!
The story in the game is pretty epic. You’re part of a hunting team who just arrived on a newly discovered island, the New World. The game then steadily introduces you to Monster after Monster, each with their own exciting and well-animated cutscene, set up as a tension-building greeting between Hunter and Monster, as you uncover the mystery of the Elder Dragons.
This all leads up to some incredible, challenging, and down-right fun hunts. At one point you fight one particular elder dragon on the back of another much, much larger elder dragon in one of the more difficult, yet more epic, story assignments in the game.
The Long Grind
There are quite a few trophies which you’ll need to grind out, but the game isn’t a 300-hour plat for no reason!
Power is Everything
Obtain 5 highly rare weapons
This is the one I generally aimed for as I was playing. Basically, it gave a secondary purpose to all the hunt-grinding I needed to do and allowed me to kill two Kulu-Ya-Ku with one stone. Just pick 2 or 3 weapons you want to main. At the time, for me, I stuck with Insect Glaive and then started a Bow build and a Greatsword build in-case I ever needed to keep my distance or hit big numbers.
With your preferred weapons picked out, look for the orange-icon rarity 8 weapons within the weapon tree and aim to get the parts needed to craft all of those. You’ll likely also want to be going for this trophy during this process too:
Obtain 5 highly rare pieces of armour
Honestly, if you get even remotely far into the end-game you’ll absolutely have this trophy in no time. Rarity 8 armour pieces and weapons are typically built using Elder Dragon parts, save for a few exceptions, and since you’re going for the weapons you’ll probably have a few spare Elder Dragon parts lying around which you can use to grab some rarity 8 armour.
The smithy’s assistants working hard on my Rarity 8 armour
The Hunter’s Life For Me
Complete 50 optional quests
Alongside the many assigned quests in Monster Hunter: World, there is also a multitude of Optional quests, each broken up by difficulty. I daresay that in your early-game hunt for Monster parts you’ll likely get this trophy naturally and easily.
The Franchise Hunter
Complete 50 investigations
Investigations are really the meat and potatoes of the game, if you want the best rewards, decorations and augments you’re going to want to be doing a lot of these. If you are really going for the Platinum Trophy and intend to get the gold crowns (more on these later, I promise) then you will have done hundreds of these by the time you do so.
Nowhere to Go but Up
Complete 50 arena quests
This one really is a grind. As things stand in the base game, there’s really hardly any reason at all to do arena quests. You may potentially need a bit of gear from arena quests for your build, but I highly doubt you’ll ever get this trophy through natural play and will likely need to set aside some time to go through this. MrZhangetsu and I made a weekend out of it and ground out the 50 quests over a couple of days.
Capture 50 Monsters
Capturing a Monster is the quickest way to end a hunt, you can catch a monster once its health reaches a certain threshold unless it’s an elder dragon – these cannot be captured. This is indicated on the map with a small skull by the monster’s icon, but if you haven’t got enough research for the monster you can just tell by the way it starts limping back to its nest.
If you capture a monster it cuts the hunt short and you get more rewards, so I highly recommend that whilst you’re grinding out the other trophies, you capture monsters as and when you can.
Slay 50 elder dragons
Again, if you’re really going for gold crowns you will absolutely get this trophy naturally (unless you are extremely lucky). Personally I’d slain over 50 Kirin and over 50 Vaal Hazak by the time I had the platinum, which is already 100 elder dragons without even considering the other ones I hunted.
Hunt 50 tempered monsters
Tempered hunts are a little different. They have good odds when it comes to Gold Crowns, but when farming crowns they’re not always the best choice (again, more on this later) as they’re more difficult and not always worth the extra effort. However, you will want to be farming these as much as possible. I can personally confirm that it’s per-monster and not per-hunt, so if you were to do a hunt with 2-3 tempered monsters then that would count as 2-3/50 rather than just 1/50.
Hunt 500 large monsters
Large monsters are fairly obvious once you get into the game. As an example, Great Jagras is a large monster, but the smaller Jagras which follow him around do not count. You don’t really need to worry, though, this will most likely come naturally. I think I achieved it around 180-200 hours of gameplay.
Research everything about almost every monster.
As you hunt various monsters your knowledge about that monster will increase. This is a great mechanic which means hunts get easier over time the more research you gather. There are 3 ways to get monster-specific research:
- Inspect their trail: Monsters will leave behind Footprints, Mucus, Feathers, Fur, and other such trackable items, gathering these will raise your research towards that monster. For more difficult monsters which you aren’t confident fighting, you could throw on a Gillie mantle and follow them as they leave their tracks. Just make sure you “Return from Quest” when you leave instead of selecting “Abandon Quest” as otherwise you won’t keep any progress you make.
- Break their parts: When you’re fighting a monster, hitting it enough times in the same spot – a horn, for example – will eventually cause it to break off, stunning the monster and allowing you to lay into it for a while. This act of breaking a monster’s parts will award you some research.
- Slay or Capture them: Either way, finishing a hunt will award you research for your target monster, but by capturing the monster you secure an increased amount of research – yet another reason to capture your hunts!
Reach Hunter Rank 100
This is one of the longer grinds in the game. After 300 hours of Monster Hunting, I’m only Hunter Rank 118. This will happen naturally, but if you’re very lucky and handle all other trophies before this one, it shouldn’t take you much longer to polish off a few hunts for exp. There are some great events that go live occasionally which have you hunt 3-5 monsters in one event quest, these are fantastic for getting exp and don’t prove all that challenging.
Ha! We haven’t even gotten into RNG yet.
Have your Crake and eat it too
The bane of my trophy hunting career – RNG. I just never seem to have the kind of luck other gamers have. Well, the sadistic psychopaths over at Capcom who developed Monster Hunter: World decided to make RNG play a huge role in a lot of the trophies, most notably the daunting gold crown trophies and a few choice endemic life trophies.
Capture a creature that glitters like a rainbow.
This one isn’t really RNG-based, but since I’m going to mention the other three I need to mention this one. This beetle, known as the “Prism Hercudrome” can be found in the Ancient Forest area, but only at dusk or dawn. Simply load up an expedition starting from the Southwest Campsite (1), equip your Capture net, and head directly out from the camp into the area with the herbivores and shallow waters.
Stick to the right-hand side of this area until you come across a large tree, which the beetle will be on the back of. If it’s not there, it probably isn’t the right time of day. This is easily rectified, just open your map and fast-travel to Elder’s Recess (or if you don’t have that area yet, any area is fine, Elder’s Recess is just the furthest away) and then travel back.
A Living Fossil
Capture a fish known as “the living fossil”.
This is arguably the easier of the three RNG-based critters to get. The Petricanth is an unmissably large fish, covered with patches of glowing blue scales.
I was told you’d need bait bugs to catch this fish, but I managed it just fine without. Give that a go, though, if you are struggling. I managed to scare away the first one I found and it took me another 40 minutes to get another to spawn.
The most recommended place for getting this fish is fairly easy to find. Start at Central Camp (11) in the Rotten Vale and hop down the various ledges on the right-hand side, then once you’re at the bottom head left into the cave. At the opposite end is a small opening which you can crawl through, taking you to a large area with bright blue waters to the right. You should be able to find the Petricanth over there.
You can also find Petricanth, just as I did, at the Eastern Camp (8). Just fast travel over there and face the pool at the back. To the far left in this pool, you may see the old guy swimming around.
Of course, if you don’t see him in either of these areas, then just leave the expedition/quest and then re-load the area.
Bristles for All
Capture a stiff, bristly creature
This one really had me frustrated. The bristly Crake is a smallish black bird which likes to perch on the backs of herbivores.
I was farming crowns in the Rotten Vale one day with MrZhangetsu and I took a particularly rough beating from a Radobaan, just by the Southwest Camp (1) so I ducked into a small opening nearby (follow the left wall from the camp and you’ll find it).
As I was crawling through the tunnel hoping to heal at the other side, a Mosswine started heading through the tunnel towards me and that’s when I saw it, a bird-like black figure jumped up from it’s back – scared by my presence – and flew away.
I immediately knew what had happened and exclaimed this frustration to MrZhangetsu who came over to see what the commotion was about, seeing the bird had not been scared away in his instance of the game he captured it for himself, leaving me thoroughly miffed.
So, obviously, the first lesson to note here is that you’ll want your Gillie mantle on whenever you’re looking for these elusive creatures so that you don’t scare them away. There is a second place to look for these birds, upon the back of another Mosswine in the Rotten Vale.
If you head over to the Central Camp (11), jump down the two ledges to the bottom and then head around the corner to the right. Follow the right-most wall until you come to some climbable vines, leading up to a small cave. Head inside and throw on your gillie mantle.
Head down through the cave until you reach a ledge which should be on your left and then climb up it to find a Mosswine heading back and forth down that section of the cave, he could have a Bristly Crake too!
Snuggles for All
Capture a fluffy, snuggly creature.
This is the one everyone hates the most. The Downy Crake.
This fluffy – but thankfully loud – white bird can be found on the backs of herbivores in the Ancient Forest area and the Wildspire Waste area.
Spawn at the Southwest Camp (1) in the Ancient Forest, throw on your Gillie mantle, equip your capture net, and head straight out of the camp. You’ll see a group of Aptonoths spread across the open area. You want to focus on the smaller group towards the left by the Vitality plant. Calmly approach them and inspect/listen for the Downy Crake.
If there aren’t any Downy Crakes there, which – let’s face it – there won’t be, you can fast travel to Wildspire Waste Southwest Camp (1), equip your Gillie mantle and then hop down the ledge into the first area. There are a few Apceros roaming this area, so carefully inspect them for Downy Crakes and then fast travel back to the Ancient Forest when there inevitably aren’t any. Good luck!
A Lesson in Conviction – Getting Gold Crowns in Monster Hunter: World
Good lord… If you thought the RNG-based trophies from the last section were daunting, you’re really in for a treat with the infamous Gold Crown trophies.
I’m hoping this section can serve as something of a guide for getting gold crowns in Monster Hunter: World. I’m going to provide as many tips and tricks as I can to try and help this process easier for you.
First of all, the most crucially important piece of information here is that not all quests can produce crowns. A datamine of the PC version performed by one crafty Redditor revealed this information, as well as the actual chances of acquiring a crown. I’ll put the chances below in a Spoiler section because to be truthfully honest, I wish I had never read them – it made staying motivated that much harder.
It’s important to note that you can only get gold crowns from specific investigations or specific event quests. Investigations have various set rewards levels, 3-5 rewards which can be of bronze, silver, gold, or tempered rarity.
Only investigations of the three below kinds can produce gold crowns:
- 1 Gold + 1 Silver (or higher, i.e. 2 Gold + 2Silver or 1 Gold + 1 Silver + 1Bronze)
- 3 Gold + 1 Bronze (this is very rare, I never found one.)
- 3 Tempered (purple) rewards (or higher, i.e. 4 tempered or 5 tempered)
Here are the chances those investigations yield (not for the faint of conviction):Spoiler
I can confirm that the above information aligns with my experience of crown farming and never proved to be incorrect, even when I really convinced myself that there must be another way, nothing else worked. So stick to those.
I am adamant that you can actually find monsters large enough for a gold crown outside of these specific investigations, but they won’t award you a crown. I can’t tell you how many absolutely gigantic Kirin I took down only to be faced with zilch in the crowns department.
Someone on Reddit claimed that they had acquired most of their Elder Dragon crowns from Arch-Tempered event quests. These events are brutally difficult fights against super-powered elder dragons and require great teamwork or incredible skill to take down. The amount of time and effort these hunts take are not worth it, even if there is a high chance of gold crown from these events. But of the ones I managed to beat, none were crowns and I stopped even trying to farm them this way.
But, while we’re on the topic of event quests, there are some which have guaranteed or increased chances of gold crowns, here they are:
- USJ Gold Star Treatment | Large Gold Crown Jagras & Mini Gold Crown Jagras | Guaranteed
- USJ Blazing Azure Stars! | Large Gold Crown Dodogama & Mini Gold Crown Azure Rathalos | Guaranteed
- Down the Dark, Muddy Road | Large Gold Crown Barroth | Guaranteed
- Egg Lovers Unite | Large Gold Crown Kulu-Ya-Ku | Guaranteed
- A Rush of Blood | Small Gold Crown Odogaron | Guaranteed
- The Proving | Large Gold Crown Anjanath | Guaranteed
- The Heart of the Nora | Large Gold Crown Deviljho & Small Gold Crown Deviljho | Guaranteed – Not necessary for the crown trophies
- Deep Green Blues | Great Jagras, Pukei-Pukei, Tobi-Kadachi, Anjanath & Rathalos | Increased Chances
- Wildspire Bolero | Kulu-Ya-Ku, Barroth, Jyuratodus, Rathian & Diablos | Increased Chances
- Coral Waltz | Tzitzi-Ya-Ku, Paolumu, Pink Rathian & Legiana | Increased Chances
- Effluvial Opera | Great Girros, Radobaan, Odogaron, Bazelgeuse | Increased Chances
- Rock ‘n’ Roll Recess | Dodgama, Uragaan, Lavasioth, Azure Rathalos | Increased Chances
The ones with increased chances are pretty fun and a great place to earn money and exp if you’re short on either. Once you manage to narrow things down to only needing crowns from a few of the monsters, you can choose “Return from Quest” in the options menu to return, keeping your research, parts and crowns from any monsters you did kill, without having to finish off the rest of them, but you will be forfeiting your money and exp rewards.
Another great method is to use “Crown Sniping” to optimise your time spent farming crowns. Essentially, just load up an investigation and then go measure the monster you’re hunting using your Hunter’s height as a gauge for its size. There are some great guides on Youtube by a guy called “Gaming with Abyss” which I (and many others) used to help measure the various monsters.
If you want to speed up the process, instead of selecting “Return from Quest” select “Abandon Quest” and then “Go to Camp”. This will keep the level loaded up so that when you load the investigation again you can jump right back in. Keep in mind, though, that abandoning a quest forfeits any new investigations you may have gathered from monster tracks, so if you’re running low it could be worth the extra 2-3 minute wait in-between hunts just to keep those investigations in the back pocket.
I really struggled with a lot of the Kirin investigations, as my Chargeblade build is slow and powerful but Kirin is much too fast. I highly recommend this Anti-Kirin Light Bow-Gun build which I used to help me deal big damage but keep my distance and avoid carting.
There’s one last method I should mention, it’s named “save scumming” by the community. I don’t understand this term as I would have assumed it was more correct to say “save scrubbing” but I suppose the implication is that it’s a scummy thing to do.
I did partake in “save scumming” by the end of my platinum journey. I adamantly avoided it for a very long time, simply because it takes 5 whole minutes to get back into a hunt after re-downloading your save, but when it came to the final day before Iceborne’s release I was insistent that I plat the game before midnight and let go of my stubbornness towards save-scumming and gave it a go myself.
To “save scum” all you need to do is save the game when you have plenty of the right investigations, then upload that save data to the PS+ cloud or a USB stick. You can then use all of your investigations and if you don’t get a crown, you can just re-download your data and try all of those investigations again. I do recommend doing only one monster at a time, though, as if you use up all your investigations for a certain monster and then get a crown for a different monster, you’ll need to save the game and re-upload your data and lose the investigations you wasted.
I only had 2 Kirin investigations with the right rewards to acquire crowns, and one other that was tempered so I wasn’t doing it. I “save scummed” for about 5 hours straight, doing 2 investigations, re-downloading my data, re-launching the game, over and over and over again until I finally gave up hope, ready to admit defeat and turn the console off. In my last moments of exhaustion I thought “stuff it, let’s do a tempered one”. To my surprise, the tempered Kirin was enormous and I managed to finally grab that trophy!
All in all, I started getting serious about crown farming at the start of the iceborne anticipation event since all previous events became available. MrZhangetsu and I started with the guaranteed crown events, then moved on to the increased chance events, which we farmed non-stop for about a week until we had all of those, leaving only Black Diablos and the Elder Dragons left. I took a week’s holiday in France before getting right back to it upon my return and it took me the remaining three weeks of farming crowns after work and over weekends until Iceborne’s release to get the Platinum.
I truly thought I wasn’t going to be able to do it and was genuinely about to shut the console off for the night when that last large crown showed itself to me. What makes it worse was that I only need large Vaal Hazak and large Kirin for an entire week, so for that whole week I was going back and forth between them, only to finally get both crowns in the same night.
It was an undeniable ordeal and I really don’t know what kept me going. I was looking for reassurance everywhere that it was actually possible, and all I found were people having a much easier time. Every time I went onto the r/Trophies or r/MonsterHunterWorld subreddit there was a new user flashing their shiny platinum and making it look easy. Big shoutout to those two subs, by the way, as I received a lot of helpful info from some of the people there and both communities are awesome!
The Path Ahead…
MrZhangetsu and I played Iceborne for a couple of hours and, frankly, I love the changes. Everything is a little more streamlined, the graphical quality and use of colours have been improved (That horrible murky quest board texture has been updated!!), the slinger has a few exciting new tricks, albeit, not as useful as they hoped, and the new monsters are an exciting and refreshing challenge.
I’m certainly hyped to play Iceborne some more, reach the story’s conclusion, maybe build a few new armour sets, but I don’t want to plat it.
Sure, it’s exciting that a DLC was released with its very own plat, that’s wildly unheard of and I wish Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey did that because I might have actually played the DLC I paid for by now, but the DLC takes a whole extra 100 hours to plat, that’s a total of 400 hours or more.
I’ll likely mop up some of the more fun or interesting trophies for my own satisfaction, but I don’t want to farm crowns again, I don’t want to re-load a hunt 200+ times looking for a silly pig-riding bird. Honestly, I’m just sick of the way Capcom artificially extend the gameplay constantly throughout Monster Hunter.
A good example of this, RNG-mechanics aside, is how sometimes you might get dropped off in a random place when spawning on a hunt and not the camp you selected. All this means is that you need to open your map and fast travel to the camp again, to end up exactly where you were going just 30 seconds later.
Not to mention the way the hub worlds work, needing to walk quite far, sometimes needing to take an elevator, just to set up your gear or access Arena quests or eat some food, and it’s senseless. Why not have all these things nearer each other, for convenience? Sure, I understand the world-building aspect of it and Astera really is a cool place, but getting around and setting up your gear between hunts can take up to 10 minutes of running back and forth in what could essentially be a single menu.
Maybe we could still get to see the Hunter interacting with each of the camp’s characters after a short transition, which would keep the world alive, you just wouldn’t need to physically walk to each person unless you really wanted to.
That, combined with the sheer number of numbers and statistics and meta-mechanics buried deep within the game’s core really put me off the idea of putting myself through platting it again.
Regardless, Monster Hunter stands as one of my favourite games and I’ll continue to love and play the game and all its great new content!