While Monster Hunter: World is the most approachable entry in the long-running series, there were still some issues that made it difficulty to co-op with friends whenever you wanted. As we learned from a recent Game Informer Q&A, you'll still have to wait for friends to watch certain mid-mission cutscenes before you'll be able to join them, but a recent developer diary discussing the forthcoming "Iceborne" expansion highlighted one improvement on the co-op front: inviting offline friends to your "Squad."
Squads within the context of Monster Hunter: World are essentially private lobbies for you and your friends. The in-game Gathering Hubs were locations where you could see/interact with other players (up to a max of 16) and post missions that those players could see. You could join public Gathering Hubs or make them limited to just your Squad. However, Squads were tricky. Only the player that created the Squad could invite others to it, and both players had to be online at the same time to join it. Once a player was a part of a Squad then things got easier because it worked as a kind of in-game friends list, but it was a lot of hoops to jump through to get to that point.
In a recent video developer diary, Ryozo Tsujimoto, Kaname Fujioka and Daisuke Ichihara from Capcom discussed how there will be a few improvements to the Squad when Iceborne arrives this September for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. You'll be able to appoint a "sub-leader" that can send out invites and players won't have to be online at the same time to join a Squad. More info can be found in the video below along with new details about the Gathering Hub, some difficulty changes (the game will now scale to one player, two players, and four players), new monsters to hunt, and more. There's even a discussion of "Multiplayer Compatibility" (players that only own MHW vs those that have the Iceborne expansion) around the 10:05 mark.
Alongside all that, Capcom is celebrating a new milestone in the game's sales (13 million copies shipped worldwide, wow!) by offering some sweet log-in bonuses for a whole month. Starting next Thursday, July 25 and lasting until Thursday, August 29, daily log-in bonuses will include some very valuable items like attack jewels, gold wyverian prints, and more.
Monster Hunter: World is available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The Iceborne expansion will launch on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 6, 2019.