Your hunting journey begins in a market town, known as Val Habar, where many travelers and their caravans get together to sell goods and gather information. Val Habar is also where you'll meet the leader, who will recruit you as a part of his caravan troupe and provide hunters with an Insect Glaive as the hunter's very first weapon. Aside from the leader, the caravan crew consists of his assistants, who acts as the quest receptionist; a traveling merchant; a blacksmith with his apprentice daughter; and finally a cooking Felyne. They'll help you every step of the way with their specialized skills, as you travel from land to land.
There is a stronger emphasis on platforming than previously; walls can now be climbed more fluidly and in any direction, and for the first time Hunters can grab onto monsters and attack them. Environment are larger and occupy more vertical space, and the Frenzy Virus mechanic makes many monsters more fearsome than ever.
Two new weapon classes, the Insect Glaive and Charge Blade