Each game they balance the weapons around macro data from the last, to help low popularity weapons get more play and the most popularity weapons less focus. Horn was the least used weapon in World, and Ichinose is a hunting horn main, and wanted people to start using it.
According to leaks it will have a separate mode that operates the way it used to, but in its current form, it’s definitely the best weapon for DPS barring Long Sword (and LS has a bug where Helm Splitter does way more damage than it will in the full game, so HH may even be closer to LS than we realize).
We do know customization and swappable moves will be in the game, per data mining and leaks and the fact moves shown in weapon showcase trailers weren’t in the demo, which already had 2 wirebug moves assigned. To what extent though, we don’t know, but it may just be wirebug moves. Kinda like how arts were swappable in MHGU as you unlocked more.
I really recommend Charge Blade and Switch Axe. Such satisfying weapons to use.
Based on your healing comment, I take it you skipped World? I was so used to old-school mechanics my knee jerk reaction was to reject a lot of the newer QoL improvements (like healing). But by the time I finished World, I came to realize it was for the best. There’s no safe zones in an open area map, and more aggressive, more fluid monster attacks, together balance the movement while healing.
But in Rise they kind of changed it from World. It’s more of a hybrid between World and old school. You get a partial heal right away, and then it slowly fills over time as long as you don’t cancel out or get hit. In World you got no healing right away and in old games you got it all at once. This new system ensures that, even if you dodge roll or get hit during the animation, you still get punished, but not a full force 100% punishment. More like 75%. That’s a fair compromise I think. That little bit right away could be enough to keep you alive if you’re at a sliver of health while poisoned.
If you’re coming from the old school games, this must be a lot of changes to take in. I remember having to adjust in World from all the changes, but now they just feel normal.