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Icebrood mastery system is an example of how NOT to do it


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Icebrood masteries are plentiful. Many of the higher ranks (rank 4 essence of valor, resilience and whatever the last one was) are absolutely pointless while also consuming tons of points. Game would be better if they never existed.

 

And to get mastery points you have to grind. You have to grind metas, you have to farm commendations, you have to do the same thing over and over and over again, so you can grind one useless point more in order to finally start acquiring spirit shards. 

 

The fun part is that by the time you actually finish all the masteries...you have done all there is to do  in Icebrood. Like, you are done. There is no point or need for this. Instead of using the masteries to improve your gameplay, you play in order to finish said masteries and hopefully never come back again. You might do the occasional strike mission here and there, but that's about it. 

 

This system is a huge fail. I only hope the devs have enough sense not to repeat it in EoD...

Edited by EpicName.4523
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Icebrood masteries are plentiful. Many of the higher ranks (rank 4 essence of valor, resilience and whatever the last one was) are absolutely pointless while also consuming tons of points. Game would

those are some of the worst masteries in game annoying while also wrecking the game's aesthetics

Not really. HoT, PoF and even core have massive overabundance of mastery points, so you can pick and choose them for your liking. You can't in IBS. There's no way around long grind sections there, and

Some of the HoT masteries are also like this

 

57 minutes ago, EpicName.4523 said:

This system is a huge fail. I only hope the devs have enough sense not to repeat it in EoD...

they have already shown previews of at least some of them...

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1 hour ago, EpicName.4523 said:

 

 

And to get mastery points you have to grind. You have to grind metas, you have to farm commendations, you have to do the same thing over and over and over again, ...

 

 

That's the idea.  This is by design.  It is to keep population up on maps.

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9 minutes ago, Khisanth.2948 said:

Some of the HoT masteries are also like this

 

they have already shown previews of at least some of them...

Not really. HoT, PoF and even core have massive overabundance of mastery points, so you can pick and choose them for your liking. You can't in IBS. There's no way around long grind sections there, and even "easy" options are terrible. Like in Bjora or Legion homelands. 

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1 minute ago, Wintermute.5408 said:

Not really. HoT, PoF and even core have massive overabundance of mastery points, so you can pick and choose them for your liking. You can't in IBS. There's no way around long grind sections there, and even "easy" options are terrible. Like in Bjora or Legion homelands. 

I was referring useless masteries that take a hefty amount of points

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1 hour ago, EpicName.4523 said:

The fun part is that by the time you actually finish all the masteries...you have done all there is to do  in Icebrood. Like, you are done. There is no point or need for this. Instead of using the masteries to improve your gameplay, you play in order to finish said masteries and hopefully never come back again. You might do the occasional strike mission here and there, but that's about it. 

That might be the case for you, but not everyone plays the game like you do. You might do the occasional strike mission, but I know more than a few people who do them on a daily basis. You might never return to the IBS maps, but I know plenty of people who return there for meta's, or farm Eternal Ice shards in those maps (because they are aplenty what with all the chests in Bjora Marches), which can easily be converted to a fair bit of gold. And you don't have to complete them. I would think you'd realize if certain masteries are useless to you long before you finish completing them.

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I don't disagree with you OP in the sense that they are lackluster, my question is what should future mastery systems do?
They've added a lot of player functionality via Waystations, Mounts, gliding, and legendary unlocking. There's not much else for new systems to do. 

What should be the future where masteries probably won't be that impactful moving forward?

And even some of the core tyria masteries, like the legendary line, to me, feel entirely pointless because I felt that line in particular was no less grindy, and what was the purpse?  To unlock *drumroll* Another grind. 

I did like the Waystation and essence masteries. The waystation is cool because if you buy the war supplies HI node you basically can get an EMP whenever you want. I liked essence mastery because it was fun (for me) getting a random nuke (though i didn't like the essence collection aspect in OW, or that it was a buff that needed to be maintained, I feel that was interruptive to gamemplay). But I'm sure most players don't feel the same about the essence ones.

The dragon champion masteries just stink. They're supposed to be mostly, I think, help finishing DRMs easier + extra prismaticite, but DRMs aren't that profitable, so it doesn't really matter, nor were the buffs from it really that impactful: bosses still felt about the same with or without the dragon boon. Then the pismaticite value pretty much collapsed and it's probably in the same bucket with Eitrite where if everyone that gets it uses it, it automatically loses its value as the market collapses. I.e. the sinks for prismatium ingots aren't strong enough to justify good economic return on them. 

Another issue I had with IB was the overlapping SAKs between essence mastery and EMP. Like I'd start casting because I thought I had an essence attack but it swapped as I pressed it or during the cast and I lost and emp charge. 

Edited by Firebeard.1746
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1 hour ago, Wintermute.5408 said:

Not really. HoT, PoF and even core have massive overabundance of mastery points, so you can pick and choose them for your liking. You can't in IBS. There's no way around long grind sections there, and even "easy" options are terrible. Like in Bjora or Legion homelands. 

Can you elaborate? I'm not saying you're wrong, but I did enough IB it wasn't that bad for me. 

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Interesting observations.

1 - XP Per level of Mastery in IBS is inline with PoF Mastery, which are far lower than Core or HoT XP requirements.

2 - IBS Mastery has the least excess of Mastery points available when considering the 4 Mastery groups (Core, HoT, PoF, IBS).  While IBS requires 63 Mastery, there are only 76 MP available.  The next closest is Core with 49 required and 83 available or PoF with 110 required and 130 available.

3 - IBS has several Mastery tied to Strikes, which one could argue, was a deliberate move to try and engage players in going to Strikes.

4 - IBS has several MP tied to Crafting Collections as well, which one could also argue was a move to try and engage players in crafting.

If you didn't do Strikes or Crafting options you are forced to collect MP through all other methods.  Unlike prior Mastery groups, there was never enough MP provided for players to 'play the way they want' and still get through the MP grind.  You pretty much needed to be aware of and focus on getting MP more-so than previously.

Edited by Mungo Zen.9364
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IBS achievs in general were too grindy. Do x event 20 times. And than do it for all the freaking events possible. It's fine if we have a mix of achievs. A few grindy, a few skillful, a few just general exploring and progression...

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2 hours ago, Mungo Zen.9364 said:

Interesting observations.

1 - XP Per level of Mastery in IBS is inline with PoF Mastery, which are far lower than Core or HoT XP requirements.

2 - IBS Mastery has the least excess of Mastery points available when considering the 4 Mastery groups (Core, HoT, PoF, IBS).  While IBS requires 63 Mastery, there are only 76 MP available.  The next closest is Core with 49 required and 83 available or PoF with 110 required and 130 available.

3 - IBS has several Mastery tied to Strikes, which one could argue, was a deliberate move to try and engage players in going to Strikes.

4 - IBS has several MP tied to Crafting Collections as well, which one could also argue was a move to try and engage players in crafting.

If you didn't do Strikes or Crafting options you are forced to collect MP through all other methods.  Unlike prior Mastery groups, there was never enough MP provided for players to 'play the way they want' and still get through the MP grind.  You pretty much needed to be aware of and focus on getting MP more-so than previously.

2- this is very true. I don't do Strike Missions but I do craft, but I was cutting it close but for what? Just to have them take care of basically.

3- I'm not sure they are for strikes, there is a whole track for Dragon Response Missions though, which are too boring to do often imo.

4- Not sure if they were trying to do that but it helped me get all the masteries without having to do strikes. Not saying you're wrong though.

 

What I see is that the other 3 groups (core, HoT, PoF) have masteries that you can use pretty much anywhere. The core ones has the pact commander track, the HoT has the gliding track and the PoF ones have the mount tracks. Now the IBS tracks do have a track that can be used anywhere. The united legions waystation one. However, the most useful one is the stealth for mounts which piggybacks on the PoF masteries for mounts. And when you see the amount of waystations being used in PvE zones, you'll see instantly how popular they are. Personally I never used one, cause it doesn't make enough of a difference for me to bother with them. And of course there is the added issue that you can run out of them and have to go to drizzlewood to replenish them with map currency and all the other masteries you can basically use whenever.

I also came to the conclusion that perhaps the core issue is that IBS is essentially LS5 just with a different name (saga) and fewer maps and WITHOUT an expansion to build on. For example, HoT has 4 zones and LS3 has 6 more. So there's many more zones where you can use masteries.

In contrast IBS has 3 zones and 6 mastery tracks which are divided as follows:

  • Grothmar Valley: zero mastery tracks
  • Bjora Marches: four mastery tracks
  • Drizzlewood Coast: 1 mastery track
  • Dragon Response Missions (instanced content on existing maps): 1 mastery track.

 I think the mistake was that it was a story about Charr with Norn in between but neither really was done justice. In my view they just pushed too long a story into too few zones so they had to chop some major stuff out. I mean where are the Iron, Ash and Fire zones? These could've given more room to develop masteries for.

 

As a side note the Raven Attunement Masteries are cool by themselves. But where are the Bear and Wolf masteries, for example? Where are the multiple Norn zones? Again, just like with the Charr there aren't enough Norn zones to build useful masteries on.

 

Edited by Gehenna.3625
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I could try to find an old post about that, I have made some time ago, but the core problem of the IBS mastery points is the fact that you need some to progress (e.g. the raven masteries to go through the gates), you need some to be competitive in metas (way station) and some that are fairly useless (Essences).
When you come in late to the story and you know that, you can perfectly plan to get the "right ones" first. If you started out from the beginning, you can skip T4 (and perhaps T3) of the Essences and you will have plenty of points to finish all the necessary stuff first.

It still remains to be the worst designed mastery point set of all and the only one that halted progression for me playing "naturally" through the story. In HoT and PoF I knew that if I hadn't unlocked all, I could not get everywhere for that map type (e.g. do all the Jackal puzzles or reach remote areas via gliding or ley lines). IBS just said: "Too bad you spent point on something pointless".

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Considering how badly designed the entirety of IBS is, like every moment is the worst moment in gw2's history (seriously wow, that story, so bad), it makes sense it also has the worst Mastery designs. The entire "essence" masteries should all be removed. So we have three different tree's that we need to max out for ONE zone in the entire game all so we can open chests? The "ability" is hardly ever usable and the random buffs are un-noticeable. Remove them and we at least have masteries spent in useful area's such as unlocking mount stealth. If you removed DRM's from the game which would benefit the game to lose then that's another entire track removed. 
And of course Raven locks, which is also only for the same map with essences but still, that should have been the only mastery track there at least you could re-use it in other zones. However really though IBS added in one true mastery track, the waystation track. It is the only track that should exist. 
And that is not even to mention how few mastery points IBS give you for some reason. 

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On 1/22/2022 at 8:08 AM, DarcShriek.5829 said:

Yeah, IBS has a lot of basically useless masteries.

Except the table that breaks bars which a whole lot of people seem to use. That's pretty useful in my opinion. Mount stealth isn't bad either.

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Let's put this into context.  I have 31 extra Heart of Thorns Mastery Points after doing every HoT mastery.   I have 17 extra Path of Fire Mastery points after doing every POF mastery.  And I have 12 extra Icebrood Saga Mastery points after completeing Icebrood Saga Mastery.

 

Icebrood Saga mastery points are grindier, in some cases significantly grindier, but then, there's a discrepancy in what the OP says.

If the masteries are useless then you don't need them and you don't have to grind.  If the masteries are must have then you need them and it's a different story.


I needed all my mount masteries. Or at very least I really wanted them. So I have more trouble with PoF masteries on alt accounts than Icebrood Saga masteries, which I have less problem with.


There are two decent masteries in the Icebrood Saga: United Legions Waystations up until portable waystations was the first and if you keep going in there, Ash Legion Mount Stealth.  Those two things can be helpful throughout the game.  

 

There's plenty of people who do Drizzlewood and it's very easy to level mastery points there. And though there are probably a dozen really hard mastery points to get, I have a dozen extra.  The truth is they are a little grindier, sure, but you don't actually need most of them, so all we're really talking about is people who want the highest number.  It's a slight problem but it's not as much of a problem as the OP is making it out to be.

 

Not having must have masteries means you don't have to grind.  You can just play. It's what I'm doing on every alt account.

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The mastery system has always been a joke. "horizontal progression" is a marketing term players trot out to defend their time investment.

In HoT, a single mastery category required more exp than all the PoF ones combined. Add in filler nonsense like "can use a vendor", "can open raven doors", "can use exalted portals", and you have a recipe for meaningless grinds. Especially when just about every mastery is a map specific gimmick.

By the time i unlocmed ley line gliding i'd had someone portal me past the one or two places it's necessary. 

 

Gliding. Mounts. #5 downed skill. The rest are time sinks of no importance.

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The worst design patterns are "get this mastery to get better rewards from this content". It's not only lazy, it just feels *bad*. Especially since you have to do the content to get the mastery to get rewards from that same content. Perverse.

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On 1/21/2022 at 11:27 PM, Firebeard.1746 said:

Can you elaborate? I'm not saying you're wrong, but I did enough IB it wasn't that bad for me. 

In purely anecdotal manner - I have about 10 leftover mastery points for core Tyria (and that was something I actively chased back in the day). 15-20 for HoT and PoF, before I started raiding. And exactly 1 for IBS.

That 1 leftover included me grinding 25 Cold wars (kill me please), camping for RNG champ spawns in homelands, camping for RNG of Koda trials, doing some god-forsaken DRM achievements, doing trashy weapon collection, and grinding Dragonstorm way more than I did even with Tarir. Somehow. Most of those things, I'd rather not do. I could have gone for more Drizzlewood mastery ahievements I guess, but that would also be a grind. overall, that was an experience I could have expected from legendary achievement hunting - but not from kitten mastery track completion.

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On 1/22/2022 at 12:32 AM, Gehenna.3625 said:

And of course there is the added issue that you can run out of them and have to go to drizzlewood to replenish them with map currency

That's pretty much my main issue with it, same reason why I wouldn't have bothered with the turret system they implemented in S4E3 even if it were available outside of Kourna.

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