ArenaNet released a blog post yesterday about their view of progression and how their Mastery System portrays their view.
In a nutshell, ArenaNet believes that progression should be through gameplay and not gear grind or gaining new levels. I’m actually for this. The reason being is that it’s kind of boring to simply add more levels and ArenaNet has added the mastery system which is a different and unique way of progressing pass 80. I think this system is one of the many reason why the first expansion is so delayed till now.
The Mastery System is like this. It has Mastery tracks which players have to use Mastery points to unlock. These tracks are probably similar to the Dungeon Title Tracks in PvP. What’s interesting is that tracks can be unlocked and trained in their respective region. This is interesting because it is another way to keep more zones of Tyria that are “dead” more alive. A downside of sorts is that once you hit 80, you will no longer gain a skill point but a mastery point. Of course there are other ways of gaining mastery points. There’s personal story, some achievements, you get the idea. A neat feature that ArenaNet did is that if some of the things you did, for example personal story, are completed, you’ll be funded the correct amount mastery points when you first start playing Heart of Thorns!
Some of the tracks are as follows:
- Master Lore: this attunes you to ally races in order to learn their language, combat skills and secret locations. Pretty sweet, I think I can learn how to talk “skritt” pretty quickly though.
- Master Legends: this track allows you to learn how to craft all precursors, that’s right, all of them, including the new ones coming in Heart of Thorns. So that’s confirmed (aka watch the prices drop on the trading post even more).
- Master Exploration: track for hang gliding & special mushrooms in order to travel around the Heart of Maguuma faster. HANG GLIDING! WOO!
- Master Combat: this will introduce new combat skills you can use against the stronger enemies in the Heart of Maguuma. Pretty basic although I wonder if they’ll be utility skills.
- Master Fractals: a track to discover new “depths” in Fractals and gain new abilities, gain more rewards and more powerful infusions. I don’t play Fractals so it’ll probably be the last thing I level.
The example ArenaNet gave on progressing Hang Gliding gives you an idea of how it progresses. First you actually get it, you can add more points in order to stay in the air longer, stronger launches and even ride gusts of wind.
I’m quite happy with this as a progression system. I believe on Points of Interest today, they’re show it off a bit and we’ll get a grasp of how long (or short) maxing the Mastery tracks will take.