Masteries overly complicated?

Personally, I think the masteries are a mess, at least compared to TQ.

In TQ, the choices were clear: raw offence - warfare, survivability - defence, ranged - hunting, “sneaky” - rogue, druid-style - nature, debuff - spirit, two classes for elemental damage (one of each) and later dream mastery came along and kind of upset the balance, being a perfect support for practically any other mastery.

In GD? The soldier combines both the raw offence and the defence in TQ (yet, it ends up more in the place of dream mastery, mainly because it offers survivability), the ranger does their job, the summoner is there, but best used for melee anyway and we have the assassin that fills the role pretty well, too. But. On top of all that, the ranger has a heavy focus in fire damage (but dabbles in chaos and lightning as well), the druid has lightning and the assassin has cold. By the time Crate reached the casters, they had to come up with chaos and aether, because all the sorcery we know of was already taken. And then we have DoT variants for most (but not all) kinds of damage.

Add to that that while TQ:IT gave you 222 skill points and required 64 to max out the masteries, GD gives you 220, but requires 100 for masteries, while having more skills and many of them maxxing out at slvl16. That makes most builds look unfinished (yes, I know, it also makes choices more meaningful).

Now, I know I got into GD late (subscribed since the alpha was released, but only played it since launch) and I’m not here to tell you GD sucks. I enjoy it quite a lot, actually. But I feel all the above make GD pretty daunting for anyone that’s not a TQ fan and thus limits its potential audience. Which in turn limits our fun, because a limited audience translates into less money for Crate to make expansions and such.

With that in mind, I’d like to know how other feel about masteries. And if we keep this constructive, maybe Crate will have a guideline about where to go next.

Thanks for your opinions.

It’s fine as it is. I much rather see more things to do in game than having an extra mastery. Besides, why do you think that sorcery has to be limited to elements?

I do not think they are complex, rather they follow a different design dynamic than is conventional. Whereas Titan Quest (and pretty well everything else) designed its Masteries around archetypes (melee guy, spear/bow guy, necromancer guy, etc), Grim Dawn takes a different approach. Making the mental leap from the conventional to the new is a challenge, but this is more a form of culture shock than overly-complex design. By the time my first character got half-way through Act II/Veteran I completely understood the developers’ vision and now think it is actually fairly simple.

If you want to see complex, try Sacred 2. If you do not understand all the game’s systems intimately, your build will likely be 100% non-functional in even normal difficulty :stuck_out_tongue:

I will agree that it is more complex than TQ especially considering you need to handle 3 masteries(Devotion is like dream mastery)

You will gradually understand once you get a feel of skills, damage types and items

I do think the masteries are confusing. I think it says much that Elric of Grans in a post above me manages to perfectly describe TQ’s masteries in a few words, but fails to make GD’s masteries any clearer.

The way I see it, the masteries all have a bit of everything. They all have at least 4 or more damage types and can be used both ranged and melee. Or caster and melee. Or melee but twohanded/shield/dual wield etc. So if you play this game long enough and you get a good overview of the skills, then maybe it makes sense, but at least at first it is confusing.

What really doesn’t help are the brief and unclear skill descriptions. It starts with a few sentences that offer background story or lore but nothing useful for gameplay. This is followed by a list of properties that might affect the previous ability, mainhand/offhand dmg, all abilities, or allies/enemies, with in most cases no information on which one. Sure, you might take a hint from skill icons (square or circle), skill types, or simply from what would make the most sense, and after a many hours of playtime you probably know most of it. But all that is not very userfriendly.

If devotion is like a mastery, it would be as if they put a handful of normal masteries and mixed them up semi-randomly into one big screen. When I first took a look at it I was completely lost. Eventually I picked a powerful-looking one at the edge of the screen, and worked my way toward that. It worked out ok.

Personally, I don’t mind not being held by the hand and given a lollypop at the end of the day. It’s nice to be able to combine pretty much anything into a build that nobody else has, and still be able to kill all the baddies. But I think more hints in the game about what the game expects of you, what you should do and what you shouldn’t do could really help people find their way in this game. I know there is a wealth of information in the game guide, but some of the questions on the forum make me think most people don’t read it.

I think they’re a bit confusing, but I also think they could be more complex. A lot of Masteries practically tell you how to build them.

I mostly try to get at Masteries by playing them. Planning in advance didn’t really work for me so far.

Well, I don’t think it has to be limited to elements, but in GD you can’t make a run-of-the-mill fireball or chain lightning caster. There is elemental damage, but it’s not tied to any caster class.

They’re fine. They’re not TQ, because GD isn’t TQ.

In TQ your toon is a wanna be human hero, nothing out of the ordinary. In GD it’s different. You know your toon has undergone some sort of change even before you start playing so isn’t just a “human” any more. They are also, for want of a better word “other”. How “other” depends on what masteries you decide to choose.

And Grim Dawn changed the world too so it’s not clear cut - this is this and that is that. The masteries reflect that as well.

That’s exactly what it isn’t: clear cut. Currently I have a warder that does physical, bleeding, lightning and electrocute damage and a pyromancer that does physical, pierce, fire, lightning, burn and chaos damage (with some poison on the side). I’ve played wizards that had less variety of damage sources available…

Once again, it’s my personal opinion and I find GD a little of-putting (and I’m just getting started with GD). It seems several of you are doing fine, so I guess I’ll be fine in the end, too. But I still think a newbie (to ARPGS) will run for the hills when he sees those masteries.

You focus on 2-3 damage types, the rest are just there. For a different build using some of the same skills the focus might be on a different subset of the damage types you deal.

There is nothing really confusing here, all you have to do is decide which of the damage types you deal to focus on given the skills you chose and ignore the rest :wink:

And that’s exactly what I said.

Oops, I misread that somehow.

Bingo. That’s the main thing people need to understand. Just because skills provide a wide array of damage types doesn’t mean you need to try to leverage all of the available types. They are there only to promote flexibility/synergy between the masteries and to enable you to build as you see fit.

It is up to you to decide what your builds focus should be.

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While at first, the mastery trees do feel a bit overwhelming, it is also what gives the game a lot of replay value.

The Chaos-focused Occultist was released among the first masteries in the game, alongside Soldier and Demolitionist (and, at the time, Demolitionist did not have Chaos Damage to my recollection).

Arcanist was 5th, after Nightblade and before Shaman. (And, frankly, Arcanist has far better Elemental support than Aether support…)

So I think your view here may be a little askew. :stuck_out_tongue:

medea and mamba nailed this subject pretty definitively.

I like the masteries in their actual form.
It´s good, that you can play every mastery in at least 2 ways, for example shield or 2handed weapon in the soldier maystery. There are more chances and you are more motivated to play again with another style.

The thing that confuses most people I know is that GD is actively trying to make each weapon type viable for all masteries (with varying degrees of success, but we’re getting there).

Once you get over that hurdle, you’ll see that each mastery has specific strengths/weaknesses that are more GD-specific and don’t really fall into conventional archetypes (for example, Occultist may be the “forbidden magic caster” archetype but it also has priest/cleric, summoner, classic caster and even fighter elements).

You are already wrong there. For example, “defence” tree offered very formidable offence as well (using shield as weapon), hunting could make as good melee offence as warfare (due to pierce damage scaling), spirit could make a powerful ranged attack build (using staff), and so on.

Damage type is NOT the thing, that distinguished casters from melee and rangers.

It’s a major difference, actually. More meaningful choices (you cant just grab all skills you want). Also, GD skilltree is much more balanced, and more skills are useful.

Well, i actually like that every mastery combination can make a playable build. Since mastery combination defines your claracter class, essentially, it means all classes are playable, and it’s good. When some classes are just a pile of junk, then you can as well just remove them from the game!

Certain masteries are still better than others, even in GD. For example, Occultist is one of the best 2-nd mastery choice, for his ability to reduce resistances and poison/physical resist buff. Demolisher’s Fire Strike line is too powerful. Same as Shaman’s Wendigo Totem. Many strong builds abuse those. Also, Aether damage is only supported by Arcanist. Any other damage type is supported by several masteries.

My issue is that the skills aren’t all intuitive, so that when I took some time off and came back, it took me several days of reading forum posts to figure out the game mechanics on certain skills. I love complicated mechanics, but I would prefer things were explained a little better so that you understood how things work without resorting to searching forums for answers. I actually like most of the mechanics (although I wish I could play pure builds past veteran), but I’m still unsure how some procs and skills I have work.

And what annoys me most, is that you CANT see the BASE damage for your skills. You see damage, already modified by various multipliers, and that’s retarded! You should see BASE damage when you look skill’s tree tooltips, and MODIFIED damage when you look skill panel tooltips. That’s how ALL other ARPGs do.
Also, a lot of things arent explained. For example, Markovian Advantage hits with both hands while dual-wielding, and tooltip says nothing about that. Zolhan’s Technique has 33% chance to hit with both hands, and again, tooltip says nothing. “X Damage” in skill decription can mean “weapon damage, added to all your attacks” or “actual damage, dealt to an enemy”… And so on…