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Masteries are ways for players to specialize their career. Each career will have three Mastery trees to follow.
With the Mastery system a player can take their character and further specialize them towards a certain end. This can include increased durability, great healing prowess, the ability to deal damage over time, or greater ability to deal direct instant damage. All of the masteries represent a choice of how to play a certain career, and represent a progression towards that end as a character levels. Each career will attain the same amount of mastery points.
Within the system, as a player gains greater rank and progresses through the Mastery Tree, they will be given newer supplementary abilities (including Ability, Tactic, and Morale abilities) in addition to their baseline abilities. These abilities are meant to further improve the original abilities by granting flat bonuses, and have no effect on player equipment or weapon proficiency. Apparently no supplemental ability is meant to replace a baseline ability, they just enhance or complement them. All base abilities in a tree are awarded to the player as they rank-up, allowing the use of Mastery Points to gain access to the supplemental abilities. In addition, each tree will include new abilities granted to the player. These are unlocked by a single Mastery Point, and will continue to scale in power as the player increases their rank.
Essentially it comes down to a question of whether the player wishes to spend their Mastery Points progressing further down the "trunk" of the Mastery tree (improving their baseline abilities) or to spend the points branch out & collect the supplementary abilities (adding new abilities or adding effects to their baseline ones).
Currently, according to beta information, the mastery trees will not be cascading. Allowing a player to pick and choose their abilities as they reach the appropriate and required rank. Mastery trees are one-way.
A player will never obtain enough mastery points to fill out all three mastery trees. According to interviews with Mythic staff the current amount of points would allow you to:
- Progress all the way through one tree, collecting all of the supplemental abilities & have approx. 25% of your points left over.
- Progress all the way through two trees, collecting none of the supplemental abilities. (This requires Renown Rank of 40 in addition to level 40.)
- Progress 75% of the way through all three trees, collecting none of the supplemental abilities.
Or any combination within that range. Currently, players will have accumulated 25 mastery points at Rank 40 and additional 4 for Renown Ranks 40 to 70, with each mastery tree maxing out at 22 points(The mastery tree have 15 Ranks, and 7 abilities.)
Mastery information for these careers has been revealed: