Achievements and Unlocks

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Radiac
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Achievements and Unlocks

I will begin this post as I have begun many of my posts since August 2016: In GW2.....

There are a number of abilities that can be unlocked by participating in the Mastery Points system. The way it works is, once you get to level 80 (the cap) you can still accumulate XP, but only if you have an active Mastery Track open that you're working on. These aren't hard to get, there are many of them (if you bought the Heart of Thorns expansion that is). As you look at the list of different abilities you might unlock, you can activate "working on this one" for the fist ability in the track, then any XP you get goes toward activating that skill unlock. To actually unlock the skill, you need to fill the XP bar AND spend a set number of Mastery Points. If you read the wiki, these Mastery Points, which are sort of the rate-limiting reagent in the system, can be acquired by doing a number of different tasks. Go to the hard-to-find place, do the mission and avoid the green stuff, etc. So you start yourself on the Mastery Track, you get the XP, and hopefully by the time you've filled the XP bar, you've got enough saved Mastery Points to unlock the thing you were trying to "Master", otherwise you need to get more Mastery Points somehow or else start working on a differnet Mastery Track so as to avoid "wasting" XP that you migth have gained otherwise.

Things I like about this system:

1. It gives me a tangible benefit to collecting Badge-type stuff beyond just the Pokemon ethos of "Gotta Catch `em All!" I'm not saying we need to actively try to recruit non-badge-hunters into the badge hunting fold, but giving players more reasons to do that content (get those badges) is not a bad thing. I mean if you're going ot have badge unlocks, making them valuable for more than just completeness can't be bad.
2. It provides game play experience that makes the game fun and playable post level cap.
3. It can be a thing to get some of the Mastery Points, like you have to keep trying at the task to get good at it before you get the MP. I like that. It adds replay-ability to the game. It's like I have to keep doing the one mission until I manage to figure out how to defeat the boss while dodging his large AoE attack such that I don't get touched by it even once and then I get that MP for "Avoid the Green Stuff" or whatever it is. Some others just require you to explore and find them, which is another cool activity, just exploration.
4. Some of the Mastery Points are earned by doing group raid content in the open world and as such give you a reason to do that content more than once too. Also, the unlocked Masteries can help you in that content. I, for example, recently unlocked "Nuhoch Stealth Detection" which allows me to keep hitting the Snipers even after they go invisible and "disappear", which is helpful.

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Lothic
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This sounds reasonably

This sounds reasonably interesting. I'm assuming that a "Mastery Track" has like say 5 abilities and that each ability requires an exponentially increasing amount of XP and Mastery Points to unlock. As an end game system I'd want something like this to be relatively hard to finish - I'd say it should take most people at least several months of constant play to fully unlock a complete Master Track. Could (or should) a character under this system have multiple tracks or would you have to completely drop a previous track to switch to another?

We know that CoT is going to allow characters to have "tertiary" powersets. This Mastery Track idea almost sounds like a variation of that with the extra detail of it being an end-game, post level cap only system.

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Radiac
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For the record, the tracks in

For the record, the tracks in GW2 can only have one actively-worked on XP track going at a time. That is, you're either earning XP toward "Exalted Acceptance" to unlock the vend function of the Exalted NPCs or you're putting it toward "Advanced Gliding" to make your hang-glider controls better. Also, the tracks DO have increasing amounts of XP and Mastery Points needed to unlock them. you can switch at any time though.

For the Gliding track, for example::

1. Glider Basics 508,000xp 1 mastery point Gain access to the glider so that you can glide like a squirrel across the highest points of the Heart of Maguuma.

2. Updraft Use 1,016,000xp 2 mastery points Improved design to your glider handles and slits in the wings let you confidently fly into updrafts, allowing you to gain altitude and travel to previously unreachable locations.

3. Lean Techniques 1,778,000xp 3 mastery points Learn the gliding technique of leaning forward to increase your gliding speed and leaning back to brake midair at the cost of endurance. Your improved technique also increases your total endurance pool when gliding.

4. Stealth Gliding 2,540,000xp 5 mastery points Learn to glide silently and undetected through the air for short periods by dodging while gliding.

5. Advanced Gliding 3,302,000xp 8 mastery points Learn to glide with such efficiency that you no longer use endurance to stay up in the air, only to perform lean techniques.

6. Ley Line Gliding 4,318,000xp 12 mastery points Learn to enter ley-line energy flows while gliding to be moved along with the flow, gaining access to otherwise inaccessible places.

Now, this is only one example, other tracks have different specific numbers, but the amount of XP and points needed generally increases as you progress through the track. Also, in CoT we will not likely need hang gliders, (obv), but you get the idea.

Also, one of the tracks is "Legendary Crafting" which is required if you want to try to make Legendary Weapons, which are the best kind of weapons. The different tracks unlock different vendors and allow you to make different precursor items which are required to make the end-game Legendary weapon you want. I think the prices of a number of different items in the trading post are more or less tied to the Legendary items that can be made from them, and random drop rates, of course.

Another detail in this is the fact that you can get a lot of mastery points by purchasing the Living World Season 2 Expansion and doing the personal storyline missions contained therein. You can get enough mastery points in other ways, but it takes longer and is more dependent on reading the wiki, grinding for some stuff that takes time to do, etc. The point you get for exterminating all the baby karka crabs that are infesting the town of Lion's Arch takes like 2 hours at least and requires you to go looking for small, hard-to-see, crabs and shoot them with a special gun until you've hit all 50, and for that you get ONE mastery point. So there's a money factor there too.

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Radiac
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Also, some of the activities

Also, some of the activities you can do to get mastery points are like "go to the area where the NPC is, talk to him, then run the obstacle course he oversees" and if you run the course (which usually suppresses your powers, and often transforms you into a walking mushroom or beetle or something just for fun) in a fast enough time, you get the MP. Actually, you get one MP for doing "Silver Medal" level of success and another one for "Gold" which is harder to achieve. There's also a mastery point for getting at least "Bronze" in all five differnet "events". One such thing is a glider course, one involves running around the edge of a large room and hopping from rock to branch, etc. There's one that's gives you a special gun and makes you hit targets in a Hogan's alley, with a timer and different levels of success for different number of targets hit, etc. They're fun, and you have to try at them multiple times to do them well enough to get all the medals, and the unlocked masteries often help.

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desviper
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Quote:
Quote:

It can be a thing to get some of the Mastery Points, like you have to keep trying at the task to get good at it before you get the MP. I like that. It adds replay-ability to the game.

There's a fine line between increasing play time and making a grindfest. And, on that note, on the order of months of "constant play" is much too much. For alt-oholics like me, a couple months of casual play would be engaging enough across a few toons.

"A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad"

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Lothic
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desviper wrote:
desviper wrote:

There's a fine line between increasing play time and making a grindfest. And, on that note, on the order of months of "constant play" is much too much. For alt-oholics like me, a couple months of casual play would be engaging enough across a few toons.

If you want something like these "Master Tracks" to mean anything special as an end-game goal they can't be something you can finish in a random afternoon of play. Remember to get anywhere close to "finishing" CoX's Incarnate system it took many hundreds of hours of solid play.

Based on the idea that the items in these tracks would require an increasingly exponential amount of work to earn whatever Master tokens/points you'd need let's assume we have a hypothetical Track XYZ that has five things you can unlock. I'd have no problem if those five things took roughly the following amount of time to complete:

  • Item 1 - 2 hours
  • Item 2 - 10 hours
  • Item 3 - 50 hours
  • Item 4 - 150 hours
  • Item 5 - 400 hours

One would naturally assume that the fifth item in such a track would be pretty awesome and well worth the time and effort to get. Also according to how Radiac described it there would be many different kinds of things you could do to earn the points needed for these tracks so at least you could choose activities that to you would be the least "grindy".

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

Lin Chiao Feng
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STO has a "specialization"

STO has a "specialization" system that's like this. Basically, XP past the level cap accumulate, and when you would have leveled up, the XP are reset to level cap, and you get a "specialization point". There are about six specializations so far, and each contain trees of bonuses (the tree structure is a dependency graph, kind of like skill trees in other games, and vaguely like the old Incarnate system) where one spec point buys one step on a tree which gives some bonus or another. These trees are grouped into four tiers, and you have to burn a certain number of points to unlock the next tier. There's also a bonus for unlocking everything in the specialization.

You can put spec points into any specialization you want, but you can only have one primary and one secondary active at a time. The secondary specialization is limited to only the first two tiers.

Has anyone seen my mind? It was right here...

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One advantage some would like

One advantage some would like about the GW2 Mastery track system (as compared to the Incarnate System) is that the GW2 Mastery system contains many, many things you can do solo. I got like 15 Mastery Points from doing a personal storyline mission arc entirely solo. I could have gotten a few more if I had done certain missions in that arc "well" and gotten certain achievements done while doing the missions (like avoiding the green stuff type badges), and I can still go back and redo those missions again and try for those unlocks, I believe. There are another 15-ish I got from exploring the outdoor maps, and using the wiki to tell me where they are and how to get to them. There are another 15-ish that you get for finding and opening certain treasure chests, which are like the exploration ones, except the chest has treasure in it and can be opened every day for treasure (it only awards the Mastery Pooint the first time you open it, after that you only get loot). Then the Mastery Points you get for doing the silly little games like obstacle courses and Hogan's Alley type stuff are at least somewhat fun to try to do solo and only take like 2 minutes to complete, if you do them well. There are some you get for doing group content as well.

A lot of the unlocks are things that only really help you in one zone or the other. Several are just "Vendor X will now buy/sell with you" and some are like "you have learned to use the bouncing mushrooms that can be found in zones x, y, and z to gain some amount of vertical travel ability" etc. Some are like "you now have resistance to the Chak acid attacks" which chak can only be found in one or two zones, but they do show up in some of the more lucrative group content, so getting that acid resist is good for doing certain group raids, etc.

As a general rule, I think it's not easy to fill up a game with enough different stuff to occupy the players for very long. I doubt anyone will complain that there's too much different stuff to do. I admit that doing one thing ad nauseam can feel grindy, but let's be clear about what we're talking about. Doing the same thing that you've already totally mastered just to farm resources is repetitive and boring. Doing an onstacle course or something it over and over to get better at it and "figure it out" to the point that you've gotten the "Gold Medal" level of success at least feels like an accomplishment when you finally get there. It's like trying to beat Wiz Pig in Diddy Kong Racing, you probably don't win the race the first time through, and then you know you have to practice at it to win it, and eventually you do, and when you do, you feel like you really managed to accomplish something.

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Radiac
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I would also point out that

I would also point out that in GW2 there are enough different ways to get Mastery Points that you don't have to do everything to get all of them, you can pick your favorites. Not only are there more Mastery Points available than you could actually spend, but some of the skills you can unlock are very optional in the first place. The completists will want to get them all, no surprise, and the more stuff you unlock, the easier it is to get some of the other ones. A lot of the obstacle course type stuff can be done faster or better AFTER you spend some points and unlock some of the travel-based Masteries, for example.

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