Locking in Mastery Feels Bad

As the title says, having to lock in a mastery feels bad. If the masteries were actually completely distinct classes with completely distinct sets of skills, it would be one thing, but masteries for the same class are more alike than they are different.

For example I leveled an Echo Knight to play around with Javelin. Since hitting the endgame, I’ve come to the conclusion that Paladin would scale Javelin better. It would be almost the exact same character, just stronger. Why do I have to level a whole new character to respec into Paladin?

Locking in a mastery, for me at least, doesn’t mean that there’s more thought that goes into mastery selection or swapping masteries. It means that I will likely never play most of the masteries, because it would mean leveling the same class again.

I’m not saying to make reselecting masteries as free and effortless as reselecting passives, but please give us some way to change masteries without leveling a new character.

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First and foremost, welcome to the LE forums!

I couldn’t disagree more. Masterties truely feel like their own class to me for the most part.
You named Sentinel as an example and I think this might be unfortnute. Not sure if you played the other classes, but Sentinel definitely is the class, where the core archtype of the masteries can be very samey, but even with sentinel you have plenty of variety.

Have you played and experienced the other classes already as well?

Even within the same mastery there are so many different builds and things you can do.

Even while leveing you can play completely different builds, even with the same class and mastery.


Could you explain to me how leveling multiple of the same class to play the different masteries adds to the game?

I don’t know about you, but for me and for all the people I know, leveling through the story is a total slog that we push through to get to the rest of the game. Regardless of which mastery I choose, I’m going to play whatever skill lets me get to the good part fastest, which is almost always going to be the same on the same class.


I think that’s a matter of opinion and playstyle. Min-maxers will mostly do that. Personally, I like to watch a build grow and I’m not usually in a hurry to get to level 90-ish, so I usually spec into my build as soon as it’s possible and I start using the build skills as soon as it’s possible.

I agree with you there. Playing the campaign for the nth time is annoying. However, the devs have already said that they are working on rebalancing dungeons, which are campaign skips, so let’s see how that goes.


Keep in mind that if you could switch Masteries, starting over in another Mastery would make you much weaker for a good while, unless they had a mechanic like skill leveling where it accelerated. They did lower the level where Mastery choice typically occurs, so starting over is less tedious in that sense.

I’m probably in the minority in that I find the campaign at least as satisfying as echoes because it has a more frequent and more consistent reward pace. Things slow down so much later on that it feels more tedious to me compared to earlier on. Levels take forever, gear upgrades happen rarely, skills are capped out, and passives are mostly fleshed out. It’s all about crossing your fingers for RNG at that point, with hours of humdrum grinding in-between anything exciting.


How do you figure that? In the case of skills, you respec the skill into the minimum level and get accelerated xp, but skill level isn’t tied to character level, whereas passive points are.
Are you thinking of a system where you respec mastery and get less passive points than your character level?

I think most people are just assuming a system where you respec out your passives, change the mastery and re-apply all your points. So there wouldn’t be a time factor or a power factor involved at all. You’d just need to pay. Probably a much much higher price for mastery respec than passives respec, but that would be it. Kinda like what PoE does with ascendancy, where you pay 5x more the normal respec per point and then have to do the lab again.

Personally, I don’t really care either way. I don’t mind making a new char for a different mastery. But I wouldn’t mind either if you could respec. I think it’s mostly a QoL feature for blasters/min-maxxers. I’d rather have a button to respec all passives at once, but that’s just me.


For me personally its always about the journey, not the destination.

The leveling progression, pacing and overall fantasy of a build coming together over time, within a reasonable amount of time is by far, the best in LE compared to any other similar game.

You are getting a very coherent and synergistic build within a couple of hours and I never felt the need to play some kind of “leveling” build in LE, to then switch to another build in late game.

And what is “the good part” for you? Endgame I assume? But what makes endgame better than story, when you can play a very similar build to what you want to play in endgame already during the story?


We have almost no content in the game right now. Every way LE can stretch content and keep players playing is a good thing. This will most likely change in the future because everyone hates that kind of stuff (sooner or later).
Play a bit further when you come to the most useless part ingame that is regrinding the non empowered monos. Thata far bigger “go F yourself!” moment then rushing a braindead easy story line.

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This is one of my favorite parts of LE. I get access to the skill I want to build around quickly, and there’s no reason to keep using something else once I have that access. I’m also in the apparent minority of ARPG players that enjoy playing the story on a new toon every time.

That said, I do somewhat agree with wanting some option for mastery swapping. You work your new build to a skill, learn how to play it and get accustomed to the style, get forced to make a major decision before knowing if it’s what you want, then be punished if it’s not. To mindlessly replay the game up to that point with no other difference to the experience feels as arbitrary as it makes that design decision appear.

I’d be in favor of a somehow conditional one-time expensive mastery swap. Conditional such that you have to go a certain distance into the “wrong” decision before having the option, plus expensive enough (with cost noted ahead of time) to keep the deterrent from taking the decision lightly. LE’s mastery design is one of many possible design choices for an ARPG’s class diversity. I would disagree that the option to respec into a different mastery devalues it, so long as it includes the right amount of difficulty in doing so.


While I still don’t want a mastery respec, a one-time (per character) mastery respec might be something I could see being a good middleground between no respec and respec with (other) cost.

But I rather would love to see something that helps you make this important mastery decision.
I suggested this countless time in the past already. Something like a trainings ground with some timetravel aspect, where you can see and test all skills from all masteries.
This can be easily explaiend with some of the timetravel aspect and you “exploring possible future selves of yours”. Once you leave that training ground you don’t have access to anything anymore and need to choose a mastery.

With this there would be a lot less need for respeccing.
I know there will still be people that want respec for other reasons, but that is the thing, yo uwill never make everybody happy.

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You could just take the D2 route and give a quest (maybe given once you complete the campaign) that allows one free mastery respec. That way, you get one for free, you have to complete the campaign to get it (meaning that players will usually skip the campaign, but if they want to respec, they’ll have to go back and rush it, so it’s not immediate) and you won’t be too low level, so you’ll have some experience of the current mastery.

To be fair, it’s quite likely that the majority of players will simply follow a build guide. So it won’t be an issue for them.

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Most people that know me for a while, know that I am an adversary of build guides.
I do acknowledge, that this is how a vast majority of players will and want to play these types of games, but I still think that a game should not be designed with this in mind.

Whether people will use build guides or not, should not influence the design decision behind some of these fundamental features.

I rather want LE to fully lean into its strenghts, one of which is, that you really do not need a build guide to be reasonable successful with a build.
Everytime somebody asks for specific builds guides I always tell them something along the lines of “don’t worry, just try out what you want”.

I really want that LE goes all in with that and gives the players a lot of leniency.
I just think that the Mastery is the point where it just should not be too lenient.
Essentially these masteries are suppsoed to be their own class and LE does fulfill that IMO, so having the line drawn here and not making mastery respeccable is fair and no leniency is needed here, as long as the information that is available in the game is sufficient for a new player to make that descion.

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I actually agree with pretty much everything.

I think LE isn’t as complicated as PoE (where having a build guide is pretty much mandatory). However, if you’re a new player and you don’t yet know how everything works together (conversions, defense layers, etc), it’s not that hard to get into a point where your build is underpowered.

That being said, I don’t think it’s hard to make a build that will get you through the campaign and, if you screw it up and can’t get your build to empowered monos, then you can either ask help here or respec into a guide then.

And I also don’t mind mastery being locked. As I’ve previously said, it doesn’t really bother me one way or the other. You can lock it or give free respecs for 1 gold and I’ll be fine with either.

I’m a leveling kind of player, rather than an endgame one. I like to get into my build as soon as possible, even if it’s not the most effective way to do it (like when I was using melee wraiths for a while until I got the idols). And I enjoy the leveling process where your build starts to fill in and become more powerful.

I 100% agree with this. While I fully appreciate the ‘slog’ of re-doing the campaign, I continue to feel that this is far outweighed by the fact that the 50ish+ lvls it takes to get all the way to Majasa feels great in terms of character progression because of the steady advancement.

I don’t mind the high lvls 90+ being much, much slower but something about the mid lvl (~70-90) feels like dead man’s gulch.

Mastery lock feels especially bad for new players. They don’t know much about the game yet, gradually learning new skills and passives. Then suddenly at about level 15 they must learn all the mastery bonuses, skills and their trees and passives, to make the right decision. And wrong decision is heavily punished.
In Torchlight Infinite players can play around with mastery choices as they wish until reaching certain level (70?), and then it’s locked. Isn’t that a good compromise?


To add some insight from our side of the topic: We don’t view mastery as a specialization like your skill selection. Instead, your Mastery is part of your class creation, it’s just not chosen when you first create your character to help ease players into systems, passive trees, and lower the learning curve. This is why we opt for masteries not to be able to be changed as once you pick your mastery: you’re not a Sentinel that’s mastered into Paladin, you are a Paladin.


I was actually going to say something like this… how is the current system different than just having 15 ‘Classes’ and someone selecting the Wrong One™. Either way, they’d have to go back and re-level that whopping 2 hours of game time. Be glad the time investment has been lowered to where it is, currently, because it used to take a heck of a lot longer to get to the quest to select your Mastery.

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This is a trick question, because a Void Knight is not the same class as a Paladin (is not the same class as a Forge Master) just because you spent your few hours as a Sentinel. You are incorrectly choosing to view them as the same, and they are not. It is no different than if you just clicked the Paladin button right at the time when you created your character, instead of clicking the Void Knight or Forge Master button.



I like this perspective, but the character will still look, sound, and mostly feel the same on another attempt at the same build. That said, changing the mindset from “I have to re-level from 1 again to fix this” to instead be “Paladin isn’t working, so I’ll level a Void Knight instead” sounds great, and I hope this is the sentiment players begin to feel in time.

My position has shifted to Heavy’s about helping the decision be more informed to avoid, as much as possible, the situation of “needing” to start over having made the “wrong” choice. When everything else about a character is changeable, this one and arguably most important decision being permanent makes it look arbitrary.

I also like this perspective. Perhaps another angle is changing the mindset from “this class can level up to one of these three” to instead be “these sets of three classes each share a passive tree, and all classes also have a separate unique tree.” Not sure how to accomplish this besides adding another 10 models. Otherwise, the stories of THE Paladin and THE Void Knight are apparently about the same person?

Right now you can’t change name, class and mastery. If you allow a mastery change and, presumably easier to get, a name change, then class will actually be the only thing you really can’t change. So according to your logic, next step would be to respec class, because

, right?

Not saying that there should or shouldn’t be a possibility to respec masteries. I’ve stated many times already that I’m fine with it either way. Just that your argument:
1- isn’t valid right now because there are more things you can’t change, and
2- isn’t necessarily valid in and of itself. Being able to change most things doesn’t automatically imply that you should be able to change ALL things. Just that you might want to.

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