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Jaws_420

Mastery Ideas

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First off, i just got my first Hyper shard yesterday!!!!! WAHOO!!!!! Long time coming. I don't know if anyone has the same issues as me, but Mastery is a mode that holds less appeal than the rest of DD2. After all the time building your team up, having them stripped down feels...well, wrong. Much like the issues many of us feel with the AP reset system - we do not like when all of the stuff we spent so much time getting and setup is taken away.  

I wanted to jot down some ideas i had while playing the mode last night. 


Some changes i wouldn't mind seeing in Mastery:

  • One big idea i had was to make all hero attacks reduced to almost zero, and turn Mastery into an almost pure Tower Defense mode. This will shift the focus to the build alone, and hero support should not be factored into the setup and stage rules. Right now the DPS support of each added hero is counted on, and almost necessary for some stages, which detracts from the experience, especially since getting more than 1 person to do anything other that Onslaught or Expeditions is nearly impossible. The mode should be centered around being able to solo it without having to have crack skills and lightning reflexes. 30 sec build times - i am looking at you. This i feel also lives up to the name more, as your build must be mastered - not how you run around on the stage during. Would need less mini-bosses as well (and no rollers). This would at least make this mode feel different from the rest of the game. Anyways, just an idea is all.
  • MODs that are % based should not decrease in Mastery Mode, but any static amount MODs should. Why? Well with the damage being reduced and the % being reduced, it feels like we are being double punished. With the damage being reduced, i think that already covers the nerf to the lower tier level. Dropping the % just makes it almost not much a boost at all and almost invalidates some MODs at lower levels. 
  • Better rewards - am i not talking about the hyper shards, as those are awesome and totally worth it. I am more talking about the rewards between milestones. last night i got a 120k gold reward, and i thought that was not really even worth the graphic telling me i got it. I mean it is better than nothing, but for some perspective - my next reward was a hyper shard that requires 2M gold to fully upgrade. By that comparison, that amount f gold was a tiny drop in the bucket. heck i have over 10M already. Same with any pet rewards. Only bonus seems to be that they are gold colored... Unique skills or skins would be a great incentive and skins past just the 1 gold one would be a good idea. Working back into the new MOD system, why not have special MODs you can only get as Mastery rewards now too? 
  • Less restrictive rules or more unique ones. I find some of the combination of rules on some stages so punitive that the fun just gets completely sucked out of it. Rules about not being able to sell towers is odd and i think that needs to go away. that only punishes your build, and i do not get how this makes it harder or more masterful - only makes building take longer and is more frustrating if you make a tiny little error. A gamemode predicated on getting a perfect build should allow you the freedom to make that build i think. Also, if i am not allowed to heal towers, i think the ability to do so should be taken away mid-game. Keeping it allowed is only testing my ability to resit reflexes that this game created in me - see a damaged tower, go repair it. Allowing me to do so in a level where it is not allowed is just adding ways to fail...and be more frustrated. I'd love to see some weird and fun rules too - like 20 enemies must be sent airborne, or 30 enemies frozen or something like that. 
  • Award stars at wave 5 end, not at the cut screen. I think as soon as wave 5 ends, you should get your stars. I have not tested this yet, but once wave 5 is done, you can still walk around, and for instance if it was a "no repair" stage, and i accidentally hit repair on something, i am pretty sure i would fail that star. Correct me if i am wrong on this assumption, but if that is true - that is very lame. I hope it is not, but i am not willing to waste a whole map to test it. 
  • More creativity in enemy schedules. I would love to see weird and unique schedules, and not just the same hodgepodge of all enemies each time. For issuance - only one or two enemy types in a lane. Or a stage with all flying enemies, tons of them. I want so see things i do not see in Expeditions, as i want this mode to feel different. not just that i am weaker, but the challenge was unique is some way. Maybe I just miss the feeling that Incursions used to give... 
  • Retry button mid-game. I should be able to go to the title screen at any time and retry the stage. A "next stage" button is also not a bad idea. 
  • Ease up on the No Barricades rules. I don't think i should have to build 10 extra Mystics just so that i can abuse the Obelisk as a barricade trick, but this is how many have done Mastery. I know it can be done without, but the fact that Mystics are getting used regularly for this should tell you something. Instead of having a workaround - make the stage rules more fit the reality. I don't think i should have to buy 10 slots/copies of any hero, for any reason. If you remove barricades, then the enemies selected for that stage and the power of the towers should compensate for that fact IMO. 
  • And one last idea, maybe some special MODs out there to help with Mastery? Just like MODs have helped to deal with Chaos enemies, they could do more. If 30 sec build timers are here to stay, then how about a MOD that adds 30 more sec? MODs to offset some of the harder rules could be fun (or you know, less harder rules). 


I know that TE has its sights set on this mode at some point and some changes will occur. Anyways, just some ideas and ramblings by me. If you have made it this far down this post, pat yourself on the back. Feel free to add your own ideas. If i have anything incorrect, please (politely) let me know what the correct into is. I would appreciate it.

Happy Gaming!!!!!  Sharkman_insane.png


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@Jaws_420 quote:

First off, i just got my first Hyper shard yesterday!!!!! WAHOO!!!!! Long time coming. I don't know if anyone has the same issues as me, but Mastery is a mode that holds less appeal than the rest of DD2. After all the time building your team up, having them stripped down feels...well, wrong. Much like the issues many of us feel with the AP reset system - we do not like when all of the stuff we spent so much time getting and setup is taken away.  

I wanted to jot down some ideas i had while playing the mode last night. 


Some changes i wouldn't mind seeing in Mastery:

  • One big idea i had was to make all hero attacks reduced to almost zero, and turn Mastery into an almost pure Tower Defense mode. This will shift the focus to the build alone, and hero support should not be factored into the setup and stage rules. Right now the DPS support of each added hero is counted on, and almost necessary for some stages, which detracts from the experience, especially since getting more than 1 person to do anything other that Onslaught or Expeditions is nearly impossible. The mode should be centered around being able to solo it without having to have crack skills and lightning reflexes. 30 sec build times - i am looking at you. This i feel also lives up to the name more, as your build must be mastered - not how you run around on the stage during. Would need less mini-bosses as well (and no rollers). This would at least make this mode feel different from the rest of the game. Anyways, just an idea is all.
  • MODs that are % based should not decrease in Mastery Mode, but any static amount MODs should. Why? Well with the damage being reduced and the % being reduced, it feels like we are being double punished. With the damage being reduced, i think that already covers the nerf to the lower tier level. Dropping the % just makes it almost not much a boost at all and almost invalidates some MODs at lower levels. 
  • Better rewards - am i not talking about the hyper shards, as those are awesome and totally worth it. I am more talking about the rewards between milestones. last night i got a 120k gold reward, and i thought that was not really even worth the graphic telling me i got it. I mean it is better than nothing, but for some perspective - my next reward was a hyper shard that requires 2M gold to fully upgrade. By that comparison, that amount f gold was a tiny drop in the bucket. heck i have over 10M already. Same with any pet rewards. Only bonus seems to be that they are gold colored... Unique skills or skins would be a great incentive and skins past just the 1 gold one would be a good idea. Working back into the new MOD system, why not have special MODs you can only get as Mastery rewards now too? 
  • Less restrictive rules or more unique ones. I find some of the combination of rules on some stages so punitive that the fun just gets completely sucked out of it. Rules about not being able to sell towers is odd and i think that needs to go away. that only punishes your build, and i do not get how this makes it harder or more masterful - only makes building take longer and is more frustrating if you make a tiny little error. A gamemode predicated on getting a perfect build should allow you the freedom to make that build i think. Also, if i am not allowed to heal towers, i think the ability to do so should be taken away mid-game. Keeping it allowed is only testing my ability to resit reflexes that this game created in me - see a damaged tower, go repair it. Allowing me to do so in a level where it is not allowed is just adding ways to fail...and be more frustrated. I'd love to see some weird and fun rules too - like 20 enemies must be sent airborne, or 30 enemies frozen or something like that. 
  • Award stars at wave 5 end, not at the cut screen. I think as soon as wave 5 ends, you should get your stars. I have not tested this yet, but once wave 5 is done, you can still walk around, and for instance if it was a "no repair" stage, and i accidentally hit repair on something, i am pretty sure i would fail that star. Correct me if i am wrong on this assumption, but if that is true - that is very lame. I hope it is not, but i am not willing to waste a whole map to test it. 
  • More creativity in enemy schedules. I would love to see weird and unique schedules, and not just the same hodgepodge of all enemies each time. For issuance - only one or two enemy types in a lane. Or a stage with all flying enemies, tons of them. I want so see things i do not see in Expeditions, as i want this mode to feel different. not just that i am weaker, but the challenge was unique is some way. Maybe I just miss the feeling that Incursions used to give... 
  • Retry button mid-game. I should be able to go to the title screen at any time and retry the stage. A "next stage" button is also not a bad idea. 
  • Ease up on the No Barricades rules. I don't think i should have to build 10 extra Mystics just so that i can abuse the Obelisk as a barricade trick, but this is how many have done Mastery. I know it can be done without, but the fact that Mystics are getting used regularly for this should tell you something. Instead of having a workaround - make the stage rules more fit the reality. I don't think i should have to buy 10 slots/copies of any hero, for any reason. If you remove barricades, then the enemies selected for that stage and the power of the towers should compensate for that fact IMO. 
  • And one last idea, maybe some special MODs out there to help with Mastery? Just like MODs have helped to deal with Chaos enemies, they could do more. If 30 sec build timers are here to stay, then how about a MOD that adds 30 more sec? MODs to offset some of the harder rules could be fun (or you know, less harder rules). 


I know that TE has its sights set on this mode at some point and some changes will occur. Anyways, just some ideas and ramblings by me. If you have made it this far down this post, pat yourself on the back. Feel free to add your own ideas. If i have anything incorrect, please (politely) let me know what the correct into is. I would appreciate it.

Happy Gaming!!!!!  Sharkman_insane.png


im rick flare. it only takes me 10 sec. to build. i never needed barricades or obelisk. my earthshatter destroys everything . only tower i need. when it only comes to just a trap build i use explosive traps only. for only nodes i just use reflect beams and it done. it should only take you 30 sec to build honestly...                                                           WWwwwwooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Matery is an absolute pain, Jaws. I had that mode beaten since it came out and still experience a distasteful flavor in my mouth when I see the word. The rewards are awesome. You, as well as all others not having done Mastery, need to experience Mastery just as all of us have. Hard-earned and a pain.

All players have to go through the strain for these hyper-shards. Nothing about this process should change now.

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Hey Nice! Congratz Jaws!

I don't really think I could judge those ideas that much and can't say I agree with them all, but they are really interesting ideas indeed! 

I may put some thought soon, just need time to word them out.

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@Codeine_Fiend666 quote:

im rick flare. it only takes me 10 sec. to build. i never needed barricades or obelisk. my earthshatter destroys everything . only tower i need. when it only comes to just a trap build i use explosive traps only. for only nodes i just use reflect beams and it done. it should only take you 30 sec to build honestly...                                                           WWwwwwooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How do you even have the motivation to cook this up. Are you really that deprived of attention till you become this desperate. How pititful.

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I know I've said this before [because it relates to other game modes as well] but a lot of the challenge is purely artificial. Granted you could call anything artificial but I really do believe there is a line to be crossed. I might have even enjoyed mastery if the challenges went along the lines of, "reduced DU", "A miniboss will spawn in all lanes every wave", "enemies drop less mana", and so forth. Some of your suggestions would fit in this as well.

Stuff like that feels infinitely better than "don't use this type of tower", "don't use this", "get a friend", that most of the current challenges feel like. But honestly I think the damage is done and that it probably would not be worth it to revamp the mode. At least the Protean Shift made the mode a whole lot more tolerable.

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i think most of the pain can be alleviated by doing some planning


say you have map that needs a 30 second build with no upgrades no auras. once you have a plan that works for that map, go through the listing for all chaos levels and all maps and find ones that are the same or close enough that the plan would work for them as well


basically knock out many maps with your setup instead of changing everything around every game you play which will quickly burn you out


i personally find 30 second build, 10 types, all unique, as the worst most un-fun ones to do.  followed by no upgrades because i have to go unbind my upgrade key or i'll be 5 mobs to go on the last wave and forget :P

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this is awesome dude. considering the interest values are deprived by the monetary system in game and out. to illustrate your frustrations jaws look at the rarity in trophy's. considering they highlights players motivations while playing. the rarity of trophy's should be a treasure trove of information for development.

i can honestly say i fully agree with the principles on which your statement stands.

"more is more" "less is less" when you present something that has "more of less" it need to be looked at. and im not much for inter-sectional ideas or being preachy but this is all presented by simply saying 

"Diminishing Returns".  i really hate to do this to everyone but here is the actual definition of the "LAW".

diminishing returns

Diminishing returns, also called law of diminishing returns or principle of diminishing marginal productivity, economic law stating that if one input in the production of a commodity is increased while all other inputs are held fixed, a point will eventually be reached at which additions of the input yield progressively smaller, or diminishing, increases in output.

In the classic example of the law, a farmer who owns a given acreage of land will find that a certain number of labourers will yield the maximum output per worker. If he should hire more workers, the combination of land and labour would be less efficient because the proportional increase in the overall output would be less than the expansion of the labour force. The output per worker would therefore fall. This rule holds in any process of production unless the technique of production also changes.

Early economists, neglecting the possibility of scientific and technical progress that would improve the means of production, used the law of diminishing returns to predict that as population expanded in the world, output per head would fall, to the point where the level of misery would keep the population from increasing further. In stagnant economies, where techniques of production have not changed for long periods, this effect is clearly seen. In progressive economies, on the other hand, technical advances have succeeded in more than offsetting this factor and in raising the standard of living in spite of rising populations.

mysteries as a game mode is fine!  now if this principle was places into and therapeutically lens for the said malcontent. the only behavioral justification to mysteries would be your first two hyper shards. (please stay calm and take into account everything i have talked about) 

so your inherent lack of desire....( DESIRE!!! (big word here) is completely fine. hemorrhaging players and loss of interest is on the other hand not so. for someone to actively address "WHY" they are losing desire to play, anything in a game is admirable. what is not. when it is continually ignored. the risk trendy took making dd2 was amazing trendy asked for help with the servers(nothing wrong with that) but that was at risk of the community. the community took that risk. whether the game got made or not the servers were going to get paid... that is the balance of risk and reward.

 diminishing returns is the poop.

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Mastery has always been a PITA due to the failure states being so easy to achieve.

One loss of attention and you repair or upgrade a tower and then all your effort is wasted.

I said this when it came out but I'll say it again the fail states need to be locked to prevent you doing them not allowing them and then failing you for it. This is far more relevant if you do these public.

So if the failure state is no upgrades block the mapped key\button for upgrades, same for repair if that is a fail state, or sell. The inventory key is disabled in combat so the code can easily be used.

You can only build one obelisk so the code for only one of a tower type is there, not sure how easy it is to not build this type of tower or that, but those I feel are less of an issue.

Take the arse ache out of the mode and people might actually play it.

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functionality and difficulty should be kept completely separate from one another!

at no point should anything be taken away from mysteries the incentives to play the game mode as is would be greatly increased if the first two shards were the last two...

i would recommend updating the reward system before removing things from the game its a "two way street" and the pain in the arse part makes no sense. if the difficulty of mysteries is what we are going to call it then we should just change the name of mysteries to apprenticesies! >_<

 @Fozzie quote:

Mastery has always been a PITA due to the failure states being so easy to achieve.

One loss of attention and you repair or upgrade a tower and then all your effort is wasted.

I said this when it came out but I'll say it again the fail states need to be locked to prevent you doing them not allowing them and then failing you for it. This is far more relevant if you do these public.

So if the failure state is no upgrades block the mapped key\button for upgrades, same for repair if that is a fail state, or sell. The inventory key is disabled in combat so the code can easily be used.

You can only build one obelisk so the code for only one of a tower type is there, not sure how easy it is to not build this type of tower or that, but those I feel are less of an issue.

Take the arse ache out of the mode and people might actually play it.


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When I first heard about Mastery, I was fairly excited. Why? I wanted a mode to play with gear capped to that level versus having OP gear. Was my game play good or was it just that it didn't matter what I did because my gear was OP. I didn't want to be trading out items either to lower gear (I have more than enough wasted time managing my inventory). Just let the game cap it. It was good for the initial run through to get shards, but what makes this mode playable over and over again? The rewards don't seem to be that good so I might as well just play the regular Chaos expeditions.

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I just wanted to put in my $0.02. I LOVE mastery mode!  It is by far my favorite. 

I have over 700 stars. I got them all solo. And I have not-so-immediate plans to eventually get the rest of the stars. 

It was a kick in the teeth to get going on them. And many of those challenges took me  days to figure out.  But these forums were a great source (shout out to Jaws in particular). The mighty Juicebags was a big help. And Simon B videos were an awesome resource as well. 

I hope you all stick with them. I find them to be the most fun and most challenging. 

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Many people have beaten this mode. They dealt with the hassle; they dealt with the pain. Now, those that haven't completed it have the "Protean" assets for further simplification in Mastery mode. If you beat this mode, you get well-earned shards. Many people have beaten this mode. It needs to remain difficult, as four different players grouped up in Onslaught can use these shards in different towers, doubling/tripling etc. shard effects.

You need to work for....earn....strategize....be better than the rule-sets. If Trendy dumbs down Mastery mode, they take away the accomplishments of "overcoming." It is called Mastery Mode.

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I think that is a very dangerous logic in the world. "It was hard for me, so it should be hard for you". Growth comes from learning from the mistakes from the past. 

Many people do not enjoy Mastery. That is a poor approach. For DD2 to survive it must continue to bring more people in and retain them. Mastery is not doing that. This mode is a turn-off in the game for many new players. At a min it needs to be reshaped to fit into the world that DD2 has become since it was introduced, and be way more solo friendly. Just because "it can be done" by someone, does not mean it should be done that way. A F2P game needs to appeal to the masses on as many things as possible to stay solvent and relevant. A dead mode that appeals to small group that no longer plays it is an odd thing to grip so tightly. I'm okay with it being hard and something tough to beat. I simply question the manner in which that challenge is presented to us. There are obvious flaws in that gamemode that can be tweaked to make the enjoyment of it much more fun - challenge and all. 

Question - for those who like Mastery so much - do you continue to play it once you beat it all? I would not think so. 

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No no no no Jaws......ya gotta stop already. Ya goota stop. I barely finished your first paragraph, did not even bother with the rest. Why? You put words in my mouth. Scroll up. Where, at all, did I mention that it was hard for me so it should be hard for you? Where? No where. And then you went off with that logic whilst trying to convince others that this is my line of reasoning. Here's my point. Don't misinterpret me; don't misquote me. Mastery Mode was designed to be a pain by way of ruleset. It has been beaten by many with the current ruleset system in place. There are not errors, flaws, nor glitches, only challenges that have already been overcome. If only few have received the benefits of having beaten this mode, then let it remain few.

Mastery Mode requires patience, resilience, and understanding. If you are persistent in lacking in any of these areas then you will not five-star/get all hyper-shards/get all flair, etc. Whether you are cool or not, if you have beaten Mastery Mode then you were utilizing one, if not all of these attributes each map.

These rewards, like some Platinum trophies on the PS4, need to remain hard-earned. Hard-earned rewards should never be more easily attained. This is about Prestigiousness and effort.

"Question - for those who like Mastery so much - do you continue to play it once you beat it all? I would not think so." - Jaws_420

Mastery Mode was designed as an optional optimum reward system. You are not ever required to play this mode. Achieving Hyper Shards does help, yet is not required. The flairs provided are not required to be worn, yet do indicate that you have achieved something that is considered to be challenging. Mastery Mode has a touch of "you need to prove yourself to earn these special (set aside) rewards.

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@Jaws_420 quote:

Question - for those who like Mastery so much - do you continue to play it once you beat it all? I would not think so. 

I would like to, but I don't. Not asking for anything special...Just would like to have the same basic defender medals and crafting material drops from expeditions. Builds change over time as Trendy implements new rules. Can I still Master w/ caps? I'm just an average player and I would like to know. But the opportunity cost is too high when I am looking at how I spend 15 minutes of my time.

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mastery isn't a game mode, it's an achievement mode


you wouldn't reset ascension power if you already had all the points and couldn't get anything more from it, same thing there's no reason to play mastery if you already beat it

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@ArchaicLotus quote:

No no no no Jaws......ya gotta stop already. Ya goota stop. I barely finished your first paragraph, did not even bother with the rest. Why? You put words in my mouth. Scroll up. Where, at all, did I mention that it was hard for me so it should be hard for you? Where? No where.

Actually, you did.

You, as well as all others not having done Mastery, need to experience Mastery just as all of us have. Hard-earned and a pain.

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Direnels, thanks for the link!  This guy is amazing.  Simon B videos were the proof I needed to know it can be done solo. 

I hope these vids help you guys. 

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Actually, I didn't Palo. I did not say that it was hard for me so it should be hard for you. I said exactly what you quoted me saying...hard-earned and a pain, for those who have beaten mastery, is how it was. That is not the same as saying that Mastery was hard for me because it was not. However, adhering to the rules took a lot of time which was a pain; making the rewards hard-earned.

Take some smart pills and let them work!

(interpretation) increase your perception. Pills can be called 'smart' but have no level of intelligence.

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@ArchaicLotus quote:

Actually, I didn't Palo. I did not say that it was hard for me so it should be hard for you. I said exactly what you quoted me saying...hard-earned and a pain, for those who have beaten mastery, is how it was. That is not the same as saying that Mastery was hard for me because it was not. However, adhering to the rules took a lot of time which was a pain; making the rewards hard-earned.

Take some smart pills and let them work!

(interpretation) increase your perception. Pills can be called 'smart' but have no level of intelligence.

Yeah, now you say "for those who have beaten mastery". You said "as all of us have" previously. And by context, it does mean you included.

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All of my threads contain inferences of those who have beaten mastery, including me. I had never excluded myself. I was stating that I did not say that it was hard for me....you and Jaws are, again, incorrect.

Point is, Mastery Mode need not be changed. The rewards for all that beat it are hard-earned, and the mode is a pain, due to the rulesets.

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@ArchaicLotus quote:

All of my threads contain inferences of those who have beaten mastery, including me. I had never excluded myself. I was stating that I did not say that it was hard for me....you and Jaws are, again, incorrect.

Point is, Mastery Mode need not be changed. The rewards for all that beat it are hard-earned, and the mode is a pain, due to the rulesets.

Ok, I can see we're wrong on that now. On the other hand, I guess the real context is "if it's a pain for me, it should be a pain for you"? Since you did not said that it was hard but you did say the mode is a pain and those that have not completed Mastery need to experience it that way, just as all of us who completed Mastery have.

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I have no desire for others to experience pain during their experience with this game. Mastery mode was a pain for many due to the rulesets. Many overcame the rulesets, so the fact that it may be a pain to future players should not be removed.

The rewards are greater to reflect the inconvenience of this mode.

I will say, Trendy should not make any level of Mastery require more than one player to complete this mode. Some people used several heroes to overcome certain obstacles in this mode. I sought groups. To that point I empathize, Jaws. I know you don't require my empathy, but that does not matter.

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