Guild Wars 2 - Overview for New Mastery System Heart of Thorns

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By raptorakDate: Feb 08 2015 Views:


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Guild Wars 2 is getting an entirely new progression system with its upcoming expansion, Heart of Thorns. The goal of this is to open the doors to new end-game progression at level 80, allowing players to acquire new abilities that are account-wide. But unlike the traditional method of alternative progression (such as with the WvW experience system), these are going to give new powers that affect your interaction with the game. It comes in the form of Mastery tracks, each coming with several different tiers.

Guild Wars 2

How to Unlock Masteries

The ability to train Masteries is available for all level 80s that own Heart of Thorns. This will change the character’s experience bar to a Mastery training bar when within PvE zones, which tracks progress on the Mastery track that is currently selected (somewhat like the structured PvP tracks). It will show the skills the player is working towards, as well as what has already been unlocked. It will come with its very own Mastery skill “tray” that can be accessed by clicking on the experience bar, where everything Mastery-related is handled. As part of this change, normal levels will no longer be gained at level 80, which also means that no new skill points can be earned in the traditional method. Skill points will instead be “added as rewards across high-level content” in an effort to help compensate for the change.

To train the Mastery tracks, Mastery points must first be earned and spent. These are awarded for completing different parts of the game’s content, including things like:

• Completing a chapter in your personal story

• Completing certain achievements

• Reaching hard-to-find locations

• Overcoming challenging encounters

• Excelling at adventures found within the Heart of Maguuma

• Earning 100% completion for a map

It’s worth noting that each Mastery point can only be earned once per account, so while they are a part of the game’s new progression system, they can also be used to help determine how much of the game has been experienced. To help make this more visual, once the ability to train Masteries has been unlocked, the nameplate will display the number of Mastery points have been unlocked, rather than your level. In essence, Masteries are the new system for leveling, though not in the usual “kill mobs and do quests to grind your way up” method.

Guild Wars 2

Region-Based Masteries

Each of the Mastery tracks is said to be tied to a specific region of Tyria, in which they must be both unlocked with points gained in that region and can only be trained in that region. With Heart of Thorns’ release, there will be two Mastery regions. The first is the Heart of Maguuma, which will encompass all PvE zones that are part of the expansion, and the second is the core Guild Wars 2 world, which deals with everything that’s already in the game. As you move between the two regions, the Mastery bar will automatically change over between tracks to ensure you see the progress of the current zone.

Masteries to Look Forward To

ArenaNet has released a few of the Masteries, including:

• Master Lore: Attunement with new ally races can be trained to understand their language, unlocking secret locations and access to battle techniques that can weaken your shared enemies.

• Master Legends: Train in legendary crafting to learn to create all existing legendary weapon precursors and new legendary weapon precursors introduced with Heart of Thorns.

• Master Exploration: Mastering jungle movement will unlock the ability to hang glide to previously unreachable locations as well as the ability to use special mushrooms to traverse the Heart of Maguuma faster.

• Master Combat: The Heart of Maguuma will be home to some of the most challenging combat in Guild Wars 2, and Masteries will give you the tools you need to excel in these fights. Hunt new enemies, master abilities to defeat champions, and become more deadly against the new creatures waiting in the jungle.

• Master Fractals: Uncover new depths in the Fractals of the Mists to gain powerful new abilities to overcome difficult fractal challenges, garner greater rewards, and unlock more powerful infusions.

It’s a Bird, it’s a Plane, it’s… Me!

There are things like the Gliding Mastery track to look forward to, which allows you to pull out your glider any time you’re in free fall in the Heart of Maguuma. The glider comes with a limited amount of energy that must be taken into consideration while flying, as running out of it will lead to a collapse – and possibly death.

This is to help navigate through the jungle, getting to areas that would otherwise be inaccessible. And through advancing the Gliding Mastery, you will learn to “fly longer, jump higher, take advantage of strong wind currents, and launch yourself into the air with greater force.”

Guild Wars 2


The new Mastery system coming with Heart of Thorns is a massive leap forward when it comes to giving real benefits to progression. Rather than being stuck just gaining levels and becoming a little more powerful, this new system increases immersion in the game and offers up new, exciting features that make the game more enjoyable. And ArenaNet has stated that this new system is here to stay, and hinted that they are going to be expanding on it in the future, adding even more unique benefits to playing Guild Wars 2 and working on the achievements and Masteries.

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