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Crafter's Roundtable: Mastery Shards and Crystals

    • 1761 posts
    April 3, 2020 8:09 AM PDT


    During last night's dev stream (April 2nd), we heard a lot of details about the mastery system, which is a way both for adventurers to "power up" their various abilities and spells as well as unlock additional character benefits (similar to EverQuest's Alternate Advancement system). There's no upper limit on how many mastery points a character can earn, so players can eventually max out everything.

    One of the details we heard was that players will rarely find "Mastery Shards" as loot in the world. "Crafters" will be able to combine some number of Mastery Shards to create Mastery Crystals, which can then be used by any player to boost their mastery points - essentially, it sounds like the crystals will give a free point when used.

    This seems like a simple thing on paper but as we all know, economic reality in MMOs is anything but simple.

    Thus, our question: Do you think the proposed implementation of Mastery Shards is going to be a good thing or a bad thing for crafting and for the game? How do you think that players will respond if the system is put into Pantheon as it is currently described? What problems should VR be watching out for? What changes would you suggest to VR?

    (Just like all Crafter's Roundtable discussion threads, this one is brought to you by and cross-posted from Pantheon Crafters.)

    • 1251 posts
    April 3, 2020 10:07 AM PDT

    Unless it is a specific consumable object made by alchemists then its a “Bad thing”.

    Adding progression consumables to random crafts that have nothing to do with consumables as a way to make crafting worth while is another way of saying “we don’t think crafting can stand on its own without a gimmick consumable”.  If it is a special product of alchemy or enchanting/stone carving or even better a crafting style that requires a master of both working together then it could be a good high end base recipe for those specific crafts. 

    If for some reason each craft has its own sets of mastery crystal one input one output recipes, then just trash the concept and make it a faction locked NPC fetch quest with a chance of failure.  That’s all one input one output crafting systems are any way.  The NPC is just the combine button you lower the value of a ton of raw materials doing repeatable fetch quests by pushing the button to raise your “crafter” faction.

    This post was edited by Trasak at April 3, 2020 10:24 AM PDT
    • 2041 posts
    April 3, 2020 1:20 PM PDT

    Nephele said:

    Do you think the proposed implementation of Mastery Shards is going to be a good thing or a bad thing for crafting and for the game? How do you think that players will respond if the system is put into Pantheon as it is currently described? What problems should VR be watching out for? What changes would you suggest to VR?

    I think it is a good thing that 1) these shards can be found out in the wilds as part of your normal adventuring; and 2) that tradeskills are involved in turning the shards into a full, usable (and tradeable) crystal.

    With the inclusion of crystals, there are 3 paths that all work together towards your ability point totals and all of them come through adventuring. I think players will respond to this positively because it is something you can get, as a bonus, through normal adventuring.  Killing 2 birds with one stones, basically.

    My concern about these shards is where they drop. Should low level mobs drop these shards or should that be held for much higher level mobs?  Or should lower level mob just drop them far more rarely than higher level mobs?  I'd hate to see people farming low level mobs en masse in the hopes of getting shards to turn into crystals for sale.


    • 671 posts
    April 4, 2020 11:50 PM PDT

    As it appears now, I fear for abusive exploid behaviour.

    Does it carry enough weight to be of use? Either it's uncommon drop and not many will encounter it or rather common and you've set yourself up for undermining the value of mastery xp bar. If it's uncommon this could mean that you'll carry less then 4 shards in your bags for a very long time before you can reap the benefit of looting these shards. If they are tradeable, well....exploid incoming?

    It's risky to say the least. Thinking as crafting as major element here..does it add much to the world of crafting..? I doubt it, crafting gear and other items will make adventurers turn to crafters anyway, so what does this extra thing really add?

    And do you really make a mastery point to experienced as a free, one craft item? 

    Enable crafters to craft over time. As in work a project for X duration on different stages and at different times/playsessions. Give it depth. (a bit more elaborate info see

    If they drop, let finding your first shard, start an adventure that requires crafters (not just crafting components available on broker). 

    Different initial shards can determine what kind of crafting-story you'll be telling at the end. 

    It really feels more like an "epic quest" style thing. Where it's the fun in the journey that should be flavouring the entire shards into crystal concept. Sure you'll get your mastery point, what did you do to obtain it and how did crafters come in to play, that's where the  difference can lay. Mind you, it's not because at some stages you'll need a crafter that this does not allow for general content to be added into this journey.

    Perhaps an entire Lore story around how these shards came to be and what crystals mean in the world of Terminus can really put some depth in this design? Slow and steady progression meets Lore and crafting. Something in those lines.


    • 15 posts
    April 5, 2020 10:44 AM PDT

    I think that the idea of crafting Crystal's is nice but j have a couple of obvious concerns.

    Will only certain classes be able to craft them and therefore lower the value of other crafters in the players view? Now if it offsets lesser good recipes then it is more understandable if only to help balance the crafting classes. I am new here so still learning about the crafting system and if I can multi class crafters or if we will have to make alts to have more then one class.will be reading up on forums more today.

    I also echo the concerns about what mobs drop them. Everybody loves winning something special after a kill but. If, for example, named always  drop them , then people,  especially min/maxes will camp open world named  and stop others from getting them unless a gray out feature is involved when they out level them. On the flip side, I hope their is some kind of good loot randomization ability so that people wont complain about group leaders always giving them to themselves or their friends.

    • 671 posts
    April 6, 2020 11:57 PM PDT

    The more I think about it, the more I feel that the final stage (crystal turns into mastery point) should be a mysterious/mystical event. 

    It might start with 1 character finding a shard, but then the adventure would only start. 

    Depending on what kind of shard it is, it could require different things and would tell a different story. In any case, they all should take a considerable amount of time AND should require multiple occassions where that character needs to group up with other players. BUT within that same adventure also should have moments where they need to solo things, as it's only that 1 character that will get that ultimate gain at the end. 

    Since we're still talking about crafting here. Those other players in the adventure could be for the majority of the time, crafters. 

    I had one image in mind, where that first character is at a location and different crafters are present and in group and they all have their product made (or are making at the time). The combined efforts of the crafters sets off a chainreaction (animation) that fills up a crystal or glues all shards into a shining crystal. And when filled up the first player needs to interact with it's environment to keep things stable or active (something of a challenge there for the none crafter character).

    Different shards will lead to different location in Terminus with different settings and somewhat different experiences/animations. 

    Obtaining crystals could be something worthwhile or something that gains respect from X faction as wel. Especially for the crafters that aided in the process.

    • 671 posts
    April 7, 2020 11:26 PM PDT

    I'd like to open this discussion we're having on a bit more;

    Should shards differ? Or should they all be the same item no matter where you encounter them in the world? The end result will be the same for all, it's the experience along the way that differs in flavour. At the end of the line awaits that desired Mastery point.

    I'll try and give some example on how to open this up for crafters (not claiming any ideas as my own);

    Shards can differ per region, per race, per class, per level.

    A difference in region, could require different other subcomponents to create or combine shards into crystals. This difference leans towards region recipes. 

    Should the combining of shards be a recipe at all? And how would a crafter come by them? Or should it be an mastery ability by it's own right?

    Would you accept the idea that it takes the same amount of time for a level 10 player and a level 50 player with sufficient shards to obtain that crystal?  Personally, that feels a bit odd.  For that to make sense, it should some transcendent concept but by doing so it would undermine the impact a crafter has and one could question if you can just solve this with a npc doing the same thing.  If however the efforts should differ, well then you have a wide array of options to increase the complexity of the crafters envolvement and the actual time  those crafters are working on the "crystal-project". 



    • 671 posts
    April 7, 2020 11:43 PM PDT

    Situation: Character John Doe (J.D.) has found a shard.  If J.D. has got a workstation in his house, he'll bring the shard to that workstation. He contacts a crafter to his home. The crafter initiates the craftingprocess. (including the earlier suggested, crafting over time-suggestion) J.D. ventures out to find more shards and/or requirements to proceed to the next stage. 

    This allows for a design, where J.D. cannot start more then 1 shard project at a time. The crafter however is NOT locked to J.D. and is still free to accept other shard projects from other characters/players.  J.D. does not have to sacrifice an inventoryspace on his trajectory to the crystal. A construction over time is possible without interfering J.D. or the crafters in the things they want to do beside the shardthing.

    The concept of crystals and relating free Mastery point, might not be something for launch. And therefore it might more fitting to introduce this concept after the basic of housing has been implemented. (I understand that this is a big condition. But not unreasonable.)

    This does not mean you can have workstations out in the world that could produce crystals. For those, the conditions or risks could be different, in the sense that you cannot occupy or claim an open world workstation. So timepressure and the rush to find other resources, traveltime and crafters might be a bigger player in this example. 

    The personal housing workstation, gives you a garanteed crystal. It takes longer, but as long as J.D. answers all the requirements at the different stages, he'll get to the end result.

    An open world workstation, does not garantee a crystal. Compared to the personal housing workstation, it demands fewer requirements? The risks are that process can be interrupted by other players, delays can cancel it, mobs or other events or environments could delay it.

    This post was edited by Barin999 at April 7, 2020 11:47 PM PDT
    • 1251 posts
    April 8, 2020 7:58 AM PDT

    There is a different way we could go with masteries and crystal shards all together.

    1)      Break masteries into basic, advanced, epic and advanced epic.

    2)      The free masteries from leveling are only basic.

    3)      Basic can be spent on first and second tier masteries

    4)      Advanced mastery points are for the 3rd and 4th tiers

    5)      Epic will be for 1st and 2nd of epic abilities

    6)      Advanced Epic will be for final evolution of epic abilities.

    Rather than gaining master points from exp have shards become a secondary currency by being used for both unlocking mastery points and other in game functions and recipes.

    Rather than needing a set number of shards to unlock a mastery point have a linear increase in the number of shards needed to unlock a mastery point.  Each tier of points will have its own linear increase independent of the others.  While unlocking everything will still be technically possible it will require a much as 10 times longer time investment then unlocking say 50% of things.

    Normal mobs would have a low chance to drop a number of basic shards relative to their level.

    Group elite mobs will have a low chance to drop a number of advanced shards relative to their level.

    Boss mobs will have basically a guarantied chance to drop some number of advanced shards relative to their level.

    High challenge/raid mobs can have a chance to drop epic shards.

    Raid bosses will drop advanced epic shards.


    The advanced shards of both types could be BoP to make it still part of progression and not just being rich.  Crafting masteries could get them through successfully completing crafting achievements. 

    The shards of different levels could then also be used to exchange for consumables, used in different levels of crafting or used as high value currency after gold inevitably inflates to worthlessness.

    I would still not have turning shards into masteries points be a crafting recipe.  It is too universal of a progression point to filter through a specific craft and sprinkling it through all the crafts just muddies the waters.  Better to have condensing shards to points be some form of NPC quest interaction.

    For that matter condensing shards into masterpoints could in fact require some feat of strength such as defeating a specific target where everyone is at or mentored down to the level of the target.  Any outside influence would invalidate the feat of strength.  The level of the questor and the tier of shard they are condensing would dictate the type of feat of strength they are asked to perform.

    • 671 posts
    April 8, 2020 11:20 PM PDT

    Trasak said:

    ... The advanced shards of both types could be BoP to make it still part of progression and not just being rich.  Crafting masteries could get them through successfully completing crafting achievements. 


    Wouldn't that push the players too much into going for crafting themselves? As in obligatory do it yourself kind of deal? 

    It's well known route you're suggesting, nothing wrong with it. Can you tie it in to crafting a bit more? Flavour, depth, lore?

    • 1251 posts
    April 9, 2020 4:26 AM PDT

    Sorry, my post got as convoluted as they normally do.  I do not think crafting should have anything to do with turning shards into mastery points.  That should be handled by an NPC/Game system.

    The section you quoted was a half thought that crafting masteries should be its own pool of points with linearly increasing cost.  The advanced crafting shards would come from very difficult crafting writs or something that can acknowledge a crafter did something really hard.

    The tie in to crafting in general would require a bit of lore manipulation.  I view mastery shards as a form of mental/world energy.  You harvest them from defeated foes.  When those ingredients are added to a crafted item you are investing that energy into said items.  Basically they are the magic fuel that turns a mundane item into a magical item.  (Side note that is basically the campaign setting of my home brew D&D campaign.)

    • 166 posts
    May 21, 2020 9:33 PM PDT
    @Barin999 the mastery system will have multiple hardcaps within it. Joppa has said no one method can get you every mastery. So even if you can gain 120 mastery through gold/crafting you still need the 49 from leveling, the 31 from quests and the 800 from grinding the mastery xp bar. So I don't think it detracts from the mastery bar.

    I find it strange crafters are needed to turn shards into full mastery crystals, but don't really care one way or another about it. It gives everyone an easy high demand money making option. My guess is that it is a way to keep crafting resources in high demand across the board.