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  • Masteries

    Table of Contents
    Last edited by eisprinzessin; 10-01-2012, 09:05 PM. Reason: extended ToC: added Nightblade and Arcane

  • #2
    What is a mastery?

    Each mastery is designed around a fictional theme that gives it a flavor and eventual nostalgia beyond simple numbers and efficiencies. It contains skills large and small that provide different utility and tactical options that together, depending on where the player invests points, culminate in a particular gameplay style.

    Some of the skills in each mastery are there more for thematic reasons than utility. Others have a certain situational utility that some players will love and others will pass on. Some skills may only be really useful when they are paired with skills from another mastery - but then they really shine. Modifiers allow you to tune skills in different ways according to your style. One or two skills are often the "big guns" of a mastery but need little guns to offset them. Some masteries have a bunch of medium guns instead. Some skills aren't the most useful or powerful but they're just fun. [1]
    1. Skill Pane Vs Skill Tree - You Decide. Mar 2010


    • #3
      How does it work?

      Players will be able to combine any two masteries to explore powerful synergies that exist between their skill trees and experience the varying gameplay styles of each build. It will be impossible to max out all the skills, so there will be plenty of experimentation to find the best way to allocate your points. [1] You will receive 3 skill points per character level [2] and be able to reclaim spent ones. [1]

      The masteries are designed to expand over 75 levels with room for 9 skill tiers. [3] The skill pages tier from left to right instead of bottom to top. [4] You allocate skill points to the mastery bar to unlock the higher tiers. [5] Most masteries will offer both damage increasing and crowd-control type skills at tier 1. [2]

      Most skills have 12-16 normal levels currently and all skills have 10 "ultimate" levels. [6] These are levels beyond the normal cap that can be accessed through +skill equipment. [7] The number of levels for some skills might be reduced due to the large number of skills in each mastery. Currently each mastery has 25 skills [6], which results in more different build possibilities. [8] Masteries can be played in very different ways, the exclusion of a number of skills from certain builds is to be expected. This will have less impact as it would in TQ given the larger number of skills per mastery in GD. [9]
      1. How will character classes work? Jan 2010
      2. From zero to hero? Apr 2012
      3. Skill Pane Vs Skill Tree - You Decide. Mar 2010
      4. Skillz Oct 2010
      5. Skillz Nov 2010
      6. What the heck? Nov 2011
      7. Proper scaling for skills Mar 2012
      8. Skillz Oct 2010
      9. Combat specialization? Nov 2010
      Last edited by eisprinzessin; 07-29-2012, 11:07 AM. Reason: updated post with information from 'From zero to hero?'


      • #4
        Initial masteries and future download content

        Crate plans to release with 5 masteries. [1] They'd love to make more slots but think 5 is already fairly ambitious given that skill creation was the most time consuming aspect of design / implementation on TQ. [2] Maybe they have to scale back if things aren't coming together. Creating masteries is one of the most time consuming processes on the design side of things and it can be difficult to predict exactly how long it will take. Since Grim Dawn is essentially stuck with whatever masteries it releases with (you can add more but not remove existing ones) the developers want to make sure they are really happy with what they are putting out. [3]

        Thus far they've been working on the combat, demolition, occult, nightblade and arcane. [3, 4, 5, 6]

        Additional masteries will be introduced through downloadable add-ons. [1] The developers would love to get up to 10-12 skill masteries, or more! [5] They probably begin on another couple of masteries by the time of the release. It wouldn't be very long before some more could be released. Other themes under consideration are summoning / demonology and vampirism. Although, in this case they wouldn't be a traditional neck-biting vampire of folklore but rather a person who was altered as a result of exposure to aetherial energy and has the ability to sense and control the life-force of other beings. [3] They also want to create an alchemist at some point, probably for an expansion. [7]

        You need to figure out which thematically overlapping skills ideas should go where. Initially a bunch of poison related skills were on the occultist but those might be better for the alchemist. The alchemist could have been more fire oriented with exploding potions and such if not for demolition. You can see how quickly this turns into a tangled mess of difficult, interrelated decisions. [7]

        Skills will probably not be added to existing masteries through download content due to balance reasons. The only way that would really work is, if most of it was planned out ahead of time but then just didn't ship with them. An alternative would be to ship with the full mastery completed but lock the top tiers until the expansion. This might actually make some sense given that the levels will probably need to be capped at something reasonable for the scope of the first release. The final call on this will be made after everything got in-game and you see how it plays out. [8]
        1. How will character classes work? Jan 2010
        2. Class themes for GD? Jan 2010
        3. questions about classes May 2010
        4. Occult mastery Jun 2011
        5. external Reddit IAmA May 2012
        6. Hi everyone - Sharing of my gaming history. Apr 2012
        7. Occult mastery Jun 2011
        8. Skillz Nov 2010
        Last edited by eisprinzessin; 10-01-2012, 05:48 PM. Reason: added/updated info on Nightblade and Arcane


        • #5
          Combat ... information is subject to change

          In the imperial army, Soldiers are trained to survive in the most hellish conditions and hold the line against the deadliest enemies of the empire. Soldiers are oriented toward close combat with sword and shield. What they lack in outright damage-dealing, they make up for in endurance and self-sufficiency. [1]

          About half of the skills in the Combat mastery are passives. [2] Mentioned were:
          • Bulwark and Vanguard - mutually-exclusive toggled buffs that confer either more offensive or defensive attributes and are full skill-trees each with 2 modifiers. This generally causes players to want to follow one path or the other due to the skill-point investment it would require to fully spec in either tree, thus promoting more possibilities for different soldier builds. [3]
          • Blitz - charge skill which gives you a burst of speed. [4]
          • Blade arc - active skill [5] which costs energy. Skill tree includes a damage modifier. [6]
          • Field command - team buff [7], which is displayed as chevrons denoting military rank next to party members and allied NPCs. [8]
          • Battle shout / Knockdown - debuffs enemies and they have to get back up. If the skill has more force, you can actually send them flying across the screen. [8]
          • Will to live - skill that activates on low health. It provides some instant healing and then gives you damage absorption for a brief period. It has a long cooldown though, so once it goes off, you have to start being more careful. Causes little red first-aid symbols and faint white glow. [8]
          • Fighting spirit - passive skill that has a % chance to activate on being hit. [8] For a short duration it gives a massive boost to physical damage and offensive ability resulting in more critical hits. Causes a fiery aura. [6]
          • Forecewave - active skill that sends out a wave of force to stun and damage enemies. It can be used with either shields or 2h guns (in which case it plays a buttstroke animation). [9, 10] Buttstroking is a melee combat skill involving the butt of a rifle. [11]
          1. Mastery Descriptions - WIP Mar 2012
          2. Skillz Aug 2011
          3. Combat specialization? Nov 2010
          4. Combat Video!>1!! 4 Realz this time! Mar 2011
          5. Combat Video!>1!! 4 Realz this time! Mar 2011
          6. Combat Video!>1!! 4 Realz this time! Mar 2011
          7. Titan Calc - U Rock! Sep 2010
          8. Combat Video!>1!! 4 Realz this time! Mar 2011
          9. Hawt new screenshots in the media section! Mar 2012
          10. Hawt new screenshots in the media section! Mar 2012
          11. Buttstroking Jul 2010
          Last edited by eisprinzessin; 03-23-2013, 06:04 AM. Reason: added mastery art


          • #6
            Demolition ... information is subject to change

            Sappers are the pyrotechnic engineers of the imperial army, their primary duty: blowing stuff up. Fighting best from a distance, Sappers engage enemies with guns and a wide variety of fire and electrical traps, bombs, and ammunition. Whether the target is hard or soft, Sappers have the right explosive for the job and they deal out massive damage with an insane zeal. [1]

            Demolition is sort of similar to a military shooter style engineer. It has plenty of grenado, sachel charge, and shotgun action but no mechanical pets. [2] It has almost entirely active skills. [3] Mentioned were:
            • Grenado - primary skill with an explosion that is a little over the top and is incredibly fun. [2] It is more of a focused explosion good again tougher single targets or tightly clustered groups. It is fun to lob over walls to kill enemies in a house before you enter. [4] If you hit some guys with a grenado and they aren't killed, they'll go flying across the screen, land stunned for a while, then get back up and return to the fight. [5] Grenades have physics and you can in fact bounce them off walls around corners. [6]
            • Thermite mines - they work well for creating a barrier that will kill hordes of weak enemies or wear down slow-moving armored enemies. [4] Currently they spawn in a set of 3. They're actually sort of like a smart flame wall that activates as soon as something is within range. [5]
              Naturally, they're not as effective vs. ranged enemies who can just fire over them or destroy them from a distance or fast-moving enemies who won't take as much damage passing through them. [4]
            • Canister bomb - it is lobbed like a grenade into the middle of a group of enemies where it explodes and sends out several fragments that explode over a wide area. It is great for taking out hordes of zombies, grobles, or the like. It isn't as effective against tougher enemies like the dranghoul. [4]
            • Mortar trap - active skill to place a mortar that just continuously fires off various types of charges while you fight in an area. The munitions randomly vary between fiery explosives and electrical "stun jacks". There is an ultimate level modifier for it that causes it to fire off "big bertha" right before it dies. Big Bertha will annihilate just about everything left on the screen except for tough champions, heroes or bosses. The trick is that the mortar has to survive for its full life-span before it can fire Big Bertha. [8]
            • Skill tree which works for both ranged and melee weapons. [9]
              • High Impact - chance to increase weapon damage.
              • Fire Strike - adds fire damage.
              • Explosive Strike - damage is dealt in a radius from the target. Physical and fire damage is increased.
            1. Mastery Descriptions - WIP Mar 2012
            2. Skills and Weapon Question Mar 2010
            3. Skillz Aug 2011
            4. Hawt new screenshots in the media section! Dec 2010
            5. Hawt new screenshots in the media section! Dec 2010
            6. Combat Video!>1!! 4 Realz this time! Mar 2010
            7. Hawt new screenshots in the media section! Dec 2010
            8. Grenades? Jun 2011
            9. Hawt new screenshots in the media section! Mar 2012
            Last edited by eisprinzessin; 03-23-2013, 06:05 AM. Reason: added mastery art


            • #7
              Occult ... information is subject to change

              Once hunted by imperial forces in an effort to control arcane power and knowledge, Occultists wield diverse powers granted to them by the three witch gods and rely heavily on the eldritch creatures they are able to summon. Along with summoning, their arcane repertoire includes blessings, curses, and offensive spells that inflict damage with poison, acid, and chaotic energy. Occultists excel with neither sword nor gun but can use either to augment their offense. [1]

              Mentioned skills were:
              • Raven - a familiar that supports the Occultist with healing spells, buffs, and attack spells of its own. [2] The healing spell is set to be cast on allies whenever they are below 75% health. [3] It is currently an innate ability for the Raven that levels up as the pet does, so it is sort of a freebie. The Raven does more than healing, so it isn't the sole purpose of the pet either. [4] The Occultist is fairly fragile and you really have to watch your health and occasionally disengage from enemies so the Raven has a chance to heal you. [5] It is like a constant stream of mini-heals that can occasionally be the difference between an enemy attack being fatal or not. [6]
              • Hellhound - has a limited lifespan and eventually explodes. Adding points to the summoning skill allows them to survive longer, which indirectly, eventually allows you to have overlapping Hellhounds up at once. There is a 30 second cool-down to summon them but eventually they can last over a minute. The cap is 4 but to have that many at once, you'll need +10 above skill cap. [11] The tree has three skills to unlock: [7]
                • Ember Claw - a fiery claw swipe that does increases physical and fire damage to multiple enemies in front of the Hellhound. [7] It basically adds a periodic attack to the Hellhound's repertoire that leaves glowing claw streaks in the air for a split second after he uses it. [8]
                • Hellfire Aura - this ability gives the Hellhound a self-buff that inflicts burn damage to adjacent enemies and boosts fire attack damage. It also makes the Hellhound look a bit cooler as it sets itself ablaze and leaves a trail of flame in its path. [7]
                • Molten Breath - gives the Hellhound a devastating fire breath attack that damages enemies within about a 4m cone infront of the Hellhound. [7]
              • Sigil of Destruction - casts a big pentacle on the ground and damages enemies in range. [9, 11]
              • Witchfire Enchantment - permanent weapon buff. [9, 11]
              • Chaos Bolts - multiple projectiles [10] dealing chaos damage. [12]
              • Eye of Dreeg - causes acid and poison damage. The modifiers for it reduce enemy damage and resistances. Hit enemies with this to get the damage over time working and to weaken them. Helps keep the pets alive longer. [11]
              • Curse of Sloth - slows enemies and the has modifiers that provide additional effects, such as reduced resistances. This skill is crucial to dealing with zombie mutants and especially for Flesh Hulks. [11]
              • Covenant of Solael - temporarily boosts acid, poison, and chaos damage. [11]
              • Energy Transfer - might actually be removed. It "refuels" your pet's energy so that it can cast more but in practice, it is faster to just summon the pet again. This skill was created before the hell hounds were limited lifespan, so it no longer is very useful for them. Might either become an aura, so you don't have to try to cast it on the pet or just something totally different. [11]
              1. Mastery Descriptions - WIP Mar 2012
              2. Occult mastery Jun 2011
              3. Healing Pets Jul 2011
              4. Healing Pets Jul 2011
              5. Healing Pets Jul 2011
              6. Healing Pets Jul 2011
              7. Occultist Hellhound Oct 2011
              8. Occultist Hellhound Oct 2011
              9. Testing Occultist Skills Nov 2011
              10. Occultist Video!!! Mar 2012
              11. Occultist Video!!! Mar 2012
              12. Occultist Video!!! Mar 2012
              Last edited by eisprinzessin; 03-23-2013, 06:02 AM. Reason: added mastery art


              • #8
                Nightblade ... interim post

                The nightblade mastery plays a lot faster than combat but is much more fragile. [1] Details were revealed in Grim Misadventures #5: Dance of Shadows.
                1. Combat Video!>1!! 4 Realz this time! Mar 2011


                • #9
                  Arcane ... interim post

                  The skills of the Arcanist haven't been fully defined yet but the developers are planning it with some big nukes. [1] In the preview video you also see its spell Maiven's Sphere of Protection. [2, 3]
                  1. Hi everyone - Sharing of my gaming history. Apr 2012
                  2. external 'Grim Dawn' Kickstarter Update #10: 100% Funding achievement unlocked! May 2012
                  3. The Arcanist Apr 2012
                  Last edited by eisprinzessin; 10-01-2012, 09:03 PM.