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Class mastery passives

As you know, whenever you ascend into a particular class mastery you get a unique skill to that mastery along with some powerful passive stats.

I feel like some of the mastery passives are a little too niche and push players into a particular build or play style which in the end will limit build diversity.

For example: the Shaman give passive bonuses -5 totem mana cost +10 Attunement and double resists when you control a totem. Now If a player wanted to play a shaman without totems most of them passives will be completely useless, which either forces the player to use totems to make use of the mastery passives or it just feels really bad not to make use of it. You may argue that not using a totem as a shaman is stupid anyway but that is beside my point, In the end I think it would be healthy to have more options when approaching builds without your mastery class dictating exactly how it should be played.

Now this is just one example, I feel the Lich suffers from this aswell amongst others(not all lich players want to go low life).

My suggestion would be, when you ascend into your mastery. Rather than giving every player the same fixed passive bonuses, Each mastery has a choice of 5-10? powerful passives unique only to that mastery that fits with its theme/playstyle. Players can choose 1-3? of these passives based on which one best suits their play style/build. These passives can be swapped/changed (but not the mastery) at a later time with a gold sink like other passive trees.

Now this might not necessarily be the answer, but I would like to hear what you guys think and any ideas.

2 Likes

Hello, I agree with you, I also wanted to talk about this issue. Some of the passives and skills you unlock with the mastery are too build oriented imo. It feels really frustrating when as you said you don’t want to go totem shaman and you have all those nice totem bonus in the mastery passive. Same for beastmaster, you get one extra companion but if you want to go “single companion build” this is useless etc… I would love more generic passives that can fit in any playstyle, same for the mastery skill unlocked, it needs to be a generic skill that can often be useful (for example the holy aura of the paladin is a good one, it can fit in almost every build, the Meteor from sorcerer on the other hand…).

For myself, the passive bonuses are generally the lowest consideration for picking a mastery, as such I like the fact that they are all set, different and provide support for a niche that aligns with the passive tree they unlock the upper half of. Balance between them is another discussion entirely as currently class, skill and passive (including skills/passives from mastery selection) balance is up for debate.

I more highly consider, ‘do I want access to the unique skill for that mastery or access to the skill behind the higher section of the passive tree for that mastery?’. If yes to either of those it’s fairly black and white that I need that mastery for my build regardless of the mastery bonuses.

Following that; ‘do I want, or in some cases need, access to some specific nodes in the upper half of any of the passive trees?’. The obvious example is Lich being so much better for supporting poison builds that I would be planning to take Lich 90% of the time for poison without ever even considering Necromancer. If I can’t substitute key passive options from one passive tree with the other for a build then I will not be considering the other mastery for it’s bonus alone. This stems from the fact the bonuses are reasonably sized and typically support the tree they are linked to, as I mentioned before.

Going deeper into that, because the mastery bonus follows the same theme as the passive tree you will find that if you read something and think ‘that mastery isn’t good for my build’ then you will also lack support from the passive tree. Outside of the common good choices for most builds of that class scattered through a lot of them anyway. In this case your issue is not the mastery bonuses not supporting your build alone but either; a different mastery supporting it better or your very specific build you’re aiming for just not having good support and thus maybe not really being viable. Not every build will be super-endgame-viable, stacked with support options to clear everything and be min-maxed across every aspect and that is fine, you can still play it. The current story map difficulty currently does not require much in the way of a build to complete.

While the option to select different passives would be welcome, more choice is always nice, you would likely find something like this: When adding in more passive options, unless they synergise with the mastery passive tree they are linked to, you just end up instead asking why we don’t have the passive tree supporting X mixture of mastery bonuses for Y build. Obviously this is not always going to be the case but it does keep coming back to the fact you can;t provide perfectly equal support for every conceivable combination of skills, skill trees and playstyle that goes into a build.

I would say that for now, holding off on adding more to the pile until we have both all our planned masteries available and a balance pass over for them we should avoid layering even more min-max options on builds. Once that is in place I personally would tweak your idea and go with packs. You get a handful of passives and pick which handful but you can’t mix and match each one. This means you can have stronger, more interesting sets of passives with less concern of people finding an odd mix that becomes the objective best for the vast majority of cases.

I kinda disagree. I think the devs are going for a particular flavour or theme with each mastery which is how they decide on the various bonuses each mastery gets. If you want to go for an “off-brand” build, you can do that but you would need to accept that you may be gimping yourself by not taking advantage of the mastery’s bonuses.

I don’t think that many people would complain that if they tried to make a non-mine/trap saboteur in PoE that the ascendancy didn’t cater to the build they’re trying to make.

That said, where the mastery’s bonuses are then negated by certain passives (such as the beastmaster’s single companion nodes), then you could argue that those nodes should be modified (presumably buffed) to reflect that.

3 Likes

Agreed. There already is so much diversity in builds. Imho it is impossible to balance all possible builds to make them viable. There have to be builds that don’t work. Otherwise you could build or skill whatever you want without thinking about synergies and would beat the game without effort.

And there will come more and more ideas of builds the longer people play so there would always be complaints about why the mastery choice does not fit the play style.

I was not really suggesting to make the choice of passives not themed along with the mastery or to facilitate “off brand” builds. My suggestion was for the offered passives to be unique to the Mastery to ensure the flavor and theme of the passives still still support the mastery but at the same time offer some diversity.

For example instead of having a -5 mana cost to totems passive having an option to choose something a long the line of your melee attacks cost -5mana and have 10% inc AOE.

You guys make valid points though and good discussion.

Classes are restrictive forms in a take it or leave it manner. For example I’m unhappy that every darn Primalist class getting buffs for running minons or one minion but get shafted if you don’t want to use minions at all. Sure mages can wear plate armor without any issues but my oh my a primalist without a pet… heresy ^^.
The mastery passives are pretty binary yes it’s kind of “Play the class as WE intended it and profit!” or “Do whatever you want and feel free to be uneffective.”. This is simply one example of the restictiveness of the class system in this game. Sure the game itself is all well and fine but you are in troubble if you dislike all classes but Primalist for example and dislike totems and pets because this leaves someone with 0 happieness :D.
After all everything is fine and we have stereotype classes in many games so who cares for real? The Mastery passives have been a nice touch and some classes profite more from them then others but when the balancing is done and everything works well those passives might be worth it and the intended playstyle might be good as well. At the moment it’s a bit meh sometimes but in the long run these passives will be good I think.

Comparing a (restrictive) passive/mastery system with gearing is not comparing apples with apples… Primalists without a pet is like mages that don’t use spells, they would similarly not be availing themselves of the spells deal increased damage equal to their mana cost bonus that Sorcerers get. And you can absolutely do that if you want. Though you’d also probably make a spellblade rather than a sorc tbh…

Every game that has a similar concept to masteries is similarly restrictive, but this one isn’t as bad as it could be (eg, diablo 3 or some PoE ascendancies). That said, I think it would be nice if there were passives in the passive tree that supported some more “off-brand” builds, but I doubt they’d change the mastery bonuses.

While I don’t like the idea of swapping mastery passives as it defeats the purpose, I do agree that there needs to be more diversity. I would like to point out that adding 1-2 more masteries per class could also be a viable option as opposed to adding more passives and letting the player select a few.

I’d like to see

1 class = 3 masteries
1 mastery = 3 choices

The shaman is a very good example. If you don’t play Totem or not rely fully on them, the mastery perks are kind of a loss. But if you could pick Shaman mastery with a choice like : totem, animal, melee, it would make the full mastery way more open, and so, IMO, “better” .

I agree, there will always be a meta; it is important that all builds are viable, not perfect. Sacrifices must be made, such is the nature of an RPG.

This is the character of a class based system. At some point you have to make choices, some are permanent. And the classes are defined by the devs. They have a certain concept in mind how their different classes should be designed.

In my opinion it is absolutely ok how it is. The game already offeres a huge diversity in builds. I find it not necessary to really make every fantasy come true. The guys and girls at EHG have to finish this game this year. This goal gets harder when there are more and more builds that have to be made viable.

If I want to play a melee character without pets I can choose 3 masteries of Sentinel, 1 mastery of Mage and 1 Mastery of Acolyte already. So adding a viable build for a Primalist without totems, spells and pets is a little bit to much in my opinion.

There are other games that have no class restrictions where you can just play with every weapon, skill and any style you want. That’s just another concept.

In LE we have classes and with them come restrictions. And that is ok. I am sure there will be even more diversity when the game and community grows. :crossed_fingers:

2 Likes

Yup . A 1000% this.

I think there is some significant middle ground here. I think it’s fair enough that some things just aren’t separable from classes and Shaman Totems might be a decent example of that. But in general there are some very different angles on each mastery thematically. I think there is a decent amount that could be done to bring that out a bit more without necessarily tearing down and overhauling the whole passive structure nor undermining the premise & distinctness of the classes and masteries

Simple things - like having a couple of strong options that are exclusive with each other; maybe also some more trees with strong but highly conditional abilities similar to the Single Companion nodes - could go a long way.

You are able to articulate your thoughts quite well and I do see where you are coming from . It’s a slippery slope .

That’s something I said some time ago. What about changing the “1 companion” node to a “One or none” companion node? It won’t hurt anyone but people who dislike pets would profit. I’m not for sweeping changes but I think opening up posibilitys with such easy matters is just a wasted opportunity if it isn’t implemented. That’s just one example how things could be better for Primalist for example.

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