GW2 Reimaging progression the Mastery System

New blog post went up on the official GW2 website today detailing the new Mastery System.

As many of you now know, we’re introducing an entirely new progression system withGuild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™. The Mastery system is a key component of one of our primary goals with this first expansion to Guild Wars 2. We want to introduce a new framework for endgame progression and a meaningful way for players to grow their characters and their experience once they’ve reached the maximum level in the game.

Through Masteries, players who’ve reached level 80 will have the opportunity to continue their journey by acquiring powerful new abilities for their entire account. Masteries are the way you will progress after reaching level 80 in PvE, but they’re quite a bit different than traditional progression, so let’s take a closer look at exactly how this new system will work.

What Are Masteries?

Masteries provide abilities and bonuses that can be unlocked for all characters on your account by completing in-game content and gaining experience in PvE. Masteries allow you to progress in PvE by playing PvE content. Unlike traditional progression systems, Masteries expand with the world. Instead of earning small increases in base stats, Masteries give you meaningful powers that affect your interaction with the game and open up new possibilities as you progress. Each Mastery track contains several tiers to unlock, allowing you to gain more powerful abilities associated with each track’s theme as you progress. Masteries are all about adding an exciting progression system to the PvE component of Guild Wars 2—WvW has its Abilities system, PvP progression is focused on player skill, and PvE will now have meaningful endgame progression with Masteries.

How Do I Get Masteries?

The ability to train Masteries is unlocked at level 80 for all players that own Heart of Thorns. When this ability is unlocked, your character’s experience bar will change to become a Mastery training bar while in PvE zones. This bar will track your progress on training the Mastery track you currently have selected, showing both the abilities you are training toward and those already earned from the track. To see all your Mastery tracks, spend Mastery points, and change which Mastery you are currently training, click the Mastery training bar to bring up the Mastery tray. Because the Mastery training bar completely replaces the experience bar, players who’ve reached level 80 will no longer gain levels but will instead train Masteries. This means characters that have reached level 80 will no longer gain skill points through leveling. Skill points will be added as rewards across high-level content to offset this change.


To train a specific Mastery track, you must first unlock it by spending Mastery points. Mastery points are awarded for completing various pieces of game content. 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, or earning 100% completion for a map will award Mastery points. Each Mastery point can be earned once per account, so while Mastery points allow you to unlock Mastery tracks, they are also an indicator of how much of the game you’ve experienced. In fact, once you have unlocked the ability to train Masteries, your nameplate will display the number of Mastery points you have gained rather than your level. Mastery points can be gained at any level but cannot be spent until level 80.

Once you’ve unlocked a Mastery track tier with Mastery points, you can begin training that Mastery. Mastery tracks are trained by gaining experience while the Mastery track is slotted on the Mastery training bar. Higher tiers in Mastery tracks require progressively more Mastery points and more experience to fully train.

Each Mastery track is tied to a region of Tyria—they must be unlocked with Mastery points gained in that region and can only be trained in that region. With the launch of Heart of Thorns, there will be two Mastery regions: the Heart of Maguuma, encompassing all PvE zones that are part of the Heart of Thorns expansion, and the core Guild Wars 2 world, encompassing all PvE zones currently available in the game today. Since Mastery tracks can only be trained in their respective regions, the Mastery training bar will automatically change the Mastery track slotted when you change regions, reverting to the last Mastery track you had selected for that region. Some Mastery points will come from content that existing players may have already completed, and these Mastery points will be automatically awarded to you with the release ofHeart of Thorns, allowing you to get started on your Mastery journey right away.

What Can I Get From Masteries?

Masteries award account-wide abilities and bonuses. Here are some examples of Masteries you can train in the Heart of Thorns expansion in both the Heart of Maguuma and the coreGuild Wars 2 world:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.


To give you a better understanding of what Masteries can mean for you, let’s take a closer look at gliding, a new method of exploration introduced in the Heart of Maguuma.

In the jungle, you can make your way up through the canopy layers and climb to impossible heights. While you’re up there, you’ll have the chance to check out some stunning views—and, of course, you’ll be accompanied by the ever-present threat of falling an incredibly long distance to your death on the forest floor. When you train the Gliding Mastery, however, you’ll have the option to soar freely through the treetops, escape the dangers that await you on the jungle floor, use the air to your advantage in combat against certain foes, and save yourself from accidental death by slipping.

Once you’ve unlocked the Gliding Mastery track, you can pull out your glider any time you’re in free fall in the Heart of Maguuma. When you first pull out your glider, you’ll notice that you have a limited amount of energy while in the air. Be careful—if you run out of energy while gliding, your glider will collapse and you’ll be in for a rough landing!

As you continue to explore the jungle, you’ll have the option to further develop your gliding skills by advancing this Mastery. Fly longer, jump higher, take advantage of strong wind currents, and launch yourself into the air with greater force—make your glider work harder for you, and use it to explore the Heart of Maguuma to its fullest.

Masteries and the Heart of Maguuma have been designed to complement and support each other. As you unlock Masteries, you’ll be more effective in fights against certain enemies in the jungle, you’ll be able to reach new areas and fully explore the maps you’re in, and you’ll be able to revisit previous encounters with the advantage of the abilities you’ve mastered over time. And as you complete more content in the Heart of Maguuma, such as hitting certain performance thresholds in adventures or exploring maps, you’ll be rewarded with even more Mastery points to spend as you see fit.

Every Mastery you invest in will bring new benefits to all of the characters on your account. Gliding greatly enhances your ability to move around the jungle, while other Masteries focus on combat, lore, and exploration.

Masteries Are Here to Stay

We are very excited about bringing Masteries to Guild Wars 2. We believe it’s the perfect progression system for a game where the journey is the goal. Masteries allow us to focus on giving you new abilities without invalidating your past achievements. They allow you to constantly grow and overcome new challenges while focusing on playing the game instead of grinding for gear. Masteries have the flexibility to both take us to new places and revisit our old favorites, and since the Mastery system provides account-based progression, new characters are always welcome.

We can’t wait to share Masteries with you when Heart of Thorns arrives in Guild Wars 2.


  • Cyzt


  • Cyzt

    So… those poeple with over 20k AP will initiate with a huge amount of MP. And most of the MP from the vanilla GW2 will be automatically earned… i dont know if take it as a YAY or a WTF…

    • Blanksy

      Well the “hardcore” players that have all those AP wouldve complained constantly on the forums would complain if they didnt get an advantage for something like that, saying how Anet doesnt care for its “hardcore” / “dedicated”playerbase and only caters to the “casuals”/ “newbs”.

      never please everyone.

      • Cyzt

        That being sayd then YES!!!, is a BIG YAY, as its the mastery point no the mastery itsefl, as they say that MP is for unlocking the mastery TRACKS then its awesome.
        That being sayd, newcommers will be sada pandas, cause in the way from 1-80 you dont get 80 skill points so it may be harder for them to amass skill points now.
        Not for hardcores cause people like me has over 500 skill points in bank acumulating dust.

        • Presac

          Actually, in the text it’s written:
          “Mastery points can be gained at any level but cannot be spent until level 80.”
          So they would still earn them, but they just can’t use them.

          • gasti89

            I think they mean you can earn MPs by completing achievements, maps and challenges even below level 80. But you still only earn skill points during leveling.

        • George Smith

          well with the ones you get from level up (1-80), the ones you get from map completion, the ones you get from champ bags and the ones that article above says they will add to offset no longer getting them from level up post 80 I think it will be fine

          • thatdamnrat

            SAYS it will be offset, but I have a hard time believing that, as the experience bar was effectively infinite. a FAR simpler solution would be simply having one of the Masteries be Mastery of Skills, which when slotted does the same job as the old 80+ xp bar.

    • Nick

      Well, it sounded to me like they were going to give MP for different achievements and mapcompletions. It does sound logical to me that people already aven gotten those achievements would get that MPs instantly?
      Sure, I wouldn’t mind getting new achievements to hunt but I remember when pvp-reward tracks came, it felt lame to me to have to redo story to unlock reward tacks. Then again, opinions differ. As long as there is an easy way to see wich achievements I would have to redo I wouldn’t mind terribly. After all, my new Rev will need map compeltion too 🙂

    • Lord

      But most of the MP awarded will be from Core system.
      MP from Maguuma Jungle will still have to be awarded from the game.

      So people can’t start with gliding when they just log in, but the could unlock fractal or precursor for example..

      it will help people, but we still do not know how many points are needed.

      Does it looks like PvP track, or WvW reward system ?
      We will see it

    • George Smith

      well those people would be able to unlock the tracks faster than newer players BUT they would still only be able to level one at a time.

  • Morsus98

    Master Combat will likely be the first mastery I pursue. It sounds like it will be useful in both the old maps and the new ones.

    • George Smith

      actually i think it will only be useful in the new areas with stuff like stripping the bark from a really tough mordrem to make them vulnerable to damage etc. if they made it useful in all the old areas it would run the risk of taking away any challenge

    • Braghez

      Plus without the exploration mastery you would be really limited in the new maps…some places would become unreachable.

  • FarmerJoe

    Master Legends first for me. The rest will be unlocked during farming mats for the precursors 🙂

    • Dmeow

      me too ><"

  • mhm

    Just shut up and take my money already.

  • Necro

    So and would about the mentioned greatsword Necromancer?
    Will this go into combat mastery?!

    • Phobia256

      No, that will likely be the Necromancer Specialization.

    • Braghez

      Masteries and specializations are totally separated stuff.

    • George Smith

      from what we definitely know right now each class will start off with 1 specialization and at least a part of what that offers will be access to at least 1 new weapon for the class (not a new weapon for the game). If they were to open up even more weapons for that class I suspect it would be through adding more specializations further down the line.

      Combat masteries sound like they will be very situational, an example of one of them is a boss that is really hard/impossible to kill until you get a mastery that allows you to strip its bark and make it vulnerable

  • Knox Harrington

    I’m on the fence about purchasing this expansion because I know that after the initial rush is over, it’s going to be right back to the same ole shallowly pointless Lifeless Story crap masquerading as content.

    • DinWar5

      Masquerading as content eh? You sound like a person who wouldn’t know content if it slapped you upside the head. Of course this expansion is not going to radically change the way this game is played – it’s still GW2 after all, not an entirely new game. Sounds more like GW2 just isn’t meant for you and you should move elsewhere.

      • STFU

        Check his responses on SWTOR and you’ll see he doesn’t appear to be happy with much of anything.

  • Ardenwolfe

    Can’t really say I’m crazy about this.

  • Noa

    Quite on the fence about this. When I first heard about the expansion I was really hoping for Cantha or Elona, especially after two years since the game’s release. Tyria is very big and I still don’t understand why they’re only opening the land small bit by small bit. Oh well. As for the masteries, we’ll see although I fear it will cater more to the very experienced players instead of the more casual ones.

    • EyesOfGehenna .

      It’s always been weird. I played GW1 a lot and when they started talking about making a GW2 they said one of the reasons was that with the expansions the game had become too big and people too spread out. So they made GW2 so big that people were too spread out from the beginning….I think masteries can be an interesting thing. I honestly stopped playing GW2 after 2 months (played GW1 for 7 years). I also played another NcSoft game called Aion where you had wings that you could use to fly in certain areas but could use unrestricted to glide…oh wait a minute….what a coincidence 😉

      • Noa

        What’s always been weird to me is that the GW gameworld is so cramped in terms of size. In a few strides you can cover the width of an entire map. They say that the GW1 expansions made the world too big and, as you mention it, causing players to be too spread out but large gameworlds are fun to explore, you just have to fill it with interesting content. Skyrim is a good example of this. As it is I will not buy the expension right away when it comes out. Instead, I’ll wait for reviews and Heart of Thorns might very well make me continue with a passion or make me lose interest altogether in GW and move on to better, richer pastures.

        • EyesOfGehenna .

          Yeh for me it was just surprising that they first said that the GW1 world was too big after the expansions so they made GW2 huge. That just defies all logic really. I like there to be a lot of zones but it was Anet themselves who had a problem with it. What my issue is with GW2 is that the leveling from zone to zone gets boring after doing a number of zones. I think the leveling could’ve been shorter from the start and have fewer zones to level through. I always thought that considering what happens when you level up, actually level 30 maybe 40 would’ve been plenty. Certainly not level 80. Also with more things to do at level 80 they could’ve added a lot of zones later as part of an expansion. Right now they decided against raising the level cap. I think it’s a good decision because level 80 is already too much of the same and honestly, I don’t think ANet really has the right people/tools/budget/whatever to make a more significant endgame. Masteries seem an interesting idea but it’s not something that makes me wanna give GW2 a shot again.

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