Mana Mastery Issues and Thoughts

I’ve been meaning to post my thoughts on this for quite awhile, but the inspiration on how to potentially address this current gameplay flaw to warrant this post escaped me until yesterday.

A couple of important concepts to speak of first,

  • PQ3 is a game of diminishing returns. This means that in general, the higher the level something is raised, the more difficult and more expensive reaching that next level is while receiving continually smaller and smaller benefits for each new level achieved.

  • PQ3 is a game of intentional resource scarcities and conflicts. Often, the same extremely scarce and expensive resources is used to fuel multiple different ascensions, creating intentional conflicts on how to deploy those resources.

With that out of the way, I’ve posted this picture before about the potential issues that the game presents with high level spell ascensions.

In the screengrab, the player would obtain 10 spell damage, 5 armor healing, 8 poison mastery, and 1 additional turn of regeneration.

Quite underwhelming, absurdly so even in the face of expected strong diminishing returns and the extreme costs of that transaction (14 Glyphs + 4 T4 Relics).

In one of the later Early Access updates, the devs added mana mastery to spells to give them an additional boost. This was a very good idea, IMO. The problem broadly with spells is that the numerical spell output generated by the game is a function of quite a few factors (player level, spell level, mana mastery, various boost types, etc.), which generally require base spell damage and its expandable range via leveling up the spell to be low to accommodate all of those potential boosts. Adding a mana mastery boosting component to spells gave another way to boost the effectiveness of spells.

And this is where I was stuck at for quite awhile on this issue and let this issue drop, until yesterday.

Darn those random shower thoughts out of nowhere.

When this issue is looked at from another perspective, a potential solution becomes apparent.

As noted in the second bullet point above, the game is full of intentionally created scarcities and resource conflicts. So, let’s look at the situation of the above proposed spell ascension from a perspective of a scarce resource commonality, and what else could be done with that scarce resource. In the transaction, the common scarce resource is the Mythic Control Panels, which are used to ascend any thing associated with the Dwarven Set to Mythic.

In the proposed transaction, the level 50 spell would yield 75 mana mastery (across all spells, mana mastery ranges from 50 to 100 for a level 50 spell based upon the commonness or nicheness of that spell).

Okay, but that reveals a problem. If I wanted to pursue mana mastery,

A level 45 Legendary Dwarven Hammer already generates more mana mastery at 80, without expending any of the scarce resources.

The problem gets worse once Mythic ascensions are considered.

A Mythic 45 piece of gear generates 140 mana mastery. That’s +60 mana mastery from the gear ascension alone.

While, ascending that spell from Legendary 45 to Mythic 45…

… yields no mana mastery at all.


And Mythic 50?

+20 more mana mastery for the piece of gear, while only receiving +8 for the spell ( various spells will range from +5 to +10).

Again, advantage goes to the gear over the spell.

All of this leads to a very unfortunate, yet inescapable conclusion.

In instances where the output effectiveness of a spell is measured in a numerical value which is affected by a player’s mana mastery, optimization of spell output effectiveness through maximizing mana mastery is achieved by prioritizing and investing in a player’s gear and NOT in the spell itself.

In less complex wording, investing in high rarity gear to generate high mana mastery totals to boost spell damage is GOOD, investing in spells (with numerical output, not percentage-based) is BAD (or very inefficient).

Pretty sure, that’s not working as likely designed/intended.

However, the wheel does not need to be reinvented here. All that needs to be done is an adjustment of mana mastery numbers on spells to make them be the superior source of mana mastery over gear. This is likely the intended design, given that Spell Glyphs are priced similarly to Weapon Glyphs and are meant to be their equivalent in offensive potentness.

Mana Mastery awarded by spells should be higher than the mana mastery awarded by secondary gear sources. This change would incentivize players to prioritize ascending spells with numerical outputs to higher rarities to improve their effectiveness over ascending other gear pieces. If the mana mastery mechanic for spells is tied to the same locked system that spell damage is over a 50 level range, then the issue can addressed by adding one-time mana mastery bonuses to the spell at each ascension.

Thoughts, everyone?


Fully agree with every of your conclusions!
I think the mythic upgrade was not really reconsideted and should be reevaluated asap because many elite players are now on the step to upgrade to mythic.

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Broadly speaking levelling spells is very underwhelming.

The increases are mostly linear and very flat. The gain you get from upgrading L1-5 is much the same as you get from L31-35. +5-10 points of damage, +5-10 spell mastery.

Compare that to melee weapons and you see the upgrade curve there is exponential. Every level increases the damage by more than the previous upgrade, as well as there being stepped increases with rarity rewarding you for investing in those items. That isn’t there with spells.

Also compare it to the stats and abilities of enemies you are fighting. By the time you are in the position to consider raising most of your spells to L30+ you are likely fighting endgame content in the top Difficulties. Enemies there are not gaining armor, resistance or HP in amounts of +2 per level, they are spawning in the tens of thousands in each category, casting spells that are also valued in the tens of thousands. So adding +10 to damage output on a spell is trivial at best, and IMO not worth the investment unless you have so much surplus of the upgrade materials and nothing else worth investing them into.

Spell Mastery did get added to spells which gives a little more incentive to level them, but I feel the amounts it adds are also trivial. I think the calculation amounts to +2 points of damage per point of spell mastery. Spells that focus on damage typically add +1 spell mastery per spell level. Again this gain is linear, with no recognition for higher levels and rarities. By the time you can consider the higher levels the scaling of enemies means these gains are inconsequential.

I do agree with your division of spells between those with % effects and those with just a numerical value. Those with a % do have more value and reason to be increased compared those with a deal X damage.

I think for levelling and investment into spells to be worthwhile they need to take on more of the approach done to the melee weapons re-work. The gains needs to be more exponential rather than linear. Make it rewarding to level up a spell and to invest in getting it to higher levels and rarities.

If the counter argument is that spells get a lot of power buffs from the equipment worn, particularly a colour matching set, then that only further reinforces the point that to have powerful spells you should invest in your gear, not the spells.


I wrote a lengthy response that addresses the ideas (I think what you propose is good) and the general issue of necessary improvements generally, but then it started to boil over into a critique of the developer. Finally I just was disgusted so I deleted it entirely.

My main thought is that the development effort and engagement effort on this game to date have been poor. Period. PVP needs work. Kingdoms need help. Minions need rework. Supposedly followers are going to be reworked. Where is Seasons? What’s the point of even being here on the forums anymore? and of course before I inadvertently hijack this thread, Spells still need some sort of rework to justify investing in advancing them.

They have the next couple of updates to convince people that this game is worth investing time in or people will move on. Clearly they don’t care what ideas the players have about the game so it’s up to them to show their cards at some point and convince us that the investment has been worth it.

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Fully agreed.

That’s where the mythical roadmap is likely to come into play. It will likely be published with the release of 1.1 to try to bring some kind of order to the situation and set some kind of expectations for the playerbase while all of these systems are waiting to be revamped.

Of course, the question then becomes “When is 1.1”?

Eight full weeks since 1.0 release is tomorrow. Are the devs still on a 8-week general development schedule from Early Access as multiple core features of the game that were surely meant to be in release 1.0 are still missing? Or has the development release window slowed down now that the game is “live”?

Well, whatever happens, it has to happen soon. The game can’t stay in the 14-month stasis field in which it has remained since Early Access started in 0.34. The game is “live” and needs to start acting like it else new players will start leaving quickly, and the crowds are already starting to become restless.

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