Today I want to quickly chip in with something related to the Masterwork system that has annoyed me for quite some time now. And that’s the fact that the devs keep labeling it as “endgame for professions.”
I don’t want to bash Masterwork in general. It is what it is: Highly difficult, cost and time intensive recipes that can be insanely profitable. If you’re one of those guys that like to completely overpay for the slightest of upgrades, there you go. Masterwork has never been perfect, but it has worked given this intention. I don’t think too many players ever bought into the Stronghold Weapons or PVE armor, but PVP Rings were seen best-in-slot and quite a moneymaker for some.
Endgame for the elite
Nonetheless it has little do with professions, at least how its endgame should look like. I already did a piece about professions a while ago where I described how the system should incorporate more exploratory factors, among other things. Of course Masterwork features none of that, because it’s no endgame for professions, but an endgame for the elite build on professions.
You could say that I’m merely arguing about semantics. That’s fair. Could “endgame” mean that you are actually able to craft highly coveted items? Of course! In fact Masterwork is the only source of sellable gear, which makes it an unique feature. But professions should be for everyone. Not only do an insane amount of time and AD gate Masterwork recipes, it also requires an active high-level guild to advance. Right now Masterwork has more to do with leveling your guild than leveling your professions. You need to perform guild tasks to unlock them and you have to continuously perform even more guild tasks to get the resources for the recipes. Shouldn’t professions work as an independent system?
Not everyone can participate
The argument the devs threw into the ring has always been that “everyone can participate” by farming Masterwork nodes and sell or contribute resources. But it’s quite the opposite in terms of professions. Masterwork nodes just add another grind mechanic and players participate in market activities, not professions. It’s not that they go out and progress themselves, which to me would be a core principle of participation.
Neither does Masterwork extend professions, nor does it add cool features. And most importantly it offers nothing for those that are actually interested in a deep and immersive profession system. I’m not gonna say it’s as misleading as saying that the Foundry is one of the core features of the game, but Masterwork is indeed an economic system for those interested in making profit or hunting the absolute bis of the bis.
Professions still need an overhaul
I think it’s an important distinction to make. The devs shouldn’t have an excuse to not work on professions because they “delivered Masterworks”. Professions and Masterwork target a completely different audience and although they seem connected, are different systems. So could we please stop labeling Masterwork an endgame for professions? Because quite frankly it’s not.
What’s your opinions on Masterwork vs. Professions? Share your thoughts in the comments below or leave a message in the corresponding thread on our message board.
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