Class mastery was the most critical improvement in the Frontiers release. Characters became more customizable and for the first time, stood a chance soloing.
Capped at 1500, a player had to spend at least 500 before spending 200 more to buy his/her master class tag. Then the player could spend 150 more for two master-class specific abilities.
There were always a few main items people would buy. Anything that gave defense or offense mods was crucial. These essentially made your player a level higher.
Bonus HP max, bonus stamina, and raising the caps on your maximum stats were the next things to get bought. Also, all classes had the ability to buy a new spell that was generally pretty important. Druids and shamen had the most needed ones with the mana tree and avatar buff, respectively.
You couldn’t buy your master class tag until level 55. Some people chose to stop at that level and work until they got the tag. Others pushed right on through until level 60 to work on CM’s. However, if a level 59 came into your group and didn’t have a single CM spent, it was very noticeable.
For most classes, master class tags rarely varied in the population. For example, warriors were generally defenders. Clerics were almost always faithfuls. Not that the other MC’s didn’t offer cool things, it just didn’t seem that valuable for a paladin to become a crusader. (Crusader remains one of my favorite MC’s.)
My friend and I only obtained a few MC tags throughout our EQOA experience. In chronological order:
- Human druid, wilding
- Elf rogue, assassin
- Dark elf necro, were-hunter
- Elf bard, minstrel
- Human bard, gypsy
The unfortunate part about class mastery was the time it took to obtain CM’s past the 700th. It was a great way to extend the game, but I think the most we ever got was in the 850’s. We even went as far as to delete other CM’s so that we could reearn the lower cost ones to buy our MC spells. Grinding out each point became too boring. The rose of renewal was introduced and during random anniversaries or server resets, all debt and CMs were finally wiped clean.
On the Hodstock server, it took over 12 months for the first person to reach the full 1500 and it was with no surprise… a necro.