We had the goal of removing single-target and area masteries, and so we got started on that project. During the concept phase, we realized we didn't like the rules governing how masteries were assigned to items. That's one of the reasons we decided to significantly alter items and masteries; now we'll describe the progress we've made on this project, plus offer specific elements that you'll see when Update 1.81 comes out.

Removal of Single-Target and Area Masteries

We've posted a devblog on our perception of this revamp, its potential benefit for players, and the avenues we can utilize. Let's go back to the following points:

"When we design items, characteristics have a weight. Currently, we've established a rule for all items that's intended to strengthen dual specializations. For example, a melee-only item will have 100 melee mastery, while a melee + single-target item will have 75 melee mastery and 75 single-target mastery for the same weight.


The first point to bear in mind here is that we're committed to updating the formula and the abilities of all items in the game in a way that ensures that no one's total mastery will decrease. So that means rebalancing all items in the game on the same basis (via increases, in most cases).

  1. If you had a '100% melee' build, you would see a large increase in your total mastery.
  2. If you had an 'X% melee + Y% single-target' build, your masteries would stay the same, but you'd now be able to play area-of-effect spells (like Celestial Sword).


This will also be a fairly long-term project, even if the solution we've presented here looks like one that can be partially automated. We'd like to implement it with the release of the single-account server if the community reacts positively to our proposal. That's why we've prepared a new, very brief survey to better understand your feelings in response to this proposal."

Devblog: Single-Target and Area Masteries

The results of the survey were very positive. The community was receptive to our idea that single-target and area masteries be redistributed to the item's other masteries. Having explored a number of possibilities, the team also liked this option best. So this is the option we settled on.

Regarding the items to be modified, it has always been crucial to us that they maintain their role and identity. Beyond the massive amount of time a project like this would have required, the fact that certain items could dramatically change might have harmed players with past investments. We therefore decided not to change the identity of items, and so they'll have the same function as before.

For the sake of transparency, we're going to show part of the system used to create items in WAKFU. The values are non-binding and the full context is not given.

The Item Creation System

All items that grant masteries to equipment follow strict rules to ensure consistency. They specify a weight and a maximum associated with each characteristic. These values may vary, depending on certain factors. Each characteristic is related to one of the four fundamental types:

  • OFFENSIVE: various masteries, % Critical Hit, and % Armor given
  • DEFENSIVE: various resistances, HP, block, and % Armor received
  • ANCILLARY: lock, dodge, and initiative
  • MAJOR: AP, MP, WP, Range, and Control

Each type also has a maximum weight designed to regulate the item's power and allow for a greater amount of interesting, viable equipment items. Thus, each characteristic granted by the item increases the total of its type by its weight. To further boost the variety of possible items, the item has a maximum weight that must not be exceeded and that is below the sum of the fundamental types' maximums.

Additional Rules

Let's add a key element to the concept: to encourage specialization, we decided to reduce the weight of masteries when an item acquires more than one. To explain our thinking in relative terms, masteries' starting weight is equal to 300, and it goes down to 200 when this condition is met. This rule applies to melee, distance, single-target and area masteries. Therefore, if an item initially grants X melee mastery with a weight of Y, it could also grant X*300/200 = 1.5*X melee and single-target/area masteries, also with a weight of Y.

Meanwhile, the weight of critical, rear, healing, and berserk masteries works differently. Their weight depends on the item's level; it ranges from 133 for a level 5 item to 300 for a level 230 item, i.e. 1.88 times greater. A berserk mastery point is worth two times less than a melee mastery point at level 5, and is worth as much at level 230.

We therefore established rules whereby the revamp would operate on items that granted single-target or area mastery:

  • If an item also granted another mastery, then the amount of single-target or area mastery would be converted at an equivalent weight and added to the latter (secondary masteries first).
  • If an item didn't grant any other masteries, then the full amount of single-target or area mastery would be converted at an equivalent weight into mastery in 3 elements (you'll choose which ones when the update is released).
  • All mounts now have 40 Elemental Mastery.
  • Pets have been updated on a case-by-case basis.
Once the revamp was complete, it gave us the following evolution curve for masteries:

Other changes had to be made to certain game elements. These include updates to sublimations such as Brutality and Brazier, changes to class passives such as the Sram's Ambush and the Eniripsa's Mass Aid, and redesigned gameplay elements for bosses such as Drainacask, Rushu's vestiges, and Badgwitch the Furiox. We did everything we could to avoid impacting any particular play style. At any rate, you can see the full list of these in the changelog for Update 1.81.

More Extensive Changes

Once the initial work was done, we were still unhappy with certain changes. In particular, we thought the initial promise wouldn't have been kept if potential users of an item were to lose over 30% of total mastery with this revamp. Confirming this dissatisfaction, the evolution curve for weights of critical, rear, healing, and berserk masteries seemed superfluous and outdated. If we're to work hard going over 2,200 items, we might as well use the opportunity to start from a more solid foundation for the future of items by going over all the standards for mastery weights.

After thinking a lot about the issues of base weight, the impact we wanted specialization to have on weight, and the best way to keep our initial promise that players wouldn't lose mastery, we came to a few conclusions:

  • Within the current paradigm, it is impossible to guarantee that no mastery will be lost. The only alternative would have been to apply a major overall improvement, and adjust player and monster HP accordingly – but this wouldn't have changed anything, as the relationship between the two would have stayed the same. The idea would therefore be to make it so players lose as little mastery as possible due to the update.
  • We want to reduce the mastery gain from dual specialization.
  • All mastery weights should have the same evolution and no longer be based on the item's level at all.
  • We must reduce the difference between mastery weights as much as we can in order to increase the variety of items that can be used optimally.

We also decided to slightly lower the "base" weight of masteries; in this case we brought the baseline weight from 300 to 250, but we kept the reduction to 200 when an item has more than one mastery. Let's look at Cire Momore's Headgear as an example:

Single-target mastery cannot be converted into negative critical mastery, and we very much don't want this item to remain the same after the revamp. We're therefore acting as if the item only had single-target mastery, and applying a multiplier to negative critical mastery. Thus, single-target mastery will be 480*300/333 = 432 when single-target mastery is removed, then 432*333/283 = 508 Mastery in 3 elements when weights are updated. With the same approach applied to critical mastery, it has to be changed to -100*400/283 = -141.

This change produced the following curve, this time accounting for all items:

Most of them will see their masteries slightly increased, owing to the reduction in base weight. For some this will be a more significant increase, as distance and critical masteries had a base weight of 400 in some cases. Finally, note the more or less significant decrease for about 20% of items, explained by two key facts.

Reminder: We want to standardize the weights of all masteries; in the case of critical, rear, healing, and berserk masteries, they had a very low weight in the lowest level brackets. Rebalancing these weights on a constant leads to a decrease in total masteries.

In the case of items that had multiple masteries at once and, to that end, enjoyed a weight reduction: If they had X Single-Target Mastery and Y Melee Mastery, for example, it would give (X+Y)*200/300*300/250 = (X+Y)*4/5, which is always less than X+Y. Let's look at Ghast's Belt as an example:

The item is dual-specialized, granting both 275 Melee Mastery and 275 Single-Target Mastery, i.e. a total of 550 Mastery. When single-target mastery is removed, it will be 275*2*200/300 = 367 Melee Mastery; and when weights are updated, it will amount to 367*300/250 = 440 Melee Mastery.

We're aware that this kind of change can lead to a sense of unfairness. But keep in mind that the rate of increase is separate from the average. An item granting a high number of masteries will still grant a high number after the update. The project was designed and the values determined to make things as fair as possible.

At the same time, we seized the opportunity to make it so berserk and healing masteries would follow the same curve in enchantment bonuses as the other masteries. This change is important to us, and we'd been wanting to implement it for some time. We think that combining it with the removal of single-target and area masteries is a positive change. In addition, out of all our changes, we removed the gain in single-target and area masteries from abilities and unlocked the maximum applied to melee and distance masteries at 40. We still want to see abilities evolve in the future, but for now we want to focus on this evolution of masteries.

Since our early announcements about single-target and area masteries, we have read so many discussions and debates on this topic. A lot of players have made compelling arguments, and we understand this is a sensitive subject. We'd like to thank you for participating on Discord and the forums, as this has been a useful source of reflection for us. We did our best to trim things fairly and equitably, but we know that this represents a big shift in your play habits. We hope that the change will accomplish its initial goal: to make the game more accessible and more fun.


1) Why has this change had such a severe impact on berserk mastery?

The results of the survey from the last devblog show that a majority of the community considers this mastery unfair and overpowered compared to other masteries. We therefore decided to make sure it would be of equal power.

2) What's happening to sublimations like Brutality and Brazier?

All will be detailed in the changelog for Update 1.81.

3) What will happen to sockets containing single-target or area masteries?

Once again, you'll have to read the Update 1.81 changelog for details on the changes.

4) How will my set be affected?

Here is a sample of items and how their levels and specializations will change due to the update; note that you'll be able to choose the equipment's element when the update comes out:

The beta is coming soon, so you'll get to check it all out!
Category: Game design