My issues with the grindy Masteries

I think the masteries are a good way to help new players learn the civs and their unique mechanics.

But I have several complaints about them. Not the most important topic, I know, but just wanted to put it out there.

On the technical side:

  1. They must be completed in order. This is just so that people stick to the game to grind it out and increase player count I’m guessing. So many times I’ve completed something else down the list in games only to not be awarded those masteries because something else is above them and needs to be done first. I feel like the game is just rewarding the process of grinding, and not the exploration of the civs features. I only play hardest AI and yet I have to separately do Tests of strength 1, 2, 3 and 4.

  2. There is no in-game indicator of whether the mastery is progressing correctly. Like in a mastery where I have to repair 3000 health on units using Medical centers or accumulate 5000 resources from trade, can I please see in the game how much health I’ve healed or how many resources I’ve gathered? The game clearly counts this, so why can’t I see it?

  3. Masteries are not awarded if you quit a match. The problem with having to surrender in order to finish a mastery is that it takes an annoying amount of time to return to the home screen. If I’m just playing a game to get a mastery, I sometimes want to leave the game the moment I fulfill my requirements.

Now for the mastery challenges themselves, I have some comments for the content of the challenges:

  1. The challenges would make sense if you couldn’t cheese them. But you can cheese them all. In which case, they don’t require much skill for the most part. For example, gathering 2000 resources from trade is much harder when you have an opponent who is trying to kill your trade route. I got these types of masteries simply by starting Very high resources in Age IV with no opponent, and then just waiting it out till I have at least 2000 of the resources. It’s just boring busy work.

  2. Some of the masteries aren’t really well designed to show off the unique aspects of a civ. One French mastery task was to have 25 living cavalry by the end of the game. I’m not sure why this couldn’t be an English mastery instead. It’s too generic.

Here are my suggestions for the masteries:

  1. Allow masteries to unlock in any order. Allow a more than one masteries to be unlocked in a match.

  2. The rewards should be tied to the number of masteries you complete, and not the mastery itself. Like if you defeat AI Hardest (the 15th mastery for any civ) in your first game, you shouldn’t get the coolest monument yet. You’ll only get it with the completion of 15 masteries.

  3. Tests of Strength of higher difficulty should automatically unlock tests of strength of lower difficulty.

  4. Do not allow masteries to be obtained without enemies on the map. They must be earned. I think you should be able to earn multiple masteries from a match but cheesing it without enemies on the map is a bit too much. But that’s an opinion.

Yeah, as I said I’m sure most of you aren’t really worried about this. There are other more important things, but just my thoughts since I have been doing masteries the last few days.

Thanks for reading.


Masteries = Wasted time

They’re all too easy and lack reward. If they want players to learn about Civ nuances, they ought to have that built into…the campaign, or some other thing, like AoE2:DE.

1 day spamming QM teaches 1 year of offline skill.

There should be a whole list of masteries related to QM. Like, “reach castle age in 10 minutes and win the game.” Or, “beat an opponent with a 100 ELO advantage.” Or even, “achieve a two win streak as Abbasid above 1600 ELO.”

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Lol I wouldn’t be able to do any of those.

Well…Yeah maybe I can do castle age in 10 minutes. But I don’t play this game for multiplayer sorry.

But I believe what you’re suggesting will be part of the ranked seasons once the seasons update comes in.

Good luck with your win streak at 1600 elo.

Also, the reasons I mention are the reason why masteries are a waste of time.

They could make the masteries more interesting and challenging and maybe that way they won’t feel like a waste of time.

Of course they should add your QM stuff too. But as I said I think you’ll get those in a few months.


tbh playing a solo game vs a computer is boring, would much rather they make it ‘or x amount of multiplayer wins as x civ’ for the tests of strengths. so if other players like me who have no interest in playing vs ai can still complete them.

I just think masteries would be popular among QM players, or even Custom match players vs AI, if there were a list of masteries for those two categories, distinct from Civ-specific masteries.

A list of 15 QM masteries would be something cool to work through.

Not if they have to be done in order and won’t show you mastery progress.

Also not all of them should involve winning. At the end of the day, I don’t think that the point of Age of Empires is just winning. I mean there’s also things that are challenging that may require you to make a new build order, like have 200 pop as Delhi within 15 minutes etc. but not necessarily mean winning.

I keep coming back to the franchise and it’s not because I am a great player. AoE4 in particular has been disappointing with its very one dimensional civ design that hopes to be interesting for the strategy aspect of it. Not its fault but civs all feel the same to me no matter how much you sugarcoat the differences.

Don’t get me wrong. Yes some civs are OP right now but I think tweaking a few numbers and dealing with bugs will solve it. Every civ has the same types of units and their culture is not represented well in their military units and unique techs.

but masteries are very very easy, just play against AI easy with max resources and you can complete them all in one week maybe?..

Yes, they should not have to be done in order like a check list of items, but rather like independent achievements in their own category.

Yes, you are correct, perhaps something like only a 3rd should involve a victory condition, a 3rd should involve some composition for your Civ, specific or not, during the game, and another 3rd for things you do or have done to you by your opponent in game. This way all kinds of players could be achieving something from the list in due time as one or another will relate specifically to their preferred match type and playstyle.

There is great similarity at times, mostly due to late game siege spam being identical between Civs (in appearance and playout), however, you may find a lot more diversity, for what more can be had at the moment, through 1 vs 1 QM or Custom match, in which players, depending on ELO & interest, will always do something slightly different or even ridiculous with their Civ.

Had there been modding at launch, you may have seen many additional hours of content added to suit your pleasure by now.

At the moment, it should only take about three days to achieve them all, since you can surrender once you’ve achieved some of them, and once you’ve streamlined gameplay, it shouldn’t take more than 25-30 minutes to bash AI Easy — Hardest with any Civ, considering how weak the AI are in this build of the game.

Yes they still very grindy. And it’s annoying since you may have completed mastery 12 many times before but it won’t unlock since you didn’t do mastery 5.

This is huge. I spent over an hour and a half in a game against an AI just to make sure i had enough healing. I had anxiety so I kept adding more and more time because the last match I didn’t get credit for a mastery.

Having an experience bar or achievement checklist in-game would absolutely and massively help players with these types of masteries.