I suggested this in @Vladamir Begemot's thread. A Tiered-Mastery system would be an addition that seems small but I think would end up restructuring the entire skill system, make it easier to understand, tie it to the role-playing and story elements of the game, and create a better feeling of progress, reward, and engagement. You would gain a new level of Mastery every 20 levels, somewhat like in Ultima Online, until you got GM at 100, and maybe beyond that. On reaching each level, you would get some visual feedback in the game, you might get a new in-game title, and you might get a special bonus. A subtle one that wouldn't make anyone more OP than they have now would be tie it into the Specialization skill, which already uses the "Mastery" nomenclature. So, just as an example -- 0 / Novice / 0% of Specialization bonus applies to the skill 20 / Skilled / 20% of Specialization bonus applies to the skill 40 / Expert / 40% of Specialization bonus applies to the skill 60 / Adept / 60% of Specialization bonus applies to the skill 80 / Master / 80% of Specialization bonus applies to the skill 100 / Grandmaster / 100% of Specialization bonus applies to the skill 120 / Legendary / 120% of Specialization bonus applies to the skill (super-added, because you're so great). . . . The titles could be per skill, but that would be a lot of titles, so maybe its best to leave that to reaching these thresholds in the Specialization skill. Ie, reaching level 80 (Master) in Blades Specialization would create a 'Master Bladesman' title that you could apply from your Titles window. Right now, many skills say they require a certain multiple of 20 of a previous skill in the tree. This can be changed into saying they require a certain level of Mastery. So, for Whirling Blades, the translations would work this way... Prerequisite Skills: Double Slash (Level 40) --> Double Slash (Expert) Rend (Level 40) --> Rend (Expert) * * * * The number can also be mentioned, certainly, but the point of giving the number a title is to better structure the gameplay. - Accessibility You can have trainers say, "Come back when you become an Expert in Double Slash and Rend. I'll teach you Whirling Blades." Skill progress and achievement could also be more easily discussed in game books and tutorials, because having a name instead of a number provides a structured way to talk about it. This creates better accessibility. - Player engagement ... ... On achievement of these titles, you would get in-game feedback. In addition to text saying something like "You have reached a new level of Mastery! You are now an Expert in Double Slash," you would get a visual Fx similar to the one we have now for going up a single level, and perhaps the effect for going up a single level could be reduced in intensity or removed. If you have a lot of XP stored up and are leveling a lot of low level skills at once, you'll get this Fx all the time, which is annoying and useless. Having the Fx appear only on these multiples of 20 is more useful, for a lot of reasons. - It tells you when you're ready to go back to a trainer. - It tells you when you're ready to start maintaining instead of training a skill. - It lines up pretty well with the tooltip text that tells you where you'll be 20 skills ahead. - Going up 1 skill level only is not that meaningful. If a player goes from Rend 1 to Rend 2, he doesn't need a fancy swish around his body, because having Rend 2 is not much better than having Rend 1. Being at Rend 20, 40, 60, 80, 100 is, on the other hand, meaningful. Its also well suited to getting the player to look at what's going in in the game world, and not at numbers and bars at the side of his screen. This creates better player engagement. - Utility It would provide a UI means to do what @Fister Magee suggested (as pointed out by @Mac2). One of the training options in the Skills window could be "Train to Next Level of Mastery", which would make the skill training switch to Maintain once the target was achieved. This could also be specifically worded along the lines of the title, like "Train to Expert" or "Train to Master". When you reach "Master" in a certain skill, you'd get the in-game feedback, visual and text, so could manually go to your Skills window and adjust everything, but this would be a QoL feature for the people who want to use it. This creates utility. - Feeling ... Having important milestones that you reach creates a better feeling of achievement in the game. You would get rewarded at each tier of Mastery, with the pinnacle being Grandmaster. The visual Fx could even become stronger at each new level, signalling to the player their greater level of achievement. This creates feeling. * * * * The purpose of applying a bonus to each new tier of Mastery would additionally be to make the progress from one tier to the next feel more meaningful to the player, to make the skill requirements for progression feel meaningful, and also make GM specifically feel more meaningful. Right now the 20, 40, 60, and 80 you need to progress down the tree feel like arbitrary numbers. And the number 100 you need to GM feels like an arbitrary number, which removes the sense of a special achievement besides the fact that you got '100.' Having the bonuses apply at multiples of 20 instead of multiples of 10 would give added emphasis to these thresholds, which is important. If you're GM at 100 and only got your last bonus at 90, its less meaningful than if you got it at 80; and besides, it ties well with the tree progression and has it fit together and make sense. The idea of applying the Specialization skill in fractions based on tiered Mastery is also to help fit the whole skill system together.