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I just Mastered the Apprentice Forester crafting and the popup said I could now get critical successes and use items to boost my crit rate.

I've been able to do this since I gained Proficiency, so what does Mastery actually get me?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

You have to master the previous tier in order to be able to crit/use items. Since Apprentice is the first tier, the game considers the "previous tier" to be "mastered". If you don't master the Apprentice tier and you gain proficiency on the Journeyman tier, you won't be able to crit on the Journeyman tier or pursue Journeymen Mastery until you finish Apprentice Mastery. Because of this, if you want to crit on items on any tier other than Apprentice, you must complete Mastery of every proceeding tier.

You can find much more information here.

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That page is a bit inconsistent. In places it says you must be proficient to crit, in others it says you must have mastered. The only place it refers to the previous tier is to say that, in order to gain mastery XP for one tier, you must have mastered the previous tier - nothing about critting. – Rawling Jan 27 '12 at 20:22
I only skimmed the page so it could have some inaccuracies related to changes made to crafting since launch. When lotro launched (maybe all the way through Moria), you had to fully master the current tier and all previous tiers before you could crit on the current tier. I guess they decided that was too much work and now you only have to master the previous tier and be proficient with the current tier to crit. – seth.miller Jan 27 '12 at 20:29
That would explain the difference between the wiki/in-game help and what I'm seeing. – Rawling Jan 27 '12 at 20:41
Either way, I just ran into this issue with one of my resource gathering alts. I gained proficiency with tier 5 and open tier 6. I then gained proficiency with tier 6 but wasn't able to crit until I went back and finished tier 5. Good luck in your crafting. – seth.miller Jan 27 '12 at 20:46
Well... Based on your experience, and the fact that this is apparently a bit messed up, I'm happy to accept your answer :) – Rawling Jan 27 '12 at 20:53

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