Dev Discussion #24 - Overgearing

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Glorious Ashes community - it's time for another Dev Discussion! Dev Discussion topics are kind of like a "reverse Q&A" - rather than you asking us questions about Ashes of Creation, we want to ask YOU what your thoughts are.

Our design team has compiled a list of burning questions we'd love to get your feedback on regarding gameplay, your past MMO experiences, and more. Join in on the Dev Discussion and share what makes gaming special to you!


Dev Discussion #24 - Overgearing
What’s your view on overgearing (aka "twinking")? Giving high(er) level equipment to low(er) level characters?

Keep an eye out for our next Dev Discussion topic regarding boss difficulty!
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Comments

  • Overgearing is something I dislike when I play through a game the first time. I like to have an appropriate challenge, instead of just steamrolling my way through everything.
  • ItsFayneItsFayne Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited November 18
    Why I support "overgearing":
    -For a lot of people, the game of gearing for specific level tiered arenas (think 1-19, 19-29, etc) is a viable part of the game, that is very enjoyable. There might be legendary PvPers at certain ranks. "PlayerX will go down in game history as the best level 29 rogue PvPer ever"
    -If the gear is usable by any player of that rank, it doesnt create an unfair advantage, any more than a rare weapon or piece of gear would at a higher level.
    -Encouraging players to re-roll "alts" to overgear helps player retention long term, which is obviously more important in a sub based game.
    -Giving gear gathered by higher level "alts" to lower level characters keep the gear in use, and it doesnt just become "vendor trash" which over the long term of the game, can inflate the economy with a constant influx of gold.

    Why I don't support "overgearing":
    -In tiered PvP situations, if you arent overgeared it can feel hopeless. This can make PvP in lower levels feel dead as it is a very "twink or go home" mentality.
    -It can feel like an unfair advantage in lower level PvE. Some characters burning through content at a much higher rate. This means "twink" characters stay in lower level content for a shorter period of time, making that content feel dead.
    -Gear for "alts" can feel unearned, which allows less content to be completed when leveling secondary characters. This could greatly influence node development, or lack there of, in areas where content can be bypassed due to overgearing. I think for this game specifically we want to do everything possible to not skew or hamper node development artificially.

    Personal opinion:
    -I dont have an issue with overgearing, but I dont like to see some gear that is SO far ahead of the rest, that it becomes meta, and if you dont have that gear, you're 20-30% worse than with it. Epic or "BiS" twink gear should be attainable across the board, even if its easier to obtain with a higher level "alt" character.

    My Chat's Opinion:
    -Don't eat week old fruit plates.
    -Sausage > Bacon
    -Waffles > Pancakes
  • SinjinSinjin Member, Braver of Worlds
    I don't mind overgearing my character if and only if it's my, say, fourth or fifth time rolling. If I'm playing through any game's story/campaign/whatever for the first time, I will not overgear, and I definitely want to enjoy the journey first and foremost.
  • I dont like overgearing at all, loot is loot, and there should not be such a think as overgearing
  • McShaveMcShave Member
    edited November 12
    I would like players at the same level to have similar gear. I should not have end game gear at lvl 10. I think WoW's Heirloom gear was a great system. When a player got to max level they could buy gear for leveling alts that scale as they level. It was usually the best gear at every level, but it wasn't crazy strong. It also gave a nice bonus to xp gained and made leveling a bit faster.
  • As long as it's not ridiculous. A level 1 with a level 50 sword would be ridiculous, but a level 1 with a level 5 or level 10 sword would be less so.

    If I've put the effort in to get my gear, then I should get to decide what to do with it, including whether or not I give it away.
  • Depending on the difference in levels between the gear and the player, it can put a real damper on game play. When you first play a game, it's nice to fight to get what you have instead of flying through every quest or dungeon.
  • Overgearing is fine to an extent. Should a level 1 be able to equip a level 40 weapon? No. But if you have a max level character and are able to help out lower level players with a bit of power that's ok. It shouldn't be so much as to enter God mode. Also depends if players are able to lock thier level to stay In specific level brackets for battlegrounds and things like that. Never enjoyed it much when I am leveling up an alt and decide to join a battleground and get smashed by twinks that have been sitting in the level bracket for months. But I acknowledge that some players enjoy that gameplay.
  • RLTygurrRLTygurr Member
    edited November 12
    It depends on whether your goal is to focus on one "main character" for a player or to focus heavily on alts. In the end, if you give no incentive for players to overgear lower level characters (Rewards can be earned at all levels but become more difficult to achieve at higher levels due to a more normalized gear/strength level) then people generally won't bother outside of generally faster leveling.

    In my opinion, overgearing is only bad if it makes the experience notably worse for other players. The last thing I want to see is a player-created "gear requirement" where players will need to be overgeared for content in order to even be allowed to attempt certain content.
  • LieutenantToastLieutenantToast Moderator, Staff
    edited November 12
    ItsFayne wrote: »
    Reserved. Rant Incoming

    We figured this might be a controversial one 🤣
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  • As long as the "lower level character" has the weaponskill, stats, or level required to use it, I don't see a problem. Having powerful and helpful friends should come with benefits.
  • No overgearing
  • Gimmie the Powa! gotta dip dip on some noooobs ( ͡• ͜ʖ ͡• )
    "Imagine dying to a broken sword."
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  • To me, overgearing seems to hold the tension between two things... (1) when a low level player gets high level gear not through their own merit, but through buying/gifting/trading for it, and (2) when a low level player gets high level gear through merit... perhaps they work hard and vanquish a foe many levels above them. In the case of (1), I wouldn't want them to be able to use the gear, but in the case of (2) I would want them to be able to. Too often games don't reward you at all for taking risks and succeeding -- you're able to defeat the epic boss levels before you "should" be able to? Well, go ahead and wait to level up a bunch before you hit the requirement for the cool sword you got, at which point the effort you put into defeating the boss earlier is wasted. It feels bad.

    Possible Response: Have limits (like level or attribute limits) to prevent overgearing, but create an exception for players directly earning the higher level gear. For instance, if player A defeats a high level boss and gains a high level weapon, they can use it below the limit, but once the weapon trades possession, the limit is enforced. Sort of like a weird version of gear binding.
  • OK lets do this:

    Over gearing doesn't really work in AoC. Here is why:

    AoC is similar to Lineage2 or WoW Classic in the sense that gear was money/crafting/farming dependent. Leveling an alt on WoW classic is a pain without the XP bonus of over tuned leveling gear but, you can still boost a character faster if you got one of the 3 things mentioned above completed. Need gear? Pay for it, craft it for your alt, or run dungeons which gives XP + loot.

    If the goal of the game is to feel like L2 or WoW Classic then why give alts a benefit to the leveling experience ESPECIALLY when the leveling experience is half of the content within both L2/WoW and I suspect AoC, If you over gear alts, then most of your content is basically a speedrun to endgame content.

    This doesnt mean that over gearing wont happen anyways. Think about how many people twinked cahracters at lvl 19 for battle grounds in WoW Classic? How many people crafted awesome gear at level 22 in L2 to reach level 30 faster? This will happen naturally as the game progresses and people get better at crafting and get more in-game money.

    TLDR - Over gearing will turn the leveling experience into a speed running challenge and make end game the ultimate goal quickly. Gearing up alts will happen anyways through natural game play mechanics
  • Hey Ashes team! Great question, I'll try to keep it short. Will give 3 examples and then tie it up with final thoughts. Generally speaking, I've never had "twinking" (first time I hear that term) in "classical" mmos. The reason is because items would generally require an X amount of stat or level to be used. The game I played the most was SWTOR. Before that, Rohan. I did play a bunch of others but those two are the ones that stand out the most, and I'll add the third: Lineage 2.
    1- SWTOR was kind of like the direct WoW competitor for a while. No higher level gear here (will go back to this example in the end).
    2- Lineage 2 had this cool thing where if you wanted to use some item you weren't proficient on, you'd have penalties. For example, wearing plate heavy armor would give you a speed and other penalties since you could only wear leather at best.
    3- Rohan: Blood Feud was basically another cash grabbing mmorpg back in the era of Shaiya and others. It had SOME cool stuff, to be honest and overall the design of weapons and armors at that time were really really cool to me. One of the "best features" (and worst problems) in this game, was that you could use an NPC to lower/remove attributes needed on items OR lower the level requirement up to 31 levels. So, at level 31, you could be using a level 61 gear set.
    These are the 3 key examples I can think of with higher level items when you're a low level character. The SWTOR one was kind of a hybrid, since you could have items to be 'modded' but the main mods (hilts, or armor) required a level. The only advantage was that some items required low level and had better stats than the same level items that were normal from a quest.
    In general, I think level AND requirement caps are good. They are annoying to some extent, yes, but they also divide the game into "segments" which is good for devs to focus different things in different areas, and also perhaps PvP at level 40 is not the same as level 80, hypothethically. At the same time those segments translate into a sense of accomplishment for the player: "finally you son of a bitch, we reached 60! YAY". The attributes (or stat) requirement is another thing that gives the player CHOICE while at the same time soft locking the playstyle they would want to go for. If this is too much then just the level requirement and the items should have a "proficiency" level (the more you use it, the better you are, etc. kind of like ESO or Kingdom Come: Deliverance though I know it's RPG and not MMO). However, having some "shiny high level knight" gift you a good sword that helps you out is also a great feeling. I had this happen in Rohan and it was night and day difference (although that game was designed for whales, but I digress). I wouldn't mind at all giving players the choice of being gifted things to help them out with the tradeoffs of penalties and lack of proficiency. And last but not least, I apologize if this is unrelated, but I think it has some relation when it comes to items and power: items should be for the most part, obtainable by people who want to do the work that is necessary. If it's an easy dung to obtain something, ok. But if there are items that are much better, you should need to do certain quests, deliver stuff, gather stuff, kill mobs and grind, etc. so you obtain something as a great reward for your work AND that item is only worn by you or people who are "able to" (read people who have worked as much as you doing all the questline, or tasks necessary). This paired with the proficiency penalties, kinda means that at lower levels you cannot have the ultimate epic sword from endgame because your buddy farmed 2 and he gave you one (technically you could have it but not use it, so it'd be useless until you could use it) and if you're level 15 wearing a set of level 35, the deminishing returns are so many that is not worth to use it.
    I hope this is clear enough :smiley:
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  • StarooStaroo Member
    edited November 12
    Well, like the most is saying in the comment.
    I aggree not to overgearing my firat character that I create.
    I would like to enjoy the playtime.
    But future characters would you probly speed up the levling abit, often in mmo the end game is the most part. To gear up and bring anoter type of class to your groupplay. So maybe some experience booster gear that will be obtanible in someway from a max level character.

    Would be cool tho if the gear did something cool to. Like a ring that give 5% exp and an aura of pulsing flame/frost/arcane/holy healing.

    So yeee.. some kind of overgear is ookey..
    What if I'm levling a full healer. A ring that give some extra dmg is great.
  • SoolchegSoolcheg Member
    edited November 12
    Well, it's somehow ok until it's not some EPIC gear which gathered from a mos powerful dragon or something...
    As LVL 1 adventurer you cant youse a sword properly for example. Well in theory you can, but it will be not that effective as Master swordsman will do. This though is from RP perspective.

    Gameplay and social wise it is ok to youse some good crafted by players gear. Even in life, we have different funds to start our adventure :lol: That's why I think that is ok to use overgear.

    Upd:
    Absolutely forget about balancing low lvl pvp... And now i strongly against overgearing...
    If this game will be about social pvp, we definitely don't need any overgear in it.
  • Twinking is fine. Min/Maxing is fine as long as it doesn't account for more than 50% power like planned.

    What I do no like is Level 1's (or lower-level players) looking like gods due to cosmetics.
  • DamoklesDamokles Member
    edited November 12
    Sure, if you can afford it with ingame money. (min. Level requirements on gear would be nice though^^)
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  • It's fine most of the time. As long as it's an opt-in experience, of course.

    I think the PvP side is for a different discussion, but on the PvE side, I'm mostly concerned about powerleveling groups or getting carried in dungeons. It sucks the fun out of the game when someone else does everything for you. I wouldn't want that to become the norm, just because it's a faster way to grind.

    I mean it's nice to have veterans helping the newbies and showing them the ropes. And sure, it should be a little easier with veterans. But I don't think they should completely trivialize encounters (ignoring mechanics and such) by being way over-geared or over-leveled.

    I'm speaking mostly from my experience in other games with dungeon matchmaking and poor scaling, such that new players are just along for the ride, while the veterans rush to collect their daily rewards.
  • Hmm... 🤔 I guess I (probably incorrectly) assumed that gear, weapons & armor would have bottleneck limitations placed on them. Such as: Minimum level to use, minimum Strength, minimum Intelligence... etc.

    Those might not be real Stats being used in AoC, but I’m using them as an example.

    I guess it didn’t occur to me that some Legendary Weapon 🗡 plucked from the still-warm corpse of a dragon 🐉, could be handed off to a fresh-to-Verra nooblet. 🤷🏽‍♂️
    Stephen Sharif is my James Halliday (Anorak)

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    “That is not dead which can eternal lie,
    And with strange aeons even death may die.”

    -HPL
  • TyrantorTyrantor Member
    edited November 12
    I think over gearing should be allowed - one of the primary draws to MMOs involves gearing characters, though I'm also ok with level requirements similar to Diablo where you can twink low level chars with epic quality gear.
    Tyrantor
    Master Assassin
    (Yes same Tyrantor from Shadowbane)
    Book suggestions:
    Galaxy Outlaws books 1-16.5, Metagamer Chronicles, The Land litrpg series, Ready Player One, Zen in the Martial Arts
  • MistroMistro Member, Braver of Worlds
    I'm fine with over gearing.

    I like to take leveling seriously in MMOs and get the best in slot items/enchants as I level through the set "brackets", not necessarily for PVP, but so that I can perform the best I can. Why treat leveling any different from the end-game?

    What is the purpose of having levels in the first place? I think a lot of MMOs have considered that and instead implemented scaling systems, as they more or less remove the statistical difference from levels as a metric of growth/achievement as well as removing over gearing from the equation. Personally, I think if levels exist as anything worthwhile, over gearing in some form will be a possibility, they go hand-in-hand as a byproduct of levels and shouldn't be purposely avoided unless it harms other players more than a fresh max level vs a current max geared max level.
  • The key to any MMO is created positive and competitive moments. Overgearing/Twinking is antithetical to this whole theme. People "smurf" or "twink" because they wanna blow people up, never in the history of gaming has this been a positive or competitive moment. The only game I've seen get it close to correct was Dark Age of Camelot, the levels were identical, the gear was all within the same range, about the only difference was a small percentage of enchanting.

    TL:DR: Nah, no thanks kids.
  • chylokchylok Member, Founder
    I've always favoured a system that had a skill level based impact on damage than an item. The item is primarily a skin with slight base numbers but a "thrust" or "riposte" damage is based on your expertise in said combat move and not the hardware.
  • You will impact the experience of new players to the game over the long term. They will log in and the game will feel broken as their piers are smashing content with ease.

    I'd rather see a modification to wow's heirloom system. A single piece (helmet, sword, etc...) that they can equip. It is best in slot until you hit max level but wont completely overpower you. The integrity of the world will remain intact.
  • I think every gear should have a minimum lvl requirement so you cant lend low level players Normal lvl 50 gear to speed up there progress.
    Bu ti think its ok if you buy yourself full legendary lvl 10 gear for your twink so you can lvl a bit faster with the twink and you are a bit stronger than normal lvl 10 players.

    This way you still force the twinker to get legendary items on all early leels 5 10 15 20 25 30 etc.
    so it will be expensive and you wont just give 20 low guild members with 0 knowlage the power because you wont risk that these peaple leave guild with your legendary equippment ^^.

    i think everyone should just make 1 quarakter and get a hard time lvling.
    its just fair. if you start 1 year later you should not be lvl 50 in 1 week.
  • No to overgearing. I thought items would have stat requirements or a level requirement tied to them. If not then there should be a max potency a level 1 gets from a level 50 item. As the level 1 increases in levels they will then begin to unlock more stats, damage and any other special properties the weapon has. So at level 25, that player would unlock half the potency of that weapon.

    Twinking a lower level toon is fun but when we did it in WoW we were just giving our twinks the best of the best for that level range in the battlegrounds.

    In DAoC you could give your BG twinks higher level gear but we couldn’t use the weapon to the max potency and actually damaged the weapon’s durability faster.

    I’d rather just have gear crafted for the certain level plateaus(i.e every 10 levels) as I level and then when I’m done I just repair it and pop it in the auction house or save for other alts.

    It would be nice to have a weapon I can upgrade from level 1 all the way to level 50 if I so choose.
    Looking for a future PvP guild in AoC? Want to learn from vets and git-gud? Check us out at http://www.fml-guild.com/
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  • AntVictusAntVictus Member
    edited November 12
    Twinking is one of the most scummy things that I have ever had the displeasure of dealing with in an mmo. It has a lot to do with BIS for a class, even lower levels have BIS for things (ala WoW). If it's a thing at all you will literally never be able to stop it (as BIS literally goes to cap in most games) without some kind of...blocker. It's been seen time and time again that BIS for twinking (or as it's actually called min/max since that's honestly what they do) is just a cheese system, and is normally done by low tier players who can't handle not winning vs just having a good fight.

    Even when a set of gear has good stats, it will normally get passed over save for a couple pieces which is then woven into min/max the situation with other random gear. This is what started the twats that look terrible because their gear is mismatched, but they will do stupid damage to you. >.> personally it needs to die as a concept and that gear needs to be tied to level.
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