"Soft" Capping Item Levels - No More "You Cannot Equip That"

One aspect of MMOs is items (weapons, armor, etc) are restricted in their use by character level vs item level - Ex. A level 5 character may not equip an item that is above item level 5.

Many reasons are used to justify this; restrict players from "twinking" their alts, add a sense of progression in  damage output as well as taken, in systems with a robust economy ensure the in game currency changes hands, as well as many others.

None of the above are undesirable and should be a factor in the following whim of a musing of a thought - What if a character could equip any item above their level but then the item is de-leveled? This includes active as well as passive abilities (damage output, resistances, healing buffs, etc).

Ex. A level 5 character equips a level 30 item. The item is de-leveled to 5.75. As the character level increases so does the items "soft" level, de-leveling less and less until the character level and the item level becomes equal and the item reaches its own "hard" cap. Importantly, the repair cost stays the same as the items original ("hard cap") level.

The item is on a sliding scale which benefits the lowest level character more (relatively) than an character of equal level to the item.

"OP!" is the cry.

But wait, that level 30 item now acts, at best, (in the hands of a level 5 character) as a level 5.5 to 6 item along with the inherent cost of repairing a level 30 item. In their daily grind a level 5 character should make more than it takes to repair a level 5 item. A level 30 character should make more than it takes to repair a level 30 item which is substantially more than a level 5 character would make. But now the level 5 character has a level 5+ item with the repair cost of level 30. If the character is not an alt they are reduced to begging, borrowing, and stealing in order to keep that level 30 item in top repair state.

The de-leveled mechanic would require testing as an item that is de-leveled too much (ex. 1-to-1) may not be used at all while too little de-leveling (1-to-1.75 at start) would make some items way beyond just best-in-slot (BIS).

  • No more "hurr durr, what is this hat thingy that won't fit on my foot" scenario. The character can equip it but may not get any benefit whatsoever beyond their own level or slightly above it.
  • Can become a currency sink for altoholics - Passing around the gear spreads the repair costs around as well.
  • Could be an added mechanic to dissuade grief-ing - Item durability loses will drive non-"twinked" characters into the poor house.
  • Items are min-maxed to find the BIS for leveling and combat. Players will spend hours and days pouring over spreadsheets to get the slightest edge they can in PvE.
  • Resource scarcity may ensue as BIS items are created which could lead to unwanted economic instability.
  • Could lead lead a glut of low level items until the aforementioned scarcity is reached.
This might been tried in other games - Let us know which games you've played that included it and the pros as well as cons you saw it add to the game play.



  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited November 2018
    I'm not sure there is sufficient info on item levels and caps (correct me if I'm wrong) to really comment on how it is planned to be. But I mean I don't see why what you propose can't be done but two things:

    1. Items have decay. I just don't see why people would degrade their item which will require the high level resources to repair if it will be acting like a lower level gear to begin with...

    2. A big and fun part of progression in games, especially MMOs is to make gear choices. Getting an upgrade should be exciting and if you just have something that upgrades on its own that's diminished a bit. More importantly though, you should have to make choices about gear: +2 on one stat but -1 on another, worth? If you know that your gear is always getting better, you remove that and I'm not really a fan of it.

    I mean ultimately if what you propose is in the game idc, I won't be using it.
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited November 2018
    im down for soft-capping, and i do think keeping the repair cost to what the item's level actually is a good idea, but i think the item effects would have to be sever enough to discourage people from just putting their lower level items onto their other characters. because(atleast in my head) your level is suppose to represent the experience your character has, higher lvl items usually have something that makes it special, and your characters inexperience makes it unable to properly wield/don it. like for example, a fire enchanted sword may harm its user if they arent experienced enough, a piece of armour that has resistance against fire might make you more vulnerable to fire. even armour with no enchantments might just be to difficult for your character to fight in causing you to miss more often or quickly fatigue.
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