Solid. – a Reaction to “Developer Blog: Item Level & Scaling”

Now this sounds pretty…

Item Level

For as long as I can remember in Neverwinter item level, and before that gear score, has been a tireless point of drama among players. Less for the fact that people like e-peening each other, nothing will ‘solve’ that. However, after having read this blog I’m hoping that aspect may be lessened in some senses. Basically, people expect high item level players to hard carry, and automatically assume that item level equates to skill. Please, take a moment and listen to this personal analogy:
I’ve written guides for NW, off and on, for years now – GWF to SW to OP back to SW. I have my niche, and anyone who knows me in the game knows that my main SW is generally fairly high item level. Not the highest, at all, however definitely higher than most. I’m a solid to good player at best, in my *humble* opinion. Yet I can remember many instances where someone w/lower (sometimes significantly) item level have outplayed me in PvE and PvP. Be it the same class or a different one.

Item level simply equates out to a potential gradient on what you can guesstimate a character may be capable of. It doesn’t detail if a player knows good positioning, accurate encounter rotation, or even basic mechanics. We all know people fudge numbers all the time. Just look at when your National Government tries to pass a budget resolution of any sort. You know those chuckleheads are moving make believe dollars where ever it looks best for public consumption…
Now just take that natural human tendency, while adding the anonymity of the Internet and you have the joy that is people arguing over Item Level. Basically what I’m saying here is that please don’t waste your time arguing over it, it really is pointless for everyone involved.
That doesn’t mean we can’t have a healthy discussion about individual characters and such. Just don’t let it be the defining aspect of how you judge a player. That all being said, I’m thankful the devs are making an effort to standardize it a bit more. Thus making it a more accurate representation of the players’ advancement in the stages of ‘end game’ content. However, it all just remains as simply numbers that add together for a final total.

Ooof… That was more of a rant, wasn’t it my friends? My apologies there, but it felt like something I had to say/make clear.


I always found the scaling, the old scaling that is, was honestly mostly a bad joke of sorts. I mean the game never really challenged me when it scaled down my character, or that he couldn’t carry lowbies and such.

Either way, with the adjustments described to item level changes I’m hoping the devs are correct that it will allow them to get a more accurate target item level spread. Because, if lower level content can be somewhat challenging, it gives us something more to do in the game. I can’t say I don’t enjoy revisiting older content/zones just to reminisce of the time I’ve spent adventuring in-game with friends and guildies.
Hopefully, it will also allow lower geared people to be scaled up in some cases, so the gaps between players power levels aren’t as drastic. In fact, the system could (in theory) make PvP more of an even playing field… Imagine different item levels of PvP or the open zones in Icewind Dale where people can’t troll, gank or one-shot others as easily!
There is definitely potential here, and I hope the Devs utilize it effectively. Of course, that waits to be seen, but it is certainly ambitious!

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10 thoughts on “Solid. – a Reaction to “Developer Blog: Item Level & Scaling”

  • February 25, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    the best part i find about the item level changes now is that it directly equates to the stat numbers instead of item levels on equipment. So it should give a more accurate reading of your IL but it still does not speak to a players skill level and their build, i’ve outdps’d gwf sm’s with an IV build and lower IL simply because they still hadnt learned to play their character better, and ive also been outdps’d in turn by others, cos i suck, hahaha

    • February 25, 2019 at 2:24 pm

      I agree that that the Item Level changes should have a positive spin in things in general. As they Devs explained it seems to be much more accurate measure of advancement within the game, overall.

      Player skill is definitely an entirely different beast altogether, and I honestly don’t expect the Devs to be able to measure that. It’s not something that really can be, at least accurately, in my estimation. You can set achievements, different levels, goals, etc. Fact remains people will either earn them legitimately or game the system to ‘earn’ them some other way.

  • February 25, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    Well said.

    When they changed the Gear Score system to Total Item Level, I don’t know why they made such a mess of it.

    They did some good things, like include Mounts and Companions, but they did it all poorly.

    I think what they should have done is a combination of the two:

    Add up all the scores for all the stats on all sources (gear, enchants, companions, powers, boons),
    divide Max hp by 4,
    then the total you have is your Gear Score.

    To make the numbers less huge (EG, people with 30k Power, 24k Crit, 20k Recovery etc), then divide the Total by whatever. Say 100, to get a workable, usable, manageable figure.

    Maybe they could even have multiplied Recovery by 2 and ArPen by 4, and work in how those Stats contributed to a +1% bonus, so all Stats would be treated equally.

    It seems they will be using a 500 divider instead of 400 for Crit etc. So maybe they will do the same with ArPen, since Recovery and Lifesteal will be gone? People will need less Crit with a 50% Max, so maybe they will need more ArPen?


    • February 26, 2019 at 6:39 am

      Well you’re proposed math certainly, in theory, works better than the original way they did Gear Score and Item Level… You should apply to be a Dev! lol

      But on a more serious note, definitely hoping they get it ‘right’ this time or at least as close as they can. We will have to see, but shouldn’t have to wait long! 😉

  • February 26, 2019 at 10:40 am

    scaling sucks…thats all there is to it. Why rack up numbers if it will always be the same? just make a game with all gear being cosmetic and no leveling in that case…that would be great but scaling sucked in ES it sucked in guild wars…it will suck here

    • February 28, 2019 at 12:36 pm

      I think the point of scaling is to bring players who are far apart in Item Level onto a more even playing field for SOME content, obviously not all content…

      That’s just how I interpret the reason that is, could be wrong, but we’ll see!

  • February 27, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    ilvls will always be pointless. They did the total of the stats before but that didn’t account for not stat based items like set bonuses, flat % increases, self heals, etc. It will always be a rough estimate of progression, just look at the gap between R14 bonding performance to R14 augments yet ilvl wise they are the same.

    • February 28, 2019 at 12:37 pm

      All foundations for IL are definitely not created equal, that’s for damn sure… lol

      BTW, good to see you still rocking and around Putzboy78! 🙂

  • March 2, 2019 at 10:42 pm

    After all, it was like that at the beginning, it is not a revolutionary change. They only combine how to make the biggest fuss and earn money.

  • July 25, 2020 at 9:10 am

    Sadly, Scaling is hopelessly broken, both gear and dungeons.

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