I have tried reading through different forum posts about this and, maybe I am the only one, but I am getting more and more confused. So I am reaching out to someone who can explain, without massive number crunching, how scaling now works. I haven't been playing as long as most of you, but I used to play another game for a long time that had, in my opinion, a really good system in place.
I just don't understand the scaling now and how it works with Item Level. To my bird brain, it looks like zones and instances have a Item Level range/cap. The player coming in has their Item level adjusted to either a certain set Item Level up or down based on what the character's item level is. Item level impacts Hit Points - I think I get that. But how does having better items, companions, and mounts seem to be a hindrance? If the stat scores are adjusted as well, how does that work? If I have an item that gives me, for example, a +600 to Power, does that +600 become something less? Seems to me that it would have to because otherwise that +600 should contribute more to the stat %'s in a lower Item level zone than in a higher zone. If I understand the calculation correctly it is 50% + ((Stat score - Item level)/1000). So in order for a higher level player to come into a lower zone and do worse than a level appropriate character, than there must be a serious scaling hit to both item level and stats. On the reverse side, scaling up would somehow have to have their stats increased to account for the higher Item level. Or maybe there isn't up scaling and I dreamed that I read that there was?
I believe if a lvl 80 rolled into the Tower District, that character should wreck the mobs. It would be like taking a chainsaw and full armor to a knife fight. Sure you could eventually be overwhelmed if you stood there and did nothing but provoke mobs (why the lower hit points can be justified), but that armor and chainsaw still will protect you from and cut through most attackers easily if you choose to. Now take that same character and take on a group of highly trained fully kitted out Special Forces, you probably won't last very long.
Right now it seems that the calculation is broken since the better gear you have the worse you will perform. I noticed this when trying to level a new character. I had my starting gear from the tutorial and found a magical pair of gloves that gave a bonus to Defense. I equipped them and watched as ALL of my stat %'s went down...including Defense. That was because the Item level of the gloves was higher than the Defense bonus and since my Item level as a whole went up, and all my other stats did not go up by that same amount, with the calculation, my stat's got worse. Maybe someone screwed up and the 50% base should stay a base?
If my...very basic...understanding is even close to what is happening, it is counter-intuitive and completely destroys the progression theme of D&D and games in general. Now don't get me wrong. My experience with leveling with the new combat re-work has been fun and forced me to learn to not just button mash. I do think that there are some issues with some OP mobs (cough...Blackdragon Claws) and adds being a little too numerous and quick to spawn when fighting bosses (cough...Cloak Tower). That being said, I am now very reluctant to upgrade equipment and I also would not want to play a character that is more single target based or one without some type of soft/hard crowd control inherent in their powers.
One last thing....is there a way while in game that we can see what the Item Level of the zone/instance/dungeon is? I remember that I would see before the re-work a warning pop up about adjusting to an item level usually around the dragon areas. But I sure would like to see that a zone Item level is x and the instance I just walked into is x+1000 or something like that. Character levels are pretty much meaningless now outside of when you get the next power so the level ranges still shown on the maps don't really help much.