Is there a Ilvl and Scaling for Dummies?

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 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.


  • josephskyrim
    josephskyrim Member Posts: 356 Arc User
    edited February 2021
    I too would like an explanation that involved zero maths. I want to play a game and have fun, not do homework and my eyes literally just glaze over every time I try read the dev explanations with percentages and pulling forte numbers out of the air.

    Previously a broken stick was a worse weapon than a vorpal sword. Now I think it kinda depends where you are standing... because... Cryptic logic!
    If you can't stand on a chest, it is a mimic!
  • pitshade
    pitshade Member Posts: 5,420 Arc User
    In scaled content, the Item Level listed on your character sheet is blue. Hovering the cursor over it will show the IL you are scaled to. Scaling reduces your Item Level which reduces your damage and Hit Points. It doesn't affect the percentages you are getting from your stats, pets, etc... If you have 72% Accuracy at 30k IL and get scaled down to 24k, you still have 72% Accuracy. The damage you do and the HP you have will be lowered but nothing else will be. The reason that people say increasing your IL makes you weaker ONLY applies in scaled content because you are lowering your stats everywhere but the extra IL only counts in unscaled content - which eliminates practically every piece of content you queue for. The extra IL makes you stronger until you get into the dungeon, where it counts the most.

    However, none of the 'overworld' maps are scaled, not even the Elemental Evil zones that were scaled previously. I took a level 80 character, unoptimized after the changes and had no issues in lower level zones. My pet could one shot mobs in Blacklake and I could kill whole packs of mobs while just holding down an at will in Ebon Downs.

    Raising your IL in unscaled content makes you stronger because you are doing more damage and have more HP. Even though your ratings go down some, the extra damage is more important. The problem with the overworld zones is that they were intended for certain level ranges. Helm's Hold starts around Level 30 IIRC. Except the new system has no relationship to character level. Item Level is the only thing that matters. You can be the correct level for the zone but have an IL completely different from what the devs set it for. This is because nearly everything has IL attached to it. A player with a lot of epic pet bonuses is getting 300 from each of those. A character with common (2 gold piece) pets is getting a measly 50 IL from them. Same with mounts, enchantments, artifacts, etc... Two level 30 characters may have wildly differing Item Levels. One might be loaded down with goodies and the other may not have anything the game didn't completely hand to them. The latter player is likely going to be suffering a lot.

    Another issue which affects all zones is the massive damage boost that Combat Advantage is giving to the mobs. I've heard 90% but don't know if that is accurate. What is definitely true though is that it is a major boost and that in order to try and force people to take Accuracy in the past few modules, the devs have made mobs prioritize surrounding the player. You can have a race backward to avoid it and yet many times the only solution is to fight with your back to a wall. Another change from a few modules back, is that that previously, Combat Advantage was only granted at short range but was then changed to be 80 feet, IIRC. Mobs that you aren't in combat with can be giving CA to the mobs you are fighting. The mob AI needs to be scaled back to not waveringly attempting to surround players. It also needs to have some delay put in so that every mob doesn't fire off their strongest power the moment a player aggro's them.

    Furthermore, there are some other oddities I've noticed recently. Pets don't seem to be doing a good job of following a mounted player. I've seen them rocket past me or lag way behind. Either of these leaves them open to pulling a lot of extra mobs which doesn't help the situation at all.

    'One Star' mobs seem to still be stronger than they should be. Combined with the fact that they tend to be in larger numbers, the CA thing comes into play again.
    "We have always been at war with Dread Vault" ~ Little Brother
  • argentaegis#2031
    argentaegis#2031 Member Posts: 7 Arc User
    Thank you for that information. This helps me understand a few things better. Maybe the scaling isn't as much of an issue as the CA and the 'one star' mobs swarm AI overwhelming a player. I do seem to have the biggest problems with add on mobs and the times my companion or I aggro another group while trying to maneuver out of swarm.

    Another question - has anyone notice if the aggro settings changed? It seems to be a wider area now. I cannot seem to pull an outlier mob the way I used to without pulling the whole group or sometimes even an adjacent group.

    I ended up going back and doing "Ghost Stories" again a day after doing it on the same character, just now at a higher level. It was easier with the higher item level. I had originally thought that that quest was scaled and that was part of my issue. My item level was not blue either time, so I am thinking that possibly that quest is bugged. It is doubtful that a leveling character can walk into that instance level appropriate for the zone (at least level 26 to start the campaign) with just the items gained through normal play and not walk out frustrated. I went in today with 21K item level and got through it without the struggle I had at 12K.

    I also ran Hotenow last night at Lvl 67. Your explanations on CA and the mob swarm AI would seem to fit with what I experienced. It was tough. I finally followed a generous player kitted out to 20K item level running the same quests in the overworld. She was having an easier time with the mobs, but again, isn't Hotenow supposed to be run by character levels 55-58? Not by a lvl 67 or a 76 with Undermountain gear? It was a tough one for me at 67. Again, if the leveling portion of the game is supposed to be designed for leveling, non-alt funded, characters, then maybe the devs need to look at what constitutes an entertaining challenge and what is just frustrating to the point of wanted to rage quit.

    Thanks again.