So maybe level 20 is a freak occurrence, right?
Certainly, I went dungeon running in TA (effective lvl 55) and CoF (effective lvl 75) today with a non-PUG group – the guilded pretty faithful meta group to which I am probably the largest deviant away from dps-optimal – and didn’t really “feel” a huge change in damage done or time to kill, although I note that people -were- falling over more often and had to be rezzed a little more.
Let’s recap. I don’t think there is any issue at lvl 70-75 at all. Note in the table that our power levels between the old 70-80 mark are fairly similar to the new 70-80 (just a little tweaked downward.)
From 60 and lower, there is a greater deviation between our old downscaled stats and our new ones.
Our crit chance and damage are still fairly similar between old and new in the 50-60 range (though a little more tweaked downward.)
At 40 and lower, it starts looking really bad in terms of old and new being different and weaker than before.
The most likely dungeon to get hit by this is AC at effective level 35. (CM, I dunno, at effective level 45 – probably would be able to feel a bit of a hit.)
But you know, maybe stuff getting harder and more difficult is good for a change of pace and a challenge. No big arguments against there, I don’t really care or mind either way, if the devs decide that stuff should feel more challenging.
What I -do- care about, is a certain amount of equity.
I have argued very strongly about “a level playing field” and I feel very strongly about this concept.
Veterans should not be able to one-shot (or out-perform) newbies because hooray, vertical progression, more stats, such l33t, gear very purplez, gearscore over 9000, blah blah blah. That is why I play GW2 because we want to be egalitarian about things, we want to be scaled down to the same level playing field as low levels and travel together and welcome each other and so on.
The see-saw should NOT swing in the other way either!
That concept just gives me a massive headache. Why am I leveling up then, if I am just going to get weaker (in low level zones anyway), despite greater effort acquiring exotics and Ascended gear? Unlock/see more zones? Only be stronger in level 80 ones? I’m not -that- allergic to vertical progression.
But anyway, enough philosophizing, I just wanted to lay out some of the rationale behind why I’m bothering (and bothered) about this enough to go and collect data on it – because I value the idea of a level and even playing field, not an uneven one, in either direction.
The following may be somewhat strange level ranges to do comparisons on, but they’re simply dictated by whatever low level character I have lying around.
Feel free to pull out your lowbies to check too. More data the merrier. It’s much easier to find an appropriate zone to waypoint a level 80 to, just glance through the GW2 wiki on zones and effective level in each region.
On the left is my engineer leveling in backdated and el cheapo gear. Level 50 masterworks, a level 50 rare rifle, level 50 masterwork jewelry, backpack straps with no stats whatsoever, and I was wearing lvl 51 penetrating rings for the hell of it (which give precision/ferocity, not power.)
(Aka the point where I bog down and start having trouble with mobs or the point where I stop leveling and say, eh, I need to update the gear, but I’m too lazy to use the TP… eh, maybe later, and then log off and forget to return.)
On the right is me biting the bullet and buying level 53 rare gear (by level 56, you can get masterwork greens with similar stats), because let’s face it, rare gear unlocks at 39-40, I’m way overdue to start dressing in yellows. Jewelry is updated to yellows, and I pick up a green ghostly spineguard for the back. I’m lazy and I don’t upgrade the level 50 yellow rifle. I put on major runes (4 mesmer for power/precision) and stack on two more +15 power runes.
Here’s the level 80 downscaled to level 54.
It’s… not too bad at this level range.
He is still somewhat weaker than the buffed out true level 54 (and there is potential for the level 54 to go higher, but we would be stepping into straight out twinking territory – very few people would bother) but he’s got a bit more crit damage from the extra ferocity stat, and presumably his crit chance is a little nerfed to compensate for that difference.
It “feels” comparable (I use the word ‘feels’ when I haven’t calculated or checked any numbers yet and just going by gut feel here.)
Chances are, more than likely, that we will have many lowbies in backdated gear at this level range anyway, and that they’ll be a little behind the downscaled 80, unless they bother to keep on top of things, and then they get a little stronger.
I personally think this is a nice equivalency point to strive to reach at all level ranges.
I was thinking I didn’t have any alts at this level – most bogged down at level 50, or they stayed at level 20.
Then I found my PvP ranger. (Yeah, I was playing condi ranger before it was cool. I should get around to trying out just how strange sPvP feels now, but this is keeping me busy already.)
I dragged him out to Lion’s Arch, where he became uber-noob backdated power-based leveling build once more.
On the left, we have him sitting in mostly level 32 green masterwork gear (at lvl 39) with the exception of one level 39 yellow glove that dropped while I was leveling. His jewelry is mostly level 25 blue fines (hey, you can resell those, y’know, I am el cheapo!) of the sunstone variety (more precision than power), with one level 20 green mighty amulet. He has a stack of +50 power on minor runes (and 15 precision on the rare yellow glove) to make up for my miserly and laggard gear updating ways.
On the right, I got off my arse, and bought level 38 green masterwork gear direct from the TP. I put them on without stacking any minor runes whatsoever, the default arrangement comes with +20 power, +20 precision and +10 condi damage and +1% damage against foes with less than 50% health. I bought a level 38 green longbow. I bought level 35 green jewelry (carnelians, for power/precision) and I bought a level 38 green amulet and stuck a carnelian jewel in it.
Mr El-Cheapo Haphazard Gearing Ranger has 594 Power, 35.17% crit chance, 150.41% crit damage.
Mr Default But More Current Gear Ranger has 678 Power, 42.82% crit chance, 150% crit damage. (And we can easily replace two minor runes for +20 more power.)
This is my level 80 downscaled to level 39.
Mr Exotic Armor (One Ascended Chestpiece) Exotic Weapon Ascended Trinkets Warrior has 590 Power, 33.11% crit chance, 191.79% crit damage.
I dunno about you, but I don’t think that extra 40% crit damage helps that much if I can’t even crit in the first place, and have to take a “I hit for less direct damage than a lowbie in el-cheapo gear” tradeoff to boot.
Even downscaled to 40, he’s not as good as a level 39 in level 38 masterwork gear.
So then I wondered, how about if a still leveling character downscales to a lower level? Do they get as chopped off at the knees as a level 80? Does it hit them as hard?
Remember my engineer newly decked out in yellow rares? 684 Power, 45.47% crit chance, 150% crit damage at level 39.
That seems quite respectable and on par with Mr Default But Current Gear Masterwork Ranger (just a tinge better, which makes sense, she’s in yellows.)
Even at effective level 40, she’s better than the level 80 in terms of power and crit chance.
More @ Level 20
Then for the hell of it, I decided to downscale her to level 20 to see how she fared, since I already had stats for level 20 previously.
And you know, maybe Wendon Waypoint and Brisban Wildlands are broken, (or rather, I didn’t have that waypoint and didn’t feel like running there), so let me find another region that also downscales to level 20.
I find Owl’s Abbattoir and Owl Waypoint in Snowden Drifts. Perfect. New location.
And maybe my level 80 warrior is broken. So I am also going to take my level 80 guardian along too.
From left to right, we have level 20 warrior, level 54 engineer downscaled to 20, level 80 warrior downscaled to 20, level 80 guardian down to 20.
Power: 266, 282, 225, 224.
Crit Chance: 8%, 36.66%, 21.33%, 19.33%
Crit Damage: 150.93%, 150.0%, 174.73%, 171.46%
Shall I quote armor for the hell of it? (Bearing in mind that the engineer is medium armor, and the rest are all heavies.)
Armor: 380, 346, 326, 313. (The engineer is 346, mind you, more than the level 80s. Evidently, my 80s are not considered leet anymore because I am only in exotics and need to be in all pink Ascended to be on par with lowbies now, where that stat is concerned. Such grind. Or maybe I should just make lowbies instead and not bother leveling. New suggestion: Option to turn off xp gain. We need it for uh… “roleplaying” purposes, yes, that is it.)
So yeah, I rest my case for now.
I’m going to duck my head down now, shoot some karka in Lion’s Arch (stats not required) and harvest nodes or something (stats not required either if I just run around and don’t kill anything.)
There’s also the world boss cycle, which seems to be the first thing getting tuned and is still pretty darned easy and rewarding for following the zerg around, minus a few bugs here and there, and I might do Teq.
Triple Trouble, I dunno, I think some tweaking is still in order, given what I heard listening in on the NA attempts. I suppose if I’m bored and have nothing to do, I can still help out in the OCE timeslot and see how things go.