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Author Topic: EQ2 is above Sidekicking...  (Read 5448 times)
jpark
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on: October 22, 2004, 01:00:09 PM

News to me - but maybe not the rest of you.  I can't shake the feeling that the attitude here is...

Originally Posted by Moorgard

There has been more than enough bickering in this thread to lock it.

Quite a few members of our team invested a lot of time in CoH, and as you can imagine the idea of sidekicking came up in relation to our game.

We are keen on letting people play together, but sidekicking someone upwards isn't an idea we're going to pursue at this time. While we could overcome the technical challenges of making such a concept work in an item-based system, the larger issue is the fact that we don't want players bypassing entire sections of content that they are intended to work through.

This isn't elitism or attempted stratification. We want EverQuest II to be a journey that lets you progress from refugee to hero. The big battles and awesome dungeons really do mean more if you earn your way into them.

Sidekicking is a fabulous concept in a superhero game. But the high fantasy genre isn't typically about the kid who gets bitten by the radioactive spider and suddenly takes on the uber bad guys; it's about a progression from humble beginnings to a great destiny. That's definitely the direction we've taken in creating our game.

The idea of "lowkicking," or letting a higher-level player drop down to group with lower-level friends, is something we've talked about as well. We aren't going to implement such a system before launch, but we haven't ruled it out for some point in the future.
============================
Moorgard
EQII Community Guy

Apparently zones are also level restricted - you can't enter them if your to high a level as well as being too low level.  Is this true?  If so, it seems to be anti-community and anti-grouping.

"I think my brain just shoved its head up its own ass in retaliation.
"  HaemishM.
Soukyan
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Reply #1 on: October 22, 2004, 01:04:26 PM

Quote from: jpark
News to me - but maybe not the rest of you.  I can't shake the feeling that the attitude here is...

Originally Posted by Moorgard
...We want EverQuest II to be a journey that lets you progress from refugee to hero...


WTB a game that lets me start a Hero and become a GOD!

"Life is no cabaret... we're inviting you anyway." ~Amanda Palmer
"Tree, awesome, numa numa, love triangle, internal combustion engine, mountain, walk, whiskey, peace, pascagoula" ~Lantyssa
"Les vrais paradis sont les paradis qu'on a perdus." ~Marcel Proust
Rasix
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Reply #2 on: October 22, 2004, 01:26:33 PM

Quote from: Soukyan
Quote from: jpark
News to me - but maybe not the rest of you.  I can't shake the feeling that the attitude here is...

Originally Posted by Moorgard
...We want EverQuest II to be a journey that lets you progress from refugee to hero...


WTB a game that lets me start a Hero and become a GOD!

Done and done.

-Rasix
HaemishM
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Prevent all damage that would be dealt to you and other troops you control.


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Reply #3 on: October 22, 2004, 02:33:05 PM

I translate that whole paragraph into:

"We don't give a shit if you want to play with your friends. Level like the rest of the lemmings, you little bitches. Our content is so uber, you have to earn the chance to see all of it.

P.S. It's fun to be a victim. kthxbye."

Merusk
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Reply #4 on: October 22, 2004, 03:26:05 PM

Quote from: jpark
Apparently zones are also level restricted - you can't enter them if your to high a level as well as being too low level.  Is this true?  If so, it seems to be anti-community and anti-grouping.


I don't know about not being able to enter if you're too high level.  Not being able to enter because you're too low-level is something EQ1 did.  Hell, even COH does it.

If high levels can't enter low-level zones, they've got trivial loot code in already, so it's not about farming items. Maybe some of the instanced dungeons won't let you enter so high level people can't wack low level bosses. (A-la Naggy/Vox TPing those 53+ out of their lairs)

The past cannot be changed. The future is yet within your power.
Venkman
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Reply #5 on: October 22, 2004, 03:51:44 PM

Quote from: Moorgard
But the high fantasy genre isn't typically about the kid who gets bitten by the radioactive spider and suddenly takes on the uber bad guys; it's about a progression from humble beginnings to a great destiny.

That thread became huge. I stopped bothering around the fifth page. I figured SOE wasn't going to bother with sidekicking, because they spent an ass-ton of money on content they don't want people bypassing. SOE isn't some bad evil corporation for not having Sidekicking. Fact is most games don't. The only real difference with EQ2 is the Locked Encounter system.

I'm a big fan of Darwin when it comes to these games. If enough players don't like the fact that they now have to go through through same levels at the same pace for every character they role, then they'll quit. Then SOE will change the system.

I give it a year. By this time next year players will be able to powerlevel buddies, based on some convoluted system of quests or some shit.
Nebu
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Reply #6 on: October 22, 2004, 04:05:22 PM

Quote from: Moorgard
While we could overcome the technical challenges of making such a concept work in an item-based system, the larger issue is the fact that we don't want players bypassing entire sections of content that they are intended to work through.


Seeing the word "work" in a statement about EQ2 gameplay seems to sum up everything we all ready know about their gaming philosophy.  Someone give Moorgard a call and remind him that EQ2 is a game and games are supposed to be fun(tm).

"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
Nebu
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Reply #7 on: October 22, 2004, 04:09:01 PM

Quote from: Darniaq
I give it a year. By this time next year players will be able to powerlevel buddies, based on some convoluted system of quests or some shit.


I totally agree, but think that it may come even sooner.  I really believe that SOE has high expectations for their subscription sales figures and they are about to become pretty disappointed.  With the cash that they have poured into this project, the 100-200k subscriptions they're likely to achieve won't be near enough to satisfy their investors.

"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
Big Gulp
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Reply #8 on: October 22, 2004, 04:52:05 PM

Quote from: Nebu

Seeing the word "work" in a statement about EQ2 gameplay seems to sum up everything we all ready know about their gaming philosophy.


The sad thing is that they'll probably still end up with more subscribers than Cryptic. The one MMOG developer out there that consistently delivers the goods to their customers on a timely basis, that developed their game around fun and not grind, and delivers a free comic book to boot is going to have less subscribers than these fucking retards.

The world really is an unfair place.
schild
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Reply #9 on: October 22, 2004, 06:03:00 PM

EQ2 has a world you can lose yourself in, people didn't lose themselves in Final Fight and they don't now in CoH.

That said, CoH is the better game for where it aimed. SOE tends to shoot high and miss, and for that everyone hates them. I wish every other company shot that high.

Edit: And then maybe one will hit it's mark. I think Guild Wars and Tabula Rasa will be the end of MMOGaming for me unless I move to a company making them. In which case I will create a grind your children's children will feel.
Ardent
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Reply #10 on: October 22, 2004, 06:06:39 PM

Quote from: schild
I think Guild Wars and Tabula Rasa will be the end of MMOGaming for me unless I move to a company making them. In which case I will create a grind your children's children will feel.


Hee. Funniest thing I've read on this board all week.

Won't somebody PLEASE think of the CHILDREN??

Um, never mind.
jpark
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Reply #11 on: October 22, 2004, 06:19:25 PM

Quote from: schild
EQ2 has a world you can lose yourself in, people didn't lose themselves in Final Fight and they don't now in CoH.

That said, CoH is the better game for where it aimed. SOE tends to shoot high and miss, and for that everyone hates them. I wish every other company shot that high.


Shooting high can be laudable.  A friendly challenge Sir:  please indicate where exactly you think SOE is aiming with EQII.

I will pony up first, as I have ranted in other areas:  EQ2 is a defensive play to protect the current market share of EQ1 (market cannabilization).  I know most disagree - until the recent revelation of the utter absence of differentiation of EQ2 to EQ1 beyond graphics.

I've read your posts in other areas Schild - if you have commented on this before and still hold that position - please post that link.

Otherwise - in all honestly - what do you think these guys are aiming for?  And do you think that said goal has... changed in the last few weeks with the feedback that has descended upon them.

"I think my brain just shoved its head up its own ass in retaliation.
"  HaemishM.
schild
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Reply #12 on: October 22, 2004, 06:28:14 PM

Mmmm, let's see. Voice overs for the whole game. Amazing music. Amazing graphics. Completely quest driven gameplay (in numbers and complexity that puts WoW to shame).

Unfortunately, it all veils a grind much like every other shitty MMOG. They aimed high. It's an incredibly immersive world and a beautiful one to boot. That doesn't come cheap. Unfortuntely they shot for the moon and fell short about 200 miles. What point are you making in your post anyway?

If I commented on what who where?
Ardent
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Reply #13 on: October 22, 2004, 06:33:24 PM

Ah, yes. The complexity of "deliver X to Y" and "Kill Z number of foozles" has the Blizzard designers weeping with envy.

Um, never mind.
WayAbvPar
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Reply #14 on: October 22, 2004, 06:35:28 PM

Quote
Mmmm, let's see. Voice overs for the whole game. Amazing music. Amazing graphics.


These are nice perqs, but what is there to do after the shiney wears off in the first 10 minutes? Especially if they are launching in a couple of weeks, it sounds like the spent too much time on teh shiney and not enough advancing past EQ1.  At least that seems to be the common lament.

When speaking of the MMOG industry, the glass may be half full, but it's full of urine. HaemishM

Always wear clean underwear because you never know when a Tory Government is going to fuck you.- Ironwood

Who the hell taught you how to write? Fuck, that sentence is like internet transmitted face-attacking knives. Jesus. schild
schild
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Reply #15 on: October 22, 2004, 06:40:29 PM

Quote from: Ardent
Ah, yes. The complexity of "deliver X to Y" and "Kill Z number of foozles" has the Blizzard designers weeping with envy.


Quote
These are for what are called mastery quests.

At the main library in each town you can find a person who sells books. These books are all quests. They had about 40 each last time I looked, but I hear some have been put as monster drops instead. Anyway, for 12 silver you can buy books about a certain race. "Soandso's first zombie" is a little book you can buy and read that will give you a quest to collect all those zombie bits. There are lots of them, maybe 10 for mastery quests.

Once you read the book you have the quest and then the item works like a part of a collection when you examine it. Get them all (8-10 parts or so) and you get a new spell/attack that does extra damage but only vs that monster type. I did the gnoll and the skeleton ones as a predator and now have gnoll mastery attack and skeleton mastery attack. These are rear/flank attacks that do about 80-140 damage on a hit. It basically replaces sneak attack when I am fighting this monster type. Sneak attack does about half the above damage.

I am very happy with my attack and think it is awesome that you can get extra attacks through questing. I have not completed any masteries with other classes to see what they get. My priest is one skeleton bit from skelly mastery though.

Oh, another cool thing. If you are in qeynos you have bookshelves in your room. You can put those finished books on your bookshelf to read later or just store like trophies or momentos.

Being in qeynos I bought a book for a quest in stormhold, one for blackburrow, and two different books for vermin snye.


Read the forums. That's just one example of a great quest. There were more written about here and there are a LOT more in EQ2. There is one thing I will give them blanketly - they had excellent quest/lore writers this go-round.
Trippy
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Reply #16 on: October 22, 2004, 06:49:42 PM

Quote from: Moorgard
We are keen on letting people play together, but sidekicking someone upwards isn't an idea we're going to pursue at this time. While we could overcome the technical challenges of making such a concept work in an item-based system, the larger issue is the fact that we don't want players bypassing entire sections of content that they are intended to work through.

I actually think it is the technical challenge that's holding them back. CoH was designed from the ground up to support sidekicking. DikuMUD/EQ/EQII was not. He should've just said that instead of emphasizing "Vision II".

Quote from: jpark

Apparently zones are also level restricted - you can't enter them if your to high a level as well as being too low level.  Is this true?  If so, it seems to be anti-community and anti-grouping.

I don't know about level restrictions other than some areas are tied to quests (aka EQ-style "keying"). It's possible (likely?) they aren't given out unless you meet the minimum level requirement. There's also the problem that some of these areas apparently require a group with a minimum of 3 people. There's a huge thread/petition about that over here.
jpark
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Reply #17 on: October 22, 2004, 06:49:57 PM

Quote from: schild
Mmmm, let's see. Voice overs for the whole game. Amazing music. Amazing graphics. Completely quest driven gameplay (in numbers and complexity that puts WoW to shame).


Those are nice to haves - but I don't see those as part of advancing gameplay.  Quests of course are part of gameplay - and maybe you're right - maybe they have scored well here.

But music, graphics and voices are technical achievements, not enduring elements of gameplay.

Schild's law of MMORGPs if I recall:

1.  Combat
2.  Social
3.  Economy

1.  Combat.  Accounts so far indicate that combat is more engaging than EQ but less than CoH.  Mixed review here - the Druid's Grove link was brutal by Kegearu - indicated that combat was pretty linear.  The combat wheel - brings up thematically irrelevant events - and is often immaterial anyway since battles are over so quick.  What do you think?

2.  Social.  Well there appears to be no bazaar since trades are performed from instanced homes when you buy wears.  I have heard it said - but not confirmed - that you have to be WITHIN a level range to enter a zone which can further restrict grouping.  Locked encounters hinders the ability of a passing utility class to aid a group in trouble or pass a friendly buff.

3.  Economy.  Relative to other games a strength for EQ in the past.  CoH did not attempt to have one at release.  Standard loot drops may be superior to crafting efforts - so I hear - dunno.  EQ2 will likely do well in this category despite some misgivings.

When I think of EQ - it so far sounds like it may score as well on the Economy, a bit weaker on combat (but not clear) and better on the Social side.  Following your own analysis of MMORPGs it looks like EQ2 barely edges out its much older predecessor EQ.

In Schild's spheres of a MMORPG - which I think is a good way of looking at things - where exactly would you put music, voice and graphics?

Nice things to have - but by your own criteria - the 3 spheres you have talked about are critical - while the strengths you identify for EQ2 do not fall in any of these areas.

"I think my brain just shoved its head up its own ass in retaliation.
"  HaemishM.
Trippy
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Reply #18 on: October 22, 2004, 07:18:10 PM

Quote from: jpark
1.  Combat.  Accounts so far indicate that combat is more engaging than EQ but less than CoH.  Mixed review here - the Druid's Grove link was brutal by Kegearu - indicated that combat was pretty linear.  The combat wheel - brings up thematically irrelevant events - and is often immaterial anyway since battles are over so quick.  What do you think?

Combat is only more engaging in that you have to push more buttons within a given amount of time than EQ (ignoring Bard twisting). Other than the combat wheel, there is almost no additional strategy or tactics involved in combat compared to EQ, at least at the low levels. And they've removed virtually all the pulling strategies/tactics that EQ had. The combat wheel works okay solo (if you ignore the sillyness of what you get by triggering a Heroic Opportunity) and in fact is mandatory if you want to be able to solo without a lot of downtime. In groups, though, it's basically worthless unless you are only fighting a single mob at a time and you have some sort of voice chat going at the same time. It would've worked a lot better if they had separate player specific and group specific combat wheels.

Quote

2.  Social.  Well there appears to be no bazaar since trades are performed from instanced homes when you buy wears.  I have heard it said - but not confirmed - that you have to be WITHIN a level range to enter a zone which can further restrict grouping.  Locked encounters hinders the ability of a passing utility class to aid a group in trouble or pass a friendly buff.

Say what you want about Brad's "Vision" but at least he was consistent in his wanting to create dependencies between players. With EQII they tried to remove all the "bad parts" of the Vision but they basically threw the baby out with the bathwater.

Quote

3.  Economy.  Relative to other games a strength for EQ in the past.  CoH did not attempt to have one at release.  Standard loot drops may be superior to crafting efforts - so I hear - dunno.  EQ2 will likely do well in this category despite some misgivings.

Crafting sucks big time. The whack-a-mole mechanics suck. The uber uber rare dropped recipes suck. The lack of a bazaar or auction houses suck. It all just sucks. That's actually my biggest disappointment in the game.
Kageru
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Reply #19 on: October 22, 2004, 07:56:49 PM

How can EQ2 crafting hope to compete with a game that allows you to make explosive mechanical kamikaze sheep or a "lovingly crafted boomstick"? The mind boggles at such a concept.

I saw a post about a bunch of hardy adventurers visiting the plaguelands, which is a high level zone corrupted by the undead scourge. Their goal being to explore the *fishing*. There was discussion of baits and lures, someone identifying that fishing near bridges is harder but more rewarding and someone else announcing they'd found a source of "big mouth clams" to his admiring peers.

Warriors are getting into crafts because they offer practical advantages and tactical flexibility. An engineer can start laying down some grenades when the action gets hot, An alchemist can be expected to have an arsenal of potions for that special occassion, A character skilled in blacksmithing is the only one who can wear dark iron plate because the armor can only be crafted by the user deep within a high level dungeon (which is also the only source of the components).

Or put it another way I actually plan to craft in WoW. Whereas it would take a SOE dev standing behind me with a loaded firearm and threatening scowl to make me craft in EQ1, and I hear EQ2 is worse. Heck, the EQ crafters have already worked out how to switch their XP off so the trivial loot code doesn't kick in while they farm some uber-rare recipe of random mobs.

Is a man not entitled to the hurf of his durf?
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Venkman
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Reply #20 on: October 22, 2004, 08:25:48 PM

Quote from: schild
The one MMOG developer out there that consistently delivers the goods to their customers on a timely basis, that developed their game around fun and not grind, and delivers a free comic book to boot is going to have less subscribers than these fucking retards.

If Cryptic made a fantasy-themed MMORPG, they'd lock the market.

Quote from: Trippy
I actually think it is the technical challenge that's holding them back

Nah. Everything in EQ2 from mob to item to quest scales to level. Instead of numbers, the game is built on formulae, with a few key values along the way. I don't think they'd have a problem doing Sidekicking. I just don't think they feel it's worth it.

Yet.

Quote from: Kageru
Or put it another way I actually plan to craft in WoW

The lure of what you can eventually craft in WoW may not be strong enough to push you through the craptastic suck that is timer-based combine and pray. You can't move during the timer bar. You can't chat either. In September at least.

At least EQ2 gives a semblence of control.  Even if that's sorta light key mashing during a standard timer bar, you have control and can affect the outcome. It ain't perfect. I highly doubt the system would be what it is now if Artisan hadn't started as it's own unique class unto itself (a stupid idea I'm glad they backed off on). But I hated DAoC crafting with a passion, and saw little different with WoW's.

The results are cool. The process sucks.
Kageru
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Reply #21 on: October 22, 2004, 08:31:03 PM

There's a construction delay in WoW crafting? I know there's no pray involved because the combines are no-fail. Given that the limiting factor to production are the materials it seems really illogical for them to do that.

Is a man not entitled to the hurf of his durf?
- Simond
Trippy
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Reply #22 on: October 22, 2004, 09:27:15 PM

Quote from: Darniaq
Quote from: Trippy
I actually think it is the technical challenge that's holding them back

Nah. Everything in EQ2 from mob to item to quest scales to level. Instead of numbers, the game is built on formulae, with a few key values along the way. I don't think they'd have a problem doing Sidekicking. I just don't think they feel it's worth it.

Items scale down but not up (they have a max value). Spells and combat arts sort of scale up with mastery levels but they also have caps which is why you get the same spells/combat arts with different names (and max cap) as you level up.
Trippy
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Reply #23 on: October 22, 2004, 09:51:12 PM

Quote from: schild
Read the forums. That's just one example of a great quest. There were more written about here and there are a LOT more in EQ2. There is one thing I will give them blanketly - they had excellent quest/lore writers this go-round.

I really must be missing all these great quests cause I just haven't found any yet. The two class quests I've done so far (Scout, Mage) -- the quests you would think SOE would lavish incredible amounts of attention on -- have consisted of me either killing X number of mobs or talking (yes talking) to an NPC. Here's what I've had to do:

Scout in Qeynos
Rogue -> Kill 6 snakes. No sneaking, no sneak attacks, no sneak through hostile mobs and grab an item. Just kill 6 snakes.
Bard -> "Insult" an NPC. No branching options available other to break out of the conversation.
Predator -> Kill X mobs (forgot which now).
Bard class quest -> Kill a bunch of mobs (7 blue conned mobs in 3 groups) in an instanced zone.

Mage in Freeport
Sorcerer -> Kill X mobs (can't even remember what they were and I did it this morning).
Enchanter -> Another NPC conversation. This one was actually pretty funny, though, much better than the Bard one.
Summoner -> Run around and talk to 3 NPCs. Answer a riddle (multiple choice, no penalty for failing).
Enchanter class quest -> Talk to an NPC and watch him kill some mobs in an instanced zone. Kill one blue conned mob.
Ardent
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Reply #24 on: October 23, 2004, 02:39:24 AM

Quote from: Darniaq
But I hated DAoC crafting with a passion, and saw little different with WoW's.


They are very different.

(Mind you, I haven't played Camelot in 2 years, so if stuff has changed, oh well.)

But when I played DAOC, you had to buy all your materials from vendors. In WoW, you harvest the majority your resources through the environment. This is far more rewarding and fun, and you actually make money from crafting rather than going flat broke.

Yes, WoW has a "sit and wait" process of crafting, but that crafting bar moves FAR faster than DAOC's (I'd say 80-90% faster), and as far as I know, you can't fail to create the item.

Um, never mind.
AOFanboi
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Reply #25 on: October 23, 2004, 05:00:00 AM

Quote from: Darniaq
Nah. Everything in EQ2 from mob to item to quest scales to level.

As well as COH? In COH a "healing potion" will get you 25% or 50% of your hitpoints regardless of level. If you were sidekicked in EQ, would your equipment automatically "scale" with your new level, as it in effect does in COH?

That said, if it is as you say and they can add sidekicking in the system, it could end up as an expansion feature down the road I guess.

Current: Mario Kart DS, Nintendogs
Trippy
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Reply #26 on: October 23, 2004, 05:55:56 AM

Quote from: AOFanboi
Quote from: Darniaq
Nah. Everything in EQ2 from mob to item to quest scales to level.

As well as COH? In COH a "healing potion" will get you 25% or 50% of your hitpoints regardless of level. If you were sidekicked in EQ, would your equipment automatically "scale" with your new level, as it in effect does in COH?

Items in EQII have levels (e.g. a sword might be level 10). If your character's level is less than the item's level the item stats will be reduced, assuming you can wear it at all (there's a minimum skill level needed to equip every item). So for example, for our level 10 sword above, the damage might be 1 - 10. This means if you are level 10 or above the sword will do 1 - 10 damage. If you are, say, level 6, the sword would instead do something like 1 - 6 damage. Notice how there's a damage cap of 1 - 10. Even if you are level 50, that sword will still only do 1 - 10 damage.

So sidekicking, with items they way they are now, would boost your items to a small extent if you happended to be wearing items that were higher level than you, but they would only be boosted up to their normal level max (and remember you can't really twink big time since there's a skill level requirement for items).
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