In games with incredible amounts of customization, normalized gear is usually an option. Some games even give each character a free set of armor strictly for PvP modes if the developers wish to have some armor customization (with PvP specific stat-adding options). But that’s already a step too far. We need to look at the bigger and more important stuff first - the capping.
The best way to start balancing PvP would be to just cut out the whale factor for most modes but STILL have PvP options where what you have is what’s applied. Basically, simplified normalization is splitting things up into groups and throwing slightly different blankets over each group. So even if a level 120 fights a level 350, they’re fighting on even ground… Mostly. Skill amount would be different in that case since it’s a 2 subclass character vs a 3 subclass character.
- Base class skills still go up to 5.
- T1 skills cap at 5.
- T2 skills cap at 3.
- T3 skills cap at 2.
- Materials are not consumed for PvP.
- Consumables cannot be used in PvP, aside from special cases (ex: Alchemist).
- Debuff resisting caps at 30%.
- Debuff success rate caps at 50%.
- Debuffs, buffs, DoTs, HoT are all 50% shorter.
- Immobilizing debuffs (ice, stun, etc) can only last 2.5 seconds max.
- Base stat points are adjusted to be level 120.
- Stat points that can are freely distributed by the player are still counted.
- All weapons and armor will be scaled to level 120 NPC-bought-gear stats.
- Attributes that are passive or alter a skill’s function will be applied.
- Basic % enhancement attributes are ignored (buffs, debuffs, attacks).
As for why level 120 is chosen, it’s because level 120 is about around where someone gets their 2nd subclass and base stats aren’t too high to create wacky numbers. Their kits are a little more well-rounded and level 120 isn’t too difficult to reach. There will obviously be some imbalances like a level 350 Onmyoji vs a level 135 Onmyoji due to how some attributes work… But it won’t be a crazy level of imbalance like there is now.
Even determining the maximum caps for everything will require tweaking. But using a blanket of caps if far simpler to execute and manage than tweaking every single skill-cap individually.