How about giving items a cetain point/value rating. And all the items you have add up to a point value rating e.g. Sword of Death 50 points and a Epic Plate 120 points would give you a rating of 170.
When one created a game to play they would set a ratio for who they wanted to play by their rating. e.g A deathmatch where only people under 200 points can play or only people with between 150 - 250 points can play.
This way people (including newbs) would know what they were dealing with. Plus a person who is really good (e.g. Epic Sword of +100 damage 500 points, Epic Plate Suit of +50% resestance to all 500 points, Leggingings of dodge chance +50% 500 points, Boots of Flight (Jump hight + 50% plus glide ability 500 points) with like 2000 points worth of uber items would not be able to come in on a newb game and gank everyone because it would be like this.
1. He decides to gank some newbs and trys to enter a 150 - 200 points match.
2: A message comes up WARNING: you are 1800 points over the max for this match, equip worse equipment to enter game.
At the same time a newb could not enter a super people match and basiclly make one team be less powerfull because he sucks compared to them because a warning would come up like this if he tried to enter a say 1500 - 2000 point game.
1: He decides to play and selects the game
2: A message comes up, WARNING: You are 1200 points under the miniumum to play this game, please equip better items to enter this game.
Newbs could start with 100 points to spend on items before their first game, you could always trade back items for their full price which would let you experement with different combo's without penalty while getting more points from kills and fights at the same time.
In conclusion, such a system would be quite effective and solve the problems of newbs without inconvineancing more experenced players.
idea for game mode: Drednoguht: 10 under 500 pointers onto a 2000+ pointer, this would be a cool game because unlike other '10 onto 1' games the powers of the god player would vary with class and items making it a much more fun and replayable mode. It would work well with my suggested system, and also with the whole class'n'items idea at least. Just a thought.
What do ya think ville, it my idea workable?
I have a hunch that this is litteraly taken from another game. I can't quite think of what game, but I thought I'd just warn you. I know that Neverwinter Nights used a very similar system, but not exactly the same. I don't know, but personally I don't the fact that Nerd didn't say where it came from.