World of Warcraft's level cap might be shrinking, according to a recent survey sent out by Blizzard that asked respondents if they're aware of and okay with plans to reduce the game's maximum level. World of Warcraft is one of the most meticulously honed games in the world, spanning around 15 years of constant tinkering, and many originally shocking or questionable changes have since become accepted as some of the MMORPG's best features.
World of Warcraft is expected to see a major resurgence come this summer when World of Warcraft Classic finally launches in August. Many lapsed players who felt the game became too content-heavy to keep up with over several expansions will likely jump back into the more simplified, if not much more difficult, classic content. Meanwhile, World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth has performed markedly well as an expansion, although it failed to captivate audiences quite the same way that Legion did. Given World of Warcraft's extensive expansion history—the game originally had a max level cap of 60, and has only grown its level cap by a maximum of 10 per expansion—part of what could be preventing interested new parties from attempting to grind through everything is the numbers game.
To that end, Blizzard may have just unveiled what it plans to do to address making the leveling experience shorter and more refined, as the company recently shared a customer survey that asked respondents if they were aware that the maximum level cap in World of Warcraft, currently at 120, will be reduced in the future. PCGN first reported the findings that were shared on Imgur and Reddit, showing that Blizzard plans for a "Level Squish" that will reduce the number of levels required to access the game's most current content. Here's what one of the questions looked like:
This isn't the first time that Blizzard has considered reducing the total number of levels present in World of Warcraft, but it's the first time fans are hearing about it as though it's almost a sure thing, especially sans any announcement from the developer. It's a good idea in theory, too, since it will help reduce the total time it takes new players to get to the end-game content that much of the game's population will be participating it this late in an expansion. That said, though, it comes with several potential problems, the biggest one being how dramatic an undertaking the process really would be. Blizzard would need to balance out content areas to make sure they don't just drop off in value for leveling experience mid-way through a significant storyline, not to mention preserving each expansion's areas as places worth traversing through.
If Blizzard can balance World of Warcraft's level reduction well, though, we say it's a win-win situation for all involved. Players will take less time to get to where they want to be in-game, and Blizzard will have an easier time attracting new players to Azeroth. With Final Fantasy XIV's playerbase continuing to swell ahead of a major expansion, there's serious competition brewing in a genre that has been utterly dominated by World of Warcraft for so long that it's hard to remember a time when it wasn't.