Blizzard has announced that the next World of Warcraft expansion Shadowlands, will cut the level cap in half. This may come as a surprise to fans, considering all previous expansions raised the level cap by either five or ten levels. But rest assured, Blizzard insists there's a method to its madness.
It's no secret that previous expansions for World of Warcraft only furthered the gap between casual and avid players. The most recent expansion, Battle for Azeroth, raised the level cap to 120. For new players in PVP realms, this created a major problem, as max level players can easily one shot them.
In an interview with Eurogamer, producer Michael Bybee and lead engineer Patrick Magruder explain the decision to lower the level cap. During the discussion, Bybee pointed out how constantly moving the level cap up with every new expansion didn't really make sense to him and the team at Blizzard.
"I've been going around talking to people about this, and most people I've talked to are actually really excited to get back to a point where the number of your level makes sense, because once you get up to 110, 120, it might as well be 1000."
Magruder goes on to explain that leveling while actually be faster despite the drop in levels. To which Bybee went into further detail how players will be able to level up faster despite the dropped level cap. It's a rather interesting mechanic, really.
"Pat mentioned levelling will be faster - players will be getting to the new max-level much faster than they ever did before - but what that means, actually, is more people will be in the endgame content together, or the new expansion together, so there'll be this critical mass of players. And one of the magical things about World of Warcraft is it's a massively-multiplayer game, and when you have tons of players in the current content playing together, it makes it so much more fun."
In addition to the leveling change, there will also be a substantial amount of new content in Shadowlands. The cinematic trailer shows the new Horde Chief Sylvanas destroy Lich King Bolvar Fordragon and shatter the barrier that separates the world of the living and the dead. Thus, opening a portal to the Shadowlands. The expansion will include new zones, dungeons and raids, and story quests to continue the battle for Azeroth. Shadowlands is the seventh expansion for the game.
World of Warcraft has definitely struggled to control a cohesive player base in recent years. That's one reason why the recently released World of Warcraft Classic has been so popular. It gives players the chance to begin again on a level playing field. WoW is a fifteen year old game, and all the aging spots are starting to show. Despite graphical updates and expansions, it seems like the light is dying out for World of Warcraft.
World of Warcraft is available now for PC and Mac