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Rumour: World of Warcraft is getting a level cap reduction

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Every time World of Warcraft (opens in new tab) gets an expansion, Blizzard bumps up the level cap. Where there were once only 60, there are now 120, and while Blizzard has dramatically sped up the levelling process, it's still a daunting number. It also looks like it might be getting reduced.

Game director Ion Hazzikostas has previously floated the idea of a 'level squish', reducing the cap to something more manageable, back in March. With 120 levels, Blizzard can't dole out meaningful rewards with every ding, but with a lower number each new level could bring with it cool new additions to the class. 

While changes to the level cap—as well broader changes to the levelling experience and what levels actually mean—are being considered, Hazzikostas didn't indicate that Blizzard had come to a decision or when any changes might appear. According to a survey, however, a "level squish" is on its way. 

Reddit user Nivens (opens in new tab) posted screencaps (opens in new tab) of an alleged World of Warcraft survey with questions specifically relating to the reduced level cap, worded in a way that suggests that it's already been settled on, but not when it might happen. Blizzard asked:

  • Are you aware that the maximum level of 120 will be reduced in the future (ie Level Squish)?  
  • The "Level Squish" will reduce the total number of levels required to access the most current game content. The new level cap will be dramatically lower than the current level cap of 120. How much would you like or dislike a reduction in character levels?

While we don't know what the new level cap will be, "dramatically lower" suggests that it's not just going to shave off 10 or 20. The original level cap of 60 also seems unlikely, though you will be able to return to that era when World of Warcraft Classic (opens in new tab) launches in August. 

Given that there hasn't been any kind of announcement, the wording of the survey is a bit unusual. I reached out to Blizzard to confirm if it was sending out this survey and what its level cap plans were, but it has nothing to say about it at this time. 

Cheers, Wowhead (opens in new tab)

Fraser Brown
Online Editor

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.