Update, 3:20pm PT: Following a WoW panel at BlizzCon 2019, we now have more information about what this squish entails. Now, when you start a new character they will start at level one in an entirely new zone designed to better showcase what makes World of Warcraft special and fun. Once you're level 10, you can choose an expansion to level through that will take you the entire way from level 10 to level 50. From there you can go onto Shadowlands. Each and every level will also unlock a new ability, talent, or some other upgrade so that each level is meaningful.
What this means is that it will now be easier to level through an entire expansion and experience its full story—and you won't have to worry about jumping from one zone to the next or outpacing content too quickly. Characters like Demon Hunters and Death Knights will start at level 10. It still isn't clear how the squish will affect character who aren't max level.
Orginal story: World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is getting a level squish that will reduce the level cap down to 60, Blizzard revealed today during BlizzCon 2019 (opens in new tab). That's good news for all players as the level grind to reach endgame was becoming a little too much, but with the level squish all current max level players will be scaled down to level 50 and then level up to the new cap of 60 over the course of the Shadowlands expansion.
Details are scarce right now, but this news comes from a press release that explains all the new features coming in Shadowlands. If you're not familiar with WoW, a level squish simply means changing the way a player's power scales as they earn experience and gain new levels. With the reduced level cap, it will now be easier to reach endgame content like raiding and players won't have to spend as much time questing in older zones. It'll also help Blizzard balance and adjust character stats a little better.
A level squish has been a long-rumored change for years now, as each new expansion has added 10 or 5 new levels for characters to reach since WoW first launched in 2004. It's becoming an unwieldy and overly-long journey to reach the endgame raiding and dungeons, and players have long complained of the way new skills and meaningful upgrades have been stretched too thin across WoW's current 120 character levels.
With the Legion expansion, Blizzard introduced level scaling that made every zone scale to your character's current level within a certain range. It made exploring Azeroth's older zones much more enjoyable, but a level squish will condense the game and make it more accessible to new players.
We'll have more on World of Warcraft: Shadowlands later today. For now, check out its exciting new trailer. (opens in new tab)