Cataclysm Level Cap Should Have Been 90
Cataclysm has only been out for a week and I’ve come to the conclusion that the level cap should have been set at 90 instead of 85.
Let’s ignore the Paladin named Forscience who went from 80 to 85 in just over five hours. He doesn’t count because inevitably someone always gets the first level capped character with help from friends and mob tagging.
We will also ignore the people who played endlessly and reached 85 the first day or two after Cataclysm’s release. I’m actually going to take the speed at which people reached 85 out of the equation entirely and focus on something different: content.
Going into Cataclysm I made an assumption, which has turned out to be wrong, that there would be five new zones (excluding Tol Barad) and therefore one zone per level. I thought that we would be able to see all the content as we leveled and when we hit 85 we would have quested in each of the zones.
As of this moment I am level 84. I’ve taken a pretty standard route to get where I am. I’ve mainly quested solo, but also fit in a few dungeon runs to round out the experience. I’d say that this is the Blizzard approved method of leveling. And by that I mean, this is what Blizzard had in mind for how the majority of players would level.
So what’s the problem you ask? The problem is that I’ve only quested in two zones.
I started questing in Mount Hyjal and followed it through to the end. (Side note for those who haven’t done it yet, you should make sure to see the last quests in Hyjal) In the process I ran Blackrock Caverns three times.
From there I decided to move on to Deepholme, where I did enough questing to get the zone questing achievement, and then finished up with the Therazane dailies. I also did two Stonecore dungeon runs in the process.
That brings me to today. I’m level 84 and I’ve only seen two zones. I’ve already skipped Vash’jir, now I can skip Uldum and move on to Twilight Highlands where I will hit 85.
I think that Blizzard could have very easily made the level cap 90 with the content that we currently have. From Mount Hyjal I could have gone to Vash’jir, then to Deepholme, then to Uldum, and finally to Twilight Highlands where I would hit level 90. I would see all the content while I was leveling rather than going back and doing it later.
For a lot of us, once we hit max level it becomes a game of running heroics for gear and then moving on to focusing on raiding. That doesn’t leave a lot of time to go back and run content that we out-level.
If you want to see all the Cataclysm content you can do so with alts or by going back after the fact for the fun or the gold from quests, but it’s a shame that we can easily skip two zones.
At this point if you are saying, “But we could skip zones in previous expansions”. True, but in Northrend there are a total of 9 zones (excluding Wintergrasp) as opposed to 5 in Cataclysm.
If you are only going to give us five zones, don’t only give us five levels to do it in because then it really does feel short and like we got a bit ripped off. Making the level cap 90 would have made the leveling experience much more fulfilling and less like the lack of high level questing content it currently feels like.
Had the level cap been set at 90 then players would have felt as though the high level questing experience was more like previous expansions and less like its current state: merely a setback.