Guild Wars 2 – Level Cap, And?

ArenaNet has been on a roll with dropping bombs from MMO heaven.  When Tycho from Penny Arcade even calls them out as warriors of sooth and justice on the MMO scene, they’re doing something right.  So, last night could have been the same when they announced the level cap for Guild Wars 2 at 80 on the ArenaNet blog.  There were two pieces of information: level cap is 80, and level progression is constant vs. time.  This could have been a Tweet.

It’s not that this new information isn’t nice to have; it’s that out of context it is nearly meaningless.  It’s like if they came on and said “the best sword in the game does 444-555 damage per hit.”  Okay, sounds good, I guess.  I mean clearly they restate their goal that they don’t want leveling in itself to be the content.  However, the more important question that should have been immediately followed up is “how do levels matter?”

So, how do levels matter? We know that there will be some sort of sidekicking/mentor system ala City of Heroes that allow players to play with friends regardless of level, and we know arena PvP will put everybody at the same level.  That’s about it.

Are they going to now follow a DIKU-progression where it’s nearly impossible for a level 70 hero to fight a level 80 mob?  Or like in Guild Wars 1, can a significantly lower level character take down a much higher level mob? Conversely, if I am a level 70 character will low level mobs be grayed out, still attack me, or provide any challenge? I know in arena PvP, all characters will be the same level, but if I go in to World v. World at level 20, will I just be absolutely useless if I am surrounded by level 80s? Does stat progression and item progression heavily rely on the level?  What about zones and character level?  Will I have to be level 60 before even realistically setting foot alone on Orr?

These are the questions that will matter to my gaming experience, and I hope we get a follow up on some of these and other community questions next week.

–Ravious
you remind me of a babe

16 thoughts on “Guild Wars 2 – Level Cap, And?”

  1. I really hope there is a follow-up soon, they really did not cover much in that post. They are more likely to raise concerns with people until they do some clarifications.

  2. The more I keep hearing of all the stuff GW2 is aiming to do, the more I see it as a fantasy ninja, getting a Legendary Attack(tm) ready.

    He’s running towards the big, nasty enemy, dodging fire with grace. The tip of his sword grinds against the stone ground and shoots out sparkles, so fast he’s going. His eyes focused on the enemy. He’s focusing his Ki so much on this Legendary Attack(tm) his hands and eyes are glowing blue. Finally he jumps up in his run, twirls his sword around making it cut the air with sharp whistles, rolls his body in the air, stretches, he’s about to connect the Legendary Attack(tm) on the enemy and then…

    Then once it goes live we’ll see what kind of movie we were watching. It’s either gonna be a great fantasy adventure, the attack he’s been building up for ages connects and it’s a scene remembered for generations. Or… it ends up being a comedy where the nasty enemy sidesteps at the last second without even looking and the ninja ends up bouncing on the ground and crashing on a pile of barrels full of rotten fish.

    Entertainment either way.

  3. I agree that I am very disappointed with this latest blog entry.

    Please, this silly progression chart is rather WORTHLESS, while really interesting questions about gear progression and the effects of levels on players have been left unanswered.

    This is not only bad from a veteran GW players perspective, it is also giving new players a totally wrong and lacking impression of GW2:

    “80 levels – just like WoW. GW2 is the new WoW. Just better.”

    No way. GW2 is a different take on the genre, even if they make concessions to the WoW-riddled mainstream.

    Besides that, I am extremely disappointed that they did not have the balls to make short work of this dated level mechanics.

      1. Expansion. 80 and 40 (WAR) are rounded numbers to begin with. 100 gets in to triple digits, which likely has psychological impact.

      2. The 80 is a produkt out of 20(the lvl-cap of gw1) 2(for Guild Wars 2) and 2(both checksum of 20 an checksum of 2)
        xD

  4. I agree, its far too light on details. Not sure why they released anything at all if thats everything we were going to get.

    As for the 80 specifically, who cares, its an arbitrary number just like every other game has an arbitrary number.

  5. Would like to see them remove XP from killing mobs entirely, and just give XP for completing events, achievements and dungeons, or collecting traits. Those sound engaging activities, else there is still going to be situations where it might be more ‘productive’ to stay in one area grinding out mobs to get those last few (rep/XP) bars rather than searching for activity or putting together a group. I would have preferred for them to ditch levels entirely, but a small change like that would be good.

    Really disappointed they didn’t touch on mob power levels too, maybe for a future post. The whole notion of levelling up to take on higher levels of the same mob is really starting to get ridiculous, just think about the difference between health pools of lvl 1 and 80 in WOW. It’s probably wishful thinking to hope for them to flatten that curve as well, for a situation where increasing in level allows me to take on more and more standard mobs at a time, and being able to solo mini-bosses, then bosses and finally big bosses.

  6. If you wait long enough, everything you wish for happens. Flat levelling has been a dream of mine since the old EQ hell levels days.

    If, like me, you generally enjoy the first 20 levels of an MMO a LOT more than the last 20 levels, having them pass in the blink of an eye adds injury to insult. I just hope the 80 levels in Guild Wars are all paced at something like the mid-range “take quite a while” pace not the tutorial “over in moments” pace (or the approaching-level-cap “is this ever going to end?” pace, for that matter).

    1. I think the question may be more why you enjoy the first 20 levels so much more. Because the fact they go by quickly might be a part of that.

  7. I thought it was rather informative to say that if thirty minutes at level 1 gets you to level 2, also that thirty minutes at level 50 gets you to level 51 (I don’t know it takes thirty minutes, just using that number).

  8. I know a-net knows what to do… For me GW was a challange,it was dificult to get trough FoW, alone or in a group (before the SC). If they are doing this right, all this balancing is done for a good challange.anyways leveling constantly is good after all I want to spend my time
    in PvP,dungeons and this stuff,that means I don’t want to level for months to get the whole, the essence of the game, the challange and fun of course.

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