Among all of the changes coming in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, raising the level cap to 85 instead of following the pattern set by the game’s previous two expansions is one of the strangest. Blizzard lead developer Tom Chilton took a little time during BlizzCon this past weekend to explain the smaller jump.
“It’s certainly different. More than anything else it’s a question of what we thought was the best use of our development time and what we thought the players really want the most. With this expansion we’re delivering more total level up content than we have before—it’s just not all post current max level.”
But don’t the players enjoy the rush to level up?
“We’ve gotten a lot of feedback from players that don’t necessarily like it when an expansion comes out and they feel that they have to level up to the new max level as quickly as possible and then go back to their endgame activities. There are players out there who enjoy the level up experience, but by no means is it all of our players.”
The decision all comes down to the goals of the expansion. With a brand new 1-60 experience on hand, the team really didn’t need to put the endgame that much further out of reach for the influx of new Goblin and Worgen characters.
“In this case, we’re trying to better balance the time and development effort we put into the different areas of the game. We’re trying to make sure we get a little bit more endgame content while still appeasing the level up crowd with five more levels.”