BlizzCon 2019 is storming the gates with news today, and just as fast as news drops, something else takes its place. And now, people digging through the announcements for the newest World of Warcraft expansion, Shadowlands, have uncovered something huge. The entire landscape of the game and the power curve is about to change. Say hello to a new meta.
Current max level players will be reduced down to level 50 at the launch and then level up to 60 over the course of the Shadowlands expansion. This means that the new expansion is going to introduce a full rework of existing content in the endgame to rebalance the content to a new power curve. One thing that some players will likely rejoice over is that older content around this old 60 maximum may become relevant again. This should allow new and returning players grasp endgame content, as well as making reaching said content much easier. Level past 100 is a slog for some, and this power reduction will also make it easier to balance future content for Blizz.
The company already made attempts at this by introducing level scaling in Legion, to some effect, but clearly not the desired outcome as their plans have apparently long been in the works to reduce the level cap. The addition of new skills and meaningful upgrades to gear has often felt too fast-paced and thin on the grind to 120, so Blizzard obviously wanted to nip that problem in the bud as well.
This return to the older classic level cap is also being given as a backdrop for a new sweeping change to the lore. As Sylvanas undertakes her crusade to destroy her enemies, she will need the help of what Blizzard is calling “some of the departed legends of the Warcraft universe, such as Uther the Lightbringer, who struggles against dark forces that seek to transform him into a symbol of retribution, and Kael’thas, who pursues vengeance on an enemy from his past while confined to Revendreth for the crimes he committed in life.”
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is definitely going to be controversial when it launches next year.