With all of the speculation about a possible RIFT expansion happening sometime this year, one of the most hotly-debated topics within the community is the idea of Trion raising the current level cap. Will they give us another 10 levels of content to plow through, or will they keep lining up content packages for the current endgame? There are definitely key arguments on either side of the fence. Here are a few opinions, straight from this thread, where a large portion of the speculation is currently happening:
“New zones are fun, but seeing all that gear you strove so hard for become useless overnight and superseded by level 51 greens will probably be too much to bear. Went through this a couple of times in other MMOs; as much as I love Rift, I don’t think I can do that again.
They’ll also have to find a way to keep the old content from becoming totally irrelevant. The mentoring feature will keep downlevel zones (somewhat) relevant in case of a level-cap increase. However, no such feature yet exists that would keep the current dungeons and raids from becoming obsolete before a majority of the playerbase ever experiences them.”
This is a very solid reason to be against a level increase cap. Increases often make gear, entire maps, entire cities (Shattrath, anyone?), and entire raids and instance zones obsolete, except when it comes to nostalgia and achievements. Many MMO players like the fact that expansions force an in-game wipe of sorts that knock entire raids out of the ballpark, others don’t. Mentoring may solve this issue somewhat in RIFT, but possibly not, since the reward factors may not line up unless Trion adjusts how rewards scale from older content.
And here’s the other angle of the argument:
“New level 50 player, post expansions: Rift is awesome! I’m now level 50, how do I gear up?
Longtime Rift Player: You have to do Expert Dungeons, GSB, HK, Inferno Dawn, Crucia’s Temple, Regulos’s Fortress of Dread, etc, etc.
New 50: K… I’m goin back to WoW.
Raising the content cap in this sort of game system means you have to raise the level cap. If you don’t the game becomes inaccessible.”
“Content iteration is the key. If you stack too much content in front of a new player they won’t do it.”
New players need content to be accessible in order to play ‘catch up’, otherwise they may quickly lose interest in the game. Higher level caps accomplish this nicely, and actually even the playing field, at least for a short time while everyone is leveling and exploring the new expansion content. This allows developers to adjust stats, introduce new abilities, mechanics, loot systems, and more without upsetting current content progression.
RIFT doesn’t have to go this route, but many players feel a level cap increase is just the ticket for getting new players to try out the game:
I feel Rift really needs an expansion to draw some players back in potentially and breathe some new life into the game.
Expansions are exciting. New content to devour is exciting. New soul points to allocate, and new skills to play with is exciting. But do we need a level cap increase to generate this sort of excitement? Hard to say.
RIFT’s unique soul system also offers a unique spin on this issue. By implementing a new level cap, players will, of course, be granted new soul points. Since the system is so wonderfully flexible, it seems possible that unless major balance adjustments are made, some specs may be a little difficult to balance. Trion may be able to handle this, however, and any new abilities or souls added may make up for this balance issue. There’s also PA to handle.
Either way, Trion has their work cut out for them. The community seems pretty split on the matter. What do you think?