World of Warcraft players recently received a survey asking: "Are you aware that the maximum level of 120 will be reduced in the future (i.e., "Level Squish")?"
Nobody was aware that the level squish is something that will definitely happen, as the question suggests. Ion Hazzikostas, game director for World of Warcraft, mentioned it as a possibility during a developer Q&A last year.
"It's something we've genuinely discussed and considered because, yes, it's daunting for a brand new player who's reading about the game, who's hearing about it from a friend who is like, 'I have to do how many levels before I can come do the new thing with you?' And even though the levels take this fixed amount of time and it's not this months-long journey to get to max level, it still feels like a really big number and it also means in practice you probably do go more levels than you probably should between getting new abilities and getting new talents. A lot of those problems could be alleviated by simply squishing levels as a whole."
He explained that implementing this level squish wouldn’t be easy and that some players might be unhappy to see their max level characters being dropped to a lower level and feeling like they lost something.
The survey further explains that the level reduction will make the new max level “dramatically lower”.
Players are disgruntled by Blizzard's way of tackling the problem, suggesting that better options would be to allow players that are already at the level cap to drop their level to play with low level friends or a mentorship program that will give new players extra XP if they’re playing with max level friends.