Blizz has decided to announce their planned level cap for Diablo 3. As of now, the level cap for Diablo 3 is going to be 60.
Blizzard has elected to implement an attainable level cap, rather than continue with the largely unattainable and rather inconsequential level cap of 99 that was part of Diablo 2. It’s been stated that a player will likely reach max level once they’ve completed the game on Hell difficulty level. The intended steps will be:
- Normal difficulty: Levels 1 – 30
- Nightmare difficulty: Levels 30 – 50
- Hell Difficulty: Levels 50 – 60
Gaining levels will become increasingly more rewarding as you progress through the game, much as in Diablo 2. The difference being; you will actually be able to reach the level cap by the time you’ve finished the final act on Hell difficulty. In Diablo 2, most players never made it out of the 80s, let alone come close to reaching level 99.
In conjunction with the new level cap of 60, is a newer and more streamlined skill system. Skills will have a point cap of 5, but can be extended up to 15 points through the help of items and other enhancements. In other words, although max level will be capped at 60 in Diablo 3, there will be much room for furthering your character through obtaining more powerful items and upgrades.
The new skill system will allow for a maximum of 7 active abilities per character, but with no pre-requisite talents. More on the skill system later…
Of course, all of this could be subject to change. Although this announcement arrives in the form of an official Blizzard post, there is still a great deal of time between now and the release of Diablo 3. Therefore, it’s possible Blizz may revisit the level cap at some point prior to the actual release.
They seem pretty smitten with 60 however, so I doubt the level cap will be changing.
Here’s the official announcement regarding the level cap of 60 in Diablo 3:
Quote from Bashiok
We’ve been working with a level cap that’s quite a bit different. It was something I had alluded to a while back but I think it’s probably worth discussing sooner rather than later.
So, we’re working with a lower level cap for a myriad of reasons but really the main point that they’re more or less all linked to is that we came to the conclusion that a cap of 99 exists for the sake of itself. Meaning that it’s a really high number despite all sorts of good things like meaningful player/skill/power pacing, item distribution, balance, etc. It’s sort of this long term goal that really didn’t matter, almost an Achievement without the flashy graphics or *bwong* sound. You didn’t need to reach 99 to do anything, in almost all ways the game stopped somewhere in the 80’s (for a lot of people a lot lower), but by stretching the player out over an additional 20 or so levels to 99 it created all sorts of issues we were having problems justifying forcing the game in to. So we’re working with a level cap of 60 at the moment.
This is the point where some of you scream “60!? That’s like original World of Warcraft!” And then the rest of you /facepalm and say “60!? Couldn’t you pick any other number? Now everyone is going to compare it to World of Warcraft!”
The 60 level cap we’re working with came from a lot of time and thinking about our content and how we want the experience to feel at every level. It so happens that it works for us really well.
Of course it all comes down to an XP curve. We could, for instance, say the level cap in Diablo III is 60 and then pace that curve and gain out over what we estimate it took someone to reach 99 in Diablo II. Of course we wouldn’t do that but it should help illustrate that the time from 1-60 in Diablo II does not equal the amount of time it will take to reach 60 in Diablo III. 60 levels versus 99 levels doesn’t mean less content or less powerful characters, etc. These aren’t uniform levels of power that move from game to game. And in fact we are pushing a longer game than Diablo II and I’d argue our characters feel way more powerful. Ok, that out of the way, moving on!
The leveling experience is always going to stop somewhere because the real game is the item hunt. So, instead of letting it drag out to a less meaningful 80 or so levels like most people saw in Diablo II we have 60 levels of awesome; at every level you’ll get a meaningful and noticeable increase in power. It has a ton of other benefits and fixes a lot of problems a higher cap causes, but I’ll take pause.
[ Post edited by Bashiok ]
So there ya have it… the level cap in Diablo 3 is looking like 60. I like this proposed level cap, as well as the overhaul to the skill system. It also allows them some room to expand the level cap for future expansions. 😀