Understanding The Level Shrink That Is Coming With World of Warcraft: Shadowlands

Understanding The Level Shrink That Is Coming With World of Warcraft: Shadowlands
Credit: World of Warcraft via YouTube

One thing has always been guaranteed with a new World of Warcraft (WoW) expansion; players will have to progress their character five or ten levels to reach the maximum level and play in the endgame.

Because of that the, current WoW expansion, Battle for Azeroth, has gamers playing at the maximum level of 120.

If someone new wants to start playing WoW, they need to level up 120 times to get to the end game, which can be a daunting task for a beginner.

However, things are going to change with the new expansion, Shadowlands, which will feature a level squish, bringing level 120 down 50.

Euro Gamer’s Robert Purchese chatted with WoW Producer Michael Bybee and lead engineer Patrick Magruder to get a better understanding of the level change.

They started by reiterating what was already mentioned during the Shadowlands announcement.

Current level 120s will be hacked down to level 50 and must progress to 60 to reach the endgame. New players starting the game will only have level up 60 times instead of 130.

Players just starting will be able to choose which zone the level in, one of the old ones, or a brand new one called Exile’s Reach. Exile’s
Reach is a customized area specifically for beginner players from levels one to ten, and acts as a WoW boot camp, teaching players the basics they’ll need to know.

Once the player reaches level ten, then “a new player will go to Battle for Azeroth. Experienced players can choose another story. And they’ll choose Classic, or they can choose an expansion,” to progress from ten to fifty. This progression time is called Chromie Time.

The WoW employees told Purchese that a primary goal of Shadowlands is to make every level matter again. When players were leveling to 120, every level seemed the same, players were just a little stronger. They want players to be excited about progressing to the next level and feel proud to be at the specific level they’re at.

They also wanted to reiterate that players weren’t going to lose power with the level cut. Everything is going to be scaled down accordingly.

What about the length of time it takes to level? Original WoW players will recall the insane grind it was to gain even one level in some expansions. Players are also getting a taste of this currently in WoW Classic. Players will be elated to hear that it will take 60 to 70 percent less time to progress then other expansions.

Another thing about Chromie Time is that it will scale all the legacy content that has been introduced throughout the expansions, like Pandaria and Northrend. It will all fit within the new level shrink, which will keep the areas playable.

Once the player hits level 50, they will be taken out of Chromie Time and placed back into regular time.

The level shrink is a cool concept, and it seems appropriate to finally scale down the levels.

WoW Shadowlands doesn’t have a release date, but players are hoping for a next summer or fall release date.