A couple of weeks ago, DiabloWikiBashiok made some info-esque posts about how skills and skill caps would work in Diablo 3. At that time he said that the maximum skill level went up with each difficulty level, in a 5/10/15 fashion. This touched off a lot of debate about how this might work, if it would encourage or discourage rushing, if equipment might further modify it, etc. Today Bashiok returned to the thread with some amazing new information:

    Ignore everything I said about raising skill caps, that was an old, old design for how it could potentially work and I had a lapse of memory.

    Well, then.  In other news that’s less likely all be taken back in two weeks, he also addressed the issue of the maximum character level in Diablo 3.

    Oh me oh my. Level cap is undergoing some pretty big discussion at this point. I’d expect more info at BlizzCon.

    And you ask “How is 99 or 100 a big discussion?” and I say “It’s not.”

    The developers have mentioned 100 as the new maximum level, just to increase it from Diablo 2, but that’s never been exactly carved in stone. They have said that they’re not interested in doing the typical MMO thing, where character levels increase 5 or 10 in each expansion pack.

    As Bashiok points out in his post, the difference between 99 and 100 is just cosmetic. What actually matters, and what we’re not going to hear from the devs any time soon, is how long they expect reaching the maximum level to take, and what sort of variety we’ll see in the DiabloWikiend game content. It’s varied greatly during Diablo 2’s ten years, from being virtually impossible in D2C, to fairly easy in v1.09, to “hope you enjoy Baal runs” in v1.10+. Check out On the Drawing Board #13 for a big discussion about this issue, and ponder the question yourself; how hard do you want reaching the max level to be? Should it be something any player can do in a week, or a month of dedicated play? Or should it be an amazing achievement, something that requires a GerBarb/RussBarb style team marathon effort, and that no solo player can ever realistically aspire to?

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