The first Guild Wars always had a level 20 cap and it worked out for that game. But of course increasing level caps periodically has been pretty standard with MMOs and GW2 is a lot more of an MMORPG than GW1, so I think there is a lot of room for discussion on which path GW2 should take.
Here are some of my thoughts, concerns, whatever, on the subject:
1) Will the core game be updated so that players who choose not to buy the expansions can still level to the new cap in order to stay competitive in both PvE and PvP? If not, expansions could be much more of a must-buy if only to get more trait/skill points and higher level gear. If yes, would any new skills require the expansion as was the case in GW1.
2) Raising the level cap with future expansions would mean players would have to buy more transmutation stones if they like the look of their 80 armor/weapons (which could already have cost some transmutation stones).
3) A lot of things such as skills, traits, and whole classes would require rebalancing to account for the new build possibilities. This will probably mean that there will be a series of patches and complaints before classes become stable again.
I'll just start with those points as ideas for discussion, but I'd also like to hear any additional thoughts the community may have regarding the level cap. (On a side note, I think the traditional progression-via-leveling system is archaic, but that's for a separate topic).
EDIT: Added poll.
EDIT2: Slightly changed poll answers for more meaningful results. Anyone who vote "Depends," please recast.
EDIT3: Added Question 2.
Per request I've decided to include the following information here if only so there's less misunderstanding of where Arenanet currently stands on the issue. Please keep in mind that this should not stop you from expressing your personal opinions on the subject:
Expansions were confirmed recently:
"According to Price, "We today know a number of the high-level features that we're going to do, and expansion content for years to come." http://www.gamezone....r-years-to-come
Increased level cap is in, last I heard:
"Q: What of the level cap? Have you guys decided whether you're going to be increasing the level cap in future expansions?
Colin: Yeah. The level cap will be 80 on the initial release of the game, and we absolutely would increase it further into the game, probably through expansions is the most likely place we would do that."
Episode 68 Time = 58:35 [thanks Vahkris! ]
"Q: I know you guys are focused on finishing the original game but I would like to know how are you going to handle the character progress after the release? Is the original game going to have some cap set on items/attributes, just like in GW1, or will we be growing in power as the content is added (DLC, expansions) and the maximum level will increase?
A: So, the maximum level in GW2 will be level 80 on the initial release of the game. And I'm sure as we add expansion content we're going to add more progression and add more levels to the game."
This was back in 2011, so it's possible their position has changed, but I doubt it. The very fact they raised the level cap from 20 (GW1) to 80 (GW2) proves to me the old "static level" from GW1 is gone.
It's important to note the difference between "stand-alone" expansions (Like Nightfall and Factions), which will NOT be the model of GW2, and traditional expansions where you must own the original game in order to play the expansion.
GW2 will have traditional expansions, where you need to have the original GW2 game to play.
Edited by Frakov, 29 June 2012 - 04:23 PM.