Posted 26 June 2012 - 11:57 AM
Since ANet has already confirmed that the level cap will be raised, the only remaining question is how far they will raise it. They must consider the needs and desires of all current players when making this decision, and must ensure that the end result continues to lure new players.
Raising it by a large number of levels (50-80 levels) effectively prevents grind at higher levels, while allowing characters at max level the greatest room for progression. However, it makes the climb from level one to that cap much more time consuming for new players and alts. After a couple of such expansions, they would probably begin to scare away new players. New players, who are also altoholics, would really be turned off by the thought of climbing that incredible leveling mountain on multiple characters. Considering that the game relies upon multiple, differing storylines as a reason to continue playing once "end game" has been reached, and keeping the need for expanding the player base in mind, I feel that raising the level cap by a large amount would be extremely counterproductive. This can, however, be alleviated by boosting the experience gain of new characters and alts, and it should be noted that exp boosts are already a part of the game.
Adding a much smaller level cap (5 - 10 levels) is much more alt and new player friendly, but can quickly cause the higher levels to seem more grindy, and may leave players who have few or no alts asking "is that all?". If this path is chosen it becomes necessary to provide high level players who do not have multiple alts with an additional motivation to continue playing. It also becomes necessary to combat the grind directly. This can be done by increasing high level "end game" content to give those players something on which they can focus their play, by adding new races or professions to the game to entice those players to consider an alt, or by creating other rewards, which are not based upon character level, for doing additional content. Increasing the game content in this manner requires alot more creativity and work, and if done poorly, can quickly endanger the balance to the game.
Because of the above statements, I'm guessing a mid-level gain of 20 levels for the first expansion, with one additonal race and profession, additional story content, more high level "end game" features, and an additional type of PvP.