The Daily Grind: Which MMOs out there could use a level squish of their own?

Let the dead bury their dead, they will come out in droves.

MOP backer and fellow blogger Terminally Nerdy pinged us a few weeks back with an interesting conundrum: He was trying to think of other MMOs that have implemented level squishes akin to World of Warcraft’s. Off the top of our heads, we couldn’t think of one – only corner cases that aren’t quite the same thing, like games that have changed from experience to levels. Presumably crowdsourcing this to everyone who reads here might  drum up a few that we’ve forgotten, but either way, we suspect there aren’t too many.

But that’s not to say that there aren’t any MMOs that need one. It’s not as if WoW is the only MMO that has let levels run away with the years as the expansions pile up – it’s just the biggest one actually doing something to retroactively fix it. Which MMOs out there could use a level squish of their own?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

No posts to display

newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Jeremy Barnes

There’s a lot of different definition of what a ‘level squish’ in this thread. Seems like a lot of people think it’s more than just reducing numbers.


DCUO. All the tiers below the latest are barren. There should be only 3 tiers constantly:
– The levelling experience (level 1-30)
– The mid-levels: all those tiers which don’t give anymore marks to the people at current Combat Rating
– The currently “active” episodes (generally last 3) which generally still give mark for their tiers.
Every new episode should squish the bottom one of the top tier in the mid-levels.

And then give some “incentive” for replaying the old content. Esp making sure they’re not necessarily trivial.

Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor

EQ2. A squish and more importantly some condensing and cleanup on the many, many too many different progression systems they’ve added over the years.

Kickstarter Donor

BDO. Level and stat squish to bring the game back into a moderate balance like it was at release.

Kickstarter Donor
Peregrine Falcon


The leveling experience has become a convoluted mess, and the amount of abilities one gets by 40, much less at the level cap, is ridiculous.



Implementing a level squish is extremely complex, if you don’t want to break balancing and progression. Even Blizzard with their near infinite resources were struggling with earlier squishes and it’s not clear yet if everything will go smooth this time. In case of other studios with less resources and smaller communities it could break the game beyond recovery.

Also, for an MMO focused on game play and end game instead of virtual world and immersion, such as WoW, a level squish might make sense. But for virtual world MMOs it would needlessly weaken the feeling of being in a persistent, stable environment with legit characters.

As @MinimalistWay said below, there is a much simpler solution: just give players the option to speed up leveling in various ways. If you don’t put those in the cash shop but instead provide them in game, you can even form additional game systems and activities around the faster leveling.

Bruno Brito

Implementing a level squish is extremely complex, if you don’t want to break balancing and progression.

You speak like the years of adding progression didn’t break the games already.

Bruno Brito

Everquest 2, LoTRO and GW2.

EQ2 needs an entire prunning, from abilities, to stat numbers. Dealing millions of damage is beyond ridicule. They also need to get rid of the humongous number of abilities the game has, or at least make each one different enough that you can make your own rotation out of the dozens you have. Needing 5 skillbars AT MINIMUM to play optimaly is idiotic.

LoTRO honestly just needs a number adjustment. 130 levels is too much.

GW2 has a arbitrary level 80 just as a marketing ploy: The game leveling system is really not needed, and the 80 levels was to make the transition from Wrath of The Lich King to GW2 easier. It makes sense considering that the HP pools are the same that WoW had when you were fully geared: Tanks bordering 40k hp ( WoW had some with 50k ), DPS/Healers on the 20s/30s. GW2 does it by a class basis.

I would like GW2 to have at most 40 levels. 30 or 20 would also be acceptable to me, since 20 is the GW1 cap, and 30 is just there.

Bryan Cole

Everquest 1 and 2, Lotro, FFXIV, GW2, SWTOR

Sarah Cushaway

EQ2 for sure. It also needs a bit of an ability trim as it suffers from extreme bloat.

Bryan Turner

The Everquest franchise, GW2.