A level cap is the maximum level a player character can reach in a game. The base game of World of Warcraft has a hard cap of 60th level, so no characters can go above this level. Some games have a soft cap.
- Those playing with the Burning Crusade have their level cap increased to 70.
- Those playing with Wrath of the Lich King have their level cap increased to 80.
- Those playing With Cataclysm have their level cap increased to 85.
- Those playing With Mists of Pandaria have their level cap increased to 90.
When the level cap is reached, players who are used to the leveling game sometimes have difficulty working out how to continue their adventures. After reaching the cap, progression is mainly through crafting, gear or reputation. See, for example Activities guide for characters at level 80.
A hard cap means the game enforces a maximum limit for the character's level and no additional experience can be gained after that level (level 60 in or 70 in for example).
A soft cap means characters in a game don't technically have a maximum level, but after a certain level it gets very hard to increase levels and the benefits diminish rapidly or vanish, so the incentive goes away for all but the hard-core power gamers. Diablo I is a Blizzard Entertainment game with a soft cap, where the amount of experience required to level increased exponentially with each level with few benefits. In the past, the MMORPG game Shadowbane had a soft level cap (approximately level 45 - 50 and above).
- A 60th, 70th, 80th, 85th, or 90th level elite NPC or mob should be much tougher than a level-capped character. Examples are pre- [70+] , who was very hard to solo even by a level 70 in epic gear.
- If at the level cap, a mob which still appears ?? (or skulled) is referred to as a "boss" mob. This is done by Blizzard to hide the mob's Level.