Really hoping for NO LEVEL SQUISH.
Leveling alts is one of my favorite things in the game. Going from 1-120 is a very zen experience for me where I can just decompress, put on a podcast, and go through the world I adore so much. I love hearing how crazy I am when I tell people I have 50~ alts at or near level cap.
The way I see it, there are really two options for a level squish, both of which are bad.
Option 1 is a level and experience squish. This would be truly disheartening without some form of compensation for levels/exp (ie, my time) lost. It isn’t a big deal when the occasional, small exp squish comes along and makes it a little easier, but I would assume that this kind of “level squish” would be a very significant decrease in time needed to reach max.
Option 2 is same amount of time/exp needed as now, just a smaller level number. This is my preferred of the two, but I worry that without significant changes to leveling rewards it will feel even less rewarding than the current model. It will take just as long to reach your next talent but you won’t even have the psychological satisfaction of “dinging” frequently.
The real issue isn’t levels, it’s lack of rewards. So here’s what I think should happen.
It would obviously be nice if we could get just one or two more talent rows and a few more abilities per specs to earn as we level, but that requires more balancing and, as Blizzard has said many times, it isn’t realistic to add new abilities with every expansion. So, the real long term solution is this…
Create an account wide system similar to honor levels that grants cosmetic rewards. Levels earned across all characters contribute to your “account level”, with low levels obviously granting less progress (and boosts granting none), so you can’t game the system.
The rewards would be minor but come frequently at first, say for the first ~13 max level characters. That way you could level all classes to max (I’m assuming we’ll be getting a new class Soon™) and not have long stretches where you earn nothing while doing so. After that, for the people that just like to level multiple of the same class (the crazies like myself), the rewards would start to be spread farther out.
Rewards can be titles, pets, mounts, recolored (or brand new) armor and weapons.
I would prefer if this was simply added to the current system and leveling itself be left alone, but applying this to option 2 would also be satisfactory.
The only way to salvage option 1 would be to create a “level bank” that stores the levels/exp we’ll lose with the squish and lets us grant those to alts, similar to how recruit-a-friend works. It would still be disappointing but it would be acceptable to me.