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Absurdly High Level Cap

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The Final Boss can be beaten at level 90.

Q: What is the maximum level?
A: Uh... something really really high. I was hoping by the time anyone reaches that point they would have decided that they've sufficiently beaten the game.
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In many games with Character Levels, you'll probably never reach the highest level possible. Maybe this is just because of scaling and pacing of experience, and the game simply isn't long enough for you to naturally reach the maximum level. Can make a player wonder why the developers bothered to make such a pointlessly out-of-reach level Cap.

The common "endgame level" tends to be around the "halfway mark", usually. In some games, this is actually where your stats begin to max out anyway.

Note that this is not just about games with really big numbers as the level cap, but for games where poor pacing of experience means you won't get anywhere near the cap without absurd amounts of Level Grinding; a level cap of 999 wouldn't count if you can be reasonably expected to be at least level 950 by the time you reach the endgame. Conversely, a level cap of simply 30 would be absurdly-high if you only need to be level 10 to beat the game.

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Note that Tropes Are Not Bad. This can be a useful gameplay feature for games with very open-ended and sandbox-like gameplay:

  • In the age of DLC, modding, and expansion packs, game companies can add on (or have added on by modders) content that extends gameplay without needing to rework basic mechanics. Although games with expansions can just add "level cap upper" expansion packs.
  • Games can have "proper endings" to the plot achievable at lower levels, and then a Bonus Boss or even full-on Bonus Level Of Hell that requires far higher levels to challenge, letting most players off with an ending while giving the hardcore players the additional challenge they seek.
  • If the player reaches the maximum level beforehand, a part of the game will have stagnated, thus taking away from the experience. After all, what is the point of receiving a reward in experience from a quest or mission if you have already maxed out your level?
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  • It makes it hard to predict what level the character will be by the time they get around to finishing the main storyline or simply get bored of exploring.
  • In addition, some players see a rather high level cap as something to accomplish before they are truly finished playing, provided it does not require days of repetitive grinding for little to no payoff.

Contrast Absurdly Low Level Cap, although the two are by no means mutually exclusive. Compare Overly Generous Time Limit for when it's a time limit that's ridiculously high.


Examples

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    Action-Adventure Games 
  • Most of the Metroidvania iterations of the Castlevania series end with the main character around level 50 (and the max being 99).
    • In Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, the hardest respawning enemies in the game, the Guardians, only give 1 exp when you get to about level 70. After that, there's no point in grinding anymore. You take out the last boss in a few hits way before you reach 70. If you really want to try to max out your level after you hit 70, you can abuse full-screen hitting attacks in rooms with 10+ enemies, but even that takes close to an hour to get a single level.
    • In Harmony of Dissonance, once you hit level 53, all non-boss enemies are worth 1 exp (and all bosses get to this point at level 59). Reaching Lv. 99 after that would take over a year of just killing bats.
    • In Order of Ecclesia, after you beat Hard Mode Lv. 1 (the level cap is set at 1), you unlock the highest level cap, that being Lv. 255, as opposed to merely Lv. 99. Once one reaches around Lv. 80, even an entire run through the story won't get you even one level.
  • Timespinner
    • When the game was first released, there was no level cap for orbs, allowing them to level up so high that it crashed the game. This was eventually patched to where there is a cap at level 999, though it's still absurdly high, since the game can be finished with orb levels in the low thirties.
    • The max level of main character Lunais is level 100, in a game that can be beaten pretty comfortably at level 40. Even the True Final Boss goes down fairly easily at around level 60, and the hardest difficulty level isn't much of a challenge at around level 70.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • Halo: Reach, while having the average-ish 50 ranks, requires 20 million experience points to hit the level cap, the distance between rank 49 and 50 being 3 and a half million alone.
  • Played with by the Call of Duty franchise, starting with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (well, the console versions; PC didn't get to do that until World at War). Players are able to level up (the cap is different for each game), unlocking new weapons, support equipment, and Perks as they go. At the maximum level, the player has the option to "Prestige", reverting to level 1, essentially starting again. Later games use this to unlock unique cosmetic elements and extra Custom Class slots, but CoD4 simply let you start climbing the ladder again, up to five times, not really gaining much of anything for your trouble.
    • With Call of Duty ELITE for consoles, it's now possible to have your 1000 hours of gameplay time actually shown to the world. Plus, though Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 started with 10 Prestige levels, people were getting to Prestige 10 and had nothing further to show, so it was increased to 15th Prestige, then 20th Prestige. At 80 levels a Prestige, that means leveling up 1600 times. Which means, when something goes wrong and an account is hacked or data lost, you better believe there will be people calling Customer Support. (Who, except in cases of mass resets or widespread viruses, can do absolutely nothing to modify in-game stats. It even says as much on the Support web site, but with 1000 hours of playtime, you can't really fault people for trying.)
  • Battlefield is a somewhat notorious case for this - Battlefield 2 in particular has the average player go through about sixteen ranks, but the low amount of points gained per kill makes it take forever to actually rank up without going to specific point-farming servers. The requirements, in fact, were actually lowered when it was discovered that the highest-scoring player account - which was actually multiple people playing on one account so they could play more often than normal - would still take two years to reach the highest rank.
  • The Borderlands series zigzags this trope. The main story of each game will get you to about level 30, but the level caps let you go up to 50. These extra levels were intended for your New Game+, known as True Vault Hunter Mode in Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! and simply Playthrough 2 in the original game, as well as the raid bosses in the first two games. Completing the main story a second time like this would put you right around the level cap... until DLC came along to raise it. The final cap for the original game was 69, but while no Playthrough 3 was ever added, completing Playthrough 2 would cause all enemies to scale to your current level. 2 and Pre-Sequel, on the other hand, did add a third playthrough alongside the new level capsnote , Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, in which everything scales with your level, negating all advantages of level-grinding except the additional skill points you'd get in the process; 2 took things one step further with Overpower Mode, in which characters that had reached the level cap could level up the enemies and loot they'd encounter even more. All in all, while the level caps were great for players that wanted a challenge, they were completely gratuitous for players that were just interested in one run of the story.
  • Where the overall cap is, if one exists, for Overwatch is not entirely certain, but players can continue earning new player portraits all the way up to level 2391.
  • PAYDAY 2 has one by way of its "Infamy" system. The normal level cap, the one for actually unlocking skill points and weapons and the like is 100, which isn't that difficult to hit (even up to the midway point, Overkill-difficulty heists can get you ten or so levels at once). Where it gets into the absurdly-high territory is with Infamy, in which you reset your level for small bonuses and start over, keeping your weapons already in your inventory but requiring going through the ranks again to regain access to them. In the initial release of the Infamy system, there were five tiers to Infamy, granting a total of 600 levels, with plans to eventually move on up to 14 Infamy tiers for 1500 levels in total - and when "Infamy 2.0" eventually hit, it came with 25 tiers instead, bringing the total level cap up to 2600.

    Hack and Slash 
  • In Diablo II, the pace of experience slows down to a crawl by the mid-80s. A handful of people do reach 99, but it takes an insanely long time. Most characters will have attained optimal skills long before this. This is because shortly after it was released, Diablo II ended up with hundreds of Level 99 Hardcore Barbarians on Battle.net, much to the chagrin of the game designers who were certain reaching level 99 in Hardcore (where dying even once permanently ended your game) was impossible. Several nerfs to the signature Barbarian skill (Whirlwind) were applied, only for other game-breaking abilities to be uncovered in other character classes. Finally, they simply applied a patch that set all experience gains for level 80 or higher characters to be 1/10th normal, all past level 90 to be 1/100th normal, and past level 95 to be 1/1000th normal (most non-boss enemies, even on Hell difficulty, give only one experience point per kill at that level). By mathematically guaranteeing that players would need to kill 10 enemies per second, 24 hours a day, for nearly a year to go from level 98 to level 99, they finally succeeded in killing off interest in attaining the maximum level.
  • Its sequel Diablo III also applies. Pre-patch 1.0.4 the cap was at level 60. Patch 1.0.4 added 100 extra "Paragon" levelsnote  on top of that, so yes, the cap is now at level 160. Considering that monsters are the same when capped at level 60, you can guess how hard is to get level 160 (the game designers try to make it as hard as getting level 99 in the previous game). To put this in perspective: it takes about 23.5 million XP to reach level 60. Getting to Paragon 100 requires nearly 10.5 billion XP - enough experience to level 445 characters to the original level cap.
    • After patch 2.0, though, the level cap on paragon levels is entirely gone, meaning the player can keep leveling up into infinity. Even then, after a certain point, the levels become mostly meaningless. Each paragon level now gives the player a chance to level up one of sixteen stats, and each one can only be leveled up fifty times, except for a base damage stat and a defense stat. By Paragon Level 800, the player will have maxed out every stat except the base stats, so grinding past that point will result in a (by that point) insignificant stat growth, when the players characters are so strong, they're basically unkillable.
  • The Dynasty Warriors franchise of games usually have ridiculously high level caps, with the main Dynasty Warriors series usually sitting at level 99.
    • Pirate Warriors has an initial level cap of 50. However, this cap can be broken by collecting the right Coins and Limit-Breaking your character, allowing them to progress past level 50 and up to the real level cap of 100. Doing so allows the character's stats to continue increasing and unlocks new combo finishers for them.
    • Hyrule Warriors started out with the standard level cap of 99. The game then received several patch updates, which increased the level cap significantly, going up to 150, then 200, then finally settling at a record for the Warriors series of 255.
  • Gauntlet Dark Legacy had a level cap of 99, even though the game could be beaten by level 60 or so.
  • Path of Exile has a level cap of 100 and exponentially growing EXP requirements for the highest levels, along with 5%/10% of your EXP progress to the next level being lost when dying on higher difficulties. Almost 3 years after the game's release (and with 11.5 million registered users), the "Standard" league has only 826 characters on level 100.

    MMORPG 
  • The original MMORPG example was Asheron's Call — the level cap was logarithmic, with the hard cap on experience being 4 billion at level 127. Given that the game was launched at the same time as Everquest, which had a level 50 cap, this was rather jarring for the time. It took most of a decade for any character to actually reach the cap, although MMORPG inflation made it easier a few years after that. A later update changed the cap again — to 4 billion experience points per skill, putting the actual level cap near 300.
  • In Phantasy Star Online, you can plausibly play through the entire story on even the highest difficulty level at about level 80 or so, especially if you're playing online or multiplayer. The level cap is 200.
    • It isn't as bad as it seems. There's no diminishing return. Rather, people rarely hit 200 because you have so many character slots. That and the fact that, even earning XP at the fastest possible rate, it takes close to 1000 hours to reach the Level 200 mark...
    • To give an idea of how ridiculous Phantasy Star Online is for this trope, Level 200 requires 82 million experience points in a game where enemies on the highest difficulty seldom give more than 400 XP a pop. And thanks to the exponential experience requirements for level-ups, you pass the halfway mark to the level cap at Level 182...
  • The level cap in Kingdom of Loathing is 256. You're expected to clear the main game at level 13, though you can still earn new skills until level 15. There's a trophy for reaching level 30 for each class, and players looking to complete a particular sidequest might grind until level 20-35, depending on how much money they're willing to spend on buffs. Actually reaching the level cap was something only a few players accomplished for most of the game's lifetime, until a certain donation item introduced an area with procedurally-generated enemies that made that sort of long-term powerleveling much easier. Even now, very few people actually do it because there's very little reason — it used to be a reasonable PvP strategy, but shortly after the release of that item, PvP got revamped in a way that completely destroyed its viability.note 
  • In Lost Souls MUD, the maximum level is 675. According to developers, the limit only exists because of integer overflow problems on XP values, and if anybody were to actually reach level 675, experience would be re-implemented using floating point math, removing the cap.
  • EVE Online has close to 400 skills, which while only have 5 levels each, can take upwards of a month or more to max each skill.
    • Depending on how you set up your characters, it'll take 20+ years to skill up everything to level 5 if no new skills are ever introduced.
  • In Granblue Fantasy, the current maximum Player Rank (the main character's equivalent of Character Levels) is 225, yet Rank 101 is enough to unlock the ability to host and join most Impossible Raids, which serve as endgame content for high-level players. A new set of raids, the Magna 2 bosses were introduced in 2018, yet their Player Rank pre-requisite for hosting and joining is set to 120 and above.
  • Battlestar Galactica Online has a cap of 250 in a game where it takes weeks for all but the most dedicated or money-throwing players to hit 20!
  • In Mabinogi, reaching the level cap is most likely impossible, as the ideal way to level is by rebirthing back to level 1 every week or so, adding to the total level. Some say the total level cap may exceed 9000.
    • Apparently, the "current level" cap is 200. The exploration level cap is definitely 25. But all that really matters for are those who seek to gain as much AP as possible in as little time as possible. The maximum you can get each week while still having a life outside the game doesn't even get close to the cap until your total is many thousands high and your character a veritable engine of destruction already.
  • Neocron and its expansion/sequel didn't even have levels in the traditional sense. The two numbers which denoted a player's average power (expressed as X/Y) was dependent on multiple factors, such as the currently equipped weapon (influencing X) and the amount of levels a character had obtained in the five skills (Strength, Constitution, PSI Power, Intelligence and Dexterity, influencing Y to some extent). However, despite the four classes having varying caps for each of these, the total amount of levels spread across them all amounted to an identical 300.
    • For the classes which had caps of 100 in certain skills (everyone except the Private Eye class), the amount of experience required to gain one level after hitting the low-nineties was in eight or nine figures. In a heavily PvP-focused game, this meant a lot of grinding of the highest-level areas, usually in groups. The grind was, however, exacerbated if a player made the decision to respec from one discipline into another (for instance, a Spy wanting to quit using rifles in favour of pistols). In addition to having to buy specific "Loss-of-Memory" (referred to as LOM) pills for the subskill they wished to remove the skill points from, the pills themselves only removed the points five at a time and incurred the game's "Synaptic Impairment" effect (the only way to get a stronger degree of the SI than the LOM pills is dying). This meant that there was a few minutes wait before the player could pop the next pill, meaning that respeccing a high-level character literally took hours to do. Add this to the fact that a fully-capped character usually uncapped themselves due to the pills snatching away a bit of XP every time...
  • In Shin Megami Tensei IMAGINE, the level cap is 97 (98 in the japanese server), but to get from 95 to 96 you need more experience than from 1 to 95. And then to get from 96 to 97 you need two times the experience you needed to go from level 1 to 96.
  • Bots, before it got taken down, had a level cap of around 2900.
  • In the Third-Person Shooter MMO S4 League reaching level 100 and "S4" rank requires 63,703,100 EXP. The most experience you can gain from a 30 minute match is 1280 exp so it is estimated that you would need over 1036 days of continuous nonstop optimal playing. Of course, Alaplaya has included an Anti Poop-Socking that would cut off all exp and pen gains after playing 8 hours per day. Luckily levels don't matter at all obtain weapons which are given out for free or purchased at the shop for extremely cheap prices. The only things that are affected by levels are the channels players can participate in and clothes that change the appearance of the player. All clothes give the same bonuses so levels stop mattering at all after level 20.
  • Everquest now has a level cap of 100. This may seem low compared to other games in the genre, but keep in mind that, even with the regular "exp smoothing" administered to the game in recent years, it still takes an absurdly long time to reach that 100 cap. And that's not even getting into Alternate Advancement points, which, while easier to get than general levels by a wide margin, only have a theoretical cap (and one imposed by the game on silver accounts) that inevitably expands each time an expansion hits whether or not the level cap is raised. Everquest II has a very similar system.
  • Ryzom has a level cap of 250, which in a normal MMO wouldn't be too bad as your stats tend to max out at that level, and even with four fields to hit the cap in (Fighting, Magic, Crafting, and Foraging) your stats and level remain fairly similar. Unfortunately, these four fields branch in to insanely complex skill-trees, ending with more than 50 fields to hit the level cap in, a feat that can take years.
  • Final Fantasy XIV, without expansions, has a level cap of 50, which is required to reach the end-game, but with the large experience rewards the main-story quests give can be comfortably reached with only a minimal time investment in side-quests or level grinding in the daily duty roulette. Its two expansions later raised the level cap by 10 each... but before you can actually play any of the content from them, you must beat not only the main game, but its very extensive post-game content as well. Leveling past the old cap at this point is a massive chore, since the post-game pre-expansion content is obviously designed with the old level cap that the player will inevitably already be at in mind, thus the experience rewarded for completing a quest are absolutely paltry, equivalent to the amount you got for quests back around level 25 - a player who doens't spend a significant amount of time grinding out the duty roulette or playing sidequests will find themselves hard-pressed to level up more than maybe a single time across several story arcs that take almost as long as the main story itself did. The actual expansion content soon smooths things out again (since they both also require reaching their new level caps for their endgames) by bumping up the experience you gain for completing quests, which helps reach the new caps faster... but then you have to contend with the fact that there are a bunch of other classes and jobs that also have that same level-70 cap to reach afterwards. At the very least, there is a system to give bonus experience for classes that are significantly below your highest-leveled class, and the new classes added in the expansions don't have to worry quite as much since they already start at high levels (level 30 for Machinist, Dark Knight and Astrologian from Heavensward, and level 50 for Samurai and Red Mage from Stormblood).

    Platformer 
  • Ratchet: Deadlocked: Not really a levels, but since HP is upgraded by gaining experience, it counts as a variation. In Challenge mode, your HP can be upgraded all the way to 999. For comparison, the maximum HP obtainable in the previous games was 8/80/200. Needless to say, it'll take a lot of playthroughs to get there, even with ten XP-mods on your weapons.

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • Age of Empires III: The shipments from the Home City in the Campaign mode. You pick a card with supplies or upgrades that can be sent to your settlement. After a certain amount of Experience, you can unlock another card and place it in your deck. In Skirmishes this is capped at 20 cards. In Campaign, it is 44. Short of cheat codes, it is extremely difficult to achieve enough Experience to unlock all 44 cards.

    Roguelike 
  • If there is a cap in Dungeons Of Dredmor no-one has found it yet, you can comfortably beat the game in around the mid 20 range and you stop gaining stats from your levels if you don't have anywhere to spend your skill points, so even if you grind, your level ups become pointless at around the 30+ mark. At ridiculously high levels, the XP bar will begin freaking out and demand more XP than a player is ever likely to gain across all their characters and then start rolling back to zero if you keep going. The jump from 98 to 99 alone takes 197828720 XP. The game just was not built with anyone reaching those kinds of levels in mind.
  • Ancient Domains of Mystery only has character levels go up to 50, but weapon skills, on the other hand, go from 'unskilled' to 'grandmaster'. Most PCs will never reach grandmaster within the span of a single game, but those that do are unbelievably fearsome with their chosen weapon.

    Simulation Games 
  • In Heartache 101 ~Sour Into Sweet~ , the player's stats can be raised up to a cap of 100. The three uses of stats are to pass storyline checkpoints (which use a simple "Is the stat higher than this value" pass-or-fail check), to give correct advice to girls when asked (where points in the relevant stat increase the chance of Ferdinand's advice being correct), and to determine how many relationship points are gained when spending time with girls. Storyline checkpoints never require any value higher than 50, advice will reach 100% chance of being correct somewhere between 50 and 60, and it is possible to max out relationship values for girls without any stats ever even reaching 50.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • Splatoon: The 2.0.0 update raised the game's level cap to 50, even though all weapons and gear is unlocked by original cap of Level 20. There are additional pieces of gear rewarded every five levels past 20, but said clothing has no unique traits that can't be found from others in the store. And assuming you gain experience in the most efficient way possible (winning every ranked match you play without ever going into overtime) it'll take you over 90 hours of play time (not counting time spent between matches) to go from level 20 to level 50.
    • Splatoon 2 goes even further by having the original level cap be 99, despite being able to unlock everything by Level 30. Then the 2.0.0 update allowed any players that somehow managed to get to that level cap to essentially prestige ala Call of Duty to reach a new level cap of 99★. However, every new level from 30 onward grants the player Super Sea Snails, which can be used in lieu of cash to help augment gear abilities. And for the curious, playing in the most efficient way possible, i.e. winning every Ranked Mode match within five minutes via knockout, getting to 99★ from Level 1 would take about 582 hours of playtime (not counting time spent between matches).

    Tower Defense 
  • Both Cursed Treasure flash games have a very high level cap, but the highest level you'd ever want is Level 41, as that's the minimum level needed to max out all the skills. However, the most EXP gained from a single map is nearly 1,700 (at least, that's the case for the Level Pack), and since EXP needed for the next level is current level x 100 note , that means repeating that map many, many times. Worse, you'll likely get a Brilliant rating on all the maps way before maxing out all your skills!
  • Bloons Tower Defense 4 has a rank cap of 94. Sure, it doesn't seem so big, until you realize that the last two level requirements skyrocket into the outer space and beyond.Note 
  • There is no level cap in Gemcraft; instead, it has a cap on how much experience you can get due to the fact beating the same field twice gives you only difference between your new and old record - fail to beat it and you get nothing.
    • Downplayed in The Forgotten due to the fact it's much harder to grind than in the later games. You can reach the last level as early as late 50s, but if you go out of your way to grind on all levels, you will likely reach it with level somewhere in 80s, which will allow you to max out most of the skills.
    • Maxing out all skills in Gem of Eternity requires your level to somewhere around 200. This is much higher than the level required to beat the game, but also nowhere the level you can get by grinding as much as you can. This entry is unique in the fact that each of the level's battle modes are considered to be unique for the purpose of gaining levels.
    • In Labyrinth and Chasing Shadows it's high enough to make even Disgaea hang its head in shame. By stacking difficulty, talisman bonuses, and battle settings/traits, you can gain billions of XP per level. and with 169 fields in Labyrinth and up to 191 in Chasing Shadows (including Magician's Pouch-exclusive and Steam-exclusive fields), your wizard level can get absurdly high. The soft level cap is generally considered to be somewhere around Level 10,000 in Labyrinth and 50,000 in Chasing Shadows.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • Nippon Ichi games like La Pucelle Tactics have ridiculous level caps where you can get to 9999 even though the maximum level needed to win the game is around a hundred. You actually do need huge levels to kill the Bonus Boss, however.
    • Even in the case of La Pucelle, the Bonus Boss in the original release is "only" level 2000, and can be beaten at a much lower level than that with good equipment and strategy. The enhanced re-releases add higher-level bonus bosses, but equipment and setup matter far more.
    • Disgaea is a great one for this. Level cap is a whopping 9999, but you can easily finish the main storyline around 80-100. Of course, no one really goes straight through the main storyline, so levels are usually 200 or so for endgame. The other 9799 can be gotten with New Game+ fairly easily, though, since you get access to some awesome high-level areas. Also take into consideration the Reincarnation system, which can be used to restart a character at level one with some of their previously gained skills and increased stats. The level cap can be hit several times over.
      • This is made even MORE prevalent in Disgaea games as the side and bonus bosses often have levels eclipsing the main story. Disgaea 2 on the PSP alone has bosses starting at the level 90 point and working themselves all the way to the level cap. When it comes down to it, the grinding and leveling REALLY comes into play once the game is over.
      • It's important to note that with the Cheat Shop in Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness, this was essentially removed, as reaching 9999 can take just a handful of battles, and the same Cheat Shop in Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance allows you to reach 9999 in a single command. They replaced it with slow grinding functions that increase stats instead.
    • Phantom Brave escalates since you can level both weapon AND character, meaning you can beat the final boss (and probably the first bonus boss) if you have the optimum skill/weapon/created character loadout for such a task at around 40/40, some have gotten it as low as 30/30 (Pump those weapon HP skills!) And not only is the max level 9999, but, while the highest character re-creation level in Disgaea gives you 10 extra skill points per time, Phantom Brave can give you as many as 255 skill points each time. A character that has gone to 9999 twice at 255 points each will likely hit the 'true max.' It also supports an extra digit in the stats column. (at this point any attack resembles the scores from Gigawing) Here as an example is a 9999999 attack mage.
  • In Stella Glow the level cap is 99. Players can complete the game around level 45.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Since the release of the Epic Level Handbook in Dungeons & Dragons 3.0, there literally was NO level cap. You could make a level 1 million wizard if you took the time out to do it (although it would be useless because no sane Dungeon Master would ever let you use it, or put the time into running a campaign where it could be used), but still technically possible.
    • In practice, it's difficult to get a character from level one all the way to twenty. In a pencil and paper RPG, real life tends to disrupt the game before that point and if you're lucky you have a group that can play once a week. Be grateful if you have a DM motivated enough to keep the game going that long. Also, modules and monsters written for this level are less common. For this reason, Pathfinder (a.k.a. "D&D 3.75") hasn't yet released rules that go beyond this level (aside from a brief few paragraphs for just in case.) And their adventures paths take characters from level one to about level sixteen. On top of this, the power level of monsters tended to be highly erratic at higher levels given that they started to have increasing numbers of powers that simply outright killed the target on top of having durability and damage outputs that increased at a much more rapid rate than the player characters did, making encounters increasingly difficult to actually make fun the higher level a party got.
    • The third-party Immortals Handbook contains encounters and adventures for characters of levels well into the hundreds. One wonders the kind of screwed-up XP charts that would result in such an insane level system existing.
    • Older versions placed level caps on the classes of nonhumans, as an attempt to balance against their racial abilities. The result was essentially this and Absurdly Low Level Cap combined. If the campaign wasn't going to hit the cap, it didn't balance anything. If it was, the cap would make your character worthless.
      • This could also be said about certain classes before 4th Edition. Due to Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards, players of Wizards and similar classes had to put up with being very weak in comparison to other classes until at least level 5 or so. Once it got into the teens, Fighters and Rogues might as well stay at home. Like in racial caps, this meant that a lot of short-lived campaigns meant that wizards never got rewarded for sticking it out through the low levels, whereas longer-lived and/or high-level campaigns saw non-magical classes become obsolete. 4th Edition's solution to solve all of this was to make most classes nearly identical.....which did not go over well. 5th Edition's solution was to smooth out wizards and other casters so they were more powerful at lower levels and not so over-powered at higher levels, mostly by fixing the effects of spells at a medium power level(unless using a higher slot). This has generally worked much better, but YMMV whether it really makes higher-level play in the teens still feel like a natural level progression without an unofficial "cap".
  • The power level stat in Exalted, Essence, has an soft cap of 10. Most magical beings (including the majority of player characters) begin their existence with Essence of 2 and have relative caps. The most common way to increase Essence is through age and extensive meditation — until a character is 100 years old, they may reach up to Essence 5 with each increase taking months equal to the new rating. To reach Essence 10, the character must be several thousands of years old and devote a year of nothing but meditation for the final enlightenment. Characters can go on world-saving (or destroying) adventures even at Essence 5. Theoretically, one can go for higher Essence ratings than 10, but the authors do not see the point of providing rules for those eventualities.
  • The old BECMI Dungeons and Dragons series had a level cap of 36 but you can evolve into a four-dimensional immortal being with the last ruleset, Immortal, telling you how to play this. You can then reach the top of the of the immortal hierarchy and become leader of your faction. However, there is more, if you become leader of your faction and give away all your power to be born a perfectly normal mortal and succeed in becoming a immortal again and then succeed in becoming leader of your faction and then give away all your power again, you will apparently be hunted down and destroyed irrevocably. This has only happened twice ever in the history of the immortals. You are not really destroyed, but recreated as something called an Old One something that is to immortals what an immortal is to a human -way too powerful for a human to imagine or role-play so the game ends. The Immortal module, however, hints that there is something beyond even Old Ones. Reaching this would require a LOT of time and a Dungeon Master who has a even more time and a lot of creativity since he must create almost all the Immortal level material and adventures himself.

    Other Games 
  • This is a staple in many allegedly free to play games, where you begin to advance quickly but later on will slow down at a certain level, sometimes even extremely so, that it would take a year of grinding to reach one more level, when what you really want is the new abilities 5 levels on. This of course should entice you to buy master currencies or special items to speed up the progress.
  • In Monsters' Den: The Book of Dread, There is no real level cap, As long as you keep going deeper and deeper into the Den of Endless Evil (That you reach when you complete one of the two story modes).
  • Bleach Training has a 3-Digit level cap of 999, although you can finish the game at around level 80 or so.
  • Clicker Idle Games in general have a theoretically infinite level cap thanks to being built on exponentiation, and as such both the player as well as enemies have no limit. As such, the level caps are only limited by the natural limitations of the underlying data type. Most of them however have a Diminishing Returns for Balance applied to damage vs. cost, making it more and more impractical to level up heroes/buy more production units.
  • As one of the clicker games, the original implementation of Clicker Heroes used floating-point numbers, which meant that Heroes had an effective level cap of 4,100. For reference, the highest upgrade a Hero normally attains is around level 100. As long as the player has enough money, he or she can keep upgrading a character. When the developers switched to bignums, the level cap was essentially removed completely.
  • The Perfect Tower is an Idle Game that takes this to an extreme. The level cap on certain upgrades can reach 100000, and if you max yourself out, most enemies of a same tier won't even be able to scratch you. But once the enemy's level gets high enough and their damage and health go over the numerical Cap (about 10^308)... they tier up, and if their tier is higher than yours, they don't take any damage from your tower AND they One-Hit Kill you. To counter this, you need to tier up your own tower, and in order to do so you need to max out all your tower's upgrades. Doing this resets your upgrades, which also means you need to buy all the massively leveled upgrades all over again to get to the next tier and so on, making this game a huge example of a ludicrously high level cap.
  • Level cap for RPG Shooter: Starwish is so high that it practically doesn't exist. Final boss is usually beaten around level 60-70. At the time of writing there are players who reached level higher than 5000.


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