The level cap for Borderlands 2 characters, currently set to 50, will be increased early next year, a Gearbox Software official tells Polygon.
"We are planning to do a level cap increase," James Lopez, a Gearbox Software producer on Borderlands 2, said. "We should have some more information on that probably in the next quarter... but it will be considerable and should allow for a third play through."
Currently, players max out their characters ability to level-up at 50. Once maxed, some players see less reason to continue to play the game and its new downloadable content, like the recently detailed Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt.
Lopez said the team is still trying to figure out how they will release the level increase, whether it will come in the form of DLC, as part of the season pass or as a standalone patch.
"That's still being determined but we are certain that in the first quarter we are going to increase the level cap and enable people to play for a third time," Lopez said.
"Part of the game experience is the struggle."
Lopez pointed out that increasing the level cap in the game isn't a matter of simply allowing people to level up more, a lot more work and thought has to go into the cap increase to ensure that the game will remain fun.
"You have to worry about scaling," he said. "The more skills you make available, the more powerful your character becomes. Of course, that's the whole idea. Imagine if you were able to have all of the points in all three skill trees and how much of an unstoppable force you become."
Lopez said if they're not careful, a level cap could essentially allow players to create a permanent god mode for the game.
"That could ruin the purity of the experience," he said. "We try to find ways to balance it out and we also need to adjust the enemies so they are still challenging at the higher levels. It's one of those funny things where people assume that whenever they hit level 50 they're going to steamroll through everything. That's why we have the badass versions of everything, so you don't just go through and one-shot everything around you. Because if you do, for a lot of people, the fun evaporates."
The key, Lopez said, is to make sure that even if you unlock all of those skills, you're still having to exert effort to defeat enemies.
"Part of the game experience is the struggle," he said.