The level of a character gives you a rough idea of how strong they are. It is displayed in their name tag that you see when hovering them. Every time your experience bar fills up completely, your level increases by one.
Aside from giving you a rough idea of another adventurer's progress, or a monster's strength, the level difference between two characters has several effects:
- If you attack a character lower level than you, you have an increased chance to land a critical strike (and vice versa).
- However, against characters who have a higher level than you, you have a reduced chance to hit them at all.
- Stealthed characters who are lower level than you are easier, higher level characters more difficult to spot.
- Spell resistance, spell and attack penetration all increase with the level. Therefore, a spell from a higher character is more difficult to resist for a low level character.
- If a hostile character is ten or more levels higher than you, their true level is masked. In this state, they will have a greatly increased chance to land critical strikes against you, and dodge your attacks. In addition, they give a severely reduced amount of experience points.
- If a monster is much lower level than you, they will not give any experience if defeated. This is indicated with a "Low Level" note in their name tag.
- If you enter a dungeon with a group of adventurers who have highly different levels, the levels of your group are temporarily scaled down while inside the dungeon, based on the lowest level character. For example, if a level 17 and a level 30 enter the Hollow Tree dungeon, the level 30 adventurer will be scaled down to level 17.
All bosses and some special monsters have a dynamic level, indicated with a "+" after the level in their name tag. Those monsters are at least as high level as the level in their name tag indicates. Their current level depends on what they are attacking or defending against - normal monsters with a dynamic level are never lower level than their opponent, guardians are at least two, high guardians at least three levels higher than their opponent.
For example, the name tag of Noxxara, the final boss in the Hollow Tree dungeon, reads:
Noxxara Level 19+ Insect High Guardian
Against a level 15 adventurer, Noxxara will be level 19. However, at the same time, against a level 25 adventurer she will have hit and critical strike chances like a level 28 creature would.
The level cap refers to the maximum level that a player can reach at the time. Generally, the level cap is raised whenever enough quests for one level exist, and all dungeons for that level are complete. There is no final maximum level planned, currently the level cap is at level 42.
The level cap used to be standardized at level 40 for all players (this included classes for players that have only been unsuccessful at obtaining level 41 within a set grace period). Players that did not come on for a while were unable to exceed level 40.
However, players that were active were able to reach level 41, and go on to level 42. Players that had more than one class but only had certain classes at level 41 were able to go on to level 42 with them (any that were at level 40 or lower would've been capped). For example, a player with a Warrior class at level 41 and a Priest class at level 40 could only have their Warrior class reach level 42.
In summary, the level cap used to depend on three things: how active you were in the game, if there were enough quests for a player to reach a portion of the experience towards the next level, and if one or more of your classes had reached level 41 or not. Currently, any player can reach level 42, regardless of how active you are or what level you have!