A comment from Bethesda Softworks has been making the rounds this weekend. Fallout 3 downoadable content lead producer Jeff Gardiner told MTV Multiplayer (keep up the good work, Russ!) the studio wasn't seriously considering raising the level cap in Fallout 3 past level 30 because it would "unbalance" the game and recommended simply playing the game again.
The problem? Bethesda already broke the game by enabling the advancement to level 30, an additional ten levels of experience that completely destroy the balance of Fallout 3 already. Adding another ten levels wouldn't change very much. I don't have an issue with a broken Fallout 3, though; in fact, one of my favorite parts of the raised level cap was specifically because I could bend and break Fallout 3.
See, I don't have time to play through Fallout 3 a second time. I'd love the option to re-spec my character and explore the world from a different vantage point, but since that's not an option, the raised level cap gave me an alternate solution. I'd maxed up my stealth-oriented, computer-hacking, long distance-firing soldier in the first 20 levels of Fallout 3, but the march to level 30 gave me a chance to toss attribute points elsewhere.
My character had no experience wielding melee weapons or energy weapons -- now he does. I have an abundance of extra points during every new level up and I've been dumping them into these attributes that went otherwise completely ignored during my first 65 hours with Fallout 3. There are so many weapons I couldn't properly play with before and now I can. See, I've already broken Fallout 3 -- there's nothing more to break.
It's not a bad thing. It's a messy solution to the problem, but it works; essentially, Fallout 3 allowed me to develop a character with completely different attributes even after spending dozens and dozens of hours crafting something else. Sure, it means most of my attributes are maxed out across the board, but that's besides the point; I don't have to play through the game again and I can still experience Fallout 3 from a different point of view. It's the best of both worlds.
Thanks for letting me break your game, Bethesda.