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People have been asking for horizontal progression for a long time; there was a huge outcry over it over on the GW2 forums with the Ascended Gear. I'm here to tell you that horizontal progression is here in The Secret World. No levels, no classes, only 10 levels of gear and no indication that more are coming.
In TSW, many think you get to "max level" by filling in the entire ability wheel and obtaining the 10.5 "quality levels" (QL) of gear. And indeed some people are asking when "higher gear" is coming.
But here's where I think people are getting it wrong. When you complete the ability wheel, all you have achieved is maximum flexibility. You can own every ability in the game, have access to the entire ability POOL, but the real power is in the 7 active / 7 passive decks slots, and you are limited to those 7/7 slots no matter if you have 20 abilities or all 525.
Reward us instead with some awesome cosmetic outfits for completing the hardest content, maybe some quality of life items, and we have what everyone keeps saying they want -- horizontal progress. Make the challenge about finding the right decks, and team combinations, not pure gear stats. Push the ability wheel to it's limit -- you've got 77,258,540,228,633,700,000,000 possible decks in TSW -- so the number possibility for variation (and challenging dungeon content to test those variations) is almost infinite. The devs have stated that future upgrades will be to the POOL of abilities not to the POWER of those abilities.
TSW is about skill, flexibility and adaptability, not pure power. You wanted horizontal progression? It's already here.
P.S. No, I am not talking about the other sandbox stuff (owpvp, housing, crafting, economy, etc) -- I want that as well, but I am talking about eliminating the gear grind here.