Q u o t e: The point of getting to 99 = constant character core progression, you know like a person lifting weights and getting stronger and stronger. Finding uber items has nothing to do with Role Playing. "Ooh I found a stronger item" does not qualify as role playing, "I hacked through 50 waves of monsters yesterday and today" is roleplaying.
True, but is it more important to have that constant character progression, or is it more important to be able to fine tune the balance at max lvl?
If the lvl cap was 99, and it was as time consuming as it was in D2, i highly doubt that they would balance the game around lvl 99. What lvl would they balance it at? You could argue that they could balance it so that once you get to lvl 80+ the levels make a much smaller impact on character strength so that balance could be better maintained. I think that goes against blizzards idea of making each lvl up feel like it makes a significant impact on character power.
Also, how would PvP matchmaking be handled. Would 99s only play against 99s, and 98s with 98s and 97s with 97s? The lvl 99 matchmaking pool would be quite small compared to the lvl 60 pool that will exist as is. To me, the larger pool at lvl 60 would not only provide faster queue times, but also more competition. I would hate to not be matched up against a great opponent for the sole reason that I have more time to spend playing the game so i am lvl 99 and he is only 95. His skill may be equal or greater than mine, but i will never face him due to his lack of play time.
This would also discourage people from having lots of characters. I know if the max lvl was 99 I would certainly do whatever it took to get to 99 so that i would be most prepared for the arena.