LEGO Universe is getting a leveling system in the next few weeks! Once this change is implemented, your minifigure will actually gain levels as you complete missions and achievements. At certain milestone levels (like 5, 10, and 15), players will earn rewards such as backpack slots, an owl companion, a permanent speed boost and new equipment.
Speaking of equipment, all in-game items will be receiving a level requirement. For example, the Visored Racing Helmet has a level requirement of 20, the Crux Planet Shield has a level requirement of 25, and the Spike Hammer has a level requirement of 30. Any items that have already been linked to your minifigure will not be restricted to the level requirements.
Once the new leveling system goes live, all existing minifigures will automatically have their level calculated based on the amount of U-Score points they've earned by completing missions and achievements. If you're already a LEGO Universe player, you'll have to wait for the update to see what level you've obtained.
This news follows the LEGO Group's recent announcement that a free-to-play option is coming to the game in August. According to the press release, "The LEGO Universe free-to-play experience will offer a limited selection of game content, including two adventure zones and one player property area for building their own virtual LEGO models."