Related to Mudflation, but not isolated to MMORPGs. A plot device whereby a storyline or a video game's progress is driven by an increase of pure numbers. Challenges are not overcome by wit, compassion, or strategy, but by simply matching or overwhelming the opposing force. The next challenge typically requires even more mathematical growth to win.
The Dragonball series is a classic example, as it centers around the growth of a simple martial artist as his power grows to compete with his enemies. Eventually he can bend time, dance in black holes, and destroy solar systems with a mere glance. Power ratings of around 200 were amazing at the start of Dragonball, where ratings of over 20 billion rampage through the latest volumes.
Dragonball Syndrome in action:
Ex1: "Vegeta! What does the scouter say about his power level?"
".... It's over NINE THOUSAAAANNNNDDD!!!!" (Over 9000)
Ex2: The latest WoW expansion increases your level cap to 80! This is nearly a 20 improvement over the old 60 cap!