In most RPGs, Levels are used to denote benchmarks of character progression and often come with stat boosts, new abilities, and new equipment that the character can use. However, in reality, progression is done by learning and practicing skills. For example, when you learn how to play piano, you must first practice scales and technique before you can start playing mozart.
Developing stats and learning skills--The Mētiseia Edit
In Aethyros, all levels are done away with and replaced with a very large skill tree--The Mētiseia. Every character only starts out with a select few abilities located at the base of the tree: use weapon, use spell, use item, sprint, and dodge. This is called the Adventurer's Tier. The tree then branches off into three branches: Xiphos (Weapons), Aethyros (Spells), Manos (Maneuvers). Each branch is then divided into subbranches--or clades--based on the weapons, spell types/elements, and maneuver classes. Along the clades are nodes of many types including: gate nodes (which separate the different tiers or very powerful abilities along the clades), stats nodes, and skill nodes (new abilities).
Experience Points and Skill Points Edit
In Aethyros there are two ways to forms of experience points: general experience points (EXP) and skill points (SP). EXP is earned by experiencing the game. Defeating enemies, completing quests, and succeeding in a skill challenge awards you with EXP. SP on the other hand is earned using your skills. Whenever you use a skill, the clade that the skill came from earns skill points into a SP bank.
EXP and SP contribute to your character's development differently. EXP is only used in opening gate nodes, whereas SP is only used to open stats and skill nodes.