My understanding is that character advancement is 100% based on earning skill points, which Resherak will then let you spend on additional skills. These skill points come from accomplishing feats.
Why then is it so difficult to earn skill points and advance your character? Why is it so difficult to figure out what a feat even is so you can earn skill points? Why does even finishing mainline quests not earn skill points unless you accomplish the bonus task? You can kill dozens of enemies and sneak by dozens more unseen without ever advancing your character because there is absolutely no system to earn experience to level up a character.
When I first got to Marcaul I had 6 skill points and conveniently there were three branches, each of which opened for 2 skill points. After killing Eiodolon’s Animus I had another 6 and used 5. However, after returning with the Heart Abyssal Key (and actually getting credit), I didn’t get any additional points so I still have 1 available that I cannot spend. I missed the bonus because when I got to the second level there was somebody there and I was forced to kill him.
I feel like every quest you complete should earn skill points. Mainline quests should earn more points than side quests because they accomplish your mission in the Abyss. Making skill points difficult to obtain just discourages you from continuing because your character never gets stronger while each subsequent quest is more challenging than the previous one.
It may sound that way, but I don’t mind the different way of advancing the character. I think it is an interesting system and it is perfectly fine to be different than everybody else. I just think it needs to be an obvious and obtainable system.