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I'm going to attempt to explain the Age of Wushu character progression system. I will try to break it down in sections. Wushu vets, feel free to chime in when you see a mistake.
Internal Skills - Internal skills are similar to levels. Each school has 3 internal skills at the moment. You can have one active at a time. They all do different things. As you train your schools internal, you gain base stats and bonuses, like energy return, speed, knock downs, poisons etc. Each internal goes from 1-36. The internal progression path the CB2 testers took, was to train 1-36 1st internal, 1-36, 2nd internal, and are currently working on 3rd internals.
The internal progrssion path for those who started at launch my be very different. At 1st interal level 20, you can begin training your second internal, at 20 of your second, you can train your third. They key thing to remember is that at any point, you can begin training another schools internal. For example, I could be a Tangmen with Wudang 3rd internal If I choose. This is not something you casually choose though. There's a lot of planning, and a lot of time that needs to be invested. In theory you could have all 24 (3x8 schools) internals 1-36 for each. It would literally take years though.
Skill progression - Each school has 3 skill sets of 6-8 skills, that can be trained form level 1-7 for members of that school. Memebers of other schools can aquire your schools skills, but can only train them to 4 at the moment. Theoretically you can learn every skill from every school and train them to a minimum of level 4. Again this would take a very long time to do. Not as long as it would take for internals, but easily a year.
To put it in perspective, a person may level from 1-85 in WoW in a week or less. One week in Age of Wushu leveling just your skills (not your internal, you can only train one thing at a time) you probably wont have one skill set trained to max.
Meridians - This is where things get real tricky, and the idea of "levels" goes out the window. Once you have raised your 1st internal skill to 20, you unlock that schools meridian. For everything you do, you gain Chi points which go directly into your unlocked, activated meridian. Each cycle you gain base stats. Cycles go from 1-108, with extra bounuses to things like crit, defense, evade ect, depending on the schools internal.
A person who has trained their 2nd internal to 36 (correction incoming ^.^) can activiate a total of 4 meridians. One from their schools internal that can be trained to 108, and 3 others from other schools that can be trained to 9. In order to train the other schools meridians higher, you will need to level their internal further.
In theory you could have a person with four 2nd internals maxed and meridian cycles at 108 for each, that is much stronger than a guy who only has his schools 3rd internal maxed.
When you put all of this together, it creates a system where NO two players are the same. Further more, no two characters have the same base stats. You have hand crafted characters tailored to the creator's play style.
If I wanted to I could add professions and gear into this mix. You do not have to level any skills to be your severs best blacksmith, tailor, fisherman, music player (side note, this game has real bards that do nothing but play buff and debuff music. Play as in like guitar hero) etc. No two crafters are the same. No one knows everything about their profession. I've never seen two pieces of gear that were the same either.
tldr- Age of Wushu has the most complex, most interesting progression systems I've had the pleasure to play. If you are looking for progression Wushu has it coming at the arses, years of it straight out the box. If you want equal everything in a matter of days, Age of Wushu is not the game for you. You will never be "equal", or "balanced". You will however be able to excel in the direction you choose.