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How about checking the player's skill before they can advance a level or tier or whatever so that everyone at the top are guaranteed to know what they're doing. In other words, no one would be allowed to advance unless they show a certain measure of skill in the game. In the normal model everyone will eventually get to the top. Everyone. Even the most incompetent players you've ever seen playing any game will get to the end game eventually.
It bothers me in some games (particularly when I need to rely on my team mates) where there are clearly some players who just outright suck in everything. In World of Tanks if you pay a little extra you get to play with "the big boys" right away with zero game experience. And usually the side which has more of these "high tier noobs" loses. They are a burden to their team.
In games like Eve Online where you acquire skill points even when you're not playing, you are bound to come across a player who is flying a capital ship with very few hours put into the game. It shouldn't be possible!
Players should earn their advancement. If I encounter a high level player I should be able to expect some skill and knowledge from them. If some guy came up to you and said they've played through Ninja Gaiden, you can expect he knows how to play it. There is no way to brute force through the game, or just keep grinding lower level mobs. He needs to learn how to play, and pass through the skill barriers the game sets for him. You couldn't grind the first level in Mario to make the rest of the game easier either.
I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky