I'm sure we would all like a levelless system for advancement.
Leveling can't be exploited...IT'S FIXED BY TIME AND WORK. Unless a game is made poorly and players mess with the coding, its fixed.
Someone mentioned gear- Sure you would have to work for good gear and that can be the leveling process.... BUT this cant work in an mmorpg process. Alternates of your character, friends or Guild members can pass along better gear making you max strong at level 1.... Even gold can buy a max level set on an auction.
Someone mentioned better skill- being the players advancement.... BUT some players have the unique ability to be great at level 1....Players of this type will find it boring if they have max skill from the start. Besides the extremely skilled video gamer, the average Joe will get better at the game and all their alternates will be great from the start.
Exploration to advance your character- Finding skills in the world. Now this may not be an exploit but the power of Youtube and word-of-mouth would destroy the chances of this being a viable solution. Players will help others, achieve skills at level 1.
Every idea other than "leveling" can and will be exploited...... I've soul searched for alternate methods of advancement....... We have a great "think tank" here with this community, and no one had found a better solution.
Leveling system is not a bad thing.... but throughout the years, it would be nice to see something different and unique.
***There is a solution***
Unfortunately it involves leveling.... The solution has been done before.
Slow leveling.... Staying at level for a long time.... A player at level 20 can play for "weeks" with levels 17- 24. This would involve a large game, large zones, a big world..... This is Vanilla World of Warcraft !!!...... This is the reason its famous
Developers refuse to acknowledge a LARGE GAME.... 30 days of content the most. The problem is at it's worst.