HND is a skill based game. There are no classes or levels; instead each player ranks up their various skills through use. As they journey through the world, they will learn new skills, train others in their skills, and old skills fall into disuse. However, no one can be a master of everything. For this reason the game will have hard skill caps, which will be partially dependent on the mental stats Memory and Intelligence. Players can choose to “lock” a skill so that it will not level up anymore. They can also choose to “regress” a skill, which will slowly decay that skill until it reaches one or the player changes the status.
When a player is offline, they can still be leveling up their skills. Before logging off, a player can choose a skill to work on, and as they are offline that skill will slowly rise. Skills decay very slowly when a player is online but not using the skills. For example, if a player doesn’t use a sword for 12 full hours of game play, they would probably lose about one half of a point depending on how high their skill was. Skills that have decayed, been lost through unconsciousness, or have been regressed train to their original level much faster.
When you log off, you are training. 30% of skill training when offline. System like this: each skill point takes 2 (multiplied by 1-10 for each 50 skill points you have in that skill) hours to train. If your skill is < 100, you can train 10 points in a stretch. 100-200, you can train 7. 200-300, you can train 5. 300-400, 3. 400-500, 1.
When a player falls unconscious, the player loses 1% in a random skill that is above 10. Also very small chance a mental stat will decrease by a small amount (.01).
Players can teach other and can teach NPCs skills. In choosing their skills, players have to make some tough choices. Players could choose to have 100 in five combat skills, or 500 in one combat skill. Skills have diminishing returns, higher skill levels do not benefit as much as the first skills did. If two players fought 1v1 with equal gear, equal player skill, and one had 400 sword skill while the other had 500, the 500 skill person would win by 15-20% hp over 400 point person. Having 500 in a skill will unlock a special ability (like the ability for demon hunters to destroy souls). Players can teach NPCs skills, such as training their city's guards to make them more effective. The player could also train sell their skills out, for example being paid by a foreign army to teach them a weapon skill that is very specific to the player’s race. Each skill grouping (combat, etc) has a personal cap (based on intelligence). The player also has an overall skill cap (total points) based on memory.