"Skills were improved by practice and practice alone"
Secret of Mana did that before. Leveling up magic doesn't give new spells, but characters learn new special moves by leveling up weapons. It's an action RPG, but the concept was there.
"Many recent narrative-based games, such as Final Fantasy XIII and the Dragon Age games, have changed that structure in ways that raise the stakes of each individual fight. They do this by having your health and/or magic recharge instantly or quickly as soon as combat ends, effectively meaning your resource management becomes focused on each individual fight."
They copied it from a 18 year old Sailor Moon SNES RPG (if no other game did it before), it had in-battle voice acting for special attacks so it was really cool.