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JRPGfan said:

"Leveling systems in games are always going to be, at best, a supplement for the progression you'd see in real life. The only games that are ever going to mirror true real life progression are competitive skill based games, like Arcade Shooters or Fighting titles, but that can be very linear and inconvenient for certain games. "

These are games.... why do they have to mirror real life? I think alot of people enjoy the rpg elements, and being able to unlock skills that suit your playstyle (more choices is good right?)

"I'm playing God of War right now and I am overwhelmed by just how much unlocks and upgrades are possible. To the point where I am kind of turned off. Especially because I'm about 5 hours into the game and I still have to read text boxes about what each item does. If you don't like this example or disagree on this particular game, that's fine. But it's not a "God of War thing". It's a triple A game thing. "

Some people actually like that... How do you play Fallout? or is that another of these AAA games you dont like?

The point wasn't that it had to mirror real life, in fact I even stated it in your very quote that focusing on literal skill progression would make games very linear and would basically just make every game a game about skill ceilings. I was merely saying that it because games are not real life the developers are always going to be put to task to try to make a progression system that feels natural, interesting, or a combination of the two. 

Fallout's problem is that the choices have become pretty meaningless ... it is a pretty good example of the problem with modern progression systems, although the difference in that case was it was an RPG series that adapted around the dumbed down progression systems in other games. But yes, something like Fallout New Vegas has a great unlock system. Too bad because of the way 99% of games work those kind of systems don't make sense and are usually pretty tacked on.