In most mmo games character progression is usually down to visiting a static npc and picking up the next available spell,skill etc
Well thats very boring imo. Its just not dynamic enough.
Im thinking about a new kind of cratfing and invention system. Which goes something like this:
You wander the world and along the way pick up several items like candles, bark from a tree, tinderbox. - things like that. You set up camp and are busy tinkering with the items and all of a sudden you realise that by putitng those items together (in a particular order and particular manner - this is important) that this new item can be created. Hence you learn to craft that item.
You do not visit an npc to learn crafting items so easily, you have to learn them yourself. However I suspect I will add in a system where you can be 'taught' how to make some items from another player/npc.
At the start of the game, there is minimal already known crafting recipes (infact there could be none in an evolution kinda game). When a 'new' recipe is learned by putting the right combination of items together, it is checked to see if its the first time that the item has been created, if so, the player is written into the world lore/history that they invented it!
Learning magic could be done in this way too, and other skills.
Something to expand on.....