The Crowfall site has been updated with a new look at the skill system, something that the team hopes will allow players to feel less shoe-horned into a particular way to level up and find a more customizable system that gives them individuality.
Skill trees have 'universal' branches in abilities common to all archetypes - combat, crafting and exploration, each with specifics with regard to the choice of archetype. Exploration, for example, embodies gameplay actions such as animal husbandry, harvesting and, interestingly, stealth.
Archetype trees are specifically tailored to the chosen character with a dedicated skill tree and three "promotion" class trees.
How do skills work?
Every skill maps to one or many statistics (Attack Power, Critical Hit Chance, etc.) Multiple skills can map to the same statistic additively.
For example, raising the One-Handed Sword Proficiency raises your Attack Power statistic. Raising Knight Proficiency also raises your Attack Power statistic (as well as a few other stats).
Each skill raises them in a different ratio, however. One-Handed Sword Proficiency has a coefficient value of 0.15, and Knight Proficiency has a coefficient value of 0.25.
This means if your One-Handed Sword skill is 100, you gain 15 Attack Power, and if your Knight Proficiency is 100 you gain 25 Attack Power for it. These numbers are summed together and you are gaining 40 Attack Power from these two skills.
In a departure from most MMOs, skills can passively train skills to earn experienced based on real world time. Players can set certain skills to level passively with experience 'trickling' into those skills over time and that can level even while a player is offline.
It's a great read about a unique system. Check it out on the Crowfall site.