Still, I got to thinking about the mechanics of character progression...
Different things about them annoy me, and a common one is how skill and stat progression is handled. Skyrim: using skills acquires points until you level up, when you get to pick one of more health, more mana, or more endurance/carrying capacity. You can pay trainers or read books to improve skills. In Riven, you have to pay trainers to upgrade your skills. In Gothic 2, you get training points when you level up, then you have to spend those points, plus gold, to improve strength or individual skills.
And that all really bugs me. You run around using weapons, having fights, killing things, and success gets you points but you have to pay to get stronger? Or you run around constantly, carrying all your loot, but you don't get stronger unless you choose that stat increase? That makes no sense at all. Acquiring new techniques from trainers makes sense, but only to a point. I remember in Skyrim's predecessor Oblivion, there was a stat for agility, and jumping incremented it. That makes sense.
I think I'd find a game more interesting if all the skills were organic, and rewarded effort and practice. So I spewed out those thoughts onto Twitter: