As any seasoned loot-chaser knows, progression is everything in an ARPG. So when people who participated in the Torchlight Frontiers alpha came back with a fair amount of feedback (and criticism) over the game’s progression system, Echtra games were quick to act.
To sum it up, both gear and character progression were tied to the same skill-point system. Meaning, you could either equip better gear, or learn new skills. To make it worse, you had to go back to the fort (basically the player hub) in order to train these points.
Needless to say, this constrictive system wasn’t going to fly, and it didn’t. The developers were quick to change it. Now, you have a traditional XP bar that coincides with the individual frontier. Meaning, you can level up your frontier and equip corresponding gear.