The Path System
The proposed Path System primarily provides a roadmap to guide players in which abilities and components to learn and use in order to progress further down a given Path. Rewards for progressing in a Path are suggested to be mostly cosmetic, though Path based Banes and Boons have been presented as an unconfirmed possibility.
Players are not required to follow any Path and will continue to unlock new abilities and components through use, separately from / in parallel to Path progressions. Paths are not skill trees and you do not spend points to advance in them, rather progression in a Path is automatic by using Path aligned abilities, components, and equipment.
Quote: "The Path System in general is intended to promote self-identification by the players, as well as better organization by the players within each Realm. At the same time, it must promote a strong archetype-based class system that also allows players to customize their advancement and character so they can be different from the next Drengr, if they so choose." 
Quote: "Paths are a 'soft' subdivision of classes, and give a player a way to further align their character with a particular set of powers and styles within their chosen class. The easiest way to think about the Path System is not as a forced 'talent tree' as has been used in a lot of MMORPGs, but rather a set of guidelines that acknowledges the progress a player has made in advancing their skill set, within a loosely-defined structure. The biggest difference between Paths and the traditional talent tree is that in the Path System, the player is not locked into a specific Path, even into one they may have selected. What this means is that if a player decides to go down one of the Paths for the Drengr, they are not prevented from going down other Paths at the same time. In practice, it is more like an achievement system than a talent tree. These 'achievements' will be either entirely or the vast majority will be cosmetic type stuff." 
Quote: "Although a player may have to 'select' a Path, the player's progression with the Path System is automatic through use of path aligned abilities; you do not have skill points to allocate like a talent tree. As you skill up with your runes/components/abilities, you unlock new runes just as you would have if there was no Path System. The difference here is that as you progress, this progress is shown within the Path(s) that you have chosen to follow, scaling up your skill with certain abilities or components. However, you’re not denied access to things from other Paths; your new component/ability/etc. unlock(s) will still be given to you even if you have decided not to follow any Path. What you will not get is a Path-specific unlock unless you have chosen to follow that Path." 
Quote: "While there may be mainly (or entirely) cosmetic advantages to following a Path, the key advantage of following a Path is that it shows you what runes/skills you need to perfect in order to progress further down a particular Path."