Skill points are points used for ranking up your current class. With enough of them, your class will rank up, and you will get stronger and learn new abilities. This can generally be interpreted as job experience.
The skill point system gives a chance for players to receive skill points upon successful action use. As of right now, there are six ways to get skill points:
- Inflict damage on an enemy with an action.
- Provide a buff to an ally in the middle of battle.
- Heal an ally in the middle of battle.
- Parry an attack.
- Inflict a negative status effect on an enemy.
- (Sentinel) Block with your shield.
The amount of skill points you receive is based on a few factors:
- The mob's rank in comparison to yours.
- The amount of damage you inflict to the mob's HP relatively (by % of HP).
- Chance (either you get 0 or you get an amount based on these factors).
- Any bonuses (Garlond Goggles, Guardian's Aspect, or a negative bonus like Fatigue).
Every time you perform an action that grants skill points, there is only a chance to receive it. This chance seems to vary (though may not, it is purely unknown) and determines whether you get skill points or none at all. This can be increased through Guardian's Aspect, but it is unknown if other things affect it.
Guardian's Aspect is a bonus that can be granted upon starting a levequest. It consumes a specific amount of Guardian's Favor based on the level and difficulty of the leve. As of right now, all levequests thus far (up to level 20) seem to consume 10 Guardian's Favor. Your character starts with 200 Guardian's Favor, and it regenerates over real life time. You should generally use Guardian's Favor on levequests where you know you will perform a lot of successful actions for skill points, as Guardian's Favor increases the chance of skill point gain, and generally increases skill point gain. Remember that you have to perform successful actions in order for this to matter, so you should generally make sure you're going to get a lot of those in on a levequest. This means activating it on a levequest with either a lot of monsters, or a smaller party makeup.
So, how exactly is skill point gain calculated? Let's say I'm fighting a monster that is green to me. I can either do my auto attack, or cast Fire. Fire might do 40% of his HP in damage, while my auto attack will do 10%. If I do Fire and I get skill points, I (in theory) should get 4 times as much as Spirit Dart grants. However, if I don't, I won't get any skill points, where as if I used Spirit Dart four times, I might've at least gotten some. There might be soft cap on how many skill points you can get from one single action, but I'm not sure.
It comes down to the question of: should I just auto attack everything? Generally, this is the best idea, but it really could go either way. If you manage to do a strong attack and get tons of SP, it's worth it, and you're downing monsters faster for more loot and physical experience. If you decide to auto attack, you will get a more reliable flow of skill points which generally will mean ranking up faster. Through this, the system certainly seems to punish the idea of doing everything you can to kill the enemy as fast as possible. For example, a debuff like Poison will only grant like 30 skill points (sometimes), but will take away a decent chunk of the monster's HP over time. It could have been a better idea just to do damage and get more skill points for that same amount of HP.
Also note that there seems to be a cap on how many skill points you can attain from a single monster. This amount is relative to your rank in comparison to the enemy. If I'm really lucky, I can do Spirit Dart 4 times and get 80, 80, 80, 80 skill points, but on my fifth, I might get like 59. At that point I'm at my cap for that monster, and won't get any more.
The amount of skill points you get per attack is relative to how much damage you inflicted to the % of the monster's HP, versus the cap. While levequest enemies don't have much HP, their cap is much higher, which means you're going to get much more skill points per successful skill point gain on attack. Skill point cap is much higher if your rank is much lower in comparison to the monster, as well. Guardian's Aspect seems to increase chance and cap. There may also be an invisible ratio that is damage to %HP skill point gain, which (if higher) results in reaching the cap faster, but lower results in taking the monster's whole HP to reach it, or never at all. Also note that each monster might have their own ratio, which means some monsters will grant better skill point gain than others.
Please note that healing, buffing, parrying, debuffing, and shielding also apply. They each push toward that cap and have a chance to grant you skill points. The amount they provide seems relative to the monster's rank and any bonuses. For healing, it is also how much you healed an ally. Partying is generally a decent idea because you can fight higher ranked enemies, which means a higher skill point cap. If their ratio is good enough for damage to %HP and they have enough HP, generally each party member can get an equal share, and result in even more skill points than solo. The only issue with this is that each party member must be doing a lot of damage, and anyone not inflicting damage has lower skill point gain.
Make sure that you're fighting something decent (high blue, green, yellow, or even orange in comparison to you) and keep going. Higher colors result in a higher cap, which overall means more skill points (because their rank is higher), but more difficulty. Note that in a party, you should always be fighting something blue or green (unless it's a guildleve). Your entire party is taken into account when determining the color, thus meaning, just because it's blue, doesn't mean it's lower rank than you. It can be very much higher but is blue because the game thinks it will be easy. The skill point gain will still be good, though you might get killed. Remember that the color is based on rank, not difficulty; which means that the enemy could one shot you all but will be blue because the party to rank ratio seems to think it's a decent fight.
Sometimes, you'll feel like suddenly skill point gain is very low or it just stopped completely. You'll get nothing from a monster, even though you might have been getting some earlier, or he's a decent rank in comparison to you. There just seems to be little hills you have to go over sometimes when ranking up, where skill gain begins to suck. I can only provide THEORIES as to why this is:
-Bad luck. Sucks.
-A hidden value that must be surpassed before you can get skill points again, which is from killing monsters.
-Physical level is too close to rank.
-Fatigue (check your skill point exp number, make sure it's not in yellow).
-Using the same attack too much (people have said that using a variety of attacks seems to result in higher skill point gain, unknown if true).
Point is, if you want to rank up, just keep fighting. Eventually you'll notice some good skill point numbers; but it can take time and luck. More information can be added once we know more, but for now, this is just my diagnosis.
I hope it helps, somehow. Please note that a lot of it may not be true, but it's what I've discovered through ranking up and has helped me.