The dev team said that this system is mandatory if you play: “Character paths are unavoidable for players that want to become the best and reach the very top of their rank. Not only do they provide additional stats, they also increase the amount of skill cultivation your character can learn — which is essential.”
Character progression paths begin at level 29 and involve six stages that go up through level 79. You’ll also have to accomplish missions, get a couple of travel skills, and meet other requirements to “break through” the paths and unlock these improved abilities. It sounds a little convoluted, but it’s probably one of those systems that makes sense once you see it in practice in the game itself.