In Rulers of the Sea, the traditional level system is replaced by an education system. As in real life, in Rulers of the Sea gamers can do anything as long as they are properly qualified. To qualify, they need to get education. Every Nation has a Capital City. The Capital City houses a University, a Naval Academy and an Army Academy. These places of education offer a large amount of courses. Every course is available to any character, as long as tuition fees are paid and pre-requisites are met. A qualification, or certificate, is nearly always a pre-requisite for acquiring a certain skill or rank.
The system is identical for both gamer characters and the crew, workers or soldiers the gamer character commands. They all need qualifications, although gamer characters start out with better basic education.
Whether a gamer wants to proceed to a higher Navy rank, wants the skills for starting a coffee plantation or wants to learn to be a Cartographer or Writer, everything starts with a course. A course, which appears as a classroom lecture, teaches the gamer about the particular subject as it was in the 18th century, a short history lesson of less than 10 minutes. Additionally the gameplay mechanics of the particular skill are explained. The course is concluded with an exam of multiple choice questions. If the exam is failed, it needs to be taken again later. If the exam is passed, the certification is stamped into the character’s logbook and the new level or skill is accessible.