Gothic IV might be very different from its predecessors but if you spend some time with it you'll really like it.
Completing quests and slaying enemies grants experience which of course levels you up, and that results in gaining skill points which can be distributed to various forms of combat, stealth or magic which makes trainers useless. To learn professions recipes you need to find or buy scrolls - it doesn't use up your skill points.
The story is quite nice, the graphics are amazing and the overall experience is good, I recommend this game to Gothic fans and other people who value good quality RPG's worth playing, as opposed to the dime a dozen RPG's like Diablo and Dungeon Siege, or Blizzard's no. 1 money-maker, World of Warcraft, devoid of any artistic elements or substance.