In certain RPG’s, how you progress through the game will affect what kind of skills or abilities you get. This forces players to sometimes break character if they want to get a particular ability. This happened in the first Dishonored, but for the sequel, it doesn’t appear to be happening.
Dishonored 2 creative director Harvey Smith talked with Gamespot about the title at Gamescon, and revealed that the ability trees won’t be affect by how you do things:
“Not at all. Usually, their powers can be used lethally or non-lethally. One of the four or five critiques that people gave of the first game, even the people who loved it, was that they wanted more non-lethals. It was confusing, because people would say things like, “You gave us all the lethal powers, like Bend Time.” We were like, “You can stop time and walk through the room, and nobody is ever aware that you were there.” That power can be used lethally or non-lethally.
Most of the powers are still like that. You can Domino four guys together and sleep dart one of them, and you’ve only spent one sleep dart to take down four guys. Or you can set one on fire, and they all burn to death. It’s up to you. We have added a lot more non-lethal [options], like a non-lethal drop attack–when you fall on people, you knock them out instead of stabbing them, if you want.”