Hm, this is sounding a bit like the Battle Royal style of games that are the current rage in the mainstream.
Generally speaking if your going to have progression outside of the gameplay then you'd need a centralized server to keep track of it, if people can setup their own centralized private servers then you could end up with all sorts of servers competing with each other in a chaotic fashion. Although you could still implement private servers without a progression system, but have the option to connect to your main servers for progression.
With Fortnite: Balle Royal people parachute into a combat zone and scavenge items and weapons from towns, buildings, and crates left all over the place, then murder each other until one person is left. Because of the size of the map there is an ever shrinking circle called the "storm", anyone caught outside of the circle loses heath and eventually dies. This serves to push the dwindling number of players together to keep things interesting and manage game length, otherwise as the player count diminishes they'd have an increasingly harder time finding each other within the map area which could stretch the game for hours of boring crate smashing.
Progression also consists largely of cosmetics, things like character and weapon skins, emotes, dances, sound effects, etc. Nothing that would give anyone any inherent advantage in the actual game. I'd imagine the same could be done with unlockable sound packs for characters, dance music, weapon sounds, etc. Unless you plan on going with more of an RPG power slide, though long term this could produce powerful players and put new players at a disadvantage, and make balance more problematic. Sticking with cosmetics could make things a bit easier, since you could introduce new environments with different audio to shake things up, or new character sound packs, etc. to help take the pressure off adding new items and weapons, which can be done more gradually to help iron out balance issues over time.
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