Advancement VS. GM | KingSpoom's RPG Design & Theory Junkyard

Advancement VS. GM

A GM is supposed to bring about events for the players, and he is to take into consideration the power of the characters to create a challenge that is balanced with that power. I think this belittles the role of character advancement (character power advancement). Following this thought, I can see advancement as having 3 possible roles:

1: Advancement is there so the disparity between two different specialities can grow (ie the wizard gains a lot of new spell power and the ranger gains little in comparison)

2: Advancement is there to confuse the player, who thinks his character is getting stronger, but must actually face an increased challenge and has therefore gained little to nothing (ie it creates the sense of growth, even though it's not really there, raising a sense of [false] accomplishment)

3: Advancement is there for causality, thus completing the cycle of the character doing something and getting better at it (although some games abstract this)

Of course, a game can be made without advancement, but in my experience, the perception of such a game is that of impending boredom. I've never liked some forms of balance. When every mage you ever run into has ability X, because without ability X, your ability Y stops them from taking action Z, it completely diminishes ability Y. I've heard of such things and sometimes it sounds widespread. Perhaps indirect balance would hold up better...