Copy-pasted from my Something Awful post
It's not really that major a change in terms of the time to implement.
In watching how people play PoE, skill advancement was bordering on mindless. Every player I watched simply mashed one skill for their chosen character, effectively making it a non-choice. In practical terms, there were still problems with redundancy because, as in many RPGs, skills often act as keys to locks (literal and figurative). Only one person needs to be able to open the lock, meaning anyone with redundant skills simply has wasted points.
Linking skill advancement to Talents is an attempt to make the choice more meaningful and making redundancy less relevant since the primary investment for the players is the Talent, not the skill.
The normal skill progression system is disabled so we can see how it works using only Talents.One of the problems is because it took like 20 button clicks each time to just to get through the skill screen. Many people (such as myself) are only doing testing, and when I'm testing combat it doesn't really matter what skills I have, so it's faster to just mash one skill as high as it can go so you can get out of the level up screen faster.
I have found that I only really care about the Athletics skill in combat, because it forces me to rest when I don't want to. Characters with 0 Athletics get fatigued after a pitiful amount of time without rest. I don't care about Lore because you'll most likely get the Bestiary XP entries anyway, and even though I do look at the monster stats, I hope to be able to disable Combat HUDs altogether when the combat feedback is improved. I haven't really been using consumables, so Survival hasn't mattered, and I don't try and avoid combat, so Stealth hasn't mattered ... stock Stealth appears to be fine for setting up on enemies. Traps have not been working up until this patch, so I haven't needed Mechanics in combat yet, and all the traps were removed from BB Rogue's inventory so I haven't set one yet.
I really don't think it's a good idea to try to remove autonomous skill maxing, because that logic is just a simple reaction to how RPGs are designed. From what I've seen, Pillars of Eternity's out of combat scripted interaction and dialogue design also encourages it. The reason people just max two skills (or whatever) is because when you do that, you are guaranteed to experience all of the available environmental, scripted interaction and dialogue related options to that choice. Spreading out skills is almost always a bad thing when it comes to environmental checks and dialogue checks because it locks you out of higher tier options. You get access to more lower tier options, sure, but if you want to experience the skill choices of the higher tier options, you have to max those skills, not just dabble in them. If I intend to play a game a few times to try and experience all of the content/choices then I am going to max different skills on different playthroughs so I can see all of those options. No mechanical changes to skills at the low level (such as trying to give them an in combat benefit) is going to change that mindset, if I don't max a skill, then I'm going to miss out on the highest checks, and thus miss out on content - no thanks. If I'm going to play through the game 20 times, then yeah, on some of those playthroughs I might not max my skills, but I'm always going to max skills on the first few playthroughs so I can experience all of the highest tier options for each skill ... and then on any playthroughs after that I will decide whether or not to max skills based on that information, usually games still promote maxing skills because the content that max skills lock off is too good to pass up.
Tying skills to talents only forces people to either pick certain talents to get the skill allocation they want OR build their character the way they want for combat at the cost of missing out on the options locked out by the skill allocation they wanted. Personally I think that stinks to high heaven.
If you want more people to want to spread out skills, you have to change the RPG design.
Edited by Sensuki, 25 October 2014 - 09:23 PM.