Hi everyone, used to post here quite often and had an itch to get back to playing. There's just one little matter besides my schedule though... I have a few issues with the skill system. I hope it's more a case of me misunderstanding things, but in any case here's the issues I've noticed between reading the books and playing in a few campaigns:
1: You will never train new skills. I've only ever had one campaign where I even spent any rez, and that was a monty haul campaign that handed it out by the relative truckload. All others I was lucky to even see 15 by the time the campaign ended. On the plus side, Slow Learner is thus a free 10 CP everyone should take.
2: Task difficulty is non-existent. Well, the rules say they're there, but in practice every skill is just used at average difficulty regardless of the actual action being performed. This winds up meaning that your skill rating is basically your chance of performing any given task, which is a tad at odds with what the original book lists the skill ratings as equating to :P
3: Any skill you intend to use on even a semi-reliable basis should be 80 at MINIMUM. Previous characters of mine tended to have a lot of skills at 60, and I feel downright sorry for the people I played with for how ineffective I was at, well, everything. While bonuses CAN help, the few things you can stack bonuses out the wazoo onto also tend to get a lot of penalties as well. Things that are meant only as complementary bonuses are fine at 61 (Basically the knowledge skills)
4: The previous note, along with the list of absolutely required skills (One ranged weapon, fray, Infosec, Investigation, Networking, Perception, and Scrounging), does not leave you with a lot of spare CP to branch out further.
5: Thankfully, the vast majority of skills are completely useless. Animal Handling, Palming, Medicine, every last knowledge skill, you won't see them called for unless you or the DM specifically go out of the way to create a situation that requires them in a vein similar to this trope: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ThisLooksLikeAJobForAquaman
6: Movement skills in particular are a weird case. They sound useful, and I usually ran with them, but like social skills you'll likely need all of them if you need any of them. On that note however, in all the time I spent playing I used Freefall once and none of the other movement skills. I found more alternate routes by virtue of being two feet tall rather than any skill application. Also people don't like splitting the party.
This really seems at odds with the skill rating descriptions, sample characters, lifepaths... all of these seem to suggest a wide variety of skills being the norm (which was indeed what I used to do). However, I can't help but look at those and think "what use is a skill with a rank of 30"? Assuming that ever gets rolled, one would better hope the result is inconsequential!