The positive comments I've seen so far about the skills changes seem to be from people respeccing end-game characters. I'm leveling up characters on Tribble and finding the selection and order of skills as they become available perplexing.
The old skills system has a logical progression: Tier 1 skills affect everything, Tier 2 affect groups of abilities, and tiers above that affect specific abilities. That climb from general to specific in the first few tiers made sense as I was learning the game. Granted, things started to get messy in Tier 3, and I can see how the new system cleans up some of that messiness.
However, the new system feels like skills are arbitrarily parceled out across the tiers because the skills interface requires it: They all appear equally specific and valuable. They don't logically fall into a skill tree of general to specific. They don't coincide with when particular BO, Captain, or ship abilities become available. A hybrid solution like this might make more sense to leveling players, old and new:
* The first tier has two skills for each department, one affecting passive bonuses (efficiency) and one affecting abilities (training). Skills cost 100 SP.
* The second tier has four skills per department that provide both active and passive bonuses to particular subsystem groups. Skills cost 200 SP.
* The third tier contains all the current Tribble skills (except the generalized tactical skills) at once. Skills cost 400 SP. (Maybe they are really tier 4 skills that unlock earlier if the skill point cost function has to be level dependent.)
* There are no other tiers for skills. After a captain reaches basic competency as a Commander, it's more about experience via earning SP than unlocking skills.
There is some impact on players only respeccing end-game characters, but it's more focused on making the leveling experience better. Hopefully the STO engine can support having skills distributed across fewer tiers because it's trying to shoe-horn the new skills into the old system that feels mismatched.
-- I do like the idea of engineering and operations both influencing shields from the new skills system. Where shields in Engineering would affect the capacity and recharge shield abilities, shields in Science would affect special shield characteristics, abilities, and resistances.
-- Similarly, I think passive bonuses may cross system boundries; e.g., better sensors could improve weapons accuracy, and better engines should could improve starship defense. Having primary and secondary bonuses would let captains even out their overall capabilities while being able to concentrate on what interests them.