Please read the entire proposal before commenting; this is an optional system; not something I am suggesting everyone be forced to use.
Okay this is kind of a random 'out of left field' suggestion here... but I realized something while playing just now:
I really, really find assigning skill points dull. I mean yes, I can get it done; but it's not like in most games where I'm excited about getting talent points/skills/etc... it's... just kind of boring to me; which is.. unfortunate.
However! I have a solution that might also be useful for newbies and other people like myself who find skill point allocation dull - while not stepping on the toes of those who really like making builds out to the Nth degree.
The solution is simple:
What is a Skill Template?
Very simple actually! They would be pull down menus over each section - ground and space - of your character sheet. Each would have it's own template which you can choose - or you can simply do it as we've always done, manually.
If you choose a template, 50% of your skill points will be placed in that template - so if you have a Ground template chosen, half your skill gains will automatically be assigned to ground along the predetermined lines of that template; while the other half will remain free for Space. If you choose templates for both, it'll just auto-assign your skill points unless you tell it not to.
Ground Templates would correspond to the skills most beneficial for a given type of kit.
Example: A Science captain could choose Doctor as a template, and the game would automatically, to the best of it's ability, fill in ground skills that are useful with the Doctor kit. You lose some flexibility in that you're going to be pretty well bound to that one kit... but if you're like me you kind of prefer that anyway.
Obviously these templates are pretty straightforward, and will do their best to max out the skills in question. For someone who actually wants to tweak every point, well, templates aren't for you. For someone who just wants a reasonably workable build so they can play... that's who this is aimed at.
Space Templates are Three-fold and a little more complex, though still easier than number-crunching, and based on the following criteria:
Ship Type, Weapon Preference, Role Preference.
Ship Type allocates skill points into the corresponding class of ships. (Note, you will be given a prompt upon hitting RA1 to choose which specialized ship skill will receive points)
Weapon Preferences area a little more complex:
You can choose a damage type, or leave it blank, you can choose Cannons, Beams, or Mixed, and you can choose a type of Torpedo or leave that blank. The result determines how many skill points go into weapons, and in what fashion. Weapon Preference itself may be left blank, which will assign excess skill points to skills that fall into the final category, role preference.
Role Preference determines which of the captain-specific space skills are selected, as well as the allocation of Starship Engineering points.
Example: An Engineer could choose "Survivability" and the game would automatically place points into skills that improve healing and shield recovery skills (and would point out which skills benefit so the player may choose accordingly).
Essentially, it's a way for people who just want to play to do so without having to worry too much about their skill selections; likewise being very newbie friendly... and yet preserves the ability of number crunchers to select their preferred skill loadouts without any changes.