People seem to be complaining that the 17% as opposed to 20% with the new skills is a huge nerf, and they're so much less powerful than they once were. However, if your beam skill is doing 3% less damage, and your opponent's shields have 3% less power to them...aren't you technically doing the same amount of damage? If everyone's power has dropped by the same percentage, everyone is technically equal, and nothing, except NUMBERS has been lost. Percentage-wise, you should still be doing the same "percentage" of damage overall, because your opponent is weaker by the same percentage you are. It's a tad uncomfortable seeing less damage numbers, or less numerical value, sure, but the same power should be there. Oddly enough the only place this might actually make a difference is PvE, making the game a little harder, which people were complaining about since launch anyway. It's why the difficulty sliders were added.
I did some thinking, and there are a lot of people complaining about the new skill changes, that they can't diversify as well as they used to without sacrificing more than ever before. This inherent issue was caused when Crypic made the decision to ax the "unlimited skillpoints" idea in favor of capping everything off. With the game going Free to Play, and the "rewards" for subscriptions being absolutely and hilariously "not worthwhile" to most, I suggest reinstating the "Unlimited Skillpoints" idea into the game come Free to Play, but make it a "Gold Only" option.
Now, I know what most of you are thinking, at least I think so. People would REALLY jump on the "Pay to Win" bandwagon if something like that was suggested. After all, getting a bunch of skillpoints into all your skills would make you much stronger than someone who didn't have it. It does, however, add something "worthwhile" for subscribing to the game, along with the other benefits it gives you. The idea behind balancing that, so it is a slower process, would be time, cost, and amount given overtime.
We already GET "Unlimited Skillpoints" in a way ingame. But these are Bridge Officer Skillpoints. Any Captain Skillpoints you get at Level Cap are turned into BO Points for training officers and the like. I don't know about you, but I have tons of those sitting around, completely unspent. What I'm suggesting is to offer a way to turn BO SP, into Cap SP, once you hit level cap. Not a 1-1 conversion, because that would be too fast, and make plenty of people who've been sitting at level cap for a long time quite strong. In effect, as you gain BO SP, you could have a conversion table, allowing you to turn, say, 500 BO SP into 100 Cap SP.
That alone would help to limit the skillpoints. However, something similar to the "Maximum Limit" on Refined Dilithium could ALSO be added on top of it, say 1000 Cap SP per day or something. These amounts are simply to show how the conversion could be regulated and could be changed. Regardless, this rewards players who have donated their time and money to the game, by allowing them to slowly fill out their skill tree. It is not necessary for playing the game, nor does it mess with early game balance, as this conversion ONLY happens once a player hits max level, or whatever Maximum Level may be at the time.
If PvP balance is a problem, and I'm sure implementing this would throw it all over the place, a new section of PvP could be created specifically for players that have achieved more skill points than standard, limited by your overall spent skillpoint level than simply your rank. This keeps the higher tier folks away from the skill capped folks, and will help to lessen any imbalance that may be present from the higher skills.
Ok since the removal of the individual weapon specializations and the moving of the skill for top end weapon performance was moved to the top tier this punishes al players and keeps them from rebuilding thier spec to any where near what it was nor can it ever be even close to how it was. EVERYONE need some kind of weapon specialization in space, even if it isn't but just photon torpedos and phashers ALL CLASSES NEED IT. The tier one skils are a joke and you have to waste points just to be able to get to the next tier and this is the same feeling through out all the tiers. Then you don't have enough points to get what you need to be where you were before or even in the are of being good as we were. This won't matter to new players becasue they won't know how good the characters we had were. This is a kick in the face to players that were with the game before F2P. I understand that skil tree seemed overwhelming, but if you took the time and read through the descriptions of the skils it could be figured out. If anything this new skill system throws space combat way out of balance as any one that mazes out thier weapon skills can pack the heaviest weapons there are in the game and get the max from them with no real trade off.