My suggestion is this: The leveling system, as it is, makes no sense.
The game emphasizes skills, but every time you level up you can raise skills that you might never have actually used. With this system, you could, potentially, max out a skill you never actually use. To me, this is silly and makes no sense.
I propose instead, that you should get a few points (or maybe just one) per level that affects your big stats (str, dex, etc).
Also as I understand it the skill points you can assign after leveling are meant to be reflective of what your character is doing in the downtime when your not playing. So it doesn't make no sense, just little.
Thats what i dont like about skill decay. I can do something until i perfect it and max it and then do something else and then im penalized for not mindlessly doing one skill for eternity. I hope skill decay is painfully slow. Id rather just do a skill and max it out and move on to something new and go back when i have to without having to relearn it. Sure, thats realistic, but i dont want realistic, i want fun. I invested enough time going from 0 to 100, that i shouldnt have to invest too much more time in that skill every time i want to use it after a break from it.
You shouldn't be able to max out every skill and thats why there is skill decay. The other option would be to set hard cap for skills and letting you master lets say 2,5 skills.
But then you couldn't respec that easily and be forced to do what you've learnt for eternity or reroll your character. I think skill decay is a good idea.
Skill decay is to prevent people from ever "maxing" a skill and forgetting about it.
If I'm not mistaken skill decay is faster the higher the skill level and the more total skil points you have. The leveling system is designed so that by performing actions using other skills gives you just enough to counteract the skill decay on your main skills.
Sort of like an upkeep for your main skills. But not enough to allow you to be high skill in everything. The Dev's are taking the view that you should be able to be a jack of all trades but a master of none if you want or you could specialize and be really good at one thing.
It's great in my opinion since other games have tried the "you can max out everything" approach and found out that it sucks.
Personally, I'd prefer a system where you could max every skill but where you couldn't be everything at one time. I know people want to avoid the "magetanks" of UO or the melee-archer-mages of Darkfall, and I also want to avoid that. I just think there might be a better way to do it than with skill decay and levels.
Skills are nice because they give players more flexibility with how they want to develop their characters. Skill decay solves the problem of having everyone being everything and going for the one and only most efficient skill route, but it really hinders people that want to experiment. They will essientially have to level up some things twice, like the -exp death penalties, but instead of being penalized for death, the player is being penalized for wanting to try something new. While levels don't exactly penalize a player directly, they do usually penalize the player by restricting content availible to the player, and penalizing the rewards when low levels and high levels wish to play together. Character levels can also signal to the player that there is nowhere left to advance once max level is achievied.
Personally, I'd prefer a game with a skill system that lets players train whichever skills they like, but they can only have so many active skills affecting their character at anyone time. To change skills to would have to go to their home area. To hinder players from being the ultimate crafter, there should be a lot of craft skills and players would gain skill points based on their skill level in that craft and the recipes "level" such that a crafter would gain very little, if any, skill points at a high level using less advanced recipes. The learning rate of new skills could also be a function of total skills. But I don't think a skill decay is a good idea.
A player should be able to max all skills but tradeskills and combat weapon skills. they should only be allowed to max 2 weapon skills.
As far as Scavaging
These should be maxable by all players
These need to be min 2 selectable or just 1 for better trade and econemy. If you pick leather crafting and secondary as toolcrafting thats it for life of the char.
But should have to max one before can max the other.
Reason why? Cause you want trade. I mean real trade in the game not one person can make every thing. With this type system trade is very possible never stray from it. If I craft leather armor and want some cloths I can trade my products for clothing from a tailorer or for bricks or tools so forth and same for each class. Then bartering comes in effect very well. This also helps cut down of market over flow.
As far as item decay well of course you need item decay another tool set in motion to help items from over flowing. No repair just decay till no longer good, that way I can make more and be able to get more items with out some one saying I'm over flowing in that what else you got? The main goal in systems like this is balance and decay helps balance and the market and trade for every one.
As far as skill decay nope bad idea specially in this. Mabe stat decay if you eat to much sit on but loose str dex agi stamina but able to gain that back by running swimming moving trees on your back carring lots of dirt and stone around.
This is my 2 dollars on this subject
I'd say devide skills into primary and secondary skills... Skills like:
should be secondary and thus not be limited and only decay to let's say 50...or maybe the attribute level it's tied to...
The rest of the skills, especially crafting skills and fighting skills (including Hiding) should be primary and limited to a certain overall level... Like max. 800 points in all of those skills...maybe less or more, depends :-D
First off, in games like this, Hardcaps are the dumbest thing ever because you can eventually reach a point where you cant go up anymore. Whats the point of that?
Second, if i wanna pick a few skills i enjoy and level them up a lot, i dont want to lose a substantial amount of those skills because i wanted to do something else. Say it takes a month of solid grinding to get to 100 in a skill. Then i want to grind something else to 100 for the next month. Then after that, i split my time across a few skills to get them to the 50s. So two full months after reaching 100 in the first skill, id hope its at least over 90 when i decide i want to do that some more.
Its one thing to grind a skill because its useful (like healing or something) and its another to grind it just to have it at 100. In either case i dont see a point of a level system. So you can add points to something to raise it faster? This is the sort of game where if time is really that much of an issue, you shouldnt be playing.