Suggestion: Useless Skills Updates

I know it's probably beating a dead horse, but one of my big regrets/concerns in UO is the presence of the "Useless Skills".

Currently, the list is considered to be Begging, Camping, Forensic, and Taste ID. I feel an argument could be made to include Item ID in the list as well, but I won't be addressing that one in this initial post.

When reviewing the current game and deciding what could be updated for the skills in question, I took into consideration bullet points.
  1. Thematic for these skills
  2. Use mechanics or resources that already exist in game
  3. Would not affect PVP balance.
So, my initial idea for consideration would be for the skills Begging, and Forensic.

Begging currently functions via a targeting cursor, and depending on the target, a skill check yields Gold or possibly items. This is generally only functional NPCs that have a backpack. When targeting mobiles without a backpack,

Forensic Evaluation also functions via a targeting cursor, and can be used to target a corpses to determine the killer and who looted, a player to determine if the person is in the thieves guild or not, and on a lockable container to determine who has unlocked it.

Since both skills function via a targeting cursor, any updates would in theory likely be best done in one of two ways: Updating the result depending on the target type, or adding an item that performs a skill check and then does a different action.

For this suggestion thread, Im proposing the use of two currently underutilized features: The Item Properties Random Protection, and Random Killer. These currently only spawn on Talismans to my knowledge, and the hyper focused nature of their application renders them underutilized when compared to other, more broadly applied talismans.

For Begging, when targeting a monster or wildlife without a backpack, the "Protection" Feature could be placed on the player character for a set amount of time, reducing incoming damage from said creature by a percentage determined by the skill points placed in Begging. Matching the above three points:
  1. Thematic: It could be implemented as a beg mercy type system, or perhaps just the beggar is used to assault and thus how to mitigate the injuries that might result after sizing up his target.
  2. Underutilized Feature: As described above, Random Protection is not commonly used as the Talisman equipment slot has other competitors. There are several protections that spawn that are of just minimal use. Examples I've sen include: Orc Scout Protection, Lady of the Snow Protection, Grizzly Bear Protection. This specific targeting would be more useful if it was related to a skill and yielded guaranteed results.
  3. PVP Balance: The skill would simply not affect players. It's impact to PVP would thus be minimal.
You may already have guessed where I'm going with Forensics. In a manner similar to described above, the Forensic skill would start applying the "Killer" Feature based on the target. It would function as currently, increasing damage to the affected creature by the player based on a percentage of the skill points placed in Forensic Evaluation. This matches the above three points:
  1. Thematic: It represents the character sizing up their enemy, similar to Anatomy, but in a more focused and temporary way.
  2. Underutilized feature: As described above for Random Protection, Random Killer is simply not a sought out talisman property, unless it's for a specific type, and then the talisman slot is still weighed mostly by other boosts that can be obtained in that slot.
  3. PVP Balance: The skill would retain it's player only function, of determining if the player is a thief, but not provide the damage bonus by adding the killer function.
The skillpoint to percentage buff of these two properties could be kept in line with the current caps for talismans, or slightly lower if desired for balance purposes. Protection currently spawns up to 60%. Begging could generate 1 percent of protection for every 2 points in the Begging skill, to a cap of 50%. Ideally, this would also not stack with existing talisman bonuses, only the highest number would apply when both present. The same would apply for Forensic, with it's percentage value adjusted accordingly.

Anyway, I know there's not a large outcry to add function to these skills, but it would definitely encourage me to attempt to utilize such things in PVE builds.
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