Net Gain arose from Pen and Paper, and in an odd "Getting away from"/"Returning to" design process, I'm redesigning operative skills to be more intuitive. It's difficult because I want to keep the variety that we all love, but as a broker you should be able to evaluate an operative fairly well at a glance.
Also as it is there are certain "Special" skills that are used in the mechanics while others arent, and the player never knows what. this was by design (just like in P+P, you have your dodge skill and your plane repair skill), but I'm not liking it in practice.
So I'm both leaving behind the old P+P skill list while embracing some of my more eccentric ideas for the original P+P at the same time, streamlining the skills, changing the details over into an old concept of "specialities", etc. It's important not to let details cause too much complexity on the broker's end, and given the other things I want operatives to have the old skill list just wasn't cutting it.
Given there's no saving and any operatives you do get tend to die in bloody messes, I think now might be a good time to test such a drastic change to the fellas.
As a vague summary: Currently there's no real difference between most of the schools/skills, except a few unmarked "special" skills that are used in things like combat, for soaking or for attacks, or for avoiding detection, etc. This works for a P+P but not so much for a video game, especially one where you are managing multiple people, not just one.
Schools will be more condensed (down to 11, 3 of which are schools most operatives wont have: Corporate, Security, Operations). Each school has a distinct purpose and mechanical implementation. the skills within are more condensed, combining some skills. There are 3 skills per school, each serving a different mechanical function. Most of the old skills come back as "Perks": either Training Perks that enable you to do new things with that skill, or Specialty Perks offering small bonuses in specific circumstances.
Here's a list of the Schools/Skills for the first test of this change. Obviously these are all prone to change but this should give you an idea: