Regarding skill balance it's better to do a thread per skills or X skills I agree.
BUT, this thread mainly hits with ideas and theme, which otherwise would not come across as clear compared if they'd been all sepperate.
I dunno about end game, but EQ gets way more damage from focus and FireSpark, than FH does. FH's main hits scale with STR and physical damage weapons only; and only its splinters component gains bonus from Focus/FireSpark.
Personally, I think EQ is a bloody OP skill.
I get that.
It just seems like HOLD/Release skills fit so naturally in Torchlight.
I'm actually surprised they never even considered adding something like it.
On a different note:
I've been having a very radical idea, that even I have problems with, but again, just an idea:
Skills of similar aspects, say, %WDPS, raw DMG, Defensive, etc skills get grouped together.
And you're able to choose 10 skills from ANY class, only a limited number from each group, to prevent overlapping skills like Ice Shield/Shadow Veil.
Will require immense balancing, to prevent extreme stacking of some effects.
Eliminates unique classes.
Will never happen, unless made as a mod completely on its own.
Specialist builds are easier, e.g summoner, defender, etc
Easier to introduce new builds.
Creativity and customisability of your class goes through the roof.
Only thing you'll have to choose is your Charge Bar System.
But I'll leave that for another day