Several times now I have helped new players who have made characters with their starting UE spread across so many skills that none of their skills would do anything, versus if they had simply invested the maximum possible starting points in a primary skill and the remainder in a second, they would have had at least one functional skill to start the game with and maybe two -- instead of none.
Likewise I don't think the system always communicates well to new players that 1 UE can be a absolutely miniscule investment in most skills, and my experience is that new players will disproportionately have many stops and starts in skills and end up with many more non-functional 'vestigial' skills compared to veteran players.
My suggestions would be these:
- Set a minimum UE buy-in that players must spend to open a new skill up for development, doesn't have to be a lot (say 20 UE) but I think it would communicate that spreading UE around many skills can lead to some being not functional until focused on. This UE wouldn't be lost on the buy-in, it would be just as if they had spent X UE normally.
- By default have new players simply choose 1st and 2nd skills from the list at chargen, with the 1st skill being assigned the maximum points, and the 2nd being assigned the remainder. This would ensure that a character has at least one skill they can enter the game with and do at least something with it. The fine-tuned point assignation could be kept as an advanced option at chargen for veterans or new players who wanted to go wide.