Combat mechanics makes you less vulnerable to being interrupted my getting hit and survivability gives you better resistances plus the ability to spot enemies in advance (good for knowing when to lay down some glyphs and such) --- »Those who do not remember the pasta are doomed to reheat it«
Coercion = Only your character can train it so at least you know it wont have the horrible overlap Bioware gave the companions, keep in mind it has come dice rolls attached...
"Coercion Rank" + Strength in some unconfirmed way determines "Intimidation" chances. "Coercion Rank" + "Cunning" in some unconfirmed way determines "Persuade" chances.
It's said there are more persuade options in game over intimidation but in either case as a mage you wouldn't have very high strength or cunning so up to you.
Stealing = Yup, money is scarce at for the first 12 or so levels but it picks up providing you don't waste cash constantly on five minute gear upgrades.
Trap-Making = See "Poison-Making", same problem, only the person trained can place them, only rogues can disarm them and its not like you get enough time to place more than one before combat starts 99% of the time.
Survival = Nature resistance and see enemies a mile away on the map.
Herbalism = Pots but redundant with companions having it.
Poison-Making = Worthless as only the person trained in it can use them and then only on melee weapons, fine if your rolling a Rogue for either "concept" or if you really want the tiny edge in nightmare but otherwise its really a waste of 4 points.
Combat Training = From a mages perspective stops you getting interrupted while casting the big old whammo effects.
Combat Tactics = If you focus most of your time in combat as your main character its worthless, they only use tactics when your not controlling them, if your a pause tactician its worthless not only on your main but also party members as your controlling everything at every step anyway, if your spending extended periods of time controlling other party member in real time it would be of use however.
You also need poison making for the bombs. They can be really useful at times, less so perhaps for a mage than for rogues or warriors (unless you're an AW) but still good for those clusters of enemies when you're out of mana or your cones are on CD. --- »Those who do not remember the pasta are doomed to reheat it«
I use them all the time with my rogue, extremely useful e.g. when there are melee and archer enemies. Most of my group is in melee and I run up to the archers (who are usually in a cluster) and throw 2 or 3 grenades, kills them outright. Also, the area is so small (compared to spells) that it's quite easy to avoid friendly fire. --- »Those who do not remember the pasta are doomed to reheat it«