1)The problem: It looks very strange to me that shifter's kinship have effect ONLY on the performance of the corresponding form. It seems tt even contradicts the idea of the "mastery" skill Ways of Walmor:
Does it mean that by just taking levels you get accustomed to shapeshifting and by gaining actual experience (kinship) in some other form you are not?... This knowledge accumulates as
the shapeshifter becomes more and more accustomed to the shapeshifting and
masters the different forms and aspects. When a shapeshifter has mastered
his skills and accumulated all the knowledge about the ways of Walmor he is
truly one with his bestial inner spirit and the animals he tries to imitate
by taking their form.
Another aspect - take a look at the furious assault skill. Let's assume you are currently using a bear form, and the bear kinship helps alot, but why then wolf or cat kinships have no effect? Isn't it true that all these animals can use similar assaulting tactics?
2)What can be done.
a) simplest solution: The sum of all kinships is counted as a "super-mastery" which helps with any form.
b) Kinships of similar forms help the current form performance (wolf-cat, serpent-snake; bear and tree will probably get their counterparts, so for them too. quick fix for the moment: bear-tree pair)
c) Same as two points above, but in respect to Furious assult performance only.
3)How it will improve gameplay. At the moment most of shifters just use always the same form which is their specialization to get as high kinship as possible. By implemented the ideas described above, people will be motivated to start using other forms which are more suitable for specific circumstances (e.g. tree as a defender, bear as a berserk party fighter, snake or spider for solo - the choice will be up to the player).
Please post your ideas!