Having dabbled in way too many MMOs, I find that generally, aside from crafting/gathering skills, non-combat skills are second-class citizens. This makes sense of course -- the games are combat games, after all, but wouldn't it be nice, as a change of pace, if you could use diplomacy to convince the goblins to stop looting the village as opposed to wiping them off the face of the earth? Or perhaps, when confronted by a surprise attack by wolves, if you could use your superior animal handling skill to avoid the attack?
Unfortunately, most MMOs don't have non-combat skill systems that can go that deep. You get stealth and crafting and that's about it. Vanguard's Diplomacy system is one notable exception. (Anyone know any others?) I am talking skill systems that allow you to solve quests in ways aside from combat, or systems that change the players' interaction with the world and the NPCs... and aren't about DPS.
I can't think of any either :) Help me out here. What games have you played that have the best non-combat skill systems? Heck, what games have you played WITH a non-combat skill system?
More to come on this topic, but first I wanted to see what others had experienced.