A little while ago, Galoheart over at Ardent Defender wrote that he had gained mastery (350 skill) of all weapons skills. Being a paladin, he naturally wants to have all weapons at max skill. My response as a mage, of course, was congragulatory, but mentioned the unnecessity of the feat for a pure caster class. I've skilled up my staves to 320 (stopped using those a long time ago), my swords to 343 (was using the [Blade of the Archmage] for awhile until I got my [Nathrezim Mindblade], which I'm currently using), and skilled up my daggers to 321. I even got my unarmed skill up to 232 one night when I was "helping" friends in Mauradon. Of course, I do have maxed out wands at 350.
This question comes up because I spent some time with my Shaman this weekend. I got a new 2-handed mace in which I had 1 skill when I equipped the item. I think any of the healing classes have a pretty easy time grinding through the misses and parries to skill up. For my Shaman, I simply put found a single mob at my level, placed a stoneskin totem and healing totem, and every once and awhile had to pop out a heal. I did the same with my priest a long time ago. Miss, miss, miss, bubble, heal, miss, miss, miss... It was slow enough that I could go get a drink, but not long enough where I could go take a nap.
But the question that comes up... is there any real reason for a pure casting class to have maxed skill at weapons besides a wand? Sure, there's some situations where you have to melee, but you aren't really doing damage. You're just throwing up 1's and 2's in a feable attempt to help out your true melee friends. Even out of mana, you'll still most likely wand way before you even think about busting out that sword/dagger/whatever. So, just wondering if there's something I'm missing by not having things maxed.