To me, it sounds like a lot more mechanical drag than it’s worth.
Each test should have an obstacle (here meant as, like, narrative challenge, not number of successes needed) recognized by the GM, and something meaningful to the fiction at stake.
Calling for a test and what kind in Burning Wheel is broad matter, with a range of judgement calls that can be made to determine when and how to do so. Some decisions may be wiser than others, though, and the game gives some guidance.
I think the spirit of the game warns away from creating tests with am eye toward advancement. Headings like Test Mongering (Pg. 44) and Vincent’s Admonition (Pg. 72) speak toward letting obstacles arise organically and not getting swept up in helping the players advance.
I think part of the virtue of FoRKs is that they reward a broad skill base that you can bring to bear against a diversity of obstacles; breaking things down runs the risk of obviating that virtue. Winning because you can FoRK is feature, not a bug.
Another advantage to FoRKs is that they weigh on a player’s decision-making in addressing obstacles: If you’re looking at your character sheet and you see Stealthy, Throwing, Knives, Persuasion; you’re inclined to address the situation differently than if you see, Persuasion, Intimidation, Bribe-wise, Knives. In the former case, a constellation of factors that include sneaking up on someone and throwing a knife at their throat emerges for you to leverage against the situation; in the latter case, the constellation is that of leveraging a bribe as a carrot and the promise of violence as the stick to get that guard to take a walk. In each case, decisions you’d made previously encourage you to make similar decisions now. If, instead, you have to make (probably fail) a bribe-wise test before you can make your Persuasion test – or make (probably fail) a Stealthy test before you can make your Throwing test – then the decision for the killer to talk the guard down or for the persuader to slit his throat becomes a bit less significant.
I think the line, “Tests must be distilled down to as few rolls as possible,” from Let It Ride (Pg. 32) indicates a spirit of not breaking things down too much.
I think that it is seductive to some of us to read the Linked Test rules – especially when we first do so – and fall back on old habits of calling for tests for every little thing. I think that, especially when starting out, it’s wise to shelve the Linked Test rules and pull them off the shelf only for the “long-term or complex operations” indicated in the brick, which I expect would be a rare occasion.
Though, I have trouble wrapping my head around Linked Tests and placing them in my games, so… Grain of salt, eh?