Not a fan of available perks/abilities

After restarting several times, attempting to min/max my soldiers, I have to say I’m not a fan of the current ability tree.

Firstly, and I’ll only lightly comment on this, seeing as the game is still in Alpha, but several of the permanent abilities in each class are largely useless, or are useless unless you go for a specific build. I really hope that class specific abilities get better optimized and focused as the backer build/alpha/beta goes on. As of right now, I have found absolutely zero reason to dual class into anything OTHER than Assault on any class, because they get two of the arguably most OP abilities in the game: Dash and Return Fire. Giving Dash to Heavies, Snipers, etc almost completely negates the handicaps those classes are given due to how much damage than can shell out.

My primary complaint is about the random abilities you get. It really sucks when one soldier gets a god roll on abilities, while another soldier gets abilities that are 100% useless to that character. Again, I get it, it’s in alpha, right now there are only a handful of ‘optimal’ builds, that if you try to build around those secondary abilities you are going to severely gimp your soldiers. So I won’t comment on balancing. I know that comes later.

I’m mostly complaining about how the system works in general. I don’t like how randomized it is. I don’t like that, for instance, Snipers can roll perks that would be great on Assault, but are 100% pointless on a Sniper.

What I propose, and I know this will require way too much coding this late in the building of this game, but instead of just giving us random perks that we can unlock at random levels, how about we get 3 perk slots that we can customize ourselves? Think of it like the AWC in the new XCOM games. Don’t make any of these perks obscenely OP, just general stuff like +acc, +damage, etc, like most of them do anyway. You can even make them cost more SP than normal, and each slot unlocks as you level. Maybe at 1, 4, and 7, for example. Each tier costs more SP to unlock.

The other idea is to let us reroll our soldiers. Make it cost a lot of SP, so people don’t just spam it, but if you’re going to stick with the random abilities, we need SOME way to make sure we don’t have a huge gap in power level between each soldier just because one got better abilities than the other, even if they’re the same class.

Besides that, I have to say I do really enjoy the STR/WILL/SPD stats. It isn’t so much that it allows you to specialize each soldier to be different, but that in increasing each stat respectively, you get a noticeable power increase in that soldier. You can carry more, use your abilities more, and move farther as you level. And it gives you something to do with SP after your soldier reaches level 7. I wish there were maybe some other stats to put points in (like, what in the world IS perception anyway?), but otherwise, I really dig this system!

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Not sure we can tell if any skill is OP. I’ve said in a couple of posts, that we’re only playing against the grunts of the PP world so far. Once we get in full release you might get really punished for abusing any Willpower skill such as Dash. Some kind of upgraded Siren could really take your team apart if you have run your willpower down.

Once you reach L7 you hit a 500 point cap so you can’t go on adding skills unless you dip into the general pool. So overpowering the STR/WILL/SPD stats will not be an issue. Unless the 500 cap is a bug in my game.

Not sure we need a new random perk system. Again as I said somewhere else, because of the 500 point cap, just go back to 7 random options instead of the 3. Sometimes there might be a weird reason for having a normally useless skill on a sniper. But I think widening rather than narrowing the options is the way to go. And yeah I think it’s a pain when my sniper has a +2 strength option, but again we don’t know if that will become useful in the full release.

I quite like the odd random perks that you can get - It does make some soldiers more useful than others, but I think that’s a good thing as you then have to make a conscious choice over what quality of team you’re going to put in for a given mission; will it be the A quality guys where all perks synchronise and they can trounce anything on the map, or are those guys in need of a rest and you’ll have to go with what you like to call ‘Team F’ (and you only have two teams :wink: )

A sniper with +2 strength makes the player consider how to make a non ideal build work and can lead to interesting load outs that you’d never try otherwise.

All perks being suitable for the class in the first place means that you never have to experiment to make things work.

I’m here with the SpiteAndMalice. Random secondary perks are fine. It creates variety. If you think that perks are useless then spend SP for attributes.

All perks being suitable =/= all perks being the same all the time. Your post way overgeneralizes and completely misses the mark of what I was attempting to say.

Non-ideal builds are exactly that - not optimal. A soldier I can’t build optimally gets put on the sidelines and never sees battle. How far into this game have you actually gotten? I mean, I realize it’s still in Alpha, but the ‘late game’ of BB5 throws HORDES of enemies at you. If you’re tossing snipers with +2 STR perks at them, or +25% melee damage on a heavy, I hate to say it but you aren’t going to get very far. The ramp-up in difficulty is unforgiving, and trying to run around with your ‘Team F’ guys isn’t going to end well.

Hmm after re-reading this I realized I sound a bit condescending. I do apologize.

I understand what you were trying to say, however I disagree with you so I was putting the opposite point of view forward.

I’m not far into the game, (this is by intent as I want to enjoy the full game at release) but I think this is beside the point; at the final stage of development the game needs to be balance regardless of how ideal or non-ideal builds might tend to be.

And you’re right, sending Team F into a fight isn’t likely to end well, they’ll be harder to play with, the player will have the think in different ways to compensate for their deficiencies, and they stand chance to only achieve half their objectives before having to attempt a retreat. That’s where the fun is for me.

There are some perks that you wouldn’t use at the moment, Melee, due to lack of melee weapons. Or in the sniper example, the +2 str. And my pet peeve, most of the heavy ones. However none of us are that far into the game. We don’t know if those stats will become useful later on. I could see a build with an anti-material type sniper rifle, if they put such a thing into the game, where you need the +2 because of it’s weight. And just to go against my lack of enthusiasm a heavy with melee due to the heavy armor stats allowing the ability to soak damage at close range, paired with war cry sapping the enemy action points. I’d rather see them open back up the random stats and try to get away from optimal builds, something which Xcom really suffered from.

I’m with spite on this, in Xcom I had my supersquad that, by even hafway through, could roll over everything that the game could throw against me, even the chosen got to be a minor annoyance. The way Snapshot talk they are trying to avoid this. I still play the Xcoms occasionally, but there is no thought behind what I build, every promotion I know exactly what skills I’m going to choose. And the endgame, wasn’t even a challenge. In Xcom2 they said you might have to think about withdrawing from the mission half way through and that never happened. Hoping this might becoming a proper decision you have to make in PP.

Late game BB5 might not be representative of the game overall, if I read correctly the Pandorans have a points value they use when assigning enemies. Because we’re only seeing the grunts, and the odd higher “tier” we may be getting more of these horde battles than there will be in the full release. An early game optimal build might not be the same as a late game optimal build.

Also we can’t really think about final optimal builds until we have seen the stats for the other classes, I know it wouldn’t let me spec any of the basic classes into the Anu Berserker as the option, but that might be a research thing. But I forget what they said they are leaving out, but there are at least two other classes who’s stats we haven’t seen and who knows what the tech stats will be after the lack of use in BB4.