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!