NephilimNexus wrote:It is precisely their vanilla lack of utility that makes them so great for tacking officer skills onto later. Seriously, try it. They're ideal.
They're up there with Stealth Shinobis and Specialists, I'd say. Stealth Shinobis work well because officer commands don't break concealment. Very few actions don't break concealment, so this gives them something very useful to do when you don't need to keep scouting, but don't want them to lose concealment.
Specialists are notable in that they have no real 'regular' turn ending abilities. Combat Protocol and Haywire Protocol do end their turn, and are uniquely Specialist abilities, but you also don't need to always use them, especially since you have limited charges of Combat Protocol, and Haywire is a gamble if you don't have Failsafe. If you don't spec for overwatch or suppression, then all you can end the turn on is a basic untalented gunshot. Even non-turn ending abilities help you avoid the relatively boring non-talents basic shot or overwatch option, simply by giving you the ability to Aid Protocol and Focus Fire, or the like.
Now, as far as other classes balance goes...
Assault: I'd really like for them to have more options at range. Too many of their perk choices affect only the shotgun (or the shotguns playstyle), so you can't go Assault Rifle + Stun Gun. Which feels a bit necessary because of the Arc Throwers two-turn cooldown. When an Assault can't move ahead (for whatever reason), taking a single shot with the Arc Thrower every other turn feels a bit limiting. I'd like for there to be an option to make the Arc Thrower usable once per turn (or remove the cooldown entirely, if you want to allow Commands to allow it to double fire). Alternatively, Slug Shot could get a buff to it's cooldown, and allow it to be used every other turn. Alternate it's use with the Arc Thrower would allow the Assault to maintain a distance when needed.
Yah, I know the Assault is all about getting in close, but the amount of time I spend holding them back because I can't verify that advancing will be safe is annoying. More frequent Slug Shots or Arc Thrower would help that a bit. I wouldn't say no to letting them carry a pistol in the place of the Arc Thrower either. I loved Rapid Fire pistol being an decent long range option for my Assaults in EU.
Sword Shinobi: A lot of the same issues of pod activation as the Assault, but they can more comfortably shoot from a distance with an AR or SMG. Bladestorm should be upgraded to hit enemies running away from you as well, since I don't think it does that, and that greatly reduces the abilities effectiveness. A skill that reduces the distance at which enemies can spot an unconcealed Shinobi would help the pod activation problem, and be thematic.
Psi Ops: I do kind of like the idea of lowering their infiltration rate, for both lore and mechanical reasons. However, for both lore and mechanical reasons, their infiltration can go up later on. At low levels, their ability to pull Jedi Mind tricks helps infiltration. But at higher levels, the mind tricks simply can't make up for the fact that there's this glowing beacon of psionic energy that is not under the Elders control, which is attention grabbing as hell. If Psi Ops are powerful enough at higher levels, this could also balance out their power, in addition to the cost put into getting them. I'm not sure they're powerful enough to warrant a penalty on top of their investment cost, though. Stasis and Domination are still great, but the improvement of CC options in LW2 has made Stasis not nearly as unique as it used to be.
Technicals: My big complaint about technicals is that they're a class with an identity crisis. Their Gauntlet gives them Rockets and Flamethrowers, yet there is only a single ability in their whole tree that benefits both (Fire and Steel, and honestly, that's much more of a Flamethrower buff). This is particular bad for talents that buff rockets, as you only have 1 starting off, and talents that exist solely to improve a single-use per mission ability are hard to balance, especially when they have to be balanced with later larger arsenals. I'd really like for the Technical to get a Grenadier style extra slot, wherein they can choose to go with the standard mixed loadout, or ditch the flamethrower charges for an extra rocket, or vice-versa. Flamethrower is mostly fine as it is, though perhaps it could stand to get some improvements to balance it against late game incendiary grenades.
Sharpshooter: Snap Shot comes across as questionable. I'm not really sure what it brings to the table that an equivalently build Gunner or Ranger doesn't. As I understand, getting it so that it deactivates squadsight on moving isn't easy for the devs. But I'm also not entirely convinced it needs a penalty to begin with, mostly because of the perks it's competing with. DfA allows you to steady after every kill, or avoid having to waste a turn reloading. Rapid Holotargetting allows you to play an excellent support role, targetting two or three units per turn to help your party mow down enemies, or even just quick targetting a unit themselves so they can be sure to blow it's brains out. Those two perks are just so incredibly good, that I don't really feel that a non-penalizing Snap Shot would be an automatic choice over those two. Especially since the whole point of Squad Sight is that you rarely need to move anyways, so Snap Shot only helps out so much. Though, to be fair, I haven't really tried a Snap Shot Sharpshooter, so maybe I'm underestimating.