We utilized a strategy similar our weapon customization system when building our feat system: Keep it simple, don't force collection or drops, allow any combination of perks, don't create any unbalanced items and don't force permanent customization. Another key of this system was building class specific perks that emphasize a specific role. For example, the Grunt is the only class with access to the armor perks that allow the Grunt to absorb small arms fire, while the Fade is the only class with access to perks which increase headshot damage. While some feats will be shared across classes, each class will have a unique set of feats.
Perks fall into two main categories: passive perks and active perks.
Passive perks are always enabled and automatically provide bonuses. There are an incredibly diverse set of possible benefits; effects range from increasing ammunition capacity (i.e. the Rocket Scientist Perk), enhancing specific attacks (i.e. the FireStarter Perk doubles fire damage), enhancing mobility (i.e. the acrobat perk enables quad jumping) to providing regenerating health (i.e. the MeatGrinder perk).
Active perks require activation from a player and function like extra weapons. Their effects range from helping your own team (i.e. Emergency Resupply) to directly attacking your enemies (i.e. Nanobot Storm). These perks take the place of the special abilities like Energy Missiles or Echo Storm in the previous UETF releases (most of these abilities will re-appear as selectable perks). Most of these perks will use a common source of bio-energy that your character will automatically regenerate over time. Active perks function like 'Equipment' slots in other games; an active perk might allow you to repair friendly machinery or create remote explosives.
Players are allowed to select up to 3 unique perks as part of their loadout. Like weapon upgrades, you can switch your perks before any mission and during the resupply period. Any combination of unlocked perks is allowed. Perks are unlocked like weapon upgrades - each perk costs 1 point to unlock, just like weapon upgrades.
An early preview of the perk customization screen (WIP)
The selection of Perks should be an important part of your tactical strategy. You can use them in conjunction with your weapon customizations or build a completely alternate strategy. Perks will be a important part of your team strategy as well - good teams will select perks to support each other. Like feats in DND, perks will allow you to do some pretty amazing things; we hope the system allows you to build the unique and memorable characters you want play.
UETF Chronicles - The Player Defined Shooter