I propose 2 new core classes:
[SNIP TO SAVE SPACE]
This is what i'm rolling around my head at the moment.
Similar to my own lines of thought. I've was working a little on something like that whenever I needed a decompression break from my AI project (stupid robot running into walls!). Basically 2 classes with branching power trees that are based on common themes and connection (trying to distill the concept as well as represent the vidya games, but not be totally enslaved by them). My thoughts came down to:
The Biotic: Unlock powers to access other ones up the tree (Ex. Pull -> Singularity // Throw -> Warp -> Shockwave)
The Tech User: Needs a new name (I suck at naming things), but the same concept (Ex. Overload -> Incinerate // Combat Drone -> AI Hacking/Sabotage).
So it shakes out something like this:
|Talent ||Specialty ||Classes ||Power choices|
|Headstrong ||Vanguard: ||Soldier 2 / Biotic 3 - ||Charge -> Nova|
|Quarian ||Infiltrator: ||Tech User 5 - ||Energy Drain // Combat Drone -> Sabotage|
Specialties offer stuff that makes you do that job better (infiltrator: Increased Sneak, enhanced Rifle use, whatever is settled upon for hacking etc // Vanguard: Crunch, Unarmed increase etc). I personally don't think having a specific power tied to an origin is a good idea. Sure only the PC Infiltrator can have Tactical Cloak, but Geth Hunters and Phantoms have it too. It also limits what players can be - I'm all for things that don't tell your player "You have
to do this". It also lets you incorporate smaller things (such as from cutscenes and conversations) without having to tie them to just one class / archtype or include them in every class as a double up (biotic threatening is common, as is slow fall and environmental manipulation - the latter in particular is demonstrated on Thessia in ME3 and on the space prison in ME2).
Just thought you might be interested in how I was doing things at home - we're kinda on a similar page so it might give you an idea or two. If not, no harm no foul - good luck on the overhaul (the SC2.5 version is great so I'm sure you'll settle on good ideas for this version).
EDIT: Just an idea - it might be worth starting a new thread of like "Mastercraft Mass Effect" or something - seperate it from this PDF thread. New thread for a new and different project kinda deal. Just my opinion, of course.