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A path is a game system loosely based on the Bartle test that allow players to choose secondary gameplay that fits their playstyle. Each path has unique missions, rewards, and abilities.
The Paths all offer unique abililtys and options which all classes can use just depends on if you can fiqure out how to use them well.
To me the paths go like this from best to worst settler,scientist,solider,explorer.
The settler is just OP as crap with it's abililty to build buff stations and other usefull features at outposts and combat areas infact some combat areas you can build a medic aura that heals you if you are in the area and it makes killing this MUCH easyer, on top of that you can stack the buff stations buffs as long as they don't do the same thing like trying to stack a health or shield buff you can only pick one like the stats buff, and to top it all off you get a vendbot that you can summion with your path abililty that you can sell and repair anywhere as long as it's not PvP or a dungion and raid.
The scientist is just a fun little path that gives you a bot you can customise with aurin ears or a pirate hat :3 and lets you have access to areas with bonus lore about the game, you also get some sweet path abilitys to top it off like have a hologram that can destact enemys you don't want to fight to just pass by them or using a group summion to pull everyone to you to get ready for a dungion or raid and once you are finshed just open a portal to the capital for everyone.
Solider i'm not going to lie this was the one that i wanted so bad but once i played it i was very much dissapointed with it. The benifits we get from this path are lame to say the lest the big thing that they added that we were ment to go nanas for was the weapon lockers well they suck just flat out suck their are only 2-3 things in their that are worth taking the argis4 shield, the stun nads and the partical disrupter. The shield gives you a little assorb shield which can help in most fight but it kinda just get eatten in about 2 hits, The stun nads only stun for about 1-2 secs so i mainly use them to stop the telegrath attack which makes them usefull and the disrupter adds a DOT on the enemy which just helps our damage abit but you only really use it if all your big attacks are on cooldown otherwise it's a DPS loss. The path abililtys like everyone said is very lame and sad the heal outta combat one is lame to say the least and only really usefull if you are doing a wave combat and can kill and click it fast enough to pop the heal otherwise your better off just eatting some food, the bailout can be usefull if you are feeling lazy and don't want to run back to base with your mates on the field or if they are annoying you can pop it just as you are about to enter the quest area to port everyone back base. The summion crate is just sad and lame at LvL 1 of it you can only get a frag nade which is a decent AoE but it's still not very usefull.
And finaly the explorer oh god the explorer this guy offers NOTHING to us and i mean nothing first off while the other paths give at lest some bonus in and outta combat this guy doesn't give anything to anyone. The path abilitys on this guy are a reduced fall damage as the first one and then you get air brakes.... freaking air brakes which stops you in mid air and can then jump to a new location.... why even bother give us the reduced fall damage when we have that. and the only reason to take this guy if anything is the teleport beacon this thing is awesome if you are into world PvP however they have said that they will be most likly removing this option so if you are going to do this now is the time you can set the beacon down somewhere and then engage in world PvP and if you are losing just use your beacon to port back to it heal up and go fight again.
As you can see the paths do change things quite a fair bit from the settler always having buffs that makes the game easy mode to the explorers beacon scuming in pvp they change the class around a little bit but at the end of the day you have to decide for your self what you want to do. what do you enjoy about this game and stick with it for engi's they are all decent but really it comes down to what you want to do the most.