I don't think you need to defend him either. It is not like we haven't had this discussion before. I know his views, I just don't care for his "if you did not build your character the right way (based on the Gospel According to Nysek) you are wrong" attitude. Basically this:
The original design of the game, did not allow for respecs. You built your character and if you made mistakes you lived with the flaws. The original game did not allow every faction to have empathic or nano. Each Faction had their mutation lines. Many of us Beta players built our characters along these lines and we were not wrong to do so. Do not tell me I am wrong now. Respec and Mutations changes did not come till much later. I did get my ap reset a couple of times, but I was fine with my character for the most part so I never changed much. Was my charcter optimized, i doubt it, but the game was challenging enough for me that I enjoyed it.
And nowhere in any official document I ever read stated that you must have Empathic or Nano. As I stated before FE was to be a class-system. It is the players who decided optimization was necessary (some players). And lets be fair it is more important in PvP than PvE. Which is were some of the attitude comes from.
I understand that the mechanics are at fault, but we should want balance not too gimmick the system.
I could respec my character, go pistols instead of melee or remove crafting, but I wanted recipes so that would have been moot. I have plenty of injectors so I could play around. Likely my current build could do some of the rounds, but i decided if the Dome was not balanced I would not hamper a partner with a gimped melee build, most of the players i knew were long gone. And I also look at it from a community perspective, not everyone can respec, which means Dome is limited to a select few. This IMO is wrong. But it is just an opinion.
If people are ok with that then fine, but then do not tell us that Dome is for everyone. In the end the Dome was a poor design and falied to do what it was meant to do. We have what we have and it was a disappointment to many. That is all.
Yes the original game didn't allow for respecs and had little proper information. The thing was this was 1 of those things that hurt fe immensely. Sounds like an interesting suggestion maybe, but when you have a game like fe where inconsistency is the only consistency really this turns into a problem for anything that may challenge this. Hell in pve back then a very generic build could do fine in it even at the endgame bosses and if you properly invested into dodge and had a decent build you broke pve then. Although then it was typically reroll or quit was more the sentiment.
Each faction was only introduced to some mutations. The only faction without either of nano or emp was chota. The wheel flip showed it wasn't only for certain factions as did the devs with the change to faction skills and not mutations.
There is no document that says that anywhere, but in this type of system no matter how you want to approach it there is degrees of efficiency. And when you have overlap or types of content certain builds or skill/mutations will do better. And that is actually how this system should shine or what not, but due to how pve was for most of fe with only pockets of difficulty here and there this was never really a developed concept and so people came to think everything should be able to do everything. This is also sort of why pvp has this attitude towards pve...pvp had to develop and realize this where as pve for the most part rarely did and after a certain point pve seemed to just go 'i wont do this'. Now I'm not sure how pve really developed in fe, but from the outside it seemed like this.
Depending on when you did dome I would completely agree with your sentiment in regards to being melee mostly due to stage 2 being awful for melee early on due to being forced to take damage, the snare and the balance being around high tier pistols. Outside of stage 2 that'd be the only issue. Respeccing to pistols would have solved all of it and made a crafting build stronger due to synergy and probably opened up more options.
Sure not everyone can respec and that is still a fault. As far as I've been concerned this was 1 of the worst things that they adapted early on as it not only hindered the game and how people explored it buildwise, but it severely punished people when they themselves put out poor information.
And ehh when it comes down to it this just returns the early sentiment of 'deal with it, reroll or quit' like how it was when fe launched...lol.