The utility tree is weird. It has really nice perks, a few of which would be more at home in the offense or defense trees.
Bags and Belts – An ok perk. It’s not a must have on its own but it’s nice. It becomes incredible when combined with Quick Hands.
Taunt – Still waiting for this perk to be useful. Most of the time it’s far easier to shieldbash the enemy away from a vulnerable target. It would be great if there was some feedback on if you have to be in contact with the target, or if it’s ranged, what’s in range, and if a taunt was successful or failed.
Quick Hands – A very good perk. Being able to swap to a spare weapon or shield for free is great. It makes spear walls far more viable when you can put the spear away after they get into contact with you. It really shines with Bags and Belts. Being able to carry a small arsenal of weapons and switching to whichever is most needed is incredible. It’s absurdly, brokenly, good to be able to switch to a billhook once their immediate threats are dead, take a step and then make an attack.
Student – Useless perk. You’re going to level up anyway eventually, it’s not worth sacrificing a more useful perk point. If the perk was a Teacher and the brother gave other a small XP boost to other brothers I might consider it.
Shieldbash – A very lackluster perk. The damage is so poor it may as well be nonexistent. The fatigue damage is kind of nice but only in extreme cases.
Pathfinder – A very useful perk.
Brawny – A great perk if you want to have a chance of wearing the heaviest armour and moving. I don’t understand why this isn’t in the defense tree, the concept of the perk is defense, not utility.
Battleflow – Another great perk. I don’t understand why this isn’t in the offense tree, especially as it triggers when you kill an enemy.
Footwork – Yet another great perk. An archer with this can escape from anything that traps them, it also lets them dance past enemies caught on your front line and shoot them in the back. It’s also great for running straight past melee enemies to get to their archers/necromancers. Also good for a guy with a greatsword/great axe to get into a good position to use the AOE attacks. I don’t understand why this isn’t in the defense tree.
Captain – A good perk, it really helps shore up resolve in your mercenary band, which really helps with getting your guys to confident fast and avoiding wavering/breaking.
Weaponmaster – An ok perk, but again the concept fits better in the offense tree. It’s also made almost obsolete by Quick Hands. I think this perk should be a tier 1 offense perk.
Fearsome – A good perk, it’s very good for orcs with their tough armour but low resolve. Again though this feels like an offense perk.
Rally the Troops – Literally the reason to go deep into the utility tree. It’s an amazing skill that can turn a battle around and save lives.
Inspiring presence – Very overrated for a tier 3 perk. Confident is a very nice bonus, but your guys will get to confident very quickly anyhow when they have a decent Captain around. Originally I took this to work with Hold Out but I’m very underwhelmed by it, especially when it’s competing with Rally the Troops.