|Mort the Cleverly Named|
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"Things don't need to be the optimally best choice in the game in order to be wicked cool."
Hello Mr. Augunas. It is hard to tell given how things are filtered in splatbooks, but I have theory that I am a huge fan of your design work, and would like everything to follow to come from a perspective of that degree of appreciation.
Okay, that said, there are a great many options in this book that fit neither criteria. Something can be horribly generic or have a super specific flavor and people will use it because it is good (Piranha Strike, Dervish Dance). Similarly something can ooze with flavor and be rarely mentioned because it is kind of terrible (the entire Aldori Dueling section of Inner Sea Combat).
So then, the issue I have with this book is not only are many feats non-optimal, they are also boring and then copy/pasted into two sections! Cushioning Armor is neither super cool nor optimal, and having it separate from Cushioning Shield is an insulting waste of space. If it was a freebie ability people would still probably not care about it at all.
Meanwhile many cool options are gated behind so many prerequisites that it may be cool in isolation, but is neither optimal (given the cost) or cool in general (because it ends up as the "one unique thing" you get to do). Like, in most situations the 5 feats spent on shielded gauntlet mastery could have made you much more awesome with a free buckler, with undisclosed effects in relation to two-hand/two-weapon combat (because the game seizes up on those).
So, while I fully acknowledge options can be niche, or involved in complex combos, or even just allowing specific flavors or themes, I don't think this sort of response can or should be used as a generic defense against any sort of criticism against one's work.