Perhaps out of combat roles (I'm using the term loosely here) would spice things up for martial characters, for examples fighters could identify soldiers (with or without uniforms) and the properties of weapons and armors , military/militia buildings (even if their disguised to look otherwise), and had abilities to keep up a marching formation for longer time without fatigue. Add in a few more skill points and skills like knowledge, local which could thematically fit. None of those changes would be in intrusive to the concept.
I'm starting to think people love to hate the fighter. While I've never found the fighter to be an attractive class myself, there are many who do, and I think the reason why is the combination of simplicity and customizability (with all of those feats, more skill points would have been nice too but alas). Saving throws is a problem of course, but isn't really a problem with all of the class with the poor saving throw progression and no way to magically enhance them (barbarian, rogue, cavalier, slayer, etc. (martials)). Although some will hate the suggestion, a new class that has a fighter like chassis but at least 4 skill points per level and a marshal like ability to yell out commands that have some crowd control effects, good saves (obviously), and some type of feat-like (rage powers, rogue talents) customization feels warranted. This way you can have your versatile martial class, and the fighter is still there as the simpler option. Alternatively, a extensive archtype might be able to fit the bill.
Well if I get a vote, which of-course I don't. I never want to see bound accuracy or advantage/disadvantage in pathfinder. But, I wouldn't have a single problem with a degree of difficulty system being implemented, which would accomplish many of the same things BA did anyway.
That being said I was in the vocal minority that scoffed at the very idea of BA during the 5e play-test, and well that didn't get me anywhere anyway. So if it happens, I'll just keep playing 1e pathfinder. I like the super heroics over the top shenanigans of pathfinder.
I like the idea of a gish occultist (personal preferences), but right now they seem more of a utility class, and part skill monkey. Maybe an archetype will give a more viable gish option (they already have a sort of gish option). Another thing I like is the circles, and would love to see an archetype that expands and emphasizes them.
Come to think about it you could get away with an intelligence score of 16-20 if you skip on attack spells and stick to utility spells and heals.
I was playing around with ability scores and magic items and got this. At 1st level.
This is assuming a 20pt point buy and the race being elf.
If by 20th level you decided to raise strength instead of intelligence, and you purchased the fallowing magic items.
Of course other then fort save you would still need a magic item to increase your reflex and will saves to be survivable, as well as a good weapon, armor, and some potions. Just use your implements for everything else.
Now add in Physical Enhancement and add it to strength. Your first hit is almost a guarantee, second is around 50/50, and not to bad on the damage output. No where as good as fighter damage, but not bad.
Occultist kinda feels like a fifth wheel, sorta like the bard but less buffs and more utility. I can't see one taking the place of a party wizard/cleric/fighter/rogue, but it can, due to the large variety of abilities it gets, aid a group in multiple situations. A least that's how it looks to me, maybe someone with extensive play-testing could elaborate (or correct my assumption).
I like it.
I almost wish there was another class. A 2/3 warrior 1/3 psychic class based after the old Hexblade from 3.5 D&D (a hexblade's curse like ability would have been cool too). Too many 6 level spell casters for my taste, but all of the classes have some neat mechanical ideas, so it's not an issue for me at least. the kineticist, medium and occultist do stand out. I just like these classes better then the hybrid classes.