The intent here is to take a look at some of the theory behind how one can spend Points in the Trait Tree System.
This is not a claim on if a certain Trait is good, bad, or indifferent, only my thoughts about what choices the Trees offer and what they mean to defining a character. Even though I'm using an RK Tree as an example the same applies to any Class or Tree
I'm not looking at Skill variety, that's it's own separate discussion, instead focusing on builds available under the new system.
It's The Little Things That Matter
One of the many differences between the old system and the new Trait Tree System is the magnitude of each choice. Where in the old system each choice could make a profound impact on it's own, with Trees choices come in two flavors, Impact or Increment, both are smaller in and of themselves than the old system but there is much more control with Trees.
Impact Choices grant you something new, a mitigation, a skill, a passive, etc. They have the greatest effect on a character because you either choose to gain something or not to gain it. They are the most identifiable way to see different builds. When it comes to Traits there are two Impact Choices, 0 or 1, Rank bought. Even if the Trait has more Than 1 Rank available it's really only the 1st Rank that counts as an Impact Choice, any Ranks beyond the first are Incremental Choices.
The exception to this is Gated Traits.
Trait 1 has 5 Ranks
Trait 2 can have any number of Ranks, but has a requirement that Trait 1 needs to have 3 Ranks bought to open up Trait 2.
Trait 1 now has 3 Impact Choices 0, 1, or 3 Ranks. Trait 2 can be an Impact or Incremental Choice depending on what it grants. The 3rd rank is a 0, 1 option to open a new Trait. It can be a lesser Impact Choice if Trait 2 is just an enhancement to Trait 1 or an outright Impact Choice if Trait 2 itself is an Impact Choice (new skill, etc.).
Increment Choices further enhance an Impact Choice. It increases in someway the amount or function of an Impact Choice. It has to enhance an Impact Choice you've made, this is why I count the first 0, 1 choice of Traits that add Stats or Mitigations as Impact Choices They grant you the choice to increase or not said Stat or Mitigation.
How Do You Play This Game
Are you playing on the Landscape mostly, or are you building for a Raid? Group or Solo? Do you prefer the "big numbers" or a more controlling protective style? Do need to do one thing very well, or do you want to do as many different things as possible albeit at a reduced efficiency?
In general builds can be broken into Straight and Hybrid with several variation upon the 2 themes.
Straight Builds will generally put most of their Points in their Specialization and any off spec Points will usually be used to bolster the function of that spec. But even in a Straight Build you can choose to fully or mostly max your Specialization Tree, only skipping Traits that are redundant or unneeded, or go for only spending 31 points, less if the Capstone Trait isn't wanted and branching out to the off spec Trees for more utility and chance to bolster your spec.
Hybrid Builds are far more flexible on Point allocation. They can run the gambit from heavy Points in the Specialization Tree to no Points in said Specialization, with several options in between.
Those kind of answers can factor into how you spend your Points and how much flexibility the Trees can offer you.
What Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up
The first choice you need to make is what Specialization will you take. Know if any of the passives, skills, or Set Bonuses interact with your General Skills and how they interact with the various Trait Skills in all 3 Trees.
That Is How The Trait Do
You spend Points to buy Ranks in a Trait. Traits can have anywhere from 1 - 5 Ranks to purchase
Traits grant different types of effects;
Such as enhance your character via Stats, Damage Buffs, Mitigations, etc.
Enhance a Skill in different ways.
Or grant a Skill.