Leveling up towards final build

Hi everyone i’m kinda new to the game (had a lvl 45 character but still i feel like a beginner) and recently wanted to start another character when i found myself thinking of this. I wanted to go for a shield-wielding character and so started following a build on the compendium (it was the pierce damage build that combined soldier with nightblade). Without thinking too much i started investing points in cadence and the gameplay just felt really bad because of the lack of AoE damage(which i think at the start is kinda important for fast leveling). So i was wondering is it “normal” to just NOT follow the final build in terms of like skill points investment at the start of the game for faster leveling and in the future just refunding skill points? If this is the case, what skill do you think are really good for early game clearing as shield-wielding soldier?
I think i always find myself too worried about my final build in the early stages of the game, when probably i shouldn’t because in the endgame it’s probably possible to switch builds (since u can refund anything other than stat points)

I never really had a problem leveling cadence, although if you are trying to go straight to pierce cadence that may cause problems. Just make sure to get 1 point into fighting form and what I like to do is rush Bull Rush ASAP for cadence characters. 25% chance per swing to trigger a decent melee AoE is pretty nice and ‘fixes’ the cadence single target problem, at least as far as normal difficulty is concerned. Also once you get the proc and 1 into fighting form you can get a few ranks into Zolhans which also helps.

But yes to answer your question leveling with skill A to a certian point and then respecing to an ‘end game’ build is fairly common. Usually something like energy costs are too high to start or a necessary transmuter debuffs the skill so harshly it isn’t worth using until you have enough ranks to max the skill.