Outside of balancing dmg & survivability, the one thing I really hate about iron bear is that the gameplay don’t change, skill tree have zero impact on iron bear. A complete lack of synergy.
The different weapons don’t really make a big difference and you never reach the ‘fun’ of legendary weapons you can get with Moze. It don’t match the versatility of other vault hunter 3 abilities.
Since Iron bear replace your main char, all skills should influence both. It’s like for Fl4k, the pet can’t be removed, why make skills that don’t buff both? If you have the choice to spend point on a skill that buff your main char HP or your pet/vehicle, buffing main char is always better. Just because it scales with gear.
I find Amara more balanced with her skill tree. The blue one is the weakest I think, it buff mostly the ability. In the green tree, all skills push you to more aggressive gameplay. One skill buff gun dmg when close to target. Make sense with a melee focused tree. A skill buff BOTH gun dmg and Ability when you melee. There is a synergy between all skills, gun dmg, melee dmg and ABILITY dmg.
Same with red tree, all buff elemental dmg, turn non elemental weapon to elemental, melee to elemental, dmg buff when using ability etc…
With Moze, you have near zero synergy between Skill tree and IB. Only a few skills that affect it. But no gameplay changer. Outside of auto-bear, but you don’t have other buff in the tree that synergy with a turret gameplay.
I really hate the skills that buff armor or fuel. Ironbear should always viable for all builds and don’t force you to invest in a specific tree. It only affect Ironbear and in the end if you want to play with it you have tto take them and buff them with a dedicated class mod because it’s the only way to buff/scale iron bear HP & dmg.
That lead to my final problem : no equipment bonus to Ironbear. Melee dmg can be scaled with dedicated relic, with weapons bonus, class mod extra bonus, shield etc… But no extra buff to iron bear.
They could release specific relics (or have vehicle relics that buff iron bear since it’s a vehicle). Weapons with more gunner/general anointed bonus that buff you/ironbear when you use your ability, class mod modifiers that affect ironbear (so even a non ironbear dedicated mod could still buff it).
We need dedicated Ironbear gear that could give ironbear some legendary effects and change it’s gameplay.