Now, it would be an understatement to say that Zane is currently in a good spot and my ideas aren’t so much about making Zane stronger in general, but I feel like he could use more overall build variety with some of his skills and gear never getting used.
1: Praemunitus. The overall bonus for 3 points is too small and any less than 3 points won’t even affect most weapons. Suggestion: Increase the bonus per rank to 10% and add a minimum amount of magazine increase per rank. Rank 1 will increase mags by 10% but at least 1 shot, rank 2 by 20% but at least 2 shots etc.
2: Donnybrook. The skill isn’t really noteworthy unless you are running a Seein’ Dead Class mod. The damage is alright but the health regen could be better. The only thing I’d like to see changed here is the regen being based on his maximum health rather than missing health.
3: Duct Tape Mod: Not a big fan of how low the base chance is, it seems like a bit of a skill sink. Also, longbow grenades seem to have poor synergy with this skill, generally not teleporting to where the gun was aiming but instead flying a lot higher and usually missing the target.
4: Like a Ghost. This skill is kind of awkward. The base chance is not worth using so the skill is only really relevant if you just popped both of your action skills. With most Zane builds being based around keeping up your action skills as long as possible it’s sort of counterintuitive. Suggestion:
Buff the base chance to 10% at 3/3. Turn the additional effect into a kill skill that can add another 10%.
5: Trick of the Light: This is not a great skill. Outside of long range sniping and constant swapping with the “Which One’s real?” augment you aren’t really gonna get this to work well. Suggestion: Change the skill to provide bonus cryo on the next mag after swapping places with your clone.
6: Cold Bore. Not a particularily good skill. Unless you are using mostly heavy weapons, weapon swap speed is not a very relevant stat. Maybe if the cryo bonus was either larger or counted for more than one shot?
7: Good Misfortune. Has become a rather good skill since the Seein’ Dead COM was introduced. Apparently the diminishing returns aren’t working properly, though.
8: Seein’ Red. One of Zane’s cornerstones but utterly outperformed by a class mod. The issue here is that 90% of the time, it is more common for Zane to kill an enemy than to activate an action skill, meaning that outside of boss fights, the effect is actually rather neglectable. Potential fixes: a) All kill skills gain increased effect and duration (I’d strip the bonus effect right off the Seein’ Dead COM, it really doesn’t need it). b) Kill skills are also activated whenever one of Zane’s action skills ends (might still not be enough because, well, duration). c) For each active action skill Zane has a 5% chance of activating all of his kill skills when dealing gun damage (the main concern here would be whether this would be too strong when stacked with Seein’ Dead)
9: Brain Freeze. Nothing about the skill itself I’d like to change but I would like to swap it with either Adrenaline or Ready for Action, simply so not all of the first tier in the green tree is shield related.
10: Calm. Cool. Collected. Truth be told, this skill has historically been a bit of a troublemaker. Combined with a Rough Rider shield to circumvent the shield recharge condition and a barrier to keep Zane’s health topped off, CCC has for a long time made every single action skill cooldown or duration related ability completely obsolete. Recently it has lost a bit of relevancy due to the combination of Seein’ Dead and Good Misfortune being just as good as sustaining the action skill but if either were to be nerfed it might rise to dominance again. I’d suggest buffing the shield and health regen aspects of the skill whilst at the same time reducing the duration bonus to 50% and the cooldown to 25%.
11: Nerves of Steel. Has got to be one of Zane’s worst skills. Accuracy and handling are not directly related to damage and the way they are accumulated just doesn’t work well. Suggestion for a rework: Zane gains increased accuracy and handling based on the amount of shield he has. The fuller his shield, the greater the bonus. Per rank you gain a max value of 20% each.
12: Distributed denial. It’s just not a very effective skill. I have to be honest, I don’t really know how to fix that one. The issue is, a majority of shield effects are based on capacity, something the barrier doesn’t have.
1, 2, 3: All the Augments on the left side of Zane’s Green tree. They don’t work when the shield is picked up but that’s how most people use the barrier. I get the idea of Zane’s barrier in multiplayer being some kind of anchor point around which the team can gather but fact of the matter is, a lot of people play on their own and they prefer being invincible over having a little buff barrier standing around, looking pretty. Just slightly decrease the bonus effects when picked up but make them able to be picked up.
4: Bad Dose. It’s alright but the radiation damage doesn’t seem to scale properly, causing the drone to deal 2 or 3 points of rad damage per tick on max level. The bonus effects are also somewhat meh if you don’t hit a lot of enemies at a time with it.
5: Static field: Just needs to be stronger, particularily on Mayhem.
6: Almighty Ordnance. Never seen someone use that skill, honestly. I suspect that the damage simply doesn’t keep up. Then there’s also the issue with Zane being all about keeping your action skills up as long as possible and this augment only being usable once.
7: Binary System: Not bad but the damage is very lackluster on M4.
8: Which One’s Real? 4 seconds just isn’t really all that long, the effect is hardly noticable.
9: Doppelbanger: Eh… The damage doesn’t really keep up with mayhem health. I guess you can use it if you’re trying to get some more use out of ASE anoints but if you are running the clone, you are probably better off keeping it alive to get more out of your synchronicity (and mind you, you’ll need 15 points in the doubled agent tree to even unlock it, at which point you probably have a few boosts for the clone in there anyways).
That’s Zane’s kit for the time being, so let’s take a quick look at his Class Mods.
Executor: Is pretty good honestly (and depending on if and how seein’ red gets changed, might get even better). However I would like to see how high the bonuses are on the actual item card.
Antifreeze: A weird COM to say the least. I’ve heard it can potentially be pretty good but it’s also a bit of a meme in how it makes you slide all over the place. My main gripe with it is that it is a complete pain to get, having to complete a trial or playing the Takedown on M4 for even a chance at getting one is both difficult and takes quite a while. I’d also like to add an effect that allows Zane to shoot whilst sprinting, like Moze’s Rushin Offensive
Infiltrator: Not bad but also kind of odd. I’d like some more specific numbers on the item cards as to how much damage you actually get. It would probably be better if it boosted Violent Momentum rather than Like a Ghost but that would make it overlap with the Antifreeze in terms of boosted skills.
Cold Warrior: Not good. Some people like it because it boosts synchronicity which is alright but the primary effect on the COM is pretty poor and neither Ready for Action nor Trick of the Light are that great. My suggestion: Replace those two with Brain Freeze and Refreshment to make it his true cryo COM. Change the primary effect to essentially mirror the Icebreaker artifact, allowing him to deal more damage against frozen targets and increase his cryo efficiency.
Shockerator: One of Zane’s two worst Class Mods. Neither the effect is good, nor the boosted skills. I like the idea of granting a free augment but I’m afraid it doesn’t work well. My idea: Every time Zane swaps places with his clone, an electrical coil is placed where the clone was, dealing 3000 (at level 53) shock damage per second to nearby enemies. If more than one coil is on the field, all coils are connected with an electric fence that damages and staggers enemies that touch it (think Deterrence field). Additionally, the next shot after swapping with the clone will deal 200% bonus shock damage.
Skills boosted: Trick of the Light, Donnybrook, Praemunitus (if those are changed as suggested, that is)
Techspert: Just as bad if not even worse than the Shockerator. The main effect is undertuned and the skill boosts don’t provide any synergy and don’t make sense in the context of this being the only COM that affects SNTNL. I think this would be where the idea of granting an extra augment actually could work. I’ve found the Boomsday augment to allow the drone to deal quite acceptable damage, even on Mayhem, but many people prefer the utility from Winter’s Drone and Bad Dose. Thus: Grants the Boomsday Augment. Also, I feel like the activation chance of the cooldown/duration reset needs to either have its chance increased (if it remains a “on kill” effect) or changed to have a chance to activate upon dealing gun damage.
Skills Boosted: Salvation, Death Follows Close (can only boost by 1), Synchronicity.
Seein’ Dead: Pretty much the best COM in the game, arguably even too good as it makes one of Zane’s cornerstones completely obsolete. I don’t really like nerfing stuff but in this case it seems to be justified. I’d suggest: Activation chance: Reduced to 5% (currently 8%). No longer increases kill skill effect by 25%. This should still leave the COM plenty powerful but it won’t be the ultimate best-in-slot anymore and allow other class mods that were buffed accordingly to compete a little.