Today’s hotfix is certainly a step in a better direction for Iron Bear’s ability to survive, nothing to doubt there. But Moze has an entire skill tree dedicated to survival, so why not make use of that for Iron Bear? Allow Armored Infantry, Vladof Ingenuity, Iron Curtain, Force Feedback, Phalanx Doctrine, and Tenacious Defense to function together with the Bubble Bear shield. Primary reasons being:
- It gives someone who wants to use Iron Bear and the Shield of Retribution tree palpable reasons to invest into the tree other than being able to reach the Railgun augments/Bear Fists or “Full Can of Whoop Ass” (which doesn’t even benefit Iron Bear itself). Less of a “waste” compared to investing into the Demolition Woman and (to a lesser extent) Bottomless Mag skill trees.
- Increases the usability of Iron Bear’s only means of rechargeable “health”. Bear’s ability to tank will improve based on how far you invest into the tree.
With said skills (and maximum investment into said skills), Bubble Bear goes from a minor-moderate increase in damage-soaking ability to:
- 15% more resistant to all damage while the bubble is active.
- 15% more damage dealt while the bubble is active (something Iron Bear currently needs for endgame difficulty. Also doesn’t force the usage of the same Bear weapons like Specialist Bear does.)
- 26% health as an added shield or 50% health as an added shield from the original 20% (depending on whether it uses the Bubble’s maximum capacity or Iron Bear’s maximum health for calculation. Would recommend the latter.)
- 47% resistant to shock damage while the bubble is active.
- Only takes 4 seconds to recharge instead of 5.
- 40% of itself recharges instantly when the Bubble breaks.
- 15% increase in bubble capacity and 10% increase in damage for 30 seconds for every kill made. (Numbers may need to be reduced for Iron Bear.)
- 30% increase in damage for 30 seconds whenever the shield breaks from full capacity.
That is my take on the Shield of Retribution tree, but I believe there’s applicability for some of the skills in her other trees to improve Bear’s damage-dealing abilities without just slapping a flat % buff on it:
- Redistribution - Allow it to regenerate her explosive armaments/fuel/heat/recharge time, depending on the armament.
- Iron Bank - Allow it to increase the capacity of Iron Bear’s explosive armaments and railguns capacity/recharge rate, and decrease heat produced or fuel usage on other armaments.
- Click, Click… - Let it function like a lesser version of “Let Off Some Steam” for the miniguns. For explosives, let it work based on magazine capacity. For the flamethrowers, railguns, and fists, let it work off of remaining fuel.
- Forge - Passively reduce heat gain for miniguns, regenerate rounds for explosives, increase railgun recharge rate, and reduce fuel consumption for flamethrowers and fists.
- Fire in the Skag Den - Allow it to proc off of Iron Bear’s grenades, missiles, explosive minigun rounds, and corrosive sabot rounds.
- Means of Destruction - Allow it to proc with her splash-dealing weapons.
- Torgue Cross Promotion - Allow it to proc with her splash-dealing weapons.