There are no true support classes or builds in borderlands 3, at least in the way they existed in previous iterations. The current borderlands meta maintains a high emphasis on aggressive forward pushing gameplay. Almost all talents and anointments focus on engagements that require the player to interact as closely as possible with their enemy. As such, a support class would subtract from that experience.
However, the gunner has 5 talents that indicate an early version of her was more support heavy.
Below are speculation about these talent points as well as suggestions for future updates to talent. The following talents could have been intended to create support “auras” similar to a paladin in classical RPGs
Security bear - a classic paladin protective aura. It likely originally had more health, was reduced because it was redundant with Zane’s barrier and because it encouraged players to stand back instead of pushing into fights.
Dakka bear - (I know it isn’t SOR tree) this originally operated as a safe place for low health individuals and a way to regain health and maintain damage. It probably isn’t changed much, though, the mechanics are horrible, as it’s impossible to aim, so it might have been tweaked into oblivion in an attempt to ensure players didn’t sit there forever. It was an early version of support that tried to upkeep “push-forward” engagement.
Selfless vengeance: originally added a second projectile with fire damage to everyone. This meant a substantial increase of damage for the entire team at the sacrifice of health for one player. Tweaked too weak because of all the other bonuses other players already had.
Drowning in brass: Base damage aura. Again, classic paladin style bonus. Player stays in front line, gains bonuses for entire team. Seems fairly decent for a low tier talent.
Finally: full can of whoop ass: activating your action skill begins filling teammates “secondary” health bar (shield). Again, not an uncommon type of magic effect in standard RPGs.
The thing about each of the above is that in general, they keep players forward moving and in the fight. The unfortunate problem with each is that they’re not telegraphed well to the team or to the player using them, so there’s no communication that you’re gaining these bonuses. In addition to that, since the immediate effects are so hard to notice with all other items stacking, many of these talents either experience diminishing returns or do nothing valuable, like slightly return some shields. For example, Zane likely doesn’t notice much value from drowning in brass if he’s running a violent momentum build since the additional gun damage is likely negligible.
Beyond tier three, there are no more bonuses like this. If there were in the past, whoever was redesigning her class decided they shouldn’t exist. This might have been part of the overall game design to reduce the number of support classes or items, but I believe done the right way, these talents could still contain those things and make them more valuable.
My suggestion is that the shield retribution tree be reworked with the supposed “paladin-esque”) design in mind.
Experimental munitions: [add] whenever Moze scores a critical hit, her and the party gain X% movement speed for 3 seconds. (Encourages push-forward gameplay)
Behind the iron curtain: [change to 50% bonuses at max instead of 33%,maybe even 100%] [add] team gets half of this bonus
Desperate measures: whenever Ironbear or autobear is destroyed, team gains 12/25/50% (per level) splash damage for 10 seconds. (Encourages Moze to push Ironbear to the fullest and even sacrifice like a paladin does. Forces longer Ironbear cooldown at the expense of strong burst damage for team.)
PD: Keep same, honestly, I can’t imagine buffing it at all. It can be a strong stand alone(?)
Force feedback: [change] critical hits have same effect as redistribution but on shields, no ammo Regen. [add] entire team received some portion of this bonus.
Tenacious defense: [add] entire team gets the gum damage bonus if Moze’s shield breaks (forward momentum). Also, while in Ironbear, the break-refill effect is passed to the entire team, as well as being passed to the security bear shield. This would give the player a huge reason to play with a TD setup, regardless of if she’s using a 1hp build or not.
Tldr: The above talent changes would make shield of Retribution not only just as effective as it was before, it would encourage a wider diversity of gameplay tactics as well as new experimental builds with fellow teammates. In addition, players would immediately know they were with a shield Moze, as they would feel and see the effects on themselves and experience a change in gameplay that encouraged more aggressive tactics than before, which maintains the mayhem type gameplay the current setup seems to encourage.
Okay. That’s all. Thoughts?