Now more than ever, the Under Cover tree needs to be redone

We just got a new mod that, once fixed, could be a decent alternative. Unfortunately, apart from problems with the mod itself, the UC tree’s skills are so bad that you actively lose DPS the more you invest into it past tier 3.
I’m going to go through the skills and suggest changes for each of the skills to make them worthwhile.

Barrier: remove the penalty for picking up the barrier. Zane is not a character that benefits from being in one small space.

Hearty Stock: increase the numbers. Take it up to 50.

Ready for Action: same as above, especially the recharge rate. Delay is less of an issue with certain Guardian skills and CCC.

Stiff Upper Lip: Just make it a straight up resistance. No condition like ‘gains resistance’ or ‘when he takes damage’: just give him a flat resistance to damage. Characters are too spongy for there to be delays in skills activating.

Rise to the occasion: make it a consistent rate independent of shield capacity. In particular, CCC conflicts with this due to filling shields first. Maybe increase the rate too, but at least fix that part.

Confident Competence: rather than an accuracy boost, give a crit boost. Would work well with amp shields, and accuracy is useless on certain guns, anyway. Overall good, though, as more damage with fuller shields syncs well.

Really Expensive Jacket: Maybe decrease the DoT for elements as well? Or add some elemental resistance? Something. Most elemental effects don’t really last that long in the first place.

Best Served Cold: remove the cooldown, and either centre it on the killed enemy or increase the radius a lot. Possibly damage buff, not sure if it’s been buffed through scaling or not.

Futility Belt: make it a flat resistance to all damage. Change the Kill Skill to either shield recharge rate, ‘shields start recharging’, or crit damage.

Refreshment: Add gun damage buff against frozen enemies, or per frozen enemy. Life Steal is good, but gun damage would give a reason to invest more than one point. Plus, the tree really needs some way of increasing damage as a reward for freezing enemies, as we already have life steal from salvation, and CCC is outclassed by a mod.

Cool, Calm, and Collected: Increase the health regen rate a lot.

Nerves of Steel: Buff it slightly and make it a 1 point skill. You only need one, anyway.

Distributed Denial: give Zane the same boost as everyone else, make it not lose the boost when the shield is picked up, make the skill work with all shields (or at least more of them), and either double the shield bonuses or add some additional ones, or both.

Zane needs a lot of work. The latest class mod has kind of cemented this.

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The main thing this tree needs is damage: crit damage, damage against frozen/slowed targets. It has good benefits for running cryo but these benefits do not directly lead to increased damage. Also make all augments work whether Barrier is held or on the ground. Finally, make it possible to deploy Barrier straight into the held position by holding the button longer.

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Definitely.

Additionally, it would be good if freezing enemies did one of the following:

  1. Give Zane a speed boost per freeze. Can stack.
  2. Activate his kill skills when he freezes an enemy.

There are many ways they can not only make the tree better, but make it sync well with the other two trees. I’m reminded of Zer0s sniping tree in BL2, but that at least had B0re.

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I would definitely be interested in freezing proccing kill skills. That would be a major boost.

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No offense, but at this point anything that would require programming or substantial rework is probably out. Dlc4 seems anemic compared with the other three suggesting both funds and resources are not being invested in Bl3 or significant Covid impact, maybe both.

Also seeing dead exists. It’s more likely that gearbox will try to fix it through the fourth skill tree which will be paid content rather than going back and revisiting the existing skill trees.

The new action skill will solve a lot of kill skill problems.
It should be able to reliably proc Seein’ Red more often and I imagine it does a lot of single target damage to proc kill skills without Seein’ Red. Not to mention we haven’t seen the new skill tree yet.

I think just changing some green skills to not contradict and clash with other skills would be a good start, Distributed Denial is pretty wonky which could do with a rework. Barrier augments should work when the barrier is held too.

Nerves of Steel isn’t worth the skill points right now, adding crit damage to it would make it a worth while pick/investment considering most of his skills are additive with each other

Adrenaline becomes redundant once Topped Off is available. Cryo damage or movement speed would be a good alternative.

Rise to the Occasion grants up to 5% of max health regeneration based on how low his shields are.
This doesn’t really make sense, Zane has various ways to keep shields up:

  • “Nanites or some ■■■■■”
  • “Ready for Action”
  • “Static Field”
  • “Schadenfreude”
  • “Quick Breather”

Not to mention he has access to a barrier and his clone can partially take aggro.
Health regen the fuller his shield would make more sense and offer greater synergy with Calm, Cool, Collected.

Best Served Cold could benefit from overkill damage similar to Remnant and possibly a bigger radius. The nova triggering on Zane is just a weird interaction with Seein’ Dead.

Futility Belt, Really Expensive Jacket and Stiff Upper Lip, damage reduction is nice but Zane has access to pretty solid life steal that he can just constantly health gate and not worry about damage reduction as much.

Hearty Stock isn’t terrible but extra shield capacity can do more harm for certain shields, particularly amp shields. If Zane had a skill to directly replenish a % of his shield then maybe it would be a worthwhile pick, for example:

Refreshment: “Whenever Zane damages a frozen enemy with his weapon, a portion of Zane’s shields are restored.” - 5% per point (Stacks up to 3 times, 15%)

Distributed Denial is a pretty wonky skill and works poorly with a lot of shields. Nova shield effects only trigger twice per barrier (On deploy/end) Zane’s extremely high action skill up-time just adds salt to the wound. Adding an additional effect such as “Freezing an enemy triggers any shield effects” would make more shields viable and make Distributed Denial a worthwhile capstone.

Anyway, very excited for the new skill tree and here’s hoping they go back and touch up some of the old skill trees too.