At this point, we all know Zane is in a somewhat disappointing state (Heavy on the somewhat). Now I’m not saying he’s weak or unplayable, but when compared to other characters, he’s just not as impactful as most think he should be, especially with a specialized build. I don’t mean to take away from Zane, or rant about him. I love him, and just want him better.
I’ve been thinking of ways we can specifically buff/rework his existing skills that will improve his current playstyles while expanding others to allow him more flexibility and power with his skills. I’ve thought of two skills, which define the builds that utilize the Hitman tree. The problem right now, is two-fold. The first problem is these skills are very powerful, but very situational. They can increase Zane’s damage a ton, but pigeon-hole him into a specific playstyle with them. Also, they are not synergistic, so players often have to choose either-or, or choose a specific playstyle to lean on the strengths of one, while the other’s strengths are barely utilized. I propose changes to buff both skills on their own, as well as make them viable for multiple playstyles, reducing their situational usage and allowing them to be synergistic with eachother.
First: Violent Momentum- The scaling on this skill can be very significant with huge movement speed increases such as slides and sprinting but the base amount is too low for the scaling to matter enough as it’s a multiplier of the base bonus. I suggest this skill should have its base doubled to 40% at 5/5 instead of 20%. This will help Zane have much more impactful damage with regular moving, and will make sliding/sprinting skills and movement speed bonuses make him truly feel like him moving fast makes his damage increase a lot.
Next: Playing Dirty- This skill is very strong for low rate of fire, low projectile count weapons but tends to fall away very quickly with weapons that have higher rates of fire. I propose that we allow this skill to stack its effect up to three times so that with full stacks you can have up to triple the amount of shots to have an extra projectile, and to get rid of the chance for extra projectile stuff and instead change it to how many shots can add an extra projectile. So 1/5 gets 1, 2/5 2 and so on. This will let the skill be useful right away for low rof, high damage per shot weapons, and also scaling up gives it more impact for higher rof weapons, with over-leveling allowing for more than 5 shots to be buffed within a single stack.
This should allow smg users who invest heavily in this skill to have nearly a full magazine with double projectiles and when played right could potentially keep the buff up through an entire firefight. This paired with the Violent Momentum buff would dramatically increase damage with smgs and other high rate of fire weapons while also giving Zane a unique capability to get more projectiles out of every weapon he fires (he does this already but this will make it much more worthwhile for the investment on high rof weapons).
This also would make the lower rof weapons have more consistent damage output with guaranteed procs on each kill and extra stacks ensuring they get to have this buff up at any time. At the same time with Violent Momentum being in a much better place, even the sniper Zanes could benefit and create a very high skill, high reward playstyle with fast moving, pinpoint accurate, hipfire sniping.
While sure there are other areas where Zane’s damage could be buffed, I think it’s safe to say the majority of players use one or both of these skills because they define their builds. I think these skills with these buffs would place Zane in a far more comfortable position in terms of damage output for himself, so that when all of his bugged utility skills get fixed, he’ll be considered right in line with the other characters with fairly unique playstyles not emulated by the other characters.