Suggestions for possible skill changes for Zer0 (Community patch)

Following the lead of @johnrr6’s Axton thread here’s one for Zer0.

So there is an unofficial community patch that can be used to tweak stuff around and apparently it’s okay to talk about it here.

As skills are at some point going to get under the looking glass getting some discussion going for what could be improved and why and is it still balanced after the suggestions would be a good idea.

Here’s my list of skills that could be looked at:

Sniping tree:

Optics: This skill does almost nothing. For me, at least, it only sees use as filling the last couple of points on gun builds and I hate the extra zoom on snipers. I’m not sure what to do with this one but here’s an idea from the top of my head. Add ADS movement speed to it. Zer0 is an Assassin that is supposed to be quick on his feet and as this skill is all about ADSing it fits the skill quite well. Depending on the size of the movement speed buff I might even put a couple of points into it as sniper builds. I guess it wouldn’t really fix it but it would make it more fun. Something could be done to this skill to make it a consideration vs headshot.

Kill C0nfirmed: This skill is underwhelmingly bad. The proper way to buff it would require some number crunching. Options include at least buffing the current crit damage, adding gun damage on top of the crit buff, changing it to gun damage completely or changing it into type B crit (and maybe giving it a slight buff after that). High stacks are rarely seen so buffing it to a point where 1 or 2 stacks is worth investing multiple points into it seems like an overall good thing. If it ends up being really powerful at 5 stacks I think it would actually not be that bad either since it’s not the easiest thing to achieve and stay alive. It might make Terra farming a lot easier than it currently is but I don’t think that is a big deal. Anyway, like I said figuring the numbers out would need some work. Another thing I would really love would be adding 20 % ADS speed to this skill per point (scoping speed, not movement speed).

EDIT: If it is possible to change the speed you gain the stacks that might pretty much solve this skills problems right there. Maybe. If it could be cut down to half or maybe even ever so slightly faster than that we would see a couple of stacks pop up a lot more frequently and higher stacks might actually happen every once in a while. This would also not change the damage potential of this skill at all which is a pretty safe and easy approach to buff it while preserving balance.

Critical Ascensi0n: I’m fairly sure the community patch can’t touch the limitations of CA that most of us would love to remove so I guess the next best thing would be to simply make the delay for the stacks to start decaying a couple of seconds later and / or make them decay slower? It would make pre-stacking a bit more effective but let’s face it: if you are going for that you are pretty much guaranteed to kill whatever it is you are going to gun down anyway while it would make it a little easier to keep some stacks going while mobbing.

Cunning Tree:

C0unter strike: I don’t honestly know if this skill needs a buff. I just wanted to bring it up to ask how others feel about it. I only use it on melee builds for occasional extra damage. How do you feel about this skill?

Unf0reseen: This skill received a damage buff in the 2015 patch but it’s still a bit underwhelming at OP levels. My suggestion would be about 20 % more damage. That would make it decently powerful with slag + deathmark. Is anyone who has tried the spy build buffing the skill to 10 or 11 points around to chime in whether or not this would be too strong? I personally only run this skill at 5/5. I don’t think it would but it would be good to hear second opinions. I’d also really like it if this thing didn’t have damage fall off from range, in case that is something that can be changed.

Bloodshed tree:

Ir0n fist: I personally never run this because I find it underwhelming but I don’t have suggestion for improving it myself. How do others feel about this? Changing it to be multiplicative might be an overkill with all the other buffs so how about just giving the percentages a little nudge to make it more appealing?

Be like water: Another relatively underwhelming skill. Small occasional additive melee damage and gun damage bonuses. Also another one I don’t really have a suggestion for from the top of my head. Since melee builds are doing a lot of burst already perhaps some kind of a buff to the gun damage portion to make it better for hybrids? I’m not too sure this skill needs any attention either, I’m just bringing it up because it doesn’t do a whole lot.

Resurgence: This doesn’t really heal you a whole lot and bladed Moxxi pistols are a thing. Buffing this would also not stop people from using the weaponry for healing as they work with grenades all other damage sources too and I think this skill is already okayish when boosted by a ninja mod. Opinions?

Like the wind: Oh boy. 3 % additive melee damage and gun damage on a tier 5 skill in the melee tree? This skill could definitely use a buff. Again, I’ve got nothing from the top of my head and I’d like to hear the opinions of the more melee oriented players here.

That’s it for me. I don’t expect all of these to be revised and I probably should have limited this to the skills that are most in the need of a buff instead of mentioning everything that came to my mind. The point of the thread is to discuss possible, balanced changes that could be made to Zer0’s bad skills to make them more appealing.

EDIT: Pinging @shadowevil1996 so he notices this discussion for future reference.

Considering that it gets boosted by Ambush, and that the Spy CO boosts both, I can tell you that its fine as it is now :slight_smile:

Maybe turning the boost multiplicative should be a good thing to think about. Hybrids usually cant rely this much on Backstab due the lack of Many Must Fall and pure Ninjas wont get it through the chain.
Also, the Infiltrator COM should be a little more on par with the regular Ninja COM.

I feel Zer0 is very well designed and has very little underpowered skills as a whole.

Kill Confirmed, Counter Strike and Unforeseen are all plenty powerful enough. Its just that they by design do not synergise well with Zer0’s playstyle. Buffing them will not change their inherent flaws but may risk making them overpowered at times.

I think CA’s current decay is quite reasonable. It is a skill with a very high damage potential to warrant its learning curve. That said, it would be nice if opening the menu/climbing ladders/swapping to a non sniper would not result in a instant loss of stacks.

I do believe these skills do warrant a buff:
Precision: +8% Accuracy/level
Innervate: 1.5% Health Regen/levek
Iron Hand: 5% Health, 5% Melee Dmg/level
Grim: 0.9% Shield Recharge/level since the cooldown is basically non-existant and not really necessary
Resurgence: Up to 7% Health Returned/level
Like the Wind: 3% Multiplicative Gun/Melee while moving/level

Of course, I do feel Zer0 is plenty powerful enough and will handle fine without any sort of buffs. But these I feel are his weaker skills.

I agree. This skill is too deep to be so weak. It is actually worse than Axton Impact, a tier 1 skill.


I’m a bit conservative on giving melee Zer0 another multiplicative melee buff to further boost his burst damage. On the other hand I think that would be fine. Melee Zer0 deciding to pick it up would be more effective against stuff like Dukino’s mom and raids. Worth considering I think.

I agree but since skill changes in the community patch are likely to happen we should have an open discussion about what, how and how much. I can agree that Unforeseen and Counter strike are fine as they are. Kill confirmed IMO needs a buff because you pretty much never see it’s potential. Care needs to be taken if the numbers are touched though, which is why I edited in the other suggestion to speed up the stack gain. It would not change its current potential, simply make it more readily available.

Critical ascension is kinda problematic. If the limitations can be removed I’d be all in favor of that. I agree the skill does not really need a buff beyond that as it’s potential is rather immense but I don’t think making it a little bit easier to manage would be a bad thing. Not really a priority target but I’m mentioning it as I’ve seen a lot of people mention the fast stack decay making the skill really hard to use for them.

What is the purpose of the skill changes? If it is increasing build variety, talking about skills alone is a bit to narrow. So I’mma just pretend we don’t.

First thing first, If I was asked for BL2 balance changes in general, there’s two pieces of gear so strong they severely undermine the impact of choices made with character skills, builds and gear. The grog and the bee. Align the grog with the ruby at 12% and let it be an option by virtue of its crit and slag properties. Bee should drain the shield just like any other amp shield, double the damage, I don’t care.

Relating to the above, the most interesting changes I can see being made to zero’s skills is buffing innervate and grim. If zero could heal back up over healthgate in a single deception it would seriously devaluate grog or transfusion grenades equipped and free these slots up for other options.

Outside of skills, what would be more interesting is remaking a lot of zero’s coms. There’s a lot of overlap there, and some are just flat out terrible. There’s so many that have two good skills and one pointless one, picking a purple com over a blue one should be an actual consideration. Why the ■■■■ does the stalker com boost counter strike? Resurgence on the survivor com? What even is slayer of terra?

Zero already supports a wide variety of playstyles, but I’d like to see the useless coms changed to support and create interesting variations. Like, say, a com buffing fearless, resurgence and followthrough for a thumper hybrid build. Or the regular sniper replacing precision with aowtg, making the legendary sniper not just strictly better. Replace counterstrike and iron hand on the leg hunter with innervate and osok.

I know this wasn’t what was asked for, but I don’t really see i.e. buffing be like water by, say, 100% making any meaningful impact on how zero is played.


That’s fine, COM’s do need to be considered after all. If you have suggestions on how to change COM’s I guess the best place to post those besides here is to also throw them in the general community patch thread. The creator has done item tweaks lately and there’s been mostly discussion about gear changes there.

Discussion about healing skills is popping up in the other character threads too. I wouldn’t be surprised if healing skills were given a buff across the board at some point.

Actually, it wont serve the ninja playstyle because only the first hit is going to get the boost (shooting to maintain it would break the cloaking).
On the other hand, hybrid builds are going to love it because they are going to get the boost frequently. I can see OSOK builds using melee to apply Death Mark and increase their burst potential.
The same way I can see Execute being more powerful after you use your gun to slag.

I think it would be really good for Zer0 overall, and no game breaking.

The first COM Idea could be the Infiltrator itself haha.
But I dont agree with the Leg Sniper and Sniper. The Leg COM were made to be the end game versions of regular COMs. Legendary Cat, Legendary Nurse, Engineer, Roboteer… they were all made to It.
While I think that some no Legendary COMs allows for build variety, like the Trickster, Tina COMs or you COM Idea for Zer0, having the regular COMs being on par with their Legendary counterpart is just… unnecessary.

Leg killer doesn’t buff fearless, but the normal killer does. So if you really really like fearless you have a reason to use the regular killer over the leg one. I don’t think that makes the regular killer even close to on par with the leg killer. It does give the regular killer a reason to exist though.

I got what you are saying, but I dont think it is necessary. I would rather get, lets say, the Infiltrator COM and add the skills you have suggested earlier. Maybe It still wont make it on par with the Legendary ones, but would give it a reason to exist.
I always found Fearless out of place in this case anyway. But Im by no means a Zer0 main or especialist like you guys.
In my opinion, the only two things that need change are Be Like Water and Like the Wind. Like the Wind is by far Zer0 weaker skill and Be Like Water being multiplicative should give more choice about what to pick/build.

But these are just my 2 cents.

The thing with Be like water being multiplicative is that melee Zero (and hybrids usually too) can already one shot all mobs and badasses, including minibosses. Giving Zero another multiplicative 30 % boost on tier 2 skill is basically just a pretty big damage buff on his burst towards the things that he currently can not kill in one execute (like Dukino’s mom, Saturn or raids). Does he really need that kind of a boost with his current damage output? It would also overshadow Iron fist as a choise to put points into to get down the tree if you want to avoid Grim (edit: and probably get picked over Like the wind even if it got a buff).

That’s kind of my problem with Iron fist and BLW. You either pick Iron fist for a minor melee buff or you pick BLW because you don’t want to make your health gating harder. Hybrid with no MMF pass both in favor of Grim. It’s a choise between which one you dislike less, not which one do you value more.

Having thought about it a bit I think BLW should stay additive but I’d like to see a slight buff to the damage (especially the gun damage) and I’d like to see a buff on Iron fist too.

Like the wind on the other hand should absolutely be multiplicative and possibly even raise the boost to 4 or 5 % per point. It deserves that at tier 5.

Actually, I would avoid Backstab to get Be Like Water if it was multiplicative. I find it way harder to positioning myself to get the boost without the cloacking from Decepti0n, tbh.
But, even if I feel like it would help hybrid Zer0 to burst when coming out of Decepti0n, Im by no means a Zer0 player like you guys. If you say it is going to be troublesome when picked by pure Ninjas, I guess you know what you are talking about.

Being this way, I think that the only skill in badly need of a buff is Like the Wind. Having a tier 5 worst than everyone else tier 1 is kinda… pointless.

Which Zer0 had a skill similarly to kriegs where he actually wields his sword on screen so we really see the melee experience. or if he could dual wield like in skyrim Sword one Hand/Pistol or SMG the other so its not like Gunzerking,

I agree with anyone who posts about Unforeseen, its complete shitako(defiance reference) imagine a skill similar to Gaiges skill that increases Melee damage but deacreses Shield capacity. that would be awesome

A lot of solid ideas in this thread. Personally I think that Zer0 is the most beautifully balanced character in this game. Not that he is perfect but I think if the game were to get patched he would need a lot less focus than the others.

It would give a hefty damage boost to your executes against the things Zer0 currently does not kill in one hit. Slightly more so if Like the wind was also changed to multiplicative. I don’t think it’s broken good, but it feels a bit …excessive, I guess is the word. It would probably make it an auto-include skill for melee builds but it would simply be another big melee boost.

I would agree.

I see. And I agree that it would be a skill always picked by Ninjas, leaving Ir0n Hand as a skill that no one use at all.
Guess the only thing that really needs a buff is Like the Wind, so.

i read in an old post that Like the Wind doesn’t proc during execute making it redundant. Has that been patched. ?

It bugs me that nobody is stopping to consider this from a developer standpoint.

Some of these lesser skills are designed around game stages where you can’t even hit a capstone skill, or your guns are three levels behind…

They are make up skills specifically tailored to the leveling process.

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