Since the release of DLC 1 and the Seein’ Dead Com I think it’s not a terribly controversial statement to say that the Hitman tree is Zane’s strongest. Of all the skills in that tree really only Cold Bore is not liked by the player base and skills like VM, Playing Dirty and Salvation are generally viewed as among Zane’s best. The tree also has a clear focus on kill skills.
The Double Agent tree is also pretty strong. Synchronicity, Donnybrook, Borrowed Time, Old U, Fractal Frags, Supersonic Man, Praemunitus, Pocketful of Grenades, Boom Enhance and Double Barrel are all pretty good.
At game launch the Under Cover tree was pretty much propped up by 1 killer skill: CCC. With Seein’ Dead presenting Good Misfortune as a viable alternative the vast majority of builds at this point only go as far as Confident Competence, and then it is mostly about All Rounder with Brain Freeze being seen as a nice side benefit. Tier 1 is just something you sort of have to get through for your invulnerability bubble.
Looking at this tree…it kind of never made a whole lot of sense in my opinion. It is heavily focused on survivability and skills like Hearty Stock, Ready for Action, Rise to the Occasion and Stiff Upper Lip might be like 3 out of 5 level skills on other characters but for Zane they all kind of feel like 2 out of 5 to me because they are all rendered kind of redundant by the barrier. Even at launch if you were going to go into this tree you were probably going to get CCC and 100% barrier uptime so they weren’t all that great. They weren’t completely useless because sometimes your barrier does go down and occasionally things get through the barrier (Ready for Action and Rise to the Occasion were useful for CCC back when that was a thing), but for large stretches of normal gameplay they didn’t do anything. Also Salvation pretty much covers the gaps. Generally for Zane DPS is a bigger issue than survivability.
All the defensive skills might be kind of fun to run in a Clone and Drone build but:
- Action skills don’t do much damage at the moment so the Drone is really only useful for anointments and Seein’ Dead procs.
- If you go really deep into Under Cover you won’t have enough points to unlock all the augments and abilities for the Clone and Drone. (And since Hitman is so good you’re probably going to pass up Double Barrel).
- You pass up a lot of DPS by dumping a lot of points into Undercover Agent which kind of makes Clone and Drone hard to play because you can’t kill things very quickly.
The only way the tree makes a lot of sense to me is if you were to spec into 2 augments other than All Rounder for the barrier…but who in the history of this game has ever done that?
Anyway, I’m not really sure what to do about all this, but this tree feels very unsatisfying to me at the moment.