Updating Zane's base class mods

It’s no secret that Zane more or less has a single viable class mod in this game: Seein’ Dead. This class mod basically allows Zane to function properly and play the way it feels like he was intended to play. I was thinking though… how could we possibly rework some of his base class mods to be viable alternatives? Below are some ideas I had, just for fun. Interested in feedback or other ideas from the community!

INFILTRATOR
Currently: at 0 shields, the Infiltrator seems to give about +25% damage. Confident Competence, by comparison, gives +35% gun damage when Zane’s shields are full. Considering that we’re giving up using a Seein’ Dead mod, and that most likely you would run this mod with an Initiative (DLC2) or Rough Rider shield + barrier for survival, the damage this class mod needs to give should be significant.

Rework: +70% bonus damage when at 0 shields would be fair for this class mod, and at least make it worth looking at.

COLD WARRIOR
Currently: applies a random status effect to an enemy when frozen. This is one of the most useless effects I can imagine. This mod needs a complete rework.

Rework: considering that this mod is based around freezing enemies, it would make sense to have it’s effect remain with that theme. You could go so many ways with this. Even something like “Kill Skill: for the next 15 seconds, cryo efficiency is doubled” might make it worth using.

Again, it has be a viable alternative to Seein’ Dead, so the effect has to be strong. “When you freeze an enemy, that enemy creates a cryo nova which instantly freezes all other enemies it hits.” Something like this would allow you to chain-freeze enemies, gaining additional damage with an artifact that gives +damage against frozen.

SHOCKERATOR
Currently: shock nova around the Clone when it’s hit by melee. Beyond useless.

Rework: if you want to keep the general theme of shock damage and clone usage, they could use an existing mechanic from Meyhem Mode. “Creates a shock beam link between Zane and his Clone. Enemies hit with the beam proc chain lightning. This effect has a 2 second cooldown for hitting the same enemy.”

This would encourage strategic positional play with the Clone, where Zane is running around and catching enemies between the Clone and himself. Enemies hit with the connecting beam would proc a Chain Lightning (they can use the exact same lightning mechanic + damage that comes from the Electric Banjo).

TECHSPERT
Currently: 5% chance on kill to recharge SNTNL cooldown/duration. Again, beyond horrible.

Rework: much like the clone theme of Shockerator, we’d want to keep the SNTNL theme for this class mod. And again, because we’re giving up Seein’ Dead, the effect has to be strong. Maybe simply “While SNTNL is active, +100% cryo damage.”

My other thought was “SNTNL now has Winter’s Drone, Bad Dose, Boomsday and Static Field all at once. Bad Dose, Static Field, and Drone Delivery all have cooldowns cut in half.”

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Seein Dead is Zane’s best class mod without a doubt…it’s not his only viable class mod though.

I ran through the Maliwan Takedown on M10 the other day using the Conductor and Executor class mods. I had kill skills activated and both action skills up nearly 100% with both of these class mods.

Conductor is definitely viable, if not his strongest. Executor is juuust viable, but still underpowered. Neither of those were the ones I mentioned above though. I think the ones I listed are just so laughable right now because their special effects are complete jokes. A 5% chance on a kill to recharge the Drone duration? Like you said, action skills practically never even go down anymore for Zane, so that being a Legendary-level effect is ridiculous at this point.

I have a feeling that Gearbox may never touch them, though that feels like a crime considering it means Zane has 4 legendary class mods that are literally useless. In Borderlands 2, there were definitely some legendary mods that were used way less than others, but all of them did have legitimate uses depending on your build. Some of them were just niche.

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What they could also do is have it grant a guaranteed single point of CCC. That’d make it a lot better for clone&drone builds for people who don’t have DLC. I think they should also include the Icebreaker relic effect of allowing Zane to deal extra damage against frozen enemies.

I think one of the issues here (apart from the abysmal damage) is the melee factor. How about: Clone releases a shock nove that scales with Mayhem level whenever it takes damage, period.

I do like the idea of giving the Drone free augments, though I think it should be Almighty Ordnance and Boomsday because those are the two people are the least likely to pick.

I get the feeling Zane needs more of a general rework for his skills before handling the Legendary COMs, he’s far too reliant on kill skills in general across two of his trees. Unless his 4th skill tree (if they are doing them) is going to have a lot of passive bonuses available, fixing the other Legendary COMs still doesn’t solve the problem.

Axton from BL2 had some potent kill skills that could really amp up his damage, but it didn’t cripple him in boss fights that didn’t have adds to kill to proc them. His other skills balanced out his damage and utility potential well enough. It’s a similar situation with Fl4k, they have kill skills and a COM that does essentially the same as Seein Dead, but it isn’t Fl4k’s entire meta because their damage and utility is spread to other skills too. Kill skills should complement the other skills, not be their backbone.

That said, I do agree all the other Legendary COMs for Zane need drastic retooling. The only one truly useful as is would be Anti-Freeze, maybe Cold Warrior but only if you get one with +5 Synchronicity. Infiltrator and Executor feel too underwhelming for what they do, and Conductor doesn’t really have any payoff with the skills or the special affix at all.

For Shockerator being the Clone focused COM, I’d say keeping the Binary System augment on it works just fine, but make Zane and the Clone both trigger Shock Novas when DEALING melee damage. That way with gear like the Stinger shield, Face-Puncher or Fish Slap the Clone and Zane alike would have far more use out of it, and it would synchronize with the Groundbreaker Guardian Rank.

For Techspert, it should be more so his overall AS focused COM, cut down the cooldown times or have the skills that reduce cooldown on it, and rather than the less used augments, give it one of the keystone augments for free like Winter’s Drone or Bad Dose. That way people can still use the most optimal augments for the Drone but also experiment with the others for their playstyle.

Infiltrator feels like it could have a lot better utility with ‘on depletion’ shields than it does in practice, and the damage bonus needs to be a lot higher for low or no shields. Plus I can’t remember for certain, but wasn’t it bugged with the use of the Rough Rider?

Executor needs all its values raised by a good margin, it works in theory as a decent utility oriented COM but in practice it adds too little right now.