A lot of people here saying Zane, and I agree in terms of gameplay for your average build, he is probably the worst. But one thing I’ve always had fun doing on Zane was finding those unique ways to kill.
Here’s one of my first videos I’ve created showing how to kill graveward… using 4 scourges. This video is like 10 months old lol
I always had to be unique and find weird ways to do things that other couldn’t. Even earlier than this video, I was using infinite grenade Zane to MELT content while everyone was complaining how bad he was. (until they fixed salvation to not heal you with grenades).
Later using clone and nova shields, clone and infinite ammo, cycling clone with CCC to have infinite ASE uptime.
Even though distributed denial is one of the worst capstones in the game, I was recommending people to use it as meta on the calm cool collected builds with booster shields and later with stop gap. (those are pretty much the only shields it’s good with lol).
And today using the drone only to melt raid bosses.
Zane has always been the not so straight forward character, and while everyone rips on him for that, and I do agree a lot of things need reworked, or at least give more payoffs to those not so obvious strategies, he is by far my favorite.
Even right now, Zane can make lucian’s call and king’s call work because of playing dirty and violent violence, I genuinely think these guns are better on Zane than they are on others.
So my point is, no he is not a straightforward character, that doesn’t mean his design is completely terrible. Just needs some fixes to make these things work better.
I just don’t get why everyone says Seein’ Dead is so essential. I’m not saying everyone’s wrong, I just honestly don’t understand. Zane is my 2nd main after Amara, but I’ve never used Seein’ Dead as it seemed boring to me, so I have no personal experience with it.
But it just never sounded particularly useful to me. Why would you need a COM to proc kill skills, when you’re already killing stuff all the time anyway? I proc them just fine without it, and that frees up the slot to let me use another COM, like Cold Warrior, Shockerator, or the one that adds new kill skills to the mix.
Is it the extra 25% bonus to kill skill effects that makes all the difference?
Perhaps as a result of ignoring Seen’ Dead, I’ve always found Zane to be the most interesting and versatile character, since the cryo, clone and barrier all add wildly different playstyles into the mix. The clone lets you teleport all over the place, the barrier makes you invincible but rooted, while cryo becomes a game of crowd control. All of these elements can be used together for lots of interesting combinations. SNTNL is boring, but the other two action skills are incredibly impactful, and can totally change the way you play the game.
Which other vault hunter has two action skills as game-changing as Clone and Barrier, let alone two that you can actually use together?
I don’t find it essential so much as just better for me than any of the other mods I have available. If there was a mod which only had the effect of making the barrier always spawn in personal mode so I don’t have to pick it up, I might take it over Seein’ Dead. Of course, then I’d have to rebuild so I didn’t have any kill skills again…
It’s just meta.
It makes it easier to get your kills skills at the start of the battle ,without seein red.
It makes it easier to maintain kill skills in boss battles.
It enables you to keep your action skills up with am investment of a single point in good misfortune.
It boosts 3 dps skills, 2 of which can stack twice.
It increases kill skill efficiency by 25% which is death follows close considered still a 20% increase.
It’s just doing a ton for zane. Sure you can use whatever you want, but many people feel like missing out if they play sub optimal.
Anyway, I don’t think Zane being the character which leaves the most to be desired and the one with the most fun-builds is contradictory.
His flaws are probably what triggers most peoples urge to find creative solutions.
Hard to choose because I have gripes with most of them, but I’ll say Amara’s melee playstyle. I just wish there was a way to let her own actual Blitz dash be reliable at killing most trashmobs, instead of just speccing into it to use Facepuncher or Fish-slap. Blitz is a really fun skill, but actually chaining it is such a hassle (not to mention buggy). I just use it close gaps and live with the 8sec CD. Then again, I haven’t unlocked the melee/slam guardian perk yet. Oh, and the camera lock on Phaseslam (and regular slams) is also incredibly annoying, and Downfall should really let us actually aim the lazor instead of just almost pointlessly unloading on the ground. And yeah, as has been mentioned, all her skills are a sideshow compared to Ties That Bind.
I’ve not really gotten into Fl4k’s pet stuff, but their sluggish response to attack commands kind of ruins the potential from the get-go, in my opinion.
As for Zane, his clone seems a bit underwhelming too. I know of a few cheesy guns to give him, and the teleporting is cool, but mostly just on paper - it’s usally simpler to just dodge normally and keep shooting, rather than reorienting yourself from wherever you end up (I will admit that there are soom cool moves you can do with it, though). Stuff like the Shockerator mod are also just so meh. The drone is also mostly just a buff bot, its rockets and airstrike seem to be all bark no bite. I remember Wilhelm’s Wolf was actually pretty formidable, and Sentinel sure as heck ain’t that.
Personally I wouldn’t call Seein’ Dead essential like others have, but I still think Zane’s legendary COMs deserve to be criticized pretty harshly. Actually I’ve been messing around with an Infiltrator/Rough Rider Zane lately and I can still slaughter mobs very effectively, not to mention it’s just a lot of fun. So to me that’s proof that it’s by no means essential (to be perfectly clear though, I only play on M8).
But the problem as I see it is that I’m gaining very little (or nothing at all) with any of Zane’s other class mods. If I’m being totally honest, using the Infiltrator just loses me out on DPS and doesn’t really change the playstyle in any way.
The infiltrator COM basically operates under the premise of LOW SHIELDS = MORE SPEED = MORE DAMAGE. Okay, great design that fits well with Zane. But how about I just put on a Seein’ Dead and invest in the right skills? I’ll still be able to go supersonic speeds and my damage will be even better than with the Infiltrator without having to sacrifice my shield. Sure, you won’t be able to go quite as fast with the Seein’ Dead but honestly at super high speeds it’s a liability anyway when you start to miss your shots. I understand if this is where others will disagree, since the Infiltrator does have at least the edge when it comes to pure speed capabilities, but my conclusion is that the Seein’ Dead just beats it in all the ways that truly matter. Use the same guns with the same playstyle and Seein’ Dead will win every time. And that’s compared to one of Zane’s better class mod options.
Conductor is another similar example. ACTION SKILLS ACTIVE = ADDED SHOCK DAMAGE, with the more time remaining giving a larger boost. Another well designed class mod for Zane. It’s clearly a good partner to a Cool, Calm, Collected build which would help keep Zane action skill durations refreshed. Again, Seein’ Dead can do the exact same thing but offer even more. No need to go deep into the green tree for CCC, just grab all of Zane’s best skills in his better trees and you’ll have essentially the same result: action skills that are always up and a ton of DPS. And the skills that Conductor boosts are nowhere near as good as Seein’ Dead, because they all end up being a bit redundant. On my CCC Zane I can easily freeze enemies in time to restart their timers without any points in Adrenaline or Good Misfortune.
I won’t go so deep into all of Zane’s class mods but Antifreeze is similar to the two I’ve mentioned above, but to its credit it does have a special effect which makes it totally unique in its gameplay style, which is what a lot of the others lack. I know airborne/sliding has become a meme due to the anointments but at least this class mod has its own identity. Same with Shockerator. Really cool and unique design which is all its own. As far as I know the only issues with Antifreeze and Shockerator is that they really drop off in higher Mayhem Levels, but I’ll admit I haven’t tried them myself so that may not be true. And as far as I’m aware, the rest of Zane’s class mods are absolutely terrible: Cold Warrior, Executor, Techspert. If someone knows better though I certainly wouldn’t mind being corrected; I’m not exactly an expert like some on the forums.
And maybe everything I’ve said isn’t as damning as I’ve made it sound, but when you look at other characters it all becomes a bit more clear.
- FL4K has a bunch of awesome class mods: Bounty Hunter, Cosmic Stalker, DE4DEYE, Red Fang, St4ckbot, R4kk P4k. I’ve used all of these in M8 and in their own ways they’re all just great. And unique!
- Moze has Blast Master and Mind Sweeper just for splash builds. Bear Trooper and Raging Bear for Iron Bear builds. Green Monster offers a cool elemental twist to endless mags Moze. Bloodletter isn’t exactly a meta choice but it certainly has its own identity and is certainly viable.
- Amara has some pretty neat choices though I’ll admit I haven’t kept up with Amara much since the launch of Mayhem 2.0 so I’m a bit ignorant as to how great some of her class mods are now considered. Spiritual Driver and Phasezerker are certainly both fantastic choices. Breaker and Golden Rule are neat choices for some builds. Unsure about Stone, Nimbus, Dragon, and Elementalist.
TL;DR - So what I’m getting at here is that to me Zane just doesn’t have these really great other class mod options in my opinion. And something like the Infiltrator or Conductor COM can essentially just be replaced by Seein’ Dead because they don’t truly own their niche like a ton of class mods from the other characters do. Maybe it doesn’t matter to some, but for me the class mod is a great launching point for an entire build. They can dictate a unique playstyle and reward players for interacting in a new, fun and exciting way. That’s what I see when I look at the other three characters. Not when I look at Zane.
I mean, I’ll admit to not taking anyone other than FL4K past Mayhem 6, but I honestly kinda wreck with Zane on everything 6 and below. I’ll admit to being a tad out of the loop since I haven’t paid much attention to the Meta so I’m curious to know why everyone says he is the weakest while I find him to be the strongest contender out of my main 4 characters and their builds.
Iron Bear is absurdly strong right now, i was just reacting to that comment (in case you thought i was picturing Zane as bad).
Ah, okay. I haven’t played Moze since last October so I’m fairly out of the loop with her. It is good that they tried to make IB decent, I suppose.
Speaking for an outside-forum zane friend:
Zane is so focused on kill skills, that he finds himself in trouble in M10 when he cant kill stuff quickly enough. AKA, in the guardian takedown. For example.
Or also when his moze friend keeps deleting all enemies in sight. Ehem.
He could rly usesome raw, non-on-kill upgrades
The weirdest thing is, they already have a skill which has a direction in which kill skills would work really well.
A base effect which gets enhanced by killing an enemy.
Imagine every kill skill had a base effect and a kill skill part. Would be great!
In broad-strokes terms, I think Zane has the most varied and interesting design, at least in terms of potential. As I summed up in a previous post, he has multiple playstyle elements - cryo, super-speed, turtle barrier, teleportation - that encourage very different approaches, and can be combined to create many unique hybrid playstyles. In this sense alone, he’s one of the strongest characters in the franchise, IMO. Though, as many have eloquently explained already in this thread, he doesn’t always live up to his potential, with Seein’ Dead in particular circumventing many of the benefits of other playstyles.
In terms of character, Fl4k never really gelled for me. I love how almost paradoxical his constituent parts are: he’s a robot, yet he has a profound affinity with biological organisms; he carries a hunter’s knife, yet is primarily suited for longer-range combat; he’s purely mechanical, yet he looks stinkier, filthier, and sweatier than any of the human characters.
But ultimately, I never felt like these eclectic parts of his makeup were fully clapped together…Why does a robot look like a hobo? Why does he have no melee-specific skills, despite carrying a unique hunting knife and possessing a cloak action skill that gets cancelled by gunfire but ignores melee, and therefore practically begs for some melee specialisations? Why do the writers make such a big deal of his lack of gender, and then proceed to write him into one of the most stereotypically male characters in the history of gaming, complete with domineering Alpha-type personality, ice cold stoicism, and deep, gruff voice? Ultimately, I think he’s an interesting idea that is less than the sum of his parts. Also, any time I’ve pondered which pet to use, my #1 criterion has never been “which pet will synergise best with my playstyle?” but “which pet will be slightly less of an intrusive pain in the arse when I try to move through doorways or grab loot?”.
Personality-wise, Moze loses, hands down. All the vault hunters have tremendously selfish personalities. But while Zane and Amara’s narcissism is witty and endearing, and fl4k’s sociopathy is at least mildly interesting and understandable, on account of him being a computer, Moze just comes across as a childish jerk, not smart enough to be funny, not interesting enough to be memorable. I definitely connect with her the least as a character. I do like how significantly Iron Bear changes the gameplay though, although without IB, Moze’s tankish strengths in terms of practicality are also her weaknesses in terms of interest. She’s got the best shields and the best magazines in the game, but that’s another way of saying that she really shines when you…stand still while holding down the mouse button for ages. Yawn.
In terms of efficacy, Amara leaves the least to be desired. Whether using guns, melee, or the cheesy phasezerker fakegrasp tactic - or a mixture of them - she owns everything (When I stopped playing about a month ago, it was largely because of how overpowered my melee/facepuncher Amara was - it just got too boring). Yet pretty much all of those different playstyles rely on Ties That Bind, which basically makes a mockery of the Mayhem 10 enemy scaling by treating entire mobs as if they were a single guy. I’m an Amara main, but when one augment dictates pretty every much every build, then you have to admit that her design has actually turned out to be pretty paper thin.
Fl4k has a whole tree that’s useless, and super crappy survivability, and tones of bugged talent, but his com/skill balance and overall functionnality are the best. His dependance on crit is also annoying considering that crit are either super easy of completely impossible to land depending on enemies
Zane tree are weird, and is weirdly dependant of his seein dead COM. His design is crap, but it work for some reasons with the good mix of gear and build
Amara has the best talent tree design, and tones of skill but the vast majority are “meh” and/or bugged
Moze is little by little starting to make more sense as they rework her tree and we get more point to distribute between her trees. She’s a mix of great talent and talent that make no sense, all mixed together.
I’d say, to rank them :
1- Zane need a complete overhaul
2- Amara need a lot of rebalancing and rethinking of her scaling
3 - Fl4k need quite a few buff to some part of his talent/gameplay/survivability
4 - Moze is (finally) in a good place where everything somehow work. The next talent point increase will likely her make her build more fluid too.
I would say for me, it goes:
Best - Moze
Then - Amara
Then - Zane
Then - Fl4k, bring up the worst.
But even then, I wholly admit that Moze has some significant problems (that someone addressed already).
Do you play in either of the takedowns? In the endgame content areas it is absolutely essential unless you want to spend about double the time completing that same content. Also every build I’ve ever made without it, is just better with it. The one exception was a stinger setup I used full red/green meaning I didn’t even take any kill skills. And also conductor adds damage to melee, so that was nice too. If you use blue tree in any capacity, seein dead makes your build at least twice as good, and 10x more efficient and smooth to play.
To each his own, but I prefer risk vs. reward gameplay…keeps me on my toes, forces me to play smart…& when it comes to that, the best to worst are:
- URad Fl4k
- Deathless Moze
- Melee Amara
- Zane. period. This guy…either let the clone do all the work for you, or have a shield protecting you at all times. It’s just boring/simple to me.
People sometimes suggest moving the effect of Seein Dead into the Hitman tree as its new capstone but I think that would have the unwitting side effect of forcing Zane players to go down the blue tree and further limit his build diversity.
Instead, I would buff the rest of his mods so they all viable and provide a wide range of playstyles. In another thread I suggested the following:
Antifreeze: for fast moving builds. Buff all damage while moving, with an additional buff while airborne/sliding. Adjust the level of buffs to make it adequately rewarding. Skills stay the same.
Cold Warrior: for cryo builds. Frozen/slowed foes take additional damage from splash weapons, critical hits and melee attacks. Skills change to Brainfreeze, Calm, Cool, Collected and Trick of the Light.
Conductor: for infinite action skill builds. 50% shock damage per action skill and damage stacks for the amount of time your skills are active. Change Good Misfortune to Calm, Cool, Collected.
Executor: alternative kill skills builds. Perks and skills remain the same but it gains Seein Dead’s effect of being able to proc kill skills. Although the mods would be similar, Seein Dead would buff all kill skills while Executor would be more specific. Skills remain the same.
Infiltrator: Barrier mod. Change weapon damage to simply “damage” (better for Zane) and have the effect work based on how full his shield is, not how empty. Remove shield breaking effect. Skills change to Competent Competence, Ready for Action and Brainfreeze/Nerves of Steel.
Shockerator: Clone mod. I actually like the idea behind this mod, it has some nice synergy with clone and grenades. Still, no one uses it, probably partly due to Seein Dead and partly due to being weak. Give both novas Mayhem scaling and make the shock one happen on reloads rather than when melee-ed. Change Best Served Cold to Boom. Enhance.
Techspert: I would say this class mod needs a complete rework. It could be a mod to buff SNTL, or his gadgets in general but my preference would be to give him a mod which buffs grenades. For example:
Skills: Drone Delivery, Duct Tape Mod, Pocket Full of Grenades/Fractal Frags.
Effect: Zane gains significant increases to his grenade damage and splash damage (leave it up to Gearbox to figure out how much). Furthermore, he is immune to damage from his own grenades.
Some of these changes wouldn’t be too hard to make — they’re mostly minor changes using existing mechanics rather than complete overhauls — but I could imagine this expanding the Zane meta significantly and making for a far wider range of fun and viable builds.
Here’s the rest of my post in case anybody’s interested:
Seeing people say different VH’s in every other post is a pretty good sign I guess. There doesn’t seem to be a clear worst design.
I personally have the most problems with Amara’s and Zane’s designs. Dunno really what to say but while leveling everyone to M10 and playing around with them all a bit these 2 just felt the most dull. For both of them part of it is how brainlessly stupid lifesteal with mayhem scaling is.
For Amara I hate how melee plays in this game. More a problem of Facepuncher existing than the character herself. Then there’s the double dipping stuff and fake-grasping that I also gave a try to and it’s just making me put the game down. What’s the point of even playing if everything dies when you look at it? Meanwhile the enemies can’t get you down unless you’re reloading in the middle of a pack… If the scaling problems were finally fixed and maybe if extra melee damage was added to the blitz attack itself while toning down facepuncher a bit so that playing shotgun on a melee build wouldn’t be the vastly better choise, I might look at this character again.
Zane has been covered here plenty and as he is the VH I have the least hours in, so I’m not sure if I’m adding anything here. I would like the clone to be toned down a bit and I wouldn’t say no having a bit more oomph in the bottom of the barrier tree. Seein Red isn’t the greatest capstone even if you’re not using Seein Dead, and a lot of the legendary mods seem pretty lackluster. I honestly wouldn’t mind having the chance to proc kill skills on Seein Red; Seein Dead would still add power to your kill skills and improve that proc chance. You wouldn’t be pigeon holed into using it although it would make it a choise between the skill and the com pretty much. Would that even be such a horrible thing? Wouldn’t be the first vault hunter that wants to always reach the cap of a certain tree and in this case the change wouldn’t even mean you’d always do that. The old legendary coms do need a looking at either way IMO.