The Borderlands 2 Diaries – Meet Zer0

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From the diary of Sir Hammerlock, Day 124: The blasted skags have stolen my favourite leg again, the Maliwan produced prosthetic that I had signed by Pandoran cyborg super-athlete Oscar Piston, before he was gobbled up by a swarm of Crawmerax. As I hopped after the blighter, lady luck was clearly on my side, as the errant Skag was stopped dead in its tracks by a black leather-clad assassin, a man who had obviously been listening to one too many of those vintage Daft Punk holocrons from the old days of earth. But who was he?

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The ninja of Pandora, Zer0 uses guile, misdirection, and guns which favour shooting from a distance in order to get the job done. “He’s kind of like that ninja man from the G.I. Joe toy range too”, Gearbox concept designer Scott Kester said to Game Informer, when the character was first revealed.

As we created him, there was even some controversy inside the studio. I’ve always had an obsession with the loner character, the Snake Eyes or Grey Fox-style charact730er. If you see the characters all together, you can tell that this guy is not going to fit in 100 percent.

People that prefer stealth characters, like assassins or rogues – he’s definitely a character that’s more about finesse than Salvador, the gunzerker, who just goes in and blows the crap out of everything. You have to plot and plan a bit more. He’s more of a surgical character.

The longer he is cloaked, the more damage he can do, but at the cost of a longer cooldown period in order to use his skill again. Zer0 also has access to the following three skill trees, which focus on his ability to snipe, misdirect and melee attack an enemy. His following skills are:

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Sniping

  • HeadSh0t – +5% Critical Hit Damage per level.
  • 0ptics – +3% Zoom and +12% Aim Steadiness (reduces aim disruption when taking damage) per level.
  • Killer – Kill Skill. Killing an enemy gives you +10% Critical Hit Damage and +15% Reload Speed per level for a few seconds.
  • Precisi0n – +5% Accuracy per level.
  • 0ne Sh0t 0ne Kill – The first shot from a fully loaded magazine deals +12% Damage per level.
  • Vel0city – +20% Bullet Speed, +3% Critical Hit Damage, and +2% Gun Damage per level.
  • B0re – Shots pierce through enemies, gaining +100% damage per enemy pierced. Enemy crit locations highlighted in Decepti0n.
  • Kill C0nfirmed – Up to +8% Critical Hit Damage per level depending on how long you aim down the sights.
  • At 0ne with the Gun – +25% Hip-Shot accuracy, +10% Reload Speed, and +1 Magazine Size with Sniper Rifles per level.
  • Critical Ascensi0n – Scoring a Critical Hit with a Sniper Rifle gives you +6% Critical Hit Damage and +5% Damage with Sniper Rifles. Can stack up to 999 times. Stacks begin to decay if you haven’t scored a critical hit in a while.
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Cunning

  • Fast Hands – +5% Reload Speed and +10% Weapon Swap Speed per level.
  • C0unter Strike – After getting hit, your next melee attack has a chance to deal +50% damage per level.
  • Fearless – +5% Fire Rate and +3% Gun Damage per level when your shield is depleted.
  • Ambush – +4% damage per level when attacking enemies from behind or when attacking an enemy who is targeting someone other than you.
  • Rising Sh0t – Each successful ranged or melee attack gives you +2% Gun Damage and +1.8% Melee Damage per level for a short time. This bonus can stack up to 5 times. Faster weapons can gain stacks more quickly, but slower weapons retain stacks for a longer period of time.
  • Unf0rseen – Your holographic decoy explodes when you become visible again, causing shock damage to nearby enemies. Damage increases per level.
  • Death Mark – Dealing melee damage marks a target for 8 seconds. Marked targets take 20% additional damage from all sources.
  • Innervate – While Decepti0n is active you gain +2% Gun Damage, +7% Movement Speed, and regenerate 0.8% of your Maximum Health per second per level.
  • Tw0 Fang – Every time you fire you have a 6% chance per level to fire twice.
  • Death Bl0ss0m – Action Skill Augment. Throws a handful of Kunai knives. Has a random elemental effect. Does not take character out of Decepti0n. Can be used five times per cooldown. Can apply Death Mark.
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Bloodshed

  • Killing Bl0w – +100% Melee Damage per level against enemies with low health.
  • Ir0n Hand – +3% Melee Damage and Maximum Health per level.
  • Grim – Kill Skill. Killing an enemy regenerates 0.7% of your shield per second and gives +1.5% Action Skill cooldown rate per level for a few seconds.
  • Be Like Water – Shooting an enemy gives +6% damage per level to your next melee attack. Melee Attacks give +4% damage per level to your next gun attack.
  • F0ll0wthr0ugh – Kill Skill. Killing an enemy gives +8% Movement Speed, +6% Gun Damage, and +8% Melee Damage per level for a few seconds.
  • Backstab – Your melee attacks deal +8% damage per level when hitting an enemy in the back.
  • Execute – Melee Override Skill. While Decepti0n is active and a target is under your crosshairs, melee to dash forward a short distance and perform a special melee attack, dealing massive damage. Has a range of 3 meters.
  • Resurgence – Killing an enemy with a melee attack restores up to 4% of your health per level depending on how low your health is.
  • Like The Wind – +3% Gun and Melee Damage per level when moving.
  • Many Must Fall – Killing an enemy with a Melee Attack during Decepti0n deploys an additional holographic decoy and extends the duration of Decepti0n instead of ending it.

Other interesting facts about Zer0, is that he uses taunts based on the structure of a haiku poem, while any class mods equipped, are represented by an elbow patch. When Zer0 activates Deception, his class skill allows him to cloak himself, and move around a battlefield unnoticed.

Last Updated: September 10, 2012

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia’s M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

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