Having first done a Veteran and now working on a Zealot, it does feel rather painful to realise that you can have better basically everything as the Veteran when it comes to comparisons on many fronts.
The only thing I have found to be significantly better as the Zealot is mobility and ability to help your teammates when they go down, but in pure damage both in and out of melee, the Veteran wins due to the Power Sword. It is even more obnoxious when you consider that things like Charging gets stopped by range fire so if there is even a single Gunner around the corner you are about to use for a flank to get behind the gunline, you are going to have your Toughness broken instantly, at which point the range fire can just pick you apart while you try to cleave through more than a couple of them.
There are a few things I’d like to see changed to make the Zealot far better at its job compared to the Veteran as of right now. For starters I would remove the chip damage from melee, as that alone would make it significantly more viable to charge in and be the much needed distraction in higher levels for your ranged teammates to take out the rear guard, as right now between how easily your toughness breaks from the said ranged enemies, and the chip damage you would suffer to properly distract the melee chargers adds up rapidly. If in exchange the Zealot’s overall Toughness would have to be reduced, I wouldn’t be too annoyed by that if it means getting rid of the chip damage as the Zealot is the only class you truly feel that issue with due to his unique mechanic. The amount of times I have found myself stuck between the idea of having to run to the backline and take potshots with my Laspistol and risking taking on a dozen or so melee enemies, praying to the God-Emperor that I don’t get hit by one of the rear spawning Poxwalkers at any point really irks me.
The other alternative would be to let him heal his actual HP from fighting, even if it just Elites for example. Not by much mind you, maybe something like 1-5% per Elite kill or something, but something to help you negate at least some of that adding up chip damage.
The last thing that I would like to see addressed is the Eviscerator in that I would like to see it’s range increased a little bit. I got it and have only gotten through a single mission with it, but after doing some testing with it in the Meatgrinder, the range of it feels rather lackluster, especially when you consider that the Power Sword is faster with its heavy swings and can one-shot Poxwalkers without being hindered by bodies as it swings, allowing it easily clean a horde in the time the Eviscerator can get through half of it. The moveset obviously is partially to blame of this since unlike the Power Sword, you can’t chain heavy cleaves back to back and instead have to do a Heavy-Light combo, but I’d say that if the size of that weapon was increased to the level it is shown to be in the lore in most occasions, it would have something at least over the Power Sword which right now just feels like the Master-of-All when it comes to melee weapons.
So to summarise:
→ Remove melee chip damage, either for everyone or just the Zealot
→ Alternatively, let the Zealot heal tiny amounts with Elite Kills
→ Make Charging uninterruptable
→ Improve the Eviscerator’s range and/or Cleave ability to make it better suited for horde clearing compared to the Power Sword