I guess I'm necroing a previously necroed thread, but I just wanted to point some stuff out. I wrote my OP three years ago when these forums were rife with threads about how awful ZOE was and how it was ruining the game, ect. Had you read the thread when I first made it, you wouldn't have needed sources or proof, it was literally everywhere. Again, back when this was written the only solutions posed were straight downgrades and the Devs had said they weren't sure what to do. As we can see now, ZOE is (in this writer's opinion at least) useless and of all three ES MAX abilities it's clearly the worst. The nerf that was handed down by the Devs to balance it was waaaay over the top and heavy handed, essentially making it into a suicide button with little to no benefit. At least the other two abilities have uses, even if they require planning (lockdown especially). But this is all moot, discussion from a thread made three years ago.