In a new livestreamed discussion video hosted by The Division’s developer Massive, the studio discussed what changes players can expect in the big 1.4 update which is still in development. While The Division was a solid launch for Ubisoft, and a record breaker, the game began to show its cracks after a month or two and since then, those cracks became even more noticeable, turning the game into a complete disaster.
“one issue facing The Division today is that the power difference between optimized and non-optimized builds is too great,” says the new blog update on The Division’s website. “We still want people to optimize their gear and min-max to their heart’s content, but in order to balance the game, we need to reduce the gap between the two extremes. As part of Update 1.4 we also want to bring back the shooter feeling, add more decision making and hard choices when building your character and add more variety to the viable builds.”
Even at launch, this issue rose when Dark Zones were limited to under-160 and over 160-brackets, as far as I remember. Once you stepped foot into the higher tier, you were already screwed by vulturous players, waiting around to troll and destroy you.
Massive plan on making the following changes to Gear going forward, although it’s still in beta so it’s subject to change before release:
STATS: Every level you gained between level 1-30 increased your three main stats – Firearms, Stamina and Electronics – organically, so in order to make your journey through the new endgame World Tiers work we need to simulate the same leveling up experience at endgame. One of the main changes to the current gear is that after Update 1.4 every piece of equipment dropped in World Tier 2 and higher will have all three stats on them. While one stat will always be much higher than the other two, and you can recalibrate as before, the inclusion of all three on every item creates a balanced baseline which means that your survivability will generally be higher and you no longer risk accidentally making the game much more difficult than it has to be. These base stats will increase with each increase in gear score.
GEAR SCORE: The gear scores of Gear Sets have all been adjusted to match High end gear score within the same World Tiers.
- 191 gear will all be made into Gear Score 163
- 214 to 182
- 240 to 204
- 268 to 229
This change does not mean that Gear Sets are becoming less powerful. In The Division right now, the 268 Gear Score that Gear Sets have isn’t actually indicative of their relative power. With the new Gear Scores, this will be made much clearer and easier to understand.
High End Gear and Talents: We’ve looked through all high end gear talents and tried to balance the numbers on them to make more of them viable for endgame. This includes either lowering or increasing some of their bonuses. This is one aspect we’d love to get your feedback on from the PTS in order to find out which ones feel viable and which feel left behind.
Scavenging: Scavenging has been an issue for a long time and we’ve always meant to fix it. Unfortunately, all the solutions that we’ve tested were unsatisfying and we’ve finally decided to remove it from the game. If you have Scavenging on your current gear, that stat will be replaced and rerolled. We also don’t want players to swap gear for a specific result while they are playing; if Scavenging was made too good, for example, we’d end up in a situation where players would switch to their Scavenging gear before killing a boss.
Recap of gear changes:
- All gear in World Tier 2 and higher will have all three base stats – Firearms, Stamina, Electronics – on them, one of these stats will be higher than the others.
- Other bonuses, like crit chance and headshot damage, will be scaled down to fit the new game balance.
- Gear will lose their skill bonuses, but backpacks, holsters and knee pads will gain new performance mod slots, making them easier to customize to fit your build.
- Gear Sets will have their Gear Score adjusted to the same levels as High End gear.
- Stat overlaps between Gear Scores have been removed.
- High End gear talents have been rebalanced.
- Scavenging has been removed from the game.
Weapons: With Update 1.4 we want to return The Division to having more of a shooter feeling, similar to the level 1-30 experience. In order to do so, we’ve had to take a close look at how weapons and weapon mods work in the game. This part will see some big changes, but in the end should make the weapons and combat feel much more satisfying and varied compared to the way things stand right now.
One thing you’ll notice straight away is that the DPS numbers on your weapons will have changed. This isn’t necessarily indicative of a nerf or a buff to your gun; it’s simply a new formula for explaining how much damage it does. It’s still a work in progress, but right now the displayed DPS on the PTS is based on damage, rounds per minute and crit. While it gives a really transparent view of the damage output of the weapon, removing magazine size, reload speed and accuracy from the equation makes it difficult to compare weapons of different types between each other. We are currently working on a new formula to achieve a better overview of the power of a given weapon; you should be able to see it on a future PTS update.
Recap of weapon changes:
- We want to return The Division to feel more like a shooter, similar to the experience during the 1-30 game.
- New DPS formula on weapons has been introduced, but is a work in progress and will change over the course of the PTS.
- The damage and roles of certain weapons have been changed. Some weapons have seen a damage increase; others have had their damage lowered.
- Named weapons will not be changed in this update.
- Weapon mods will now come with one major bonus and an amount of smaller bonuses, depending on the quality of the mod.
- Damage bonuses are now additive instead of multiplicative, reducing the current spikes in damage which made the game hard to balance.
- The Firearms stat will become a much more significant source of damage output, leading to more decision making when building your character.
- Weapon talents have been rebalanced; some have been buffed, others have seen their numbers reduced.
- The identity of your gear will remain the same, even if the scale of stats and bonuses might change.
There is a lot more information about Gear Sets, Armor and other stuff that may be of interest to you, which you can read in full here. Whether players return to The Division following the earlier issues is to be seen, but as long as Massive are working at it, some folk are bound to be happy with the effort. Destiny had its faults too, and people still return to that in droves, so why can’t Division players?