Ubisoft Details Massive The Division Changes with 1.4 Update, Wants to Bring Back the Shooter Feeling

Alessio Palumbo
Posted Sep 22, 2016
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Last month, Ubisoft Massive announced that the scheduled DLC packs Survival and Last Stand were postponed as the development team focused on fixing the core experience of The Division with the 1.4 Update.

Now, after lots of internal testing the 1.4 Update is due for release in October, though it will first be tested publicly on the new Public Test Server (PC only, at least for now) starting from next week.

It looks like there will be sweeping changes across the board. Perhaps the most important point is that Ubisoft Massive wants to bring back the shooter feeling to the game, as many felt that stronger enemies resulted in “bullet sponges” that harmed the fun element of gameplay. You can check the whole, gigantic blog post here, but we’ve included recaps for each main category below.

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.

Recap of weapon changes:

  • The Division will return 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.

Recap of Gear Set rebalancing:

  • The four-piece bonuses of Gear Sets have been rebalanced.
  • Two-piece bonuses will focus more on utility instead of stat bonuses.
  • Five-piece bonuses have been removed from the game.
  • Reclaimer and BLIND have their four-piece bonuses inactive on the initial PTS version while they are being worked on.

Recap of skill changes:

  • Electronics will be the main source of Skill Power.
  • Skill Power will not scale linearly anymore, instead it will follow a curve of diminishing returns.
  • Certain skills are currently much more popular than others. Some skills are overpowered, others underpowered or bugged.
  • Skills have been rebalanced to fit the new game balance or to bring them up to par, in the hopes of creating a more varied meta.
  • First Aid no longer allows for multiple heals, since those happened due to a bug. First Aid’s healing has been increased to make up for this fix. It will now heal instantly.
  • Smart Cover and Pulse have been reworked. Smart Cover is now more defensive and Pulse’s high damage boost has been lowered to make it balanced with the new enemy health.
  • Ballistic Shield and Support Station have been given more health. Support Station’s healing has been increased.
  • Many bugs associated with skills have been fixed.

The Division’s Survival DLC is now slated for release later this year, sometime after the 1.4 Update, while Last Stand is now scheduled for early 2017. In related news, a movie based on The Division is now in production and as we anticipated it will star both Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain, though there’s no release date set yet.

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