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The Division 2 State of the Game Recap: Raid Delayed

Michael Bitton Posted:
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The Division 2 got off to a good start with a solid launch, but it’s now clear that there are issues with the endgame. Recently, the team put together a post addressing most of TD2’s often discussed concerns along with plans on how they’ll be dealing with them. Those plans are why we’ve learned that Title Update 3, scheduled to release on April 25, is now set to drop in May.

The wide-ranging balance changes to PvE and PvP will be put through their paces on the game’s newly launched public test server. The objective is to get the endgame in a better state before players try to tackle the game’s first raid, Operation Dark Hours.

Let’s work through some of the coming changes.

Player vs. Player

Title Update 3 will bring significant changes to normalization and PvP modifiers.  The patch normalizes gear to GS 500 instead of somewhere in the middle, allowing for finely tuned gear rolls to function even in normalized PvP. Skill mods that function in PvE will also function in normalized PvP.

The update adjusts TTK so it feels more like PvE, giving players more time to react. A special PvP damage bonus will apply to PvP in the Occupied Dark Zone, where TTK is too high.

The patch implements weapon specific PvP modifiers allowing for independent balance changes between PvE and PvP. For example, if the Assault Rifle is lacking in PvP, they can buff it for PvP without affecting the PvE experience. In addition, players can no longer land critical hits when hipfiring in PvP.

Contaminated loot will drop more often in both the NDZ and ODZ and named bosses will always drop contaminated loot. You’ll also be able to carry more contaminated loot, ranging from the default of 6 to a maximum of 10 with all the requisite perks. Loot found in the DZ will now drop up to GS 515. The team has also put in a short cooldown on landmarks to discourage farming the same event over and over.

Several changes are being made to make sure players don’t run into empty Dark Zones. The back end will aim to guarantee that players enter a full 12 player Dark Zone each time. There are no current plans to up the current player count in the DZ.

Gear

Title Update 3 buffs Exotics across the board, though the team reiterated the intention for Exotics to fill a role as build defining items. They’re not supposed to be best-in-slot. There are sweeping changes to gear talents on PTS, much too many to detail here, but Reddit user ShieldBae has documented them.

My Take

I don’t care about PvP in The Division 2 (or any looter shooter), so I don’t have an opinion on the changes other than to say they sound like they will go far to improve the experience by trying to find the TTK sweet spot. I am, however, disappointed that the team has made GS 515 gear exclusive to the Dark Zone. Pushing me to enter the DZ to obtain the best gear is the quickest way to get me to uninstall the game. Players have already suggested that 515 gear should drop in Heroic content and I would agree that this solves the issue. Being that these changes are on PTS and not final, I hope the team will reconsider this move and give strictly PvE players a way to get the best gear possible.

UPDATE: GS 515 gear will also drop in raids, but this doesn't solve the issue. This will just result in invalidating all other content aside from raids and DZ instead of just DZ. Higher risk activities should provide better chances at and/or more rewards, not exclusivity on those rewards.

As for the talent and Exotic changes, it’s much too early to say and the numbers aren’t final but hopefully they achieve the goal of increasing build diversity.

What’s your take on all the changes coming in Title Update 3? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!


MikeB

Michael Bitton

Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined MMORPG.com as the site's Community Manager. Follow him on Twitter @eMikeB