Intelligence Dispatch: 2/17/16

Hey folks, this week’s news drop comes on the eve of the upcoming Open Beta for Tom Clancy’s The Division.  The open beta will go live on Xbox One first (2/18/16), and will open up on PS4 and PC a day later (2/19/16).  Many changes were implemented as a result of feedback from the closed test, so let’s get into it:

Open Beta Patch Notes:

New Main Story Mission Available, Subway Morgue:

-Encounter a new faction: The Cleaners.
-Explore a Mass Grave while trying to restore power to the city.
-Rescue the missing Engineer, Paul Rhodes.

Unlock the Tech Wing, Base of Operations:

-The first upgrade to the Tech Wing is now available.
-A new skill can now be unlocked: The deployable turret.

Dark Zone Updates & Improvements:

-New High End weapons available in the Dark Zone.
-Refresh rate on Dark Zone chests has been greatly reduced.
-Non-player enemies in the Dark Zone have been significantly increased in number.
-Non-player enemies in the Dark Zone have been buffed slightly
-The Manhunt Timer now pauses instead of refreshing while in combat as a level 5 Rogue.
-The Reward for surviving as a Rogue Agent has been increased to 1.5x the kill bounty.
-The Health Bar for Agents in the Dark Zone now only turns red when they actually become Rogue.
-A new warning icon has been added to indicate an Agent who has shot another player but has not done enough damage to go Rogue.
-Dark Zone experience leveling curve has been adjusted slightly.
-Disabled the option to transfer Dark Zone brackets as a Rogue. (This prevents players using Bracket Transfer as a means to escape after becoming Rogue.)
-Removed some ropes that allowed players to reach areas that gave them an unfair advantage.

Others:

-New Ubisoft Club Action available for participating in the Open Beta unlocking an exclusive reward in-game.
-New and improved Tutorial Video.
-Tutorial video is now available to view from t he Character Select Screen.
-Fixed two bugs that allowed players to become invisible to other players.
-Fixed an exploit with Ballistic Shield Skill that allowed players to become invincible.
-Cheat Detection and Prevention additions and updates.
-Fixed mismatch of stats that occured occasionally between Vendor Inventory and Player Inventory when item purchased.
-Adjusted player movement speed while running with a grenade in hand.
-Fixed a bug that sometimes caused other player’s name and health bar to not be visible in the Dark Zone.
-Fixed some Weapon Mods that resulted in incorrect stat values when equipped.
-Fixed some weapons that didn’t appear as Contaminated when obtained in the Dark Zone.
-Fixed a bug with the Reward Claims Vendor that caused stacks of consumables to be decreased under specific circumstances.
-Fixed a bug with stats display not updating when browsing Vendor Inventories.
-Fixed a bug that caused continuous vibration under very specific conditions.
-Fixed a very rare bug that prevented players from being able to fire or switch their weapons.
-Added mission Dialogue lines in Missing Persons: Heather Lau Side Mission.
-Several environment fixes to prevent falling through world issues in specific places.
-Multiple stability fixes (23 unique crashes fixed).
-Server optimizations and improvements (players will receive less connection errors now).
-Multiple localization fixes and improvements.
-Additional polish & bug fixes.


Many of the changes made here are great indicators of listening and the affect that feedback can have.  It’s great to see that they’re paying attention to not only player input, but the data they’re gathering as a result of the testing.  I can’t wait to get my hands on the open beta this weekend and see how things play out.

The Guardian Interview: Julian Gerighty

Yesterday (2/16/16), The Guardian news outlet interviewed The Division’s Creative Director, Julian Gerighty.  While the interview itself is quite a large read, it’s very interesting for anyone that is excited about the game, or simply looking for more news.  The most interesting portions were regarding various planned surprises, as well as what we can expect from the end-game environment of The Division.

“This isn’t the company line, so I don’t know if this is going to be frowned on,” says Gerighty. “But for me, the Dark Zone is the jewel in our game, this is almost a social experiment. We’re definitely going to keep supporting it with events and special, very precise calendar moments and things like that. It’s going to be part of a continued push, post-launch.”

So this isn’t exactly a surprise, but it’s nice to see that the developers will continue to regard the Dark Zone as something that players will continually strive to complete.  Also interesting to note is the bit about “precise calendar moments”; holiday themed enemies perhaps?

Now the end game has crept into the conversation there’s the obvious subject of multi-party raids. Players are easily able to get into small co-op groups of four people – you can matchmake in safe houses in the Dark Zone as well as call in friends when starting missions. But how about larger quests which will require several groups working together – the likes of Destiny’s Vault of Glass or King’s Fall. “I’d love that to happen,” is all Gerighty will say.

Many players, myself included, have very high hopes for the kind of end-game content you experience in other online experiences, namely raids.  Whether or not these will actually be included, only time will tell.

For the rest of the interview which is, again, worth reading head to the interview over at The Guardian.

Season Pass: More Details Emerge

It looks like the various stores have been updated with more information regarding the Season Pass and what it may contain.  While we already know the names of the various DLC that will come out in the time following the game’s release, we now also know what kinds of items we can expect to receive:

season_pass_bonuses

It looks like Season Pass holders will get all of the exclusive cosmetic items and weapons from things like Agent Origins and pre-order bonuses.

“Yesterday” Trailer

The following is a recently released trailer that features an interesting combination of CGI and live action filming.  It tells the story of how quickly things changed in the city following the crisis.