The following information is based on a Special Report from Ubisoft regarding the forthcoming update, releasing on May 24th, 2016.
Today Ubisoft and Massive hosted a Livestream to bring fans and players of The Division more information about the upcoming content update, which introduces a pretty wide variety of things to do. There’s quite a bit to cover, so let’s dive right in.
New Gear Sets
- 50% Exotic Damage Resilience (2)
- 15% Protection From Elites (3)
- When damaging a hostile with a grenade, gain the defuse buff. When in range of a hostile grenade, the buff is consumed and defuses the grenade as well as gives you a grenade (4)
- 20% Marksman Rifle Critical Hit Damage (2)
- 20% Damage to Elites (3)
- Hitting an enemy with a bullet grants you temporary armor. The further your shot, the more armor. The armor disappears after one bullet hits you. (4)
- 100% Ammo Capacity (2)
- 1000 LMG Damage & 1000 Shotgun Damage (3)
- When the weapon is holstered, it regains full ammo. (4)
- 20% Optimal Range (2)
- 800 Assault Rifle Damage & 700 Pistol Damage (3)
- Hit 10 shots without switching target to make the target bleed for 100% of damage already done by those bullets. (4)
Over at their blog, Ubisoft had this to say, which I’ll include below in quoted post format.
With update 1.2: Conflict on the horizon we have some exciting information regarding loot drops we would like to share with you.
Our previous efforts were aimed at shifting the focus of acquiring loot away from crafting and towards loot drops. While we were able to shift the best loot away from crafting, update 1.1 was only the first step. Update 1.2 is the continuation of our plans that will place an even stronger emphasis on loot drops.
LOOTING: THE END GAME CHALLENGE
Gearing up when you reach end game at level 30 is a challenging task as the current progression path is unclear and specific rewards are limited to activities you may not be interested in. This overall generates a less rewarding and enjoyable experience. Players are then forced to turn to crafting as a main source of end game gear, which as we explained in our previous article, is something we want to move away from. With update 1.2, we want to add a layer of consistency between activities so you can obtain stronger gear from the content that you enjoy the most.
To achieve this, we have looked into the following:• Loot drops do not feel rewarding due to rare upgrades and low Gear Score.• Sources of the best gear currently limited to Challenge mode Incursion.• Crafting is still the best source of 204 weapons as loot drops are rare.• Dark Zone drops often do not match the Gear Score of the player.• Supply drops in the Dark Zone are underwhelming.
ADDING AND IMPROVING ACTIVITIES
With update 1.2 we want to make loot more fun! To do this we will be more generous overall, provide clear progression steps, allow more diverse gameplay options to obtain the best loot, and make the Dark Zone more consistent to the Gear Score of the player.
Let’s kick it off by talking about the Open World. In our last Intelligence Annex we introduced Search and Destroy and High Value Targets missions that offer a new way for players to acquire good gear. If you want more information about these features check out the full article! Each High Value Target will provide a reward, but the main focus is the loot that drops from the named NPCs:• High Value Target (Daily)• 1x 182 High End or 214 Gear Set• chance for 1x 191 Gear Set• High Value Target (Weekly)• 1x 182 High End or 214 Gear Set• chance for 1x 214 Gear Set• High Risk Target (Weekly)• 1x 204 High End or 1x 214 Gear Set• chance for 1x 240 Gear Set
These missions will follow a similar line of progression and their reward will coincide directly with the rank of the mission. They will not only provide an additional stepping stone for gearing up that will allow you to take on tougher challenges, but the most difficult ones will reward you with the best quality gear in the game.
We are making significant changes to the loot that drops from Hard Mode and Challenge Mode main missions. Every time you complete them you will receive:• Hard Mode (Boss Drop)• 1x 163 High End• Hard Mode (Mission Reward)• 1x 163 High End• Challenge Mode (Boss Drop)• 2x 182 High End• 1x 182 High End or 214 Gear Set• chance for 1x 191 Gear Set• Challenge Mode (Mission Reward)• 1x 182 High End
This change allows for players to have a more concrete source of gear to prepare for the higher brackets in the Dark Zone and Hard Mode Incursions.
We have also made some significant changes to the way you receive loot from Incursions. Every time you clear it, you will now receive an item relevant to the difficultly you complete it on. In update 1.2 you will receive:• Hard Mode (Boss Drop)• 1x 204 High End Weapon• 1x 214 Gear Set• 182/204 High End or 214/240 Gear Set• Hard Mode (Weekly Reward)• 1x 204 High End Weapon• 1x 214 Gear Set• Challenge Mode (Boss Drop)• 1x 204 High End Weapon• 1x 240 Gear Set• 1x 204 High End or 240 Gear Set• Challenge Mode (Weekly Reward)• 1x 204 High End Weapon• 1x 240 Gear Set
The weekly reward allows you to obtain a guaranteed weapon once a week per character as well as additional loot drops. These changes allow players to more effectively farm the Incursion to either obtain more gear to beat it on Challenge mode, or hunt for those really min-maxed Gear Sets with the perfect attribute combination.
Adding rewarding Open World activities and changing the Incursion loot drops aren’t the only things we are doing. The Dark Zone is a huge part of the overall experience and it’s crucial that it receives the same generous loot philosophy we are applying elsewhere.
The loot you pick up should feel more rewarding and assist your progression through the Dark Zone. As you collect better loot you will move to higher named zones in the Dark Zone as well as eventually progressing into a new Gear Score bracket. To help this, we have made the following changes to loot drops in both the 0-161 Gear Score and 162-200 Gear score brackets:• Named NPC Level 30 (DZ01 and DZ02)• 1x 163 High End or 191 Gear Set• Named NPC Level 31 (DZ03 and DZ04)• 1x 163/182 High End or 191/214 Gear Set• Named NPC Level 32 (DZ05 and DZ06• 1x 163/182/204 High End or 191/214/240 Gear Set
Additionally, with the introduction of a 201+ Gear Score Dark Zone bracket comes better loot opportunities. Encounters will be extremely difficult so it’s very important that the rewards reflect this. Players in this bracket already have exceptional gear, making it difficult to find upgrades. Finding those rare upgrades will be made easier in this bracket. The quality of equipment you find is directly related to the enemy level for named NPCs and Dark Zone named zone for Supply drops. The loot drops in 1.2 for the 201+ Gear Score bracket are as follows:• Named NPC Level 32 (DZ01 and DZ02)• 1x 182/204 High End or 214/240 Gear Set• Named NPC Level 33 (DZ03 and DZ04)• 1x 182/204 High End or 214/240 Gear Set• Named NPC Level 34 (DZ05 and DZ06)• 1x 204 High End or 240 Gear Set
Supply drops are getting a similar treatment in terms of rewards. They should provide rewards that scale with the difficulty of the NPC’s guarding them and the limited number of them that drop down. The Supply Drops will scale with Dark Zone Gear Score bracket and named zone. The Supply Drop rewards are as follows for the Gear Score 0-161 and 162-200 bracket:• DZ01 and DZ02• 1x 163/182 High End• chance for 191 Gear Set• DZ03 and DZ04• 1x 163/182 High End• chance for 191/214 Gear Set• DZ05 and DZ06• 1x 182/204 High End• chance for 214 Gear Set
Similarly, the Supply drops in the Gear Score 201+ bracket are:• DZ01 and DZ02• 1x 182/204 High End• chance for 214/240 Gear Set• DZ03 and DZ04• 1x 182/204 High End• chance for 214/240 Gear Set• DZ05 and DZ06• 1x 204 High End• chance for 240 Gear Set
Let’s recap what we’ve discussed:• Adding another source of high quality loot for the Open World• Increasing mission rewards on Hard Mode and Challenge Mode main missions significantly• Adding guaranteed 204 weapon drops to the Incursions weekly• Clearing Hard Mode or Challenge Mode Incursions will now reward you with a loot drop relevant to the difficulty every time• Revamp the loot drops in all Dark Zone Gear Score brackets to provide a clear line of progression• Significantly increasing the quality of loot from Supply Drops
These changes will create a more clear line of progression and make loot drops feel more rewarding.
Making adjustments in an online game like this one is no easy task but we are committed to improving the overall experience with every step we take. Your discussions are extremely valuable to us so make sure to keep them coming, we are always reading!
-The Division Dev Team
As you can see, it looks like they’re at least trying to add more avenues for progression, and if what they’ve said holds true, we may be in for quite the treat. I’m personally quite interested in activities apart from the Dark Zone, and it’s awesome that we have a reason to go back into that beautifully crafted open world.
Additionally, a smaller but more focused post was also released in the form of an Intelligence Annex that focused on more general avenues of progression for players.
Last time we delved into the challenge that arose in Falcon Lost. Now it’s time to see how your life is going to get even more exciting.
With the next update we are bringing a new level of tension to the Dark Zone and breathing life into the Open World. “Search and Destroy” and “High Value Targets” will present new challenges and objectives as your traverse through the streets of Manhattan. With “Hijack Extraction” and “Sealed Caches”, not only will you experience heart pounding levels of adrenaline, but these features will also create excitement and uncertainty. We pulled aside Terry Spier, Lead Game Designer at Red Storm and Lead Game Designer Matthieu Delisle from Massive Entertainment to give us some juicy details. Let’s jump right in and find out what awaits us!
NEW OPEN WORLD ACTIVITY
We are excited to introduce two new mission types to the Open World: Search and Destroy and High Value Target. They will “bring an all new form of activity into the open world that will make it much more interesting. It’s not only going to be fun exploring Manhattan and facing these new high level PVE challenges, but they will also be highly rewarding for level 30 Agents,” says Matthieu. The Search and Destroy missions can be found in the safe houses throughout Manhattan and are retrieved from the mission board once you have cleared all the content in that named zone. This mission type is catered for new level 30 agents and involves taking out various groups of level 30 enemies. Once this is complete you return to the safe house to receive Target Intel, a new currency that can be spent in order to gain access to High Value Target missions. Additionally, you can interact with the safe house mission boards as many times as you would like, however “there is an incentive to go to different named zones through the Critical Search and Destroy system” explained Matthieu. One named zone at a time will be marked as critical and should you complete the Search and Destroy missions in that zone you will receive additional Target Intel. Once it has been dealt with a new zone will be marked as critical and you can either eliminate the threats there or see what High Value Targets await you.
High Value Targets open the doors to some more difficult 30+ elite enemies but also some sweet rewards. You will find two new NPCs located in the Base of Operations that will provide 6 daily and 4 weekly missions that you can gain access to by spending Target Intel. The weekly missions will be more difficult and you may need to call upon the help of other agents to complete them. In addition some will be labeled as High Risk Targets. “These missions are similar to regular High Value Target ones, only more difficult and if you fail them you will have to rebuy it,” explains Matthieu. The higher the danger and risk, the better the potential High End and Gear Set rewards. Be ready for a challenge, they will put up a fight.
YELLOW BAG OF TEMPTATION
Have you ever seen a loot bag dangle from that precious cable with no one in sight and wonder what amazing loot is sitting right in front of you? If you are ready to mark yourself as a Rogue that question will be answered soon with Hijack Extractions. Terry described that “we wanted to flesh out the extraction loop a little more and add more tension around the entire process. This also adds a completely new way for people to go Rogue that doesn’t involve firing upon another Division Agent.” Once the loot has been secured to the helicopter rope another player can approach it and spill the potential loot piñata all over the ground. This means that “there is no more attach and run, players will now need to protect their contaminated bag until the helicopter leaves!”. The process isn’t instant however, once interacting with the bag you will not only be marked Rogue right away, it also takes time to break cut the rope and being shot at will slow it down drastically. However, once you complete the interaction all the loot attached to that rope will drop onto the group. The potential reward is high but it also leaves you extremely vulnerable, thieves beware!
“There are two sides of the coin that need to be considered” says Terry. Hijack extractions are going to change the patterns and behaviors some players have learned since the game was released. Just walking up to an extraction will cause even more tension between Agents. Some smart Agents may try to expose curious Rogues by attaching some less than favorable loot to the rope to see who comes to take it. Make sure your trigger finger is ready, but not too itchy. If you shoot too early you will yourself in a situation you didn’t plan for. Needless to say “this changes everything and we can’t wait to see the awesome social interactions players will have around extractions,” stated Terry.
WHAT’S IN THE BOX?
Mystery. Surprises. Rewards. If this is something you strive for, Sealed Caches is just the thing for you! “The feature is simple but potent. NPC’s will drop Sealed Caches that you will have to extract in order to open it up, making them a bit of a mystery!” explains Terry. Once the Sealed Cache is safely in your stash you can interact with it which will reveal a list of items that will be distributed into the correct inventory slots. These items can also be traded under the normal trading rules.
Like the rest of the loot in the game they will also be found in a variety of quality, Specialized, Superior, High-End, and Gear Set, which will of course affect the items found inside. The quality of the loot inside reflects the difficulty of the NPC’s it dropped from and is also indicated on the range of crafting materials and Dark Zone credits displayed in the UI. From Dark Zone credits, gear equipment, crafting materials, “it’s like opening a birthday present, you never know what’s inside until it’s unwrapped!” says Terry.
Similar to Hijack extraction, Sealed Cache add more to the extraction loop and give you another choice when deciding what you want to extract. Do you go for the item you are sure about or do you try your luck with the Sealed Cache. Some players will be driven by “the mystery, potential for awesome loot, and the overall joy of opening it in itself. This will make them too good to pass up on” explains Terry.
The addition of these new features will add more diverse activities to the Open World, additional gameplay options, and a new layer of tension to the Dark Zone. We are super excited and can’t wait to put them in your hands!
Until next time!
—The Division Dev Team
As with all things concerning the Dark Zone, any changes this big will need to breathe in the live version of the game to measure their impact exactly, but it seems like “rope cutting” will make things much more… interesting? Only time will tell.