Patch 1.4 aims to rebalance The Division for newer players

The Division

Massive Entertainment has rolled out the latest update to its shared-world shooter, The Division. Applied yesterday, update 1.4 is one of the most far-reaching yet, and aims to fix several issues that have plagued the ambitious game since its launch back in March.

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The new patch is 3.7GB on PC and has been tested on The Division’s new public test server for the last month. Its goal is to rebalance the game’s weapons, economy and loot systems to make it more accessible.

The comprehensive patch notes are availablehere, but they’re quite a daunting read as they affect almost every facet of the game. The headlines are:

  • PC userswill get an interface for reporting other players
  • The map marker for Rogue playersnow increases in size as they approach
  • Player healthnow regenerates to full when out of combat
  • Shotgunner NPCshave had damage falloff and accuracy nerfed, making them less deadly in long to mid-range combat
  • Various weapon and stat rebalances:notably the ‘Scavenging’ stat has been removed from the game entirely.
  • Matchmaking:added a delay between leaving a group and signing up for matchmaking (to punish dropouts, presumably), and matchmaking will now try to refill empty slots if group privacy settings allow.
  • Drops adjusted:all NPCs may now drop High-End and Gear Set items, removed Gear Set weighting from all activities except Incursions; any Gear Set can now drop from any activity; drop rates modified for all named NPCs (High End drops no longer guaranteed).
  • World Tiers:after level 30, players can now select a world level tier that controls the level of enemies encountered, and the quality of the loot they drop. There will be four tiers with gear score rewards varying from 163 to 229.

For much of The Division’s life cycle, players have exploited numerous glitches to power-level their characters, which created various problems. New players who were trying to level up legitimately were left out of parties, and ganking by high-level ‘rogues’ in the game’s PvP-enabled Dark Zone was a constant occurrence, again locking newcomers out of high-end content. These issues have been especially acute on PC, and Massive’s efforts so far to fix the issues seem, rather, to have exacerbated them.

Patch 1.4 is the most dedicated attempt to fix all this that Massive have yet made, and it has been greeted with cautious optimism by the community on Reddit: “If just half of this really works this really sounds promising,” says AM100000.

In fairness to Massive, The Division marks the first time a game of this kind has released simultaneously across PC and consoles; Bungie didn’t dare attempt this with 2014’s Destiny (though it looks likethey may with Destiny 2). Let’s hope they learn some lessons from Massive’s experience.

Is this enough to tempt you back into The Division? Let us know in the comments.