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Big Changes Coming in The Division 1.6 Update Include New Microtransactions

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  • Big Changes Coming in The Division 1.6 Update Include New Microtransactions

    Ubisoft and Massive detailed the changes coming in the 1.6 update for Tom Clancy's The Division. This free update is in addition to the upcoming Last Stand DLC for the game. A solid release date for this update is not yet known but it will be available for testing via PTS very soon.

    Before we get into the 1.6 update notes, we'll touch briefly on the Last Stand DLC. Last Stand will introduce a new competitive multiplayer mode that blends PvP with PvE. Last Stand is a session based mode where two teams of eight players are trying to accomplish a variety of tasks. You can get more details at The Division website.

    Located at the bottom of the changes is mention of new "Premium Credits." Yeah, it's exactly what you think it is. They have an FAQ up right here that you can read.
    Not final – open for feedbackAll this is not final and will be extensively tested in the coming Public Test Server where you can give feedback to all the changes. Currently we have no date for the PTS but based on yesterdays stream it is sooner than later. Also, Update 1.6 will include bug fixes not covered in this article, so check out the patch notes to find out more about those.

    No new World Tier / no new Gear Score
    It’s worth noting that 1.6 will not bring a new World Tier. We don’t want you to have to go through old content to increase your gear score again before you can do any new activities – this way you’ll be able to jump straight in.

    Dark Zone changes – DZ North

    In Update 1.6, the gates in the northern parts of the Dark Zone will open and Dark Zone 7, 8 and 9 will finally become available! These new areas – including all their vertical space, like rooftops and underground locations - almost double the playable size of the current Dark Zone.

    New Landmarks and new Loot Rewards
    The new Landmarks can have multiple waves of enemies spawning after you’ve killed the initial NPC enemies. Clearing Landmarks will now award you with additional loot placed directly into your inventory, bypassing the need to extract it.

    Same player count – Checkpoint fast travel
    While we’re increasing the size of the Dark Zone, we’re not increasing the amount of players present in each Dark Zone instance. With the increase in area size, we’ve also made it possible to fast travel between Dark Zone checkpoints.

    Contamination Events
    We’re also adding new special events to the Dark Zone: Roughly every hour, elite Cleaners will appear in underground locations in the Dark Zone and it’s your job to stop them. A word of warning though – the contamination has reached unprecedented lethal levels in these places, so your virus filter will not be enough to resist it. Act quickly and learn how to manage your health while venturing into the contaminated underground.

    Dark Zone Leaderboards
    Another addition coming to the Dark Zone is leaderboards, which will allow you to compare yourself with other players across a wide variety of activities on a weekly and a monthly basis. The activities tracked are divided between PvP and PvE. For example:

    For PvP (not complete):
    • Rogues killed
    • Manhunts survived
    • Extractions hijacked

    PvE (not complete):
    • NPC enemies killed
    • locked chests looted
    • Items extracted.

    All the tracked activities will be turned into total score, which is divided into three tiers, and the higher your score is compared to your fellow Dark Zone players the better rewards you will earn when the leaderboards reset on a weekly and a monthly basis.

    Legendary difficulty

    For this update, we wanted to give our hardcore players a real challenge. In order to do so, a Legendary difficulty mode has been added to three missions in the game. This mode is supposed to be the most challenging mode in the game, even more so than Heroic Incursions, and is really going to test your build, your tactics and your group synergy.

    3 Story Missions have Legendary Difficulty:
    • Times Square
    • WarrenGate Power Plant
    • Napalm Production Site

    New Enemies and new Tactics
    You won’t be fighting the same enemies you usually fight in those missions. You will face new, powerful and much smarter LMB enemies that use more advanced tactics against you and your team. They’ll react to your skills and status effects, will be hard to hit since they keep a low profile, will constantly try to flank you, and you really don’t want to get into melee range of them. There’s also Named enemies thrown into the mix, complete with their own set of behaviors, roles and skills. The main challenge in Legendary is not from the amount of health the enemies have, it is about learning how to deal with their tactics and strategies.

    Scales to Group Size
    While Legendary difficulty does scale to the amount of players present, scaling enemy damage and health similar to Challenge mode, and could theoretically be soloed, it’s very much intended for organized group play with dedicated roles.

    Exclusive Rewards
    Legendary difficulty comes with its own, exclusive vanity items that you can’t get anywhere else in the game and will of course reward you for your heroic deeds with a ton of rewards.
    Exotic Caches, that will guarantee an Exotic item, will be available as a weekly reward from Legendary difficulty missions.

    Exotic items and new Gear Set

    In Update 1.6, Named Weapons and gear have been given their very own type – they are now called Exotics. Parts of that change are cosmetic, as they now have their own color coding. Each of the items have also received flavor and lore text on their item descriptions.

    New Unique Talents
    Each Exotic weapon has been given its own unique talent. This should give the Exotic weapons their own individual personality and hopefully they will all be a lot of fun to use.

    • The Hungry Hog - Glutton talent (“Killing a target increases your damage dealt by 20% until you stop firing”)
    • Tenebrae - Lights Out (“Destroying an enemy weak point resets skill cooldowns for you and nearby group members”).

    Note that these talents will not work with the Alphabridge 4-piece bonus.

    Exotic Weapon Sets
    We’re also introducing Exotic weapon sets, where you need to have two specific Exotic weapons equipped to unlock their talent. For example, the Valkyria is actually being split in two – the Hildr and the Eir, whose talents become active and synergize when you have both equipped.

    Changes are Retroactive
    Some stats on these weapons have been changed as a part of their balancing. All these changes will be retroactive to prevent legacy weapons remaining in the game.

    New Exotic Caches
    Exotic Caches, that will guarantee an Exotic item, will be available as a weekly reward from Legendary difficulty missions.

    Gear Set changes

    As part of the overall balance of the game, we’ve made a pass on the Gear Sets.

    Alpha Bridge
    Instead of the 4-piece bonus sharing all talents when you use two weapons of the same category, it will now share the free talents from both weapons (except from Exotic weapon talents, as mentioned above).

    The 4-piece bonus will no longer remove your critical hit chance, instead it will remove the effects of any mod (Reactive Targeting, Assault Shield, Kinetic Breaker) you have applied to the Ballistic shield.

    When wearing four pieces, the set will activate all the Support Station mods (Life Support, Immunizer, Ammo Cache) simultaneously. The 2- and 3-piece bonuses will also focus on the Support Station, increasing its range and duration respectively. It will no longer have an effect on consumables.

    Tactician’s Authority
    The Tactician’s Authority stacks will no longer run out after 10 seconds, instead it will disappear after you use a skill.

    New Gear Set SEEKR
    We’re introducing a new Gear Set, called SEEKR, which will have body shots as its specialty. Its 4-piece bonus will give you a guaranteed critical hit after landing two consecutive shots to the body (which can be spread out across different enemies).

    Armor and Resistances

    Armor is removed as Major bonus
    In Update 1.6, gear items will come with their base armor as usual, but Armor will be removed as a major bonus and replaced with Health. It means that raw health and stamina will be the main source of toughness. There are still talents that will give you bonus armor, but since you won’t have as much armor they won’t have as much of an impact as before.

    Focus on Health and Skillpower
    This change will have an impact on healing, skills, Skill Power, damage and the overall meta. With the new System you have a lot higher health pools and in order to get a similar percentage of your health bar filled, you will need a lot more Skill Power. That means there’s suddenly room in the meta for players who invest into Skill Power, lowering their health to get more effect out of their skills.

    Same goes for damage dealing skills, such as Sticky Bomb or Seeker Mine, that have always dealt damage to raw health. At their base level, they will not take off as big of a chunk of your enemies’ health anymore. Invest in Skill Power, and you’ll see your damage skills improve accordingly. In other words, you will have to make more choices when building your characters, which should make for a more fun experience and create a more dynamic meta.

    Changes to Current Gear – new “Resist All” Stat
    To prevent double bonus Health rolls on legacy pieces of gear, all current Health rolls will be turned into the new stat Resist All. As we’re not introducing a new World Tier in Update 1.6, these changes will also retroactively affect your current gear to avoid legacy gear. If you’ve already rolled a lot of Armor on your gear, you will find yourself with a lot of bonus Health when you log in after Update 1.6, so the changes shouldn’t come as too much of a shock.

    Changes to Resistance Bonuses
    In 1.6 resistance bonuses lower the effect of the status effect by its percentage instead of just cancelling it out – 40% burn resist means 40% less burn damage and duration, for example. If you do manage to build up a 100% resist to a specific status effect, it will no longer have an effect on you and anyone trying to apply it to you will see a “Resisted” message in the scrolling combat text.

    New Status Effect Immunity
    We’re also adding diminishing returns to status effects. Whenever a status effect is applied to you, you build up a certain amount of temporary resistance to it for a short while.

    General NPC and major / minor bonus Rebalancing
    All of this means that we’re also rebalancing parts of the game, like NPC damage and major and minor damage bonuses on gear, to make sure that Time to Kill and Time to be Killed – two things that’ve been constantly on our minds since Update 1.4 – don’t become too long again and stay balanced.

    Changes to Skill Power

    The choice between the different stats – Firearms, Stamina, Electronics – will become even more important. To help this happen, we’ve also made some changes to how Skill Power works in The Division, since Electronics aren’t currently seen as a valid spec, which means less build variety.

    Skill Power scales with the World Tiers
    With Update 1.6, we’re moving Skill Power to a system similar to armor, where its effectiveness scales according to which World Tier you are in. In other words, every time you move up a tier, you will need more Skill Power in order to reach the same relative effectiveness of your skills.

    New Diminishing Returns
    The scales have been changed as well, creating a bigger difference between low and high Skill Power builds. There are still diminishing returns, but they won’t kick in until around 450k Skill Power, which means you will have to put in a lot of work to reach those levels. But in order to reach these higher levels, you will have to make choices and make sacrifices in other areas.

    Changes to Skills

    We’re also making direct changes to a couple of skills to balance them and make their mods more viable and interesting.

    Sticky Bomb
    The following changes should make the Sticky Bomb more interesting to use, and more manageable to fight against, in both PvE and PvP.
    • The Sticky Bomb will get a delayed detonation with a red area warning and beeping sound before it explodes.
    • New Mods
      • BFB (damage),
      • Flashbang (crowd control, no damage, no longer cause the Disrupt status effect)
      • EMP that works against skills and skill proxies (such as Turrets and Seeker Mines).

    First Aid
    First Aid has been given a longer cooldown, making both Skill Power and Skill Haste more important. The First Aid Defibrillator mod will now heal in two steps; one initial burst followed by a heal over time. The Shock Turret has also seen a small change, and will no longer do any damage on its own.

    Signature Skills
    The immunity has been increased to 60 seconds after Signature Skill use, but we’ll now prevent you from being able to trigger the same skill when you already have the immunity debuff from another player’s skill. No more wasted Signature Skills! Skill Haste will have an effect on Signature Skills as well as regular skills and Tactical Link will give you less weapon stability compared to what it currently does, balancing it so it can be countered by Survivor Link. Its damage bonus has been lowered in PvP, but will stay the same in PvE.

    PvP balancing

    Hip Fire Changes
    We’re taking a look at hip fire, decreasing its stability when moving and adding a separate camera setting for it so that it will take more skill to use.

    Less headshot damage
    The damage gap between body damage and headshots has been lowered, but that’s something that will be tweaked based on PTS feedback.

    Combat Roll delay
    We’re adding a one second delay after a combat roll before you can roll again, as it’s currently too easy to just spam rolls.

    No reload while Sprinting
    Also, you’re no longer able to reload your weapon while sprinting.

    Medkit / Adrenaline changes
    After Update 1.6, medkits will be usable when at full health and will remove all status effects that still allow for player input (such as fire, bleed and disorient). Medkits can also prolong encounters between players much more than intended. Because of this, the Adrenaline talent will no longer provide an overheal, to distinguish medkits from the First Aid skill; instead it will provide a heal over time. We’re also increasing the medkit cooldown to 15 seconds, up from 12 seconds, and you’ll see your enemy health bar flash whenever they use one to make it easier to identify what is going on during a fight.

    Rejuvenated gear talent
    The Rejuvenated gear talent, which used to grant this effect, has been changed to give additional resistance to status effects instead.

    Bleed will no longer prevent you from sprinting or moving from cover to cover, instead it will slow you down in general.

    Character Talent Changes
    We’re also aware of multiple talents that together increases survivability too much, again helping to prolong encounters, so we’ll be balancing the effects of talents like On the Move, Battle Buddy and Critical Save.

    Economy changes

    Unlimited Recalibration
    You’ll be able to recalibrate a given item as many times as you like from now on. It will get more expensive every time, but that price will cap out after five recalibrations. The prices have been tweaked, so check the patch notes for more information. Only one stat per item can be recalibrated, as before.

    Other Changes
    From now on, helping a civilian will always reward you with Intel, High End pistols in Survival won’t cost Division Tech and the Scavenger box now actually scales with World Tier. Some prices, like for Gear Sets and Exotic Weapons, have been tweaked.

    The in-game store

    With 1.6, we’ll also be revamping the in-game store, adding a new currency and extending the range of items available for purchase at a special vendor – including new emotes, weapon skins and other vanity items.

    Read more about the in-game store in our Premium Credits FAQ.

    Separate Experience Points

    From now on, all activities – open world, Underground, Survival and Last Stand – will reward their own separate experience points, awarding their own caches every time you fill your experience bar after reaching max rank. This means there will no longer be any overlap of experience points in Underground, which from now on will only reward Underground XP and caches.

    Survival Changes

    Solo players will no longer end up in games together with players queuing as a group and grouping up while in a Survival game will be completely disabled in solo PvP Survival. In both PvE and PvP Survival, reviving a downed player will always cost a medkit (grouped or not).

    Last Words

    As stated throughout the explanations – these are the intended changes, but they are not final and the coming patch notes will show the full extent of the changes. Also these changes, the new Last Stand game mode and the new Incursion are part of the coming PTS so please give constructive feedback about these topics and help the developers put on the final tweaks to these changes.

    (Decent looking changelog format via Reddit)