If you missed State of the Game this week, you missed Heroic Difficulty, World Tier 5, new Gear Sets, and more. So here's has your detailed rundown:
This morning, The Division Game twitter account teased some new info being dropped during the SoTG broadcast, and the Ubisoft Nordic twitter hilariously sabotaged them minutes later with a full post of the details. But between the two accounts we did get a roadmap of the free content coming for 2019 so before we dive into the SoTG updates here’s the recap on the year ahead:
April 5th – Invasion: Battle for D.C. (Check out all the details below)
Summer 2019 – Episode 1: D.C. Outskirts: Expeditions
Autumn 2019 – Episode 2: Pentagon: The Last Castle
Winter 2019 – Episode 3: Title Unknown
Across these updates we’ll receive new story, projects, raids, gear, narratives, cosmetics, weapons, bounties, challenges, and Conflict updates
Today’s show featured Hamish (Community Developer), Yannick (Live Content Manager), and special guest Trick Dempsey (Senior Game Designer).
The “Invasion: Battle for D.C.” Update drops April 5th, and Yannick apologized to Australia for the timing of the update which once again lands right during prime gameplay hours. This update is literally a game changer, and brings into context the dev team’s desire to have players hang out in World Tier 4 a bit and get used to the mechanics of the game. Here's the breakdown:
Tidal Basin Stronghold
Trick Dempsey revealed that The Tidal Basin Stronghold is like nothing we’ve seen so far in either Division 1 or Division 2. The team has taken all of the lessons they’ve learned from development of both games and put into the design of this mission and it’s the first mission that has not been designed around existing city architecture like the others. It’s a culmination of lessons learned from developing both games, with extra ability for flexible game play since it was created from the ground up. As a bonus, we’ll also get some additional story progression around the stronghold mission.
Tidal basin is a Black Tusk military base, unlike any other missions we’ve experienced, and it expands the world of the mysterious group and gives us a chance to experience even more of the “future tech” they use. Without giving too much away, we learned that the mission space is huge, approximately the same size as Roosevelt Island but with more verticality. Once they complete it, players will enter into World Tier 5 and an increased gear score cap of 500.
What else is in Invasion?
- First weapons balance pass (@Thylander will be on next week to explain more)
- Bug fixes
- Unspecified quality of life improvements (to be revealed)
New Gear Sets
Get your spreadsheets ready because three brand new Gear Sets will arrive:
o True Patriot, Ongoing directive, and Hardwire
o Dempsey says the gear sets are so strange and innovative the team is looking forward to seeing what players come up with in terms of builds.
o New gear set pieces will drop from Black Tusk and invaded missions
Changes to Missions:
- Black Tusk will now re-invade strongholds and missions, plus there will be new “Invaded” versions of existing missions that don’t currently feature that mode. These new invaded missions will be on a weekly reset and feature and additional bonus reward for first time completion.
- New Heroic Difficulty: described by Dempsey as “An act of cruelty”, will feature brutal and punishing game play, new insane bosses and extremely generous rewards, but no loot will be locked behind this difficulty (just more and better drops trended towards the higher end of your gear score).
*You may have seen on the message boards on social media that players have been complaining about how brutal the WT4 control points are, and it was confirmed by the team that these are running at the Heroic Difficulty setting.
- Mission customization: Agents will be able to toggle back and forth between “Invaded” and “Normal” modes. Not only that, but with each of these game modes players can then further select the difficulty level.
Happening this week:
Patch 1.7 will deployed during weekly maintenance this week (server/client patch) full of “ a lot of cool stuff”:
- Frame rate drop improvements (less frequent should help a lot)
- Remaining fixes for skills cool down issue (complete fix)
- Final pass on scaling issue with co-op (The first pass, which was implemented during last week’s maintenance, dealt with fixes to npc damage, and this one deals with player gear (the game wasn’t taking quality of items into account when up-scaling during co-op). This will result in noticeable improvements to player survivability.
- Audio drop issues with specific headsets fixed
- Clan colors will no longer look like Elite NPCs (color not yet revealed)
- Issue with placeholder graphics displaying after opening crates has been fixed – now you’ll see exactly what you’re getting
- Fixed navigate category and mark as junk being assigned to the same input on controller
- Push to talk will be enabled by default (VOIP) so no more hot mic problems
- Weird stairs fixed - we can all start playing again /s
The team would like everyone to know they are very aware of the comments and critiques about the current state of PVP, and while there are no fixes or balancing coming in 1.7 or Tidal Basin, it’s not being ignored. Please keep providing constructive feedback, and more updates will be provided.
With three new gear sets arriving next week, it’s a bit early to start balancing until they see what develops.
That Weird Raised Muppet Arms glitch
- Hard to say if a fix for this is incoming but even more importantly, there’s a possible cosplay of it incoming from Hamish.
Agent highlights award winners will be revealed next week. Use #AgentHighlights to tag your creations or #TheDivision2Photos to tag your game snaps.The team used contaminated money as coasters which I’m definitely doing now as well.
We've seen plenty of SoTGs in the past that had a lot of banter and not a lot of info, but this one shines. It's nice to see more info up front, particularly content that addresses player concerns. Social media has been largely focused on WT5 info demands, balancing requests, and PVP fixes so 2/3 ain't bad. PVP'ers will have to wait a bit longer until their needs are met however their needs are being heard, and it's important to remember that whatever balancing complaints players have now will likely change entirely once the new gear set pieces get placed into rotation.
They've made a lot of incredible promises this round, so the really interesting SoTG will be the one two weeks from now, when the Invasion update has had a week to be broken in.