This week will see the inclusion of the ‘Underground’ expansion pack in Tom Clancy’s The Division on June 28th. Along with the expansion pack an update is planned – v1.3, which will land first on the Xbox One. The PlayStation 4 version of the update will be delayed though due to technical difficulties (something we are not used to with The Division) as well as a delay placed on the #Ubi30 Tom Clancy brand skin pack for all platforms.
A ‘Special Report’ stream will be held tomorrow, June 27th, via the Division’s Twitch stream channel which will hand out more information regarding the expansion pack, details for the upcoming update, and will also showcase gameplay from ‘Underground’.
The stream will be held on June 27th at:
- 0300 AEDT
- 1000 PDT
- 1300 EDT
- 1900 CEST
Below you can have a read over the game changes to gear sets, ‘Legacy’ weapons, and other various changes being implemented:
When a weapon balance was first announced during v1.2 ‘Conflict’, the team admitted that they didn’t have enough data to properly balance weapons for that particular update which ultimately made it being withheld from the update. Now, with v1.3 ‘Underground’ on the horizon next week, the team is confident in their ability to adjust and balance weapons accordingly and have given us a few minor details before the patch notes drop early next week.
After some confusion by players as to what will and wont change, the team decided to clarify it a bit in today’s State of The Game:
Changes to All Weapons (Including ‘Legacy’ Weapons):
- Damage reduction by 10% to all AUG and Vector variants.
- Minimum Accuracy cap on M1A. [Reticle grows larger when fired rapidly.]
Every other change, which is listed below, will only impact weapons dropped post v1.3. (Excluding ‘Legacy’ Weapons).
One of the largest topics of discussion right now is whether or not the change from Critical Hit Chance to Critical Hit Damage on SMGs will in fact be a ‘nerf’ or not, and how exactly this will affect ‘Legacy’ weapons, or weapons dropped pre-v1.3, which will retain their Critical Hit Chance. For a bit more clarification on the process we reached out directly to Ubisoft MASSIVE’s Senior Designer, Fredrik Thylander who is in charge of weapon balancing:
Although he didn’t reply to our second question, we got it confirmed from one of the Community Managers on the title. You can probably see where we are going with this by now. A ‘Legacy’ weapon can be rerolled and still retain its’ Critical Hit Chance ‘Major’ attribute.
What does this mean for the player? Although you will be ‘penalized’ by the initial debuff to damage as well as the cap penalty for a Gear Score 204 item, you can effectively have a ‘Legacy’ weapon that can reach upwards of 40%+ Critical Hit Chance, on one item, that is if you know which Talents and Skills to stack and how to use them properly. Stack Critical Hit Damage and Headshot Damage however, and you shouldn’t even notice a damage difference, unless the overall cap is that significantly less between GS 204 and GS 229.
In short, here’s what you want for a ‘Critical Cap’ build post-v1.3:
- ‘Legacy’ AUG Weapon with “Perfect Roll” CHC (~25%)
- Re-roll the AUG till the desired Talent is ‘Vicious’. (~13%)
- Sight Attachment with CHC roll. (~9%)
- Savage Talent Gloves. (~13%)
- This also enables you to have an open slot still for the changes to Striker and Sentry’s five piece bonus’ without sacrificing Savage Talent gloves.
There’s your 60% cap, and these are just estimates based on circa Gear Score 204 items. That doesn’t include all weapon mods, gear mods, other various Talents, nor the increased max attribute caps on higher Gear Score items. So no, I wouldn’t consider the change a ‘nerf’ at all. You just have to be smart and know how to use your Skills and Talents to your advantage with this particular build.
Stack Electronics to 23-26,000 with First Aid (Overheal) and play aggressively with a decent Toughness and you will never lose that 60% Critical Hit Chance cap because you will always be pushing NPCs out of cover, and lets face it, most PVP engagements aren’t while in cover anyways.
If you’re feeling a little nervous, you can also toss on Pulse with any desired mod to give you that extra top off to the Critical Hit Chance cap if you take too much damage beyond your First Aid (Overheal).
Apart from ‘Legacy’ weapon changes, there are a slew of changes coming to weapons dropped post-v1.3 ‘Underground’, including general buffs to multiple weapon classes as well as the implementation of unique weapon talents specific to those classes:
- SMGs now have a Critical Hit Damage bonus instead of Critical Hit Chance.
- LMGs now have a damage bonus of 25% to targets out of cover.
- Shotguns now have a ‘stagger’ bonus against NPCs which will make them stumble and lose balance, similar to being hit with a Sticky Bomb. (PVE only.)
- Shotguns now have a damage bonus of up to a maximum of 30% based upon Gear Score and Weapon Level.
- Assault Rifles now have an Armor Damage bonus. (PVE only.)
- No changes were made to Marksman Rifle bonus.
New Weapons and their Family Exclusive Talent:
- ‘Showstopper’ — Shotgun
- “Showstopper”: Expending the magazine increases accuracy.
- G36 — Assault Rifle
- “Focused”: When no skills are on cooldown, weapon damage is increased by X%.
- SVD — Marksman Rifle
- “Decisive”: Killing a target will make your next shot with this weapon critical for 100% chance.
- PP-19 — Sub Machine Gun
- “Hurried”: Each critical hit reduces your next reload time with X% to a minimum of Y seconds.
Striker and Sentry Call Changes_
Apart from the individual changes to weapons and ‘Legacy’ weapons, there are also a few changes in regards to Striker’s Battlegear and Sentries Call. Primarily, an addition of a five set bonus and a reduction in over all power.
The team expressed that the sets were too powerful, and / or overused that to create more diversity and freedom of choice, for both the player and the devs, it was best to split the bonuses up more evenly across more pieces.
Below are the initial changes to the Gear Sets:
- Reduction in the effectiveness of two and three set bonuses.
- New five set bonus implemented.
- Gear Set “Talent” still triggers with four pieces equipped.
With the significant changes to weapons and certain Gear Sets, it may offer more diversity in the game. However, we dont feel as though there is a need to panic over your favorite weapons or gear being “nerfed” or “buffed” in any way. As they say, if there is a will, there is a way.
We look forward to sharing more information on the patch notes for v.13 ‘Underground’ with you next week.