This week’s changes to The Division 2 – core issues still not addressed

Division 2

Maintenance occurred last night for The Division 2. Like most week’s, we all had a list of core issues that we hoped would be fixed, alas they were not. Not too worry though, there’s always tonight’s maintenance, right? You laugh but we have had several lots maintenance in the past week, I won’t be surprised if we get more tonight.

What did they fix, you might ask?

  • NPCs not dropping crafting materials
  • Issues with clans and friend lists
  • Progression blocker that was keeping the Secure the Area objective from being completed on Roosevelt Island.

Whilst all are annoying issues, the problem with not being able to revive someone at all when the hive fails, strikes me as being a more immediate issue. Or being delta’ed from the servers every 15 minutes – also not favorable.

The devs have provided a list of issues that they are currently investigating for fixes, which includes:

  • Dark Zone infinite loading screen.
  • Matchmaking queues being excessively long.
  • Gear-Set Talents not working properly.
  • Sound issues.
  • Issues with reviving group members.
  • Some Bounties being in locations that are not accessible.
  • An issue with the Bloodsucker talent working in an unintended way.
  • Prime Target manhunt progress resetting despite having defeated the first target.
  • Season Caches being contaminated if earned in the Dark Zone.
  • Reports from some players saying their Season level not increasing when they play in the Dark

Players are also experiencing difficulties with the Manhunt. Whilst there is a notation that lets you know if you change world difficulty during your progress it will reset you to the start, it’s not very clear and many players are missing it.

Once you start the manhunt be sure to complete it on the same world difficulty. If you start on CHALLENGING but then back it down to HARD half way through, your progress will reset. My advice is if you are still pulling a build together and working alone, don’t set your difficulty any higher than HARD. This will make completing the Manhunt achievable for you. You can then complete it again on a higher difficulty if you wish.

Here’s the update from the devs on the matter:

Season Manhunt Partial Progression resetting due to difficulty changes:

  • Manhunt targets are replayable, and changing the difficulty will make that possible.
  • Once players have tracked down a target and defeated them, the progress will be counted even if they choose to reset the progress to replay it.
  • The Manhunt target will show “Replay” in the Manhunt Season UI.
  • The overall Manhunt progress is currently not updating to show 25% done when players take down a target; the team is working on this.
  • If players are currently progressing in a Manhunt and change the Global Difficulty, it will reset their progress as stated in the UI.
  • The best approach for most players will be to choose a difficulty they know they can tackle before starting the Manhunt.
  • Players can progress their own Manhunt in a group, but need to be on the same or a lower Global Difficulty as the group leader. If a player’s Global Difficulty is set higher than the group leader’s, e.g. a player with Global Difficulty set to Hard joins a Normal difficulty group, that player will not make progress towards the Manhunt.
  • Directives currently also reset Manhunt progress; this is not on purpose, and will be changed in the future.
  • Directives are currently also resetting when they should always stay active for a player’s own world. This is being fixed.
  • To make things a little easier, the team plans to add an option to just reset the complete Manhunt, instead of having it connected to the Global Difficulty. This change will take some time, as the functionality to only specifically reset this is not in the game currently, and also needs more UI support.

Season 1 Manhunts

Season 1 is now underway with Neptune being your first target. To locate him you need to complete the allocated 4 areas of activity, each with 3 Control Points, 1 Bounty and 1 Main Mission. These are all located in Neptune’s district, which you can find via the Manhunt tab. During the first week that all targets are active you will receive double XP.

  • Target #2 – Venus, will become available on March 31st.
  • Target #3 – Saturn, will become available on April 21st
  • Target #4 – Mercury, will become available on May 12th.

Once you have defeated all targets you will then be able to hunt down the Prime Target. Completion of all 5 targets will earn you the EMP Sticky skill variant.

Before you ask:

If I don’t complete the Manhunt is there another way to gain access to the EMP Sticky skill variant?

Yes, later on that variant will be available by completing other in-game tasks which have not yet been defined.

What rewards do I get from completing the Manhunts?

Two gear sets – Strikers Battlegear and System Corruption, an exotic item, and 19 named items (gear and weapons).

Some items will be awarded during the manhunt, the rest can be acquired by completing Season 1.

Further information provided about Season 1:

  • On March 17, the first League will go live. This will focus on activities included in Neptune’s Manhunt, with challenging speedruns of Federal Emergency Bunker, Potomac Event Center, and DCD Headquarters. For the most hardcore Agents, there is a speedrun competition for Roosevelt Island on Heroic difficulty.
  • The League lasts for two weeks.
  • Season 1 will feature three more Leagues, which will go live on April 7, April 28, and May 19. Each League offers 10 rewards.
  • On March 24, the first Global Event, Polarity Switch, will go live. Becoming proficient at the Global Event can make you more efficient in the Leagues.
  • Season 1 will feature two more Global Events, which go live May 5 and May 26. Each Global Event will offer 10 rewards.
  • On March 31, a new Apparel Event, Urban Jungle, will go live.

NPC health and armor balancing

The devs have advised that they have looked into the complaints from the community that the NPCs in New York are too OP, and agree that changes need to be made.

The changes they are working on implementing are:

  • General difficulty balancing – how much health and armor enemies have per difficulty level, and how much damage they can do.
  • Co-op scaling – The game does some behind-the-scenes scaling based on the number of players, which affects enemy health and damage.
  • Dark Zone time-to-kill (TTK), which is currently faster than the developers intended.

What needs to be kept in mind is that this is basically a completely new game when in New York. The gear is different, the factions are new or enhanced, and your build is still under construction. You can’t expect to run into a HEROIC mission with a build you made 5 minutes ago and have no difficulties. You need to step up the difficulty as you continue to refine your build. This is a good thing – we don’t need to be mastering everything on HEROIC 1 week after release.

There are more planned balance adjustments on the way though, however HARD mode stands to be left where it is.

Challenge mode however, is getting a nerf, which is an absolute shame. The development team have said that “after observing player performance, they’ve concluded that it’s overtuned. Challenge was created for players with “perfect” builds, but this limits build diversity, so it’s very likely that Challenge will be adjusted down a little bit.”

CHALLENGE mode does NOT require perfect builds. It’s a walk in the park if you don’t run in all Chuck Norris style spraying your gun from left to right. Use a strategic approach and CHALLENGE mode is anything but that. What a shame that they are nerfing it when the game is only just now beginning to have an element of ‘challenge’ to it once again.

Other planned balancing changes include:

  • The team feels that co-op scaling is overtuned as well, especially for named and Elite enemies, who are spongier than intended.
  • When co-op scaling and Challenge mode combine, the difficulty ramps up more than intended. The team is working to fix this.

Heroic mode:

  • The developers want Heroic to be a challenge for all players.
  • The team may adjust it slightly, but wants to keep its difficulty high.
  • Work to fix co-op scaling will also affect co-op difficulty in Heroic mode.

Additional notes:

  • The developers are happy to see that high difficulty is back, and don’t want to compromise that vision. However, some things aren’t working as intended.
  • Specific NPCs causing difficulty spikes will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
  • These changes require updates on both the server side and client side to implement.
  • Adjustments may be made incrementally and iterated on multiple times.
  • The team is also looking into loot drops that don’t scale correctly for higher difficulties, and encourage players to submit screenshots if they encounter them.

As always, it’s great to see the continued support and maintenance from the dev team. It would be even better if the changes and scaling nerfs weren’t made to constantly cater to new comers though, some of us have been here since day one and paid full price for everything.

Looking for some help with your builds or understanding the changes made with Title Update 8? Here are a few links that will assist you:

Warlords of New York released on March 2nd and is an expansion to the base game – Tom Clancy’s: The Division 2.