Why ‘The Division’ Changes are Perfect for Casual Gamers

By Michael Moraitis | 10/19/16

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Ever since its launch, “Tom Clancy’s The Division” has seen game-breaking issues that have caused its player base to dwindle. Now that Ubisoft and Massive have finally acknowledged these problems and are planning a huge overhaul of the game’s core mechanics, casual players can begin returning after dropping the game months ago.

Hardcore gamers were appeased the most since “The Division” launched and became one of the best-selling games of 2016. Those who put in thousands of hours and successfully min-maxed their gear were routinely overpowering casual players in PvP (player versus player) because those who didn’t have a lot of time on their hands couldn’t grind enough for the best loot.

Thankfully that is about to change and Ubisoft and Massive are hearing the cries for help from those who love the game but are too annoyed to continue playing it because PvE (player versus environment) content didn’t present enough opportunities to get the best loot.

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest changes sure to please those who don’t have the time to grind.

Time to Kill and Time to be Killed

Initially, NPCs (non-player characters) in “The Division” were incredibly tough to kill, properly giving them the label of “bullet sponge.” Without optimized gear focused heavily on damage, it took an astounding amount of bullets and clips to take out even the weakest enemies. Even the more optimized builds had a fair share of issues downing NPCs. That will no longer be the case, as enemies in “The Division” will have their health pools dropped and it simply won’t take as many bullets to take them out.

Conversely, “The Division” players will also see a decrease in the amount of damage NPCs are dishing out, so the days of being one-shot by a shotgunner from across the map are coming to an end. Sure, players will also be dealing less damage thanks to several changes to most of the gear sets, but players should still see a more enjoyable experience like that of the 1-30 leveling up process before the endgame disaster.

World Tiers System

“The Division” will now split-up its gameplay into four world tiers, each focused on allowing players to gear up and progress the proper way, while also seeing a better system for scaling NPCs. Before the changes, players were forced to play missions on a level of difficulty they weren’t ready for. The system made absolutely no sense because players needed to beat challenging and heroic missions to get the proper gear needed to actually beat those missions. 

Players will now enjoy a more reasonable way of progressing by playing in world tiers that are suited to their gear. Enemy levels will start at level 30 in “World Tier 1” and will see a one-level increase in the three world tiers after that, up to level 33. The overpowered level 34 and 35 enemies we saw in incursion missions are no more. Also, players can get gear set items playing on normal and hard difficulties, which also appeals to the forgotten solo players. Playing on challenging mode presents the opportunity to increase the number of drops, so there is still value in playing on a harder setting.

Loot Weighting

One of the biggest problems for fans of “The Division” was that chances for specific pieces of loot were reserved to certain missions, and the best gear sets in the game were almost impossible to obtain. With the 1.4 update, “The Division” will now offer players any gear set by doing any mission, making some of the more popular missions in the game viable once again. 

Anyone who has had to grind a tedious and annoying mission like Falcon Lost to get Sentry’s Call, Striker or Tactician’s Authority gear sets know just how brutal this process was. This is certainly a welcomed change for players who have had to farm the more popular gear sets – or any gear set, for that matter. Perhaps even more exciting is the fact that even trash mobs walking the streets or non-named enemies have a chance to drop the best loot in the game. Granted, it’s a small chance that it’ll happen, but it’s still another way for players to obtain loot.

Open World PvE: The Counter to the Dark Zone

Aside from obtaining gear through missions, “The Division” players had to grind the Dark Zone in order to get the best loot, as that was the most efficient way to gear up. While it was a nice experiment at first, players found it hard to do this in the later stages of the game thanks to hardcore players with optimized gear and nothing to do dropping them like flies and stealing their loot. 

Now players will have the option to explore the expansive open world outside of the Dark Zone with the return of named enemies and mobs in certain areas of the PvE map. These named enemies will drop valuable loot that will also be scaled with the world tier you play in. This means that players will now be able to enjoy the open world PvE the Dark Zone offers without dealing with the “gank squads” gamers have come to know and hate.

Will Hardcore Gamers Accept These Changes?

Probably not, but it doesn’t matter. Hardcore gamers in “The Division” make up a small percentage of the player base, which is why Ubisoft and Massive are so determined to make changes to help the casual players – hardcore gamers be damned.

These same overly-dedicated players will also be bitter about these changes, something that’s understandable. After all, those same players had to overcome all of the game’s problems to get the best loot, and did so successfully against all odds.

Regardless, it makes sense in the long run to open this game up to the more casual players. The vast majority of “The Division” fans will love these changes and, in turn, make their way back to the struggling game with two DLCs still yet to launch. There is a future for “The Division” despite it being considered dead by many. The only way to revive it is to appeal to those who can’t make “The Division” their whole life, and that’s exactly what Ubisoft and Massive are doing. 

Update 1.4 has yet to be given an exact release date, however it was announced by Ubisoft and Massive to be sometime in October when the process of changing the game first started. Now that we’re midway through October and the public test server process is over, we can expect to be hearing a firm date at any moment. Stay tuned to the title’s “State of the Game” broadcast on Twitch app every Thursday for the latest news and updates.