As we near the one month mark of The Division, Update 1.1 is already on the horizon. Today (31/3/16) our loving community manager for the game, Hamish Bode, took us through what we can expect from the biggest update to the game yet. There’s a hella lot to get through, so let’s crack on.
It’s something completely new, at least it’s called something new, but think of it like a raid. Falcon Lost will take place at the water treatment facility – currently seen in the most South Eastern area of the map – where the LMB (Last Man Battalion) have been rallied by Captain Perez. Minimal story so far but c’mon, we want to find out when we actually play it.
First bit of news for you then, there are TWO difficulties similarly to the higher graded missions; Hard & Challenging. Similar loot (though no confirmation if there are specific loot items in Challenge) is expected with the main differences in loot obtainment being “more” in challenge mode. But, viewers of the stream were warned – challenge mode is meant to be incredibly difficult and recommended to only be completed after getting the majority or entirety of a set beforehand. Great news if you really do want a challenge end game.
In terms of what to expect from the fights themselves, there will be new mechanics and new enemies. Although the mechanics were left to be discovered the first new enemy will be drones. These pesky little flyers will mean that cover is no longer a saviour both for enemies and agents alike and, given their small target, will add some new frustrations to the game. We also briefly saw one of the bosses in action, an APC – that’s right a vehicle – which is not to be taken down in the normal guns-ho way. *SPOILER* There was an objective update of needing to clear 15 waves though. Speculation ensues!
Synergy of players was also stressed and that to get past the harder parts, you’re going to need (or at least find it easier) if each player has a specialised playstyle – so having a team of snipers may not be the best idea. The promotion of this may be turning toward the more traditional Trinity (Tank, Healer, Dps) but there’s still so many variables I doubt there’ll be any “cookie-cutter” builds.
Death is also something that will linger a little more sourly too. This is because there are no Checkpoints in the Incursion. That’s right, wiping will mean starting the battle from the start again adding a little extra salt to those tears.
In terms of gear in a progressive game like The Division (RPG/MMO) that sense of progression with gear is both something that entices players to put in more hours and give them drive while also running the risk of making previous gear obsolete. So before you read about all the new stuff you can get, you High End gear pieces will still be valuable and, in ways, just as valuable so don’t worry about that.
Gear Sets are coming with 1.1 and there are actually 4 separate sets, each including a piece for each gear slot; Three of these set which are designed around the incursion and an additional set specifically for the Dark Zone – more on that later though. I mentioned above about how High Ends will still be valuable, and one of the reasons is this – Gear set pieces do not have individual talents like current High End’s do but will instead need a certain number of set pieces to fulfil bonuses. What these bonuses are were tactfully hidden from viewers in today’s stream, but were told that they are unique both in what is currently in game and depending on what set you are obtaining.
In regards to sets, we know the names of the three “Raid sets” which include Sentry’s Call (“promotes precision, consistent precision), Striker’s Battlegear (Combat/Assault Focus – tanky) and Tactician’s Authority (Promotes support players, electronics boosting).
What is interesting though, is that the set items do not solely drop from the incursion. Some set pieces will also have a chance in dropping from challenge mode missions while one piece (not disclosed) will require crafting to complete the set. And by the way, set pieces are Green in Colour.
There was also a mention of some new High End weapons including a specific High End Raid weapon though how this will be created/obtained is something we’ll have to wait and see.
Gear Requirement / Gear Score
There’s no hiding the fact that Incursions are going to be tough, but when will your friendly/tough/angry agent know when their ready to take on the fight? Another new addition is Gear Score which will in fact replace the player’s level upon reaching max level (currently level 30). It will be completely obvious exactly what current gear level a player is because when joining a party your player level is replaced by your Gear Score in the party UI area.
Relating this to the Incursion, Hard Mode will have a “recommended” Gear Level while Challenging will have a “required” Gear Level. Current gear has a Power Level which at max level is either 30 or 31, so if you are either a fresh-faced 30 or old-timer, make sure to keep an eye out for that level 31 bits as it does actually have some minor stat increases too.
It is also confirmed that there will be matchmaking for Incursions which probably gains a welcome applause from many.
The first time you complete the Incursion each week you will gain a bonus to your rewards. But don’t let this stop you playing it again as you can do exactly that, just without that little bonus. It wasn’t clear if you could still gain set items from incursion replays but it does seem that way. For those of you who love having more than one character too, you will also gain the weekly reward per character, not as an account bound reward.
Something that was taken out from earlier versions of the game was the trading system. Although we won’t be expecting a Division-esque economy with some sort of black market “Auction House”, player trading will be possible in a certain way at least. For those of you who play World of Warcraft, it will work similarly to the loot drop system in the dungeons there.
Loot that is dropped is currently on an individual basis and this will stay the case. However, when running in a group, doing whatever, an item that drops from an enemy can then be given to other players that are in your group when that item is dropped. There is also a 2 hour window to “trade” with your group members so you can all have a look and even a try of the weapon/armour piece before deciding who actually wants it. In layman’s terms:
Item drops. You loot it. You can drop it on the floor for another group member to pick it up.
Just be careful though as this can be picked up by anyone in the group you are in when it dropped – just watch out for anyone you’ve picked up while matchmaking!
Prefer going rogue? Have no fear as the DZ is also getting some extra additions to spice up your life – i.e. promote anarchy. Firstly, as mentioned above, there is a specific Dark Zone Set (of the Nomad) to obtain and, by the sounds of it, ONLY via the Dark Zone. How exactly these items can be dropped isn’t clear but one obvious method will be another addition; Supply Drops.
Supply Drops will be an hourly(~) event within the DZ and will be randomly dropped over any of the 6 Zones. It will include new, harder enemies and the promotion of agent combat will make the areas hot for rogue action with real rewards too. What’s great is that the rewards are bound to the “winning” team, not just an individual, but how to become said winner could be (speculation) King of the Hill style maybe? Additionally, loot that is obtained via Supply Drops are automatically bound to your character – they are not contaminated so you don’t drop them on death.
Bringing in player trading too, this will be also be available within the DZ though you can only do so within the gated entrances. You’ll also still need to extract the gear too!
As another way of getting resources and giving a little extra to do for those that spend many an hour on the game, there will also be both Daily and Weekly Assignments. Think of these as bounties with small tasks to complete while doing other things throughout the world from killing a particular type of enemy, possibly with a specific weapon, or completing a certain number of Hard/Challenging missions within a week. Just another way to gain Phoenix Credits, Division Tech and other rewards. These can then be tracked on an updated map though there’s probably a few other nifty improvements too.
The last big/small addition is to alleviate those of us that love that monochromous world of dying/blacking out. It’s not fun, particularly in a challenge mission when you’ve pushed a little too far and then have to wait a number of minutes squinting at the shadowy figures via the afterlife. Spectator Cam will enable you to spectate any of your team while dead and will allow you to also have free-roam of the camera too. Let’s just hope this is disabled for the Dark Zone though eh?
MORE for the future?
To think that the game has not even been out a month, it’s impressive of how much they are bringing out and what there is yet to come. This IS the first of many incursions and what was especially interesting is that other incursions are already in playable modes with internal testing.
Along with new incursions and new mechanics, there was also mention of new factions too. Probably not the biggest surprise considering all the killing us agents will be getting up to in game. Could this mean monthly additions of new playable content?
When you can expect 1.1? Tuesday 12th April. And if that date rings a bell with some of you, that’s the same date as the upcoming Destiny update – the gloves are most certainly off for Massive.
To catch the whole report, check out The Division’s official Twitch Channel for their previous broadcast: Special Report: Update 1.1.
And also make sure to stop by our own Official XboxOneUk Twitch Channel where we have plenty of fun playing The Division.