The Division’s G36 assault rifle doesn’t need nerfing

By Matt Martin, Thursday, 30 June 2016 14:23 GMT

The G36 is the shepherd protecting my righteous ass in the valley of darkness.

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“For too long we’ve fought against enemies with infinite grenades, one-hit-kill shotgun shells and blazing flamethrowers.”

The G36 assault rifle cuts through everything in its path. It spews lead, barking like Cerebus, making the numbers climb and the enemies fall. They don’t get back up.

It is without a doubt the best thing in The Division’s Underground expansion. It’s exhilarating to pull that trigger.

And Massive is going to nerf it.

The Division’s G36 nerf sends out a confused message to all of us. Only days before the 1.3 Underground update dropped, Massive said it was trying to encourage players to adopt different weapons, to break away from the M1A and Vector combo that had become so popular.

To do so, it has introduced new weapons, buffed the assault rifle, shotgun, and LMG, and pulled back the power of the marksman rifles and the SMGs. All of that is welcome after months of gunplay that had started to stagnate.

Massive reckons the base damage of the G36 is too high. It also has two more buffs going for it; assault rifles now do armour damage in PvE, and the Focused talent increases damage so long as none of your skills are on cooldown. So yeah, it’s a powerful addition to your arsenal and that’s even before modding it to again increase damage, mag size and rate of fire.

But you know what? We need a gun that slays the AI. For too long we’ve fought against enemies with infinite grenades, who spam us with pineapples milliseconds after we roll from cover to cover. We need something that puts down those guys with shotguns who stomp forward blasting one-hit-kill shells but don’t flinch when we unload a full extended mag in into their faces. And in the newly introduced confined spaces of Underground’s dungeons we need something that can quickly counter the cleaners and their blazing flamethrowers.

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Underground seems to be the most likely place to get a G36 drop.

I’m not using the Vector anymore. Mine has been turned into scrap. But the M1A and new SVD marksman rifle are still crucial to any loadout. Having a stagger bonus and increased damage on shotguns has made them fun and viable guns again. The intention to get players using different weapons and experiment with alternative loadouts has worked. I’m still toying around with my set-up and I might completely change it in a couple of days once I unlock more gear sets and weapons as my Underground level ranks up. That’s the point of the Underground update, isn’t it? To nudge us to play differently.

Nerf the G36 and it becomes one of many guns that we find in the game and leave hanging around our stash bin. It’ll get no love. There are already a stack of those in gun racks across Manhattan. We don’t need another. A G36 nerf slows down combat in times when we need to cut through enemies quickly.

The Division is a cover shooter and that hasn’t changed with the G36. We still need cover in the Underground, a new set of challenges that are fun but pretty damn tough in places. The G36 doesn’t make us indestructible. We can’t stand out in the open, cock waving in the wind, spunking bullets and cackling as the enemy drops like flies. It just brings death a little quicker. It doesn’t make us any less vulnerable. But it has made the game a whole lot more fun again.

Nerf the G36 and you’re nerfing fun.

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