Hold onto your butts everyone. We’re going in.
But with update 1.4 we were promised change and a reason to come back, and by all accounts, that’s what we’re getting. Alex certainly seems pretty psyched which is always a good sign.
Firstly the PTS is scheduled for some time next week after an initial delay. There’s no firm date so we’ll update you as soon as that’s announced.
Next up, they addressed Time to Kill.
Currently enemies are bullet-sponges that deal a ton of damage and the game is too difficult for those players that can’t or don’t want to devote huge amounts of time to it. There’s a huge spike in Time to Kill post-level 30 which isn’t how the game should behave – and that goes for both optimised and non-optimised gear.
Alex distills the problem as the game being optimised for the small percentage of high level players with fully optimised gear, leaving everybody else with a crappy experience.
The fix being implemented for this first off is that the enemy Time to Kill will mirror the gradual incline pre-level 30 by fixing their health and damage scaling.
Moving on to difficulty levels, there’s a big jump between each increment and to do the harder difficulties you need the better gear that comes from completing the harder difficulties, so it’s a catch-22 scenario.
The fix for this is a game-changer, quite literally.
You will now be able to select a World Level which sets the level for all NPCs you’ll encounter across all scenarios. This only comes into effect once your character hits level 30. It also affects loot and gear drop levels.
The tiers available are tuned for gear scores, allowing you to essentially max out the gear score for each, after which you’ll get a notification that you can progress to the next tier.
The max NPC level is now going to be 33, with 34 and 35 being scrapped completely. As Alex points out, the level 33 enemies after the update are not going to be the same as level 33 prior to the update, so don’t panic yourself about not having enough of a challenge.
So with World Level affecting the NPC level, normal, hard and challenging modes will now have an effect on the amount of loot you get.
Meanwhile Heroic difficulty is going to exist for incursions only.
And when it comes to loot drops, all enemies now have a chance to drop goodies of all kinds. In theory everything is available to pick up from trash mobs. Obviously this doesn’t apply to incursions because the loot is rewarded at the end.
Finally, good news for those who can’t stand the Dark Zone; patrolling bosses are coming back to PvE.
There’s more to come but holy cow, this is a damn good start at getting The Division back to the glory of its early days.