The first content update to The Division is just around the corner. And with it, the introduction of Incursions. What are they? Think regular missions, but with the difficulty ramped up for high-rank players.

We don’t know much about the story for the first Incursion. It’s called Falcon Lost and is designed to test a group of four players with high-level gear equipped. The big change with Incursions is there are no checkpoints. If your party dies, it’s back to the beginning.

The Division incursions

In a new community podcast, lead designer Mathias Karlson touched on how difficult Incursions are. “I have not beaten it on Challenge mode,” said Karlson. He must not have grinded for days yet, am I right?

Massive’s Andrada Greciuc is in the same boat. “I have tried it with three of my team, but I don’t think we’ve been able to beat it.”

Don’t worry. It is beatable. They wouldn’t launch it if no one at Massive couldn’t beat it.

So, how hard is it? Here’s how the difficulty of Incursions breaks down. The default difficulty is akin to Challenge Mode on current missions. Challenge mode for Incursions is said to be even harder. Many players should have no issue completing Falcon Lost on the first day. Challenge mode is a different story. I don’t think it will take long, but players will need gear acquired from the default mode to complete it.

I’ll give it a day max. Some of these The Division players are hooked like I was on Diablo 3.

I embedded the podcast below if you want to give it a listen.

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Item drops and crafting changes coming in update 1.1

Reddit and The Division forums blew up when changes to crafting were announced. Ubisoft Massive is increasing the number of materials needed to craft specialized material across the board. Here’s how it’s going to look.

– 10 Standard (Green) materials instead of 5 to craft 1 Specialized (Blue) material.
– 15 Specialized (Blue) materials instead of 5 to craft 1 High-End (Gold) material.
– 10 High-End (Gold) materials instead of 8 to craft 1 lvl 31 High-End (Gold) item.

Deconstruction is also changing.

– Deconstructing a Standard (Green) item yields 1 Standard material instead of 2.
– Deconstructing a High-End (Gold) item eyelids 1 High-End material instead of 2.

Yeah, I thought the changes were BS when I first read them too. But, Ubisoft Massive clarified what they’re doing in a blog post today.

“At the moment, loot drops are just too rare and disappointing, putting too much of an emphasis on crafting: you are looking for crafting materials and may sometimes end up dropping an interesting item in the process,” the developers write.

The developers released a graph perfectly illustrating the problem.

The Division high-end loot

Once next week’s patch releases, all named NPCs will drop High-End piece of gear. Ubisoft Massive explained further how this is going to work. “For example, a level 30 named will guarantee a gear score 163 High-End. With so much more High-End drops, you’ll quickly notice that crafting High-End items, while more expensive, will not necessarily be much more complicated. To make sure that crafting remains a viable alternative, we will also increase drop rates of Division Tech materials to 40% on level 32 named enemies in the Dark Zone.”

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The increased high-end drops is fantastic news. The Division needs to be more like Diablo with loot. And guaranteed yellow drops is a huge step in the right direction.

Also, Ubisoft Massive is designing new drop tables so you can focus on certain NPCs to get that piece of gear you want. Once you know what loot drops from which NPCs, you can focus on killing that one. Finally, a grind for specific loot. Not for credits to get loot.

“These changes will not only make crafting and dropping more coherent towards each other, but will also make it feel much more fun and rewarding,” Massive writes.

I’m 100% on board with these changes. The biggest problem with The Division right now is the tedious grind to arbitrary levels to get gear. What makes games like Diablo so much fun, was the constant shiny piece of loot dropping when you killed stuff. I can’t wait for next week’s patch now.

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