I played The Division a ridiculous amount when it first came out in March. But I also burned out quickly after spending dozens of hours in the Dark Zone. Sure, chasing rival players around was fun – but then the grind reared its ugly head at every turn. Within a few weeks, I was back on Rocket League.

I’ve dabbled here and there with Ubisoft’s take on what the world looks like after the November 8th. The Election and Black Friday insanity in one month? It’s going to be interesting; that’s for sure.

Every time I jumped back in, the grind pushed me right back out. I don’t inherently hate the grind. I loved Diablo 3 and Borderlands. It’s all about getting the time/reward ratio right. Grinding for hours with no reward isn’t fun.

Ubisoft Massive realized this and is taking extraordinary steps to address it. So much so, they delayed the release of future DLC until this patch gets out the door.

A few of Update 1.4’s many fixes

You can read the lengthy patch notes here. Below, I’m going to highlight a few of the changes I’m excited to see.

World Tiers

This is a brand new feature that caters to solo players or groups of friends who don’t feel like tackling the Dark Zone or Incursions. Once you hit level 30, you’ll be able to select from one of four world tiers. Here’s how the devs break it down:

Tier 1 – enemy lvl30, gear score rewards 163
Tier 2 – enemy lvl31, gear score rewards 182, unlocks Challenge difficulty, unlocks Incursions
Tier 3 – enemy lvl32, gear score rewards 204
Tier 4- enemy lvl 33, gear score rewards 229

Plus, you can tweak the difficulty for more rewards.

World Tiers remind me a lot of Torment levels from Diablo 3, and I like it. It always surprised me the developers didn’t cater more towards solo gameplay after seeing the solo/co-op split during the game’s first month of release.

The Division solo infographic

World Tiers could be handy for folks who play with only one other person (like me and my brother).

Skill Bonuses removed from all gear items

But the change isn’t retroactive. Backpacks, Holsters and Kneepads will have additional slots for Performance Mods in place of skill bonuses. These Mods have also be rebalanced.

Gear items above Gear Score 182 have fixed base stats on each attribute. Random rolls still come into play for the main stat bonus.

GS 182 = 48 Firearms, Stamina and Electronics

GS 204 = 101 Firearms, Stamina and Electronics

GS 229 = 148 Firearms, Stamina and Electronics

It’ll be interesting to see how the removal of skill bonuses plays out. Especially, since the change isn’t retroactive.

Enemy NPCs are quicker to kill

Well, it’s about damn time. Outside of the loot issues, this was one of my biggest issues. Who the hell enjoys pouring clip after clip into a regular dude rushing at you. At least in Destiny and Diablo, the sci-fi/fantasy setting lends itself to spongy enemies. A big ass monster boss? You expect a few dozen swings with an ax. A couple clips into a random dude spraying at you with an Uzi? C’mon man.

Right patch at the wrong time?

I’ll be giving the new patch a try this week, but Ubisoft is asking a lot from other players. We are knee deep in the holiday release schedule, and there are still several big-name titles coming.

Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon, Battlefield 1, Titanfall 2, Call of Duty, Dishonored 2, Civilization VI and… The Division? Fans are hoping The Division is about to have its Diablo 3 moment. The question is, will anyone else be around to see it? I’ll be here with you Division fans. My brother will make sure of that.

Will you give The Division another shot?



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