The Division is getting a patch tomorrow, and I have good news and a little bad. First, let’s get the bad out of the way. Been busy farming Phoenix Credits and loot from Bullet King? You have one more night. Tomorrow, Bullet King and his buddies are going by the wayside. From the patch notes:
– Named NPCs will no longer respawn after being killed in the Open World. This will prevent situations where players were able to kill a same named NPC over and over again.
Hey, nothing lasts forever. If you haven’t farmed enough credits for a Yellow Vector or the Caduceus, get to work. This fix is coming during the server maintenance planned for tomorrow.
The big updates focus on the Dark Zone. The Division community has been clamoring for a reworking of this area, and it begins tomorrow. You can look at the full patch notes here. I’ll be offering my thoughts on some of the fixes below.
– Players are now able to fast travel to Dark Zone checkpoints, but only when coming from outside the Dark Zone.
Well, it’s about damn time. Now, we won’t have to ask a buddy to stop while you fast travel to them. It’s not a big fix, but it’s a nice quality of life improvement.
– Players killed in the Dark Zone will lose less Dark Zone Funds and Experience (Rogue and non-Rogue)
– Dark Zone Funds and Experience rewards for surviving Rogue status have been improved
– Dark Zone Funds and Experience rewards for killing Rogue agents have been improved
We don’t know the specifics yet, but this is exactly the type of move Ubisoft Massive had to make. Dark Zone was essentially broken. At least, it wasn’t being played the way the developers intended it to be.
There was zero incentive for players to go Rogue. The amount of DZ funds, and specifically experience, were way too high. Hours of progress is lost when dying as Rogue. And a solid 30-45 minutes when dying non-Rogue. Like I said, we still don’t know the exact specifics of these tweaks – but it should encourage more engagements in the Dark Zone.
– Phoenix Credits drop have been increased on lvl 31 and 32 enemies in the Dark Zone:
Lvl 30: 1-3 Phoenix Credits
Lvl 31: 2-4 Phoenix Credits
Lvl 32: 3-5 Phoenix Credits
– Increased drop rate of High-End items from lvl 31 and 32 named NPCs in the Dark Zone.
Another necessary change. If farming the same boss over and over again is seen as the only way to make meaningful progress, your endgame is broken. This update combined with the three above will make venturing into the Dark Zone finally mean something.
Loot games need to focus on what Blizzard did when they finally fixed Diablo 3. High-end loot needs to drop regularly. Even if it’s not necessarily an upgrade, it feels like you are earning something. Over the past few weeks, the only way to get really good gear is to grind Phoenix Credits. And that gets extremely tedious after a while.
The increase in drop rates for high-end items will also push players to go Rogue more. I know I’ll be on the lookout for extractions. Combine the less harsh penalties with more, better loot and the Dark Zone should begin to resemble what we played during the beta.
The Dark Zone fixes sound fantastic. We’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see exactly how good the fixes are. But Ubisoft Massive shows they are listening to the community and are relatively fast to fixing issues. The Division is just two weeks old after all.
Tomorrow’s patch isn’t focused on just the Dark Zone. Several other welcome improvements have been made.
– Fixed an issue where DPS would not be calculated properly when purchasing a new weapon mod.
Raise your hand if you bought a new weapon mode thinking you were about to see an awesome DPS increase only to see it go lower. I’m hoping it fixes another issue where your Firearms stat wouldn’t update sometimes.
– Named enemies will now drop better loot in Challenge mode than in Hard mode.
Ubisoft Massive is hitting all the right notes with this patch. They need to get level 30 players playing the endgame. And this patch does it. Increased Phoenix Credit rates on high-level named enemies, and loot drops are a definite step in the right direction. Plus, it finally gives us an incentive to go Rogue (depending on how much they adjusted the penalty). I imagine the developers aren’t done tweaking, but this should be a good base to build on.
Be sure to check out the rest of the patch notes for all the fixes. There are a handful of platform-specific tweaks and some fixes to the general UI.
What do you think of the patch? Does it fix most of the issues you have with The Division? Are there any Ubisoft Massive missed? Let me know in the comments.