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[08-09-2016] SOTG_Header

State of the Game: September 8th, 2016

08/09/2016 05:00 PM

Greetings Agents!

During last week's State of the Game we discussed the announcement of the Public Test Server. We are thrilled to see the huge influx of great suggestions and ideas along with the community’s enthusiasm to be more involved.

We have a few bits of information to share with you as we get ready for a few very busy weeks. For everything discussed on this morning’s State of the Game stream, check out the VOD below!

[08-09-2016] Update1.4Divider

With the Devs hard at work on Update 1.4, we wanted to take this opportunity to provide some insight into key aspects we are looking at in order to improve the overall experience.

  • Time to kill: With recent updates, the time to kill has increased as the NPCs have gone up in level. While higher levels should bring increased difficulty and effort required to kill an NPC, it’s important that it still feels natural to your character’s progression and that we move away from just changing health and damage when scaling difficulty.
  • Difficulty scaling: Currently the progression between certain difficulties is too harsh, namely the jump between Hard and Challenging. There should be clear progression steps as you journey from being a fresh level 30 Agent to one with min-maxed gear of the highest gear score possible. To ensure smooth progression and make these steps clear, we need to look at the current scaling and resdesign the system so it feels like a more natural jump in difficulty. It’s also worth noting that the gap between our most “geared” players and those that we would consider to have an average loadout is far too big. This is something that we will need to adjust as well.
  • Loot Rewards: To continue taking steps to improve the progression systems we need to address the way loot rewards are handled. As a player, you should be able to play at your appropriate difficulty and acquire loot that allows you to progress to higher difficulties. You should also be able to obtain loot by doing the activities you enjoy doing. This isn’t supported very well in the current system and it’s important we address it.
  • Shooter: As the game has progressed, some of the core shooter elements have diminished. It’s important that you feel the impact of gun handling and that it’s factored in when you are considering which gun to use. We want to bring back and improve upon the importance of gunplay along with the cover based elements so the experience you have while leveling is consistent throughout the entire game.

The features addressed in Update 1.4 are not only limited to those listed above, of course. In order to bring a better balance to the game play experience, NPCs aren’t the only factor we need to look at. Player power comes with it’s own imbalances and we will be looking at a number of criteria that impact that like, for example, attribute scaling, skills, talents, etc. This means that while some stats may change, the end result will be a more balanced and fun experience.

Public Test Server

We are very excited to announce that the first technical test for the Public Test Server will start on Thursday, September 15th. This will be used to test the infrastructure of the server and ensure its stability. For this, the invites will be limited to PC players who sent in an application to the Elite Task Force, as a token of appreciation for your dedication to the game.

If you are on PC and didn’t apply to the Elite Task Force and still want to take part don’t worry! We are planning on making the Public Test Server available to all PC players who own a copy of the game on Monday September 19th. There will also be no NDA so you will be free to discuss it with others.

Finally, we’ve published an FAQ that may answer some of your questions! Check it out here!

Elite Task Force

The Elite Task Force arrived at Massive yesterday and have already jumped into their packed schedule.

These are some of the activities covered in their agenda

  • Current State of the Game
  • Update 1.4 discussions and the rebalancing effort
  • Testing and feedback
  • Discussion and workshops

We also want to shed some more light on the selection process. We did invite and select a few YouTube/Twitch personalities as they are powerful voices and came highly recommended by the community, however, a large number of the participants are regular players that were selected based on their application. In order to make that selection we examined certain player profiles such as those that played largely in groups, solo, casual, hardcore PVE, hardcore Dark Zone, and so on. This was done to ensure that we have representation from every part of the community so that every perspective is taken into account.

During their visit, a lot of great ideas and suggestions will be shared, however it will not be possible to act on all of them. For this reason we have asked the participants not to share any details on the discussions that occur during their visit, as it may set the wrong expectations. They will be able to share some of their experiences however so be on the lookout for that!

Agent Intel

We have published a new thread on the Agent Intel sub forum! If you haven’t already, wander over there and take part. It’s been highly successful so far and it’s a great way to get the entire community involved. Keep your eyes peeled for more regular updates!

[05-12-2016] TodayDivider

Today we had a standard maintenance to further improve server optimization, stability, and clean up the data bases.

[05-12-2016] LookingForwardDivider

On September 13th at 19:00 CEST/ 13:00 EDT / 10:00 PDT we will be hosting a Special Report livestream on our Twitch channel that will provide more details on the changes coming with Update 1.4!

As always, if you have any suggestions or feedback please let us know on the official forums!


Watch the latest episode below!

This week you need to complete 5 Underground Missions on Challenge Mode to receive Asher’s boots!

If you are looking for the latest information, a place to submit suggestions and feedback, or technical support, click on the appropriate links below!

As always, be sure to join us over on the Official Forums or on the community Reddit if you’re looking for a place to discuss all things related to The Division.

Until next time!

The Division Dev Team