Share this news:

loot_header

The Hunt for Loot

06/10/2016 05:00 PM

Agents,

In our last two development updates about Update 1.4 we looked at the new World Tiers and the changes we’ve made to gear and skills. Today we’re going to take a closer look at how you get your hand on all that precious gear - like with everything else, this part of the game will see some big changes in Update 1.4 to what you are used to in 1.3.

Loot drops

One aspect we wanted to change with Update 1.4 is increase the availability of loot and through that give you more opportunities to get upgrades. To accomplish this, we’ve created common pools of drops that apply to enemies in the game. In practice, that means that almost every enemy in The Division can drop all kinds of gear and you have the possibility to get an upgrade - a new weapon, a piece of a Gear Set, a mod, etcetera - from the enemies you encounter; be it in the open world, in the Dark Zone, or during missions (in Incursions, only named enemies and bosses will drop gear). With the new World Tier system, we’re also able to make sure that all drops will be relevant to you in some way - it might not be the Gear Set piece you’re actively looking for in that particular moment, or have the talents you wanted, but at least you know that the drop will have a Gear Score tailored to the World Tier you are currently in.

We’ve also divided the items into different pools so that drops don’t overlap anymore. An enemy has a chance to drop items from different pools at the same time. A mod drop will never replace a Gear Set drop, for example; instead you have a chance of getting both, or one, or none. Side arms have been moved to a different pool from the weapons, so they won’t overlap with regular weapons anymore. This limits the overall RNG, helps you to get a steady stream of potential upgrades, and should lower the amount of frustration when getting new loot.

loot_underground

The changes also change the dynamic of the game. Take Underground, for example. In 1.3, finishing an Underground mission as fast as possible, bypassing enemies on the way, was preferable since you wanted to get the mission rewards. In Update 1.4, since loot drops from more enemies, not only from bosses and as mission rewards, there’s actually a point to clearing out all enemies in a room. Who knows, that unnamed Riker sniper might carry the Gear Set piece you’re actually hunting for! Same goes for enemies you encounter in the open world, or during HVTs and S&Ds, or during missions. Every fight you get into can now turn out to be rewarding in some ways – be it through actual upgrades or gear you can sell or deconstruct for crafting materials. Drop rates are affected by the type of enemies you decide to fight – the harder the enemy (normal vs veteran vs elite), the higher the chances for loot drops.

The new system also means that all Gear Sets will be available for all players. In 1.3 you can only get the FireCrest Gear Set from the Dragon’s Nest incursion and in the Underground, both of which were parts of the Underground DLC. In Update 1.4, those Gear Sets will be available to people that haven’t bought the Underground DLC or the Season Pass yet, since they’ll be dropping everywhere in the game. We hope that’s an appreciated move that will open up for a wider meta amongst all our players.

Speaking of the Underground, there was a lot of talk in the community about us removing the guaranteed High End item from the final chest during the second week of the PTS and some players were frustrated when they got a purple drop from it. That drop happened due to a bug and we’re sorry for the confusion it caused. In Update 1.4, purple items will only drop from the final Underground chest on normal difficulty in World Tier 1, as at that point it still has the possibility to be an upgrade. In every tier and difficulty above that the chest will drop a guaranteed High End item instead. It should be noted that purple items can still drop from non-named enemies in every World Tier.

Instead of getting higher quality gear from higher difficulties, more gear will drop in Hard, Challenging and Heroic. This means that all content becomes relevant again. While you’ll probably not stick to normal difficulty for long, at least you’ll know that even normal missions will come with the possibility of an upgrade. Want faster upgrades? Aim for the higher difficulties. Want to progress at a slower, but less demanding, pace? Stick to normal. You might not get the same quantity of loot, but you’ll still be able to amass the best gear over time.

loot_gear2

The Dark Zone will still be the place to get the largest amount of gear faster than anywhere else. This is due to two factors. First of all, it’s the most dangerous place to go in The Division, with potential rogue agents lurking behind every corner, so the rewards have to be appropriate for that dangerous playstyle. Secondly, it’s also the place with the highest concentration of veteran and elite enemies, especially in the northern parts of the Dark Zone. Pump up the difficulty in the rest of the game though, and you’ll find plenty of veterans and elites to take down outside the Dark Zone. The Dark Zone is far from the only way you can progress in The Division.

The new Banshee’s Shadow set will drop like any other Gear Set, not just in the Dark Zone. This allows you to build up a Banshee set in advance and enter the Dark Zone more prepared for what awaits you in there.

In order to keep up with the World Tier system, we’ve added new level 33 weapon mods to the game. Some mods were previously locked out from certain item qualities, but that’s been remedied and they are now all available in all variants.

Summary of loot changes:
  • All enemies, except for non-named enemies in Incursions, have a chance to drop loot with a Gear Score appropriate for your World Tier.
  • Items have been divided into different pools to reduce overlap.
  • All Gear Sets are now available to all players.
  • More gear will drop in higher difficulties.
  • The final chest in Underground will only have the chance of a purple item in normal difficulty in World Tier 1.
  • Banshee’s Shadow will drop everywhere, just like any other Gear Set.
  • Level 33 mods have been added to the game. Mods are now available in all qualities.

Weighting

Weighting With all Gear Sets dropping everywhere in Update 1.4, we’ve changed the way the weighting of the drops works in Incursions. As noted above, in 1.3 some Gear Sets only drop from certain Incursions or in the Underground. That meant you had to do those to get the Gear Sets you wanted. In 1.4 this is no longer the case. Instead, we’ve opted for a system where the final Incursion rewards are weighted towards certain equipment slots. While bosses and named enemies in there will drop all kinds of items, the final rewards will follow a predictable pattern. Again, this is a way to limit the randomness of the drops and allow you to plan your progress a bit more.

loot_gearsetincursion

Note that the Gear Sets the rewards will be are random.

Summary of weighting changes:
  • Loot weighting in Incursions will now focus on different equipment slots, not Gear Sets.

Sealed Cache and Vendors

In Update 1.4, you will keep getting experience points at level 30 just like you did during the 1-30 game. Once you’ve filled your bar, you won’t gain another level - instead you’ll be awarded with a Sealed Cache, which will give you one or two random items scaled to your Gear Score and some Phoenix Credits. Your bar is then reset and you start over, gaining more experience points and more caches. This system, which we call Field Proficiency, is not the only way to get those Sealed Caches though; they are also given out for daily and weekly assignments. These assignments should now be worth your time and will give you another stream of potential upgrades to your gear.

In 1.4, we want to give you more options on what to spend your different currencies on. In 1.3, the regular credit vendors tended to be left behind once you hit level 30. Now they’ll sell purple and High End gear relevant for the World Tier you’re currently in, allowing you to spend credits to fill out any gaps in your gear. The refresh of their stock will now be weekly instead of daily, giving you more time to save up the credits you need. They’ll also sell regular Sealed Caches, similar to the ones you get from Field Proficiency experience. The Dark Zone vendors will sell those caches as well – the only difference between the DZ caches and the regular ones is that the former will give you a little more Phoenix Credits.

loot_sealedcache

Phoenix Credit vendors will be slightly less random than the regular credit vendors and allow you to buy categorized Sealed Caches – weapons, High End, Gear Set and Mods caches. The Dark Zone vendor in DZ06 will have a random selection of Gear Set items for sale, one for each slot. The Phoenix vendor, in contrast, will have items from each Gear Set on sale, but the slots will be random. The Phoenix Vendor will overall carry the best gear of all the vendors.

The Dark Zone and Phoenix Credits prices for Gear Sets have been lowered quite a bit to be on par with the High End prices. Assault Rifles, shotguns, pistols and Marksman Rifles have been given discounts as well. Named weapons aren’t as expensive as they used to be either.

In order to buy the Dark Zone caches, you need to be rank 20, but overall the rank requirements for buying equipment in the DZ have been lowered across the board.

Summary of Sealed Caches and vendor changes:
  • Experience gained at level 30 will count towards Field Proficiency, which will award you with a Sealed Cache every time you fill your XP bar.
  • Sealed Caches award random items appropriate to your Gear Score and some Phoenix Credits.
  • Credit and Dark Zone vendors will sell Sealed Caches. The only difference between the two is that you get slightly more Phoenix Credits from the Dark Zone caches.
  • Refresh of Credit vendor stock is now weekly instead of daily.
  • The Dark Zone vendor in DZ06 will sell random Gear Sets, one for each slot. The Phoenix Credit Vendor will sell Gear Sets, one from each set but for random slots.
  • Prices for some gear has been lowered.
  • Dark Zone rank requirements have been lowered. You need DZ rank 20 to buy Dark Zone Sealed Caches.

Crafting

We’ve added special Sealed Caches for the crafting assignments, which will give you a pile of crafting materials. We’ve also removed the Division Tech requirements from all blueprints.

Blueprints for named weapons are no longer sold in the game. If you have the old blueprints they won’t be taken away from you, but they will remain the same Gear Score, even with the named weapons now scaling to the World Tier you get them in.

Summary of changes:
  • Crafting assignments will reward you Sealed Crafting Caches.
  • Division Tech requirements for crafting have been removed.
  • Blueprints for named weapons are no longer for sale. Old blueprints will not be removed, but will not scale.

Other changes

We’ve also made some minor changes which should increase the quality of life in The Division. For example, we’ve increased the intel you get for turning in Search & Destroy missions – they now award 5-10 intel, on top of the regular drops.

We’ll leave you with one minor detail: the crafting station now takes 0,5 seconds less time to activate. Progress!

Conclusions

As you can see, in Update 1.4 you will have more revenue streams of new gear available to you. Compared to 1.3, it will be much easier to find potential upgrades, to create different builds and work on your min-maxing. We hope this will create a more satisfying and fun game, while also encouraging players to experiment more with different builds, talents and Gear Sets and create new metas. Our goal is also to revitalize large parts of the game, like Manhattan outside of the Dark Zone, and lower any frustration you might currently have towards how rewards work in The Division.

In short, expect to get a lot more loot than you currently are.

- The Division Dev Team