Big New Division Patch Will Eliminate Farming Exploit, Improve Dark Zone Rewards

Big New Division Patch Will Eliminate Farming Exploit, Improve Dark Zone Rewards

Over the weekend, you could’ve been forgiven for confusing The Division with Stardew Valley. Because both games were about farming! Get it? Heyo! Rimshot! Tip your waiter!

A lot of us may have spent some time getting familiar with the Bullet King, but after the server maintenance tomorrow, it will be time to say goodbye to him forever: A new patch will make it so that named bosses out in the game-world can only be killed once, which eliminates the beloved, oh-so boring strategy of killing a miniboss over and over again.

The patch makes a lot of other changes, too, and some of them sound great. Notable changes include: You’ll be able to fast travel to Dark Zone checkpoints from outside the DZ, you can heal other players in the Dark Zone and the penalties and rewards for going rogue in the DZ will be tweaked so that it makes more sense to actively go rogue.

They have also slightly increased the number of Phoenix Credits dropped by high-level bosses in the DZ and increased the high-end drop rate for those bosses as well. Those last few tweaks should go some way toward addressing some of the problems players have had with the Dark Zone.

I’ve been impressed with how responsive Ubisoft Massive has been with this game so far; this patch only furthers that feeling. Here are the full notes, per The Division blog:


  • Named enemies will now drop better loot in Challenge mode than in Hard mode.
  • Added a cooldown period for the Static Turret stun attack in order to avoid a stunlock in PvP and PvE game modes.
  • 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.
  • Modifications to the weapon talent: Trained.It can now only be rolled on Shotgun, Marksman rifles and PistolsIts bonus has been reduced from 1%-5% to a constant 0.1%For the Midas SMGs, Trained Talent has been replaced with Responsive Talent which increases damage when getting closer to the target. This applies to existing weapons as well as newly acquired onesFor all SMGs, LMGs, and Assault Rifles, it will be replaced with another randomly picked weapon talent. This applies to existing weapons as well as newly acquired ones
  • Fixed a speed run exploit for the Rooftop Comm Relay mission
  • Fixed an issue where weapons dealt no damage if the reload animation was interrupted by an agent’s skill
  • Fixed an issue where players became stuck in an emote animation if activated via chat while auto running
  • Fixed a bug where skill power would be increased permanently while using the Death by Proxy talent
  • Fixed a bug where experience was not being awarded for completing all side-missions in the Midtown East safe house
  • Fixed instances where the Seeker Mine with Airburst / Multi-mine mod would detonate too soon, miss targets or cause no damage
  • Fixed a bug where grenades would sometimes not display the blast radius warning before detonating
  • Fixed an issue where some NPCs in low cover would not react to being shot by the player
  • Fixed issues where emotes would cause the player model to behave oddly (missing guns, player stuck in emote animation, etc)
  • Fixed a bug where weapon mods and weapon skins would not show up on other players in the game world
  • Fixed an issue where DPS would not be calculated properly when purchasing a new weapon mod


  • Players can now heal other neutral players in the Dark zone, by using First Aid and Support Station skills
  • Players are now able to fast travel to Dark Zone checkpoints, but only when coming from outside the Dark Zone
  • The Dark Zone disconnect timer has been increased to 30 seconds, meaning players will remain in the game world longer when logging out while in the Dark Zone (this applies while not in combat)
  • Items extracted from the Dark Zone are now properly marked as “new” items when moved to the players inventory
  • Players killed in the Dark Zone now drop ammo, medkits and grenades. This loot is generated and not taken from the dying players’ inventory
  • 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
  • Phoenix Credits drop have been increased on lvl 31 and 32 enemies in the Dark Zone:Lvl 30: 1-3 Phoenix CreditsLvl 31: 2-4 Phoenix CreditsLvl 32: 3-5 Phoenix Credits
  • Increased drop rate of High-End items from lvl 31 and 32 named NPCs in the Dark Zone.
  • Increased drop rate of High-End Division Tech Material from lvl 32 named NPCs in the Dark Zone.
  • Improved Dark Zone Chests items quality:Rank 30 chests will now drop Superior (Purple) items instead of Specialised (Blue)Keys chests now have a chance to drop High-End (Gold) items
  • Dark Zone Funds drop rates and quantity on NPCs has been reduced.
  • Fixed a bug where the Wildfire and Fear Tactics talents were affecting neutral players in the Dark Zone.
  • Fixed instances where players would receive a DELTA error message when entering the Dark Zone
  • Fixed a bug where sometimes players could not loot anything after returning to the game following a network disconnection
  • Fixed Stage 1 Rogue timers not displaying correctly when Rogue players receive damage from another player


  • Fixed a few lights that did not cast global illumination


  • Added more information for Daily missions on the Map
  • Tutorials have received some UI polish
  • The Matchmaking menu now displays the mission difficulty rating more prominently
  • The mini-map mission tracker has been optimised to be less confusing to players
  • Fixed a bug where some of the attributes for high-end equipment were cut-off in the recalibration menu
  • Fixed a bug where the Matchmaking menu for a mission would not display correctly or kept disappearing
  • Fixed missing item icons in the Reward Claim Vendor’s inventory
  • Fixed incorrect side-missions being displayed in the Map legend


  • Fixed a bug where the helicopter crash SFX would be missing from the Brooklyn end cinematic
  • Fixed a bug where the Zapper Turret mod had no sound
  • Fixed a bug where the audio for entering a contaminated area would be cut-off
  • Fixed a bug where audio would not play when scrolling through vanity items


  • Fixed Ubisoft CLUB reward descriptions in Korean and Traditional Chinese
  • In-game localisation bug fixes


  • Tobii Eye Tracking bug fixes and improvements
  • On launch, the PC client now monitors PC graphic settings and applies the best settings for the user’s configuration. This is unless the user has custom settings.
  • Fixed an issue where the Map was sometimes difficult to navigate with a mouse
  • Fixed issues with Hungarian, Korean, and Russian localizations
  • Fixed an issue that prevented matchmaking while on the Map
  • Removed the Store button from the Character Selection screen on PC versions of the game. Players can find the store page in the Ubisoft CLUB app directly
  • Fixed increment number on Day 1 Patch Notes (was 1.1, now correctly states 1.01)


  • Fixed a bug where players could not reconnect to the servers after suspending the game on Xbox One
  • Fixed a bug on Xbox One where unblocking a player would not be reflected in-game until title reboot


  • Added an option to disable the PlayStation 4 controller speaker
  • Improved textures and models streaming speed
  • Fixed an issue where ISAC volume could get too loud when playing with headsets


  • “The PVP area relies on other players to be fun for the people who like it, so let’s try to push everyone towards it even if they don’t like PVP!”

    As predicted. Shrug. Wake me when there’s content.

    • I haven’t felt like I’m being pushed into PvP at all. The game has suggested there’s stuff to do in the dark zone and that’s been it.

      • Well. Depends on your definition of pushed, I guess. However you want to describe the game essentially telling you: “The only things left for you to do are repeat the challenging mission of the day, or jump into the Dark Zone.”

        • You’re forgetting the Incursion that pops up on the map…and then tells you that you can’t play it yet 😛

          • Ha. I haven’t actually seen any of these yet. But I haven’t played in the last week after I ran out of things to do that aren’t DZ.

      • personally the problem with the DZ is that 50% of the high end gear recipes comes from it after a stupidly long grind (the other 50% comes from your base of operations). if you want to do well in PVE content you have to go to DZ. hopefully the changes to challenge mode will help alleviate that.

        DZ can be fun and I’ve certainly had fun in it but going rogue can basically mean you lose 2 to 4hrs grinding you did, personally i don’t know of a single modern mmo that negatively rewards you if you died . this is all assuming jerks who are better geared then you aren’t murdering you for laughs.

        at the end of the day all the problem of open world PVP still exists in the DZ and there’s no indications that any solutions will arise which is disappointing.

        • Don’t forget the fun dark zone trick they pulled of “Oh you FINALLY hit DZ level 10? Well, all the gear you can buy now requires DZ level 30!”

    • A have a buddy who was hyped for this game pre-launch. Basically bored with it now.

      Sadly the MMO formula isn’t translating well to shooters, mainly for the lack of interesting content. I don’t know how big vanilla WoW was by comparison but for some reason that drew a huge audience while fickle shooter players turn on the games and call them boring after five minutes. Division seem to be following the same arc as Destiny, only faster. Pass.

      • Vannilla wow it took most people 20 – 30 days played to level to 60. Once at 60 you then had a myriad of things you could do. In the division i think most people are doing everything in around 100 hours or 3 – 4 days played (level 30 and dz rank 50) – the challenge modes also offer little challenge as well.

        By comparison there is a distinct lack of content. I don’t think any mmo shooter has anywhere near the content wow had at release.

      • I did tell myself I was just going to treat it the same as any other box-price game and try not to get stuck on the MMO’ish elements. I do still kind of feel like going back to it and shooting some things, but the pull is waning. (Still couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed, but I can’t say I didn’t know it was coming.)

        The content that’s there is pretty great. The exploration game has been fantastic. That world is detailed so meticulously, so intricately. But once you’ve explored, that part’s over and what’s left is basically just the PVP area. And they want that zone to see a lot more PVP if the latest patch is any indicator, so that’s a big middle finger to anyone who wants to keep doing anything else but doesn’t like PVP.

        Vanilla WoW? Man, it was huge.
        You could do quests every day for literally months and still not have reached the level cap, and even once you did, there were still entire quest-lines to complete. Cogent stories, end to end… Even when you factor that some of it was pure padding, sending you to the four corners of the globe just to keep you busy, the amount of content they started with was overkill compared to anything else on the market at the time or since, and they just keep adding to it. And even then, its players complain about lack of content. It’s not a solved problem.

        Developers thought for a while that ’emergent gameplay’ (lazily implemented as little more than open-world PVP in most cases) was the answer, trying to change the definition of ‘stories’ away from programmed narrative into the water-cooler, “I did this, then this happened,” type of story that can only come from giving players loads of tools and freedom… but it simply hasn’t taken off the same way, because for every, “Something cool happened,” story, there’s a million, “Something boring/frustrating/nothing happened,” stories. Scripted narratives remain the more compelling (albeit finite and expensive) option. It’s turning out that ’emergent gameplay’ (via PVP) just isn’t content.

        Content-wise, WoW is an impossible standard to match, which is why everyone who has tried has failed, or is giving up and settling for any niche they can carve out from whatever’s left.

        The underlying game of Destiny and The Division is essentially the same as any other MMO… just with a different control scheme/perspective and not as ‘massively’ in terms of concurrent players. It boggles my mind when anyone tries to argue otherwise, then gets surprised when what they argued wasn’t a duck persists in quacking like one.

        • I think the biggest problem i’ve noticed in The Division is that its solution to keeping you hooked isn’t gameplay based, it’s rewards based. You’re playing for better loot, you’re doing the boring, repetitive side quests and encounters in the hopes you’ll get a drop or another wing which changes your gameplay experience in the slightest of ways.

          These RPG games hinge too much on the player’s addiction to loot dropping, rather than responsive and fun gameplay. The Division’s gameplay is just nowhere near as tight as Destiny’s, and that’s why there’s already this intense cooling happening so early. I put it down last week when I realised I was grinding for, at best, a marksman rifle that behaves exactly the same as the ones I already have but shows more numbers on the screen when it shoots. I know we didn’t really see eye to eye on this before, but I still firmly believe my lack of excitement about the loot comes from the realistic setting of the game. There’s just no variety / wacky perks that a game like Destiny or a fantasy RPG can provide because they still need the guns to behave like real guns, and the armour and gear to look real.

          Triple A has a real problem with trying to force player investment through carrot on stick feedback loops, when they should really be looking at Nintendo games. Nintendo rarely have those sorts of RPG leveling / gear elements, they just have finely tuned, brutally perfected gameplay that, as obvious as it sounds, focuses on the gameplay being fun on its own.

          The Division has made the mistake (even more than Destiny, which has excellent 30 second gameplay feedback) that the allure of loot – however dull that loot may be – will keep me playing, rather than satisfying, tight, bug-free gameplay.

    • I am not a massive fan of PVP but tried it last night, spent a good hour trying to fight off some group because I joined the wrong group as they went rogue. Its good fun.

    • Challenging mission can be pretty fun, I haven’t had any matchmade groups that couldn’t eventually fumble through it. And they’ll usually give you some yellows.

      Just finding there’s limited replayability there, is all.

      • Yeah tried doing one yesterday with a mate, he gave up at the first encounter. Plan on trying again when a few more are leveled and geared up.

        • That basically sums up the random matchmaking for challenges too.
          You lose quite a few people in the first encounter, but eventually you get a team where people don’t freak or flip.

          Last night was the Lexington Centre and despite a crappy start we got a team who managed to push through it quite well.

  • I hit level 16 last night. Pity I won’t be able to use the boss exploit but figured at my pace any exploits that crop up will get patched before I get there.

    On the plus side by the time I hit 30 things should actually be balanced to run as intended. Also hopefully the people who rushed 30 and got good gear will have lost interest by the time I hit the Dark Zone.

    On a side note I was in the Dark Zone when I logged in last night (previous play session I went in to have a look) and it was completely deserted. Likely just due to my level but there’s always been others in there before. The NPCs are surprisingly difficult to take out when you’re under geared and on your own.

    • All you missed out on was recipes, materials and cadeceus
      Not the end of the world. You can still get each from playing the game 🙂

      • Yeah, doesn’t really bother me or I would have actually spent more time playing the game already.

        I find Stardew Valley to be a lot more interesting. Got both these games at the same time and SDV wins out by a lot.

        I kind of just play Division when I feel like doing some mindless shooting.

    • I will give you a tip though
      They may be able to stop named pve boss farming, but they can’t stop you from saving them for 30.

      So if you stumble across a named enemy, ignore the urge to kill them for low lvl gear and save them until you hit 30. That way you can go back and get lvl 30 purples (or high end if you are really lucky) When you actually need them.

  • Not a bad game but after 1 week of play there really isnt any reason to log in. You can either repeat the same missions on a harder difficulty or run around in circles in the Dark Zone farming NPCs.


  • Shame they didn’t just change the open world bosses to respawn daily rather than on the normal schedule

  • Still finding it a blast. Playing a couple of hours every night, weekends turn into all dayers. The grind to DZ50 doesn’t take long. Now I’m just min-maxing and mucking around in the DZ with mates. Good times.

    I’m playing as ‘Use your fxcking Push-to-talk key’ policeman. Voluntarily going Rogue against people that don’t listen 3x to these warnings 🙂

  • “which eliminates the beloved, oh-so boring strategy of killing a miniboss over and over again.”

    … and replaces it with the ever-entertaining “run in a circle and kill 3-4 different minibosses over and over again”? 😛 The PvE bosses should respawn, maybe once a day? As it stands, my PvE city is a ghost town – the only thing left for me to actually do is dailies and DZ. And, until the “stack healing stations and smart-cover to win” strategy is patched out, that’s predominantly just DZ, which as I said, is running in a circle collecting stuff to sell or break down for parts.

    There doesn’t seem to be any need to encourage people to go rogue once they reach 50 or above – not only do they no longer have to worry about losing DZ rank, they’re fully geared in yellows – they’re well-geared and bored. Saw plenty of rogues last night, and tried my best to stay out of their way – died to some once when a non-hostile group just opened fire on us for no apparent reason (we had no loot to drop); lost half an hour of progress. We’ll see how much they “decreased” the penalty for non-rogue death – the current 40-50 NPC kills worth of XP per death seems an unduly harsh punishment for altruism. As it stands, I won’t be going back to the DZ unless it’s in a group of three or more – too many trigger-happy dicks about.

    • Yeah, I’ve seen all the, “There’s no incentive to go rogue, penalty is too harsh, no-one’s PVPing and everyone’s playing nice!” threads everywhere and the devs actually paying attention to that griping was incredibly short-sighted and naive.

      It’s like they’ve never played DayZ or Rust or Ark or anything even remotely similar. When people are comfortable enough with the mechanics and/or their gear so that there’s nothing left for them in PVE, they invariably turn to KoS PVP. It never fails.

      They do not need incentives to do so. They didn’t need to reduce the rogue penalty, they just needed to wait. As it is, they’ve simply accelerated the process of turning it into a hell-hole.

      • I’ve seen a couple of posts in the subreddit about this exact thing happening – well-geared groups farming players in DZ01-2. It gives me hope that it might be recognised as a problem, but reading the responses also encourages me to stay the hell out of the DZ. The short-sighted ignorance in those threads is mind-boggling – “git gud” isn’t applicable in a loot-focused RPG; “git gud gear” might be a valid argument, if the fastest place to get said gear weren’t the very area being highlighted as problematic for ungeared players. “The DZ is meant to be a bloodbath”… the hell? Massive have stated numerous times that they want there to be tenuous alliances alongside the temptation of betrayal. There’s no tension in KoS PvP, no betrayal if there’s no trust to break.

        It’s oddly safer for my group to farm DZ5-6 than DZ1-2 because griefers will stick to the easier pastures… but I’m also keenly aware that this can only last so long before people in the lower zones have either geared up or given up, and the the lower zones empty of easy targets.

        Two and a half more ranks… 1-2 more nights and I’ll be done with DZ (and possibly the game) until the Incursions in April. That, or I’ll level an alt to 30 so I’ve got a character who doesn’t care about losing DZ rank to griefers… something people are already doing to go rogue without repercussion on their mains, btw.

  • Curious to see how the dark zone reacts, am glad they’re not pushing it towards a PvP only zone and that they’re only tweeking it a little bit. Seems good, am happy so far… even though I only stumbled onto the farming method last night lol

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