Ubisoft Just Made A Lot Of Notable Changes To The Division 2

Players of The Division 2 received a new endgame mission called Tidal Basin that extends the game’s story yesterday, but that’s just part of a raft of changes included in the game’s first big patch.

The developers have revamped two of the game’s more controversial systems — Skill mods and Weapon mods — and, hey, as per the patch notes, the “Staff in the Base of Operation will now shout at the player less frequently than before”.

The changes that hit yesterday clocked in at over 5GB on my PS4. A full list of patch notes only went live about this morning, after a day of players messing around with the updated game.

Here in the office, I’ve only been able to play for about half an hour, but here’s what has stood out.

Skill mods now seem more useful. These mods are little gizmos that players can attach to their drones, turrets or other special gadgets.

The problem has been that, since launch, the requirements to use mods were way too high for the perks offered. A mod’s ability would only be available if your character had a high enough Skill score, which was based on equipping backpacks, kneepads and other gear.

The mods never seemed worth it, and so The Division 2’s developers redid the maths. At first glance, the mods I have now have lower Skill score requirements and seem more useful.

Weapon mods are simpler. A lot of The Division 2 comes down to collecting and using better and better guns. Those guns can be tweaked with silencers, extended ammo clips and other mods, all of which used to have pronounced pros and cons.

You could add a mod that made your gun fire more accurately but would also make it less stable. You could cut down on your reload time if you were willing to sacrifice the number of bullets a gun’s clip could hold.

The give and take frustrated some players, so they’ve been changed. Weapon mods now mostly just offer positives, albeit smaller ones. There are also some that have small negatives, but those are offset by bigger positives.

The lesser-seen Ambusher faction shows up more. (”New Ambusher NPCs now roam the streets of DC,” per the patch notes.) It’s something I saw immediately in my quick check-in with the game. En route to a control point, I ran into a few of these guys, all dressed in black, swinging axes and wielding bows.

Those numbers near your gear score are easier to read. The numbered red, blue and yellow icons that represent the number of pieces of gear you’re wearing that include buffs to offensive, defensive and skill power, respectively, are now all assembled in a row below your gear score.

They used to appear on the circle around your gear score like moons around a planet. That made them hard to read, which was a problem given that those numbers represent whether any of the special abilities on your armour or weapons are active. The new view is easier to read.

The revamped sniper turret seems worth using. I never used the old version of the game’s sniper turret. I guess a lot of other people didn’t as well, because they’ve changed it.

Now it automatically points at whichever enemy you’re aiming at and tries to shoot them. If you aren’t aiming at a target, it finds one nearby and waits for a button press for you to fire it. It’s like having a buddy in the game, for those of us not playing with buddies. Useful!

You can see how underground entrances connect to each other, as noted on Reddit. That is new, right? I don’t recall seeing it before.

There’s new clothing... and it’s still kinda ugly. Is it me or are the outfits in The Division 2 largely a bummer?

This week’s update coincides with the launch of an “Apparel Event”, which entices players to keep playing to earn randomised boxes of clothing. The clothing items being offered are all based on what the game’s initial three enemy factions wear.

Unfortunately, those factions wear ugly clothes. Thus, here’s what my character could look like if I keep playing and trying to get more apparel event chests. Not cool enough, I say.

There’s plenty more that has changed in today’s update, including the apparent fix to the game’s glitched staircase and a fix of the final ivory key riddle.

The headliner additions are World Tier 5, which introduces weekly invaded missions, and the Tidal Basin stronghold, which advances the game’s story. None of us have reached that yet, but when we do, we’ll let you know how it is. And hey, maybe we’ll even be ready to review this game soon. Gotta get that gear score up.


    I admit at first glance some of the changes seemed extreme but I noticed I was actually a little bit more lethal and my skills were definetly more practical.
    My turret for example was able to use its mods a lot easier as opposed to short bursts when my skill level was actually high enough.
    (Before hand I would have a high score, then level up and end up losing most of the points to health and armor, then back again later on)

    So far this game has just gone from strength to strength.

    the best change is that the smg and shotgun wielding npcs had their damage nerfed

    I am surprised how often I see the Ambushers now.
    before Friday I didn't know they existed
    (btw I am at Level 11 because I like to take my time with it)

    Last edited 06/04/19 1:48 pm

    I know it's not a huge issue, but it would be nice if the face options at character creation didn't all look awful. Can't attractive people join the Division too? Especially considering the model types they have on the cover.

    Last edited 06/04/19 2:50 pm

      Attractive people might draw too much attention. You want your sleeper agents to a face that no one notices

    Shame the new Chem Launcher controls are terrible.

    Though if that is the worst of my problems after such a big patch, I’ll count that as a win.

    Though they still haven’t done a thing to fix their UI causing people to feel ill. That is the one thing I really need to see happen.

      I've found the UI anger to be fascinating, with most of the complaints focused on the intermittent static effect when in the menus, in game when near certain objectives/Easter eggs and the constant interference from jamming devices.
      Personally these either go completely unnoticed or provide no negative results whatsoever
      (Physically at least)

      Seems some people's brains struggle to distinguish an intentional screen based effect from an unnatural and sudden visual impairment. (Subconsciously)

      I'm not dismissing the problem as being your fault, just find it a little fascinating.
      To be honest I don't see why they don't add options to turn the useless visual effects off and perhaps one to replace the jammer static with a simple colour change, replacing information with something else until disruption is stopped, especially given the efforts they have gone to for customisation.

        I don't know if this was added in the patch.

        But under gameplay options, there are two options to disable the menu glitch effect and the menu strobe effect. Don't know if that will help @blakeavon

          OMG @djbear bring it in for a hug, I didnt see it in the patch notes. Brilliant stuff. Sorry I doubted you Massive. So I guess the only complaint I have now is having to get use to the new chem launcher. hehe.

          Seriously thanks.

            Yeah, I was going through the settings trying to see if there was anything new and i spotted that.

            More than happy to help. The chem launcher also confused me after first playing after patch. I was trying to take over a checkpoint and didnt realise that pressing the should button once brings out the chem launcher instead of applying it to yourself and i proceeded to shoot chems at enemies. Took me a while but im used to double tapping it now.

            While we have our disagreements, I don't dislike you as a person. I greatly appreciate you. I don't like living in an echo chamber. I like to have people I disagree with/ Disagree with me. You don't evolve your opinions without them being challenged. I do realize i sometimes come across as a bit of an arsehole but it does not mean I don't like you as a person.

      Yeh I don't like the new Chem Launcher controls at all. It's way less fun than it used to be and I'm frequently accidentally firing 2 shots instead of swapping back to my normal guns.

    That special you fire at enemies to weaken/kill them? More like grenades now. Confusing and not as intuitive. Change it back please. Apart from that have not touched Anthem thanks to this brilliant game. A recent stint in Anthem saw me being continually disconnected. Have not had ANYTHING like that in DIV2. Ever. Even in the beta. Shame on you Bioware/EA.

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