The Division's Next Update Makes These Major Weapon Balance Changes

Big changes coming.

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A big patch for The Division is coming out next week, and it focuses on weapon balance. Now, Ubisoft Massive has shared more specifics on what's being changed and why.

In a blog post today, the developer said an SMG and Marksman Rifle is the most sought-after popular weapon combination in the game right now and this "had led to an unequal spread of weapon usage among players."

Within the SMG family, the AUG, Vector, and MP5 are the three most-used weapons. Ubisoft said this is likely because these guns can be acquired through Dark Zone blueprints. Additionally, the AUG and Vector are overall the most powerful SMGs, making them highly desirable.

In an effort to address the "domination" of SMGs and Marksman Rifles, and in turn better balance the distribution of weapons across all gun families, a number of changes are being made with the upcoming 1.3 patch.

For one, unique bonuses are being added for most weapon families to "bring more variety" to the battlefield. These include (descriptions from Ubisoft):

  • SMGs now have a crit hit damage bonus rather than crit hit chance. It is much harder to reach a higher critical hit chance now, and you will have to make more stat choices when selecting gear in order to take advantage of the new bonus.
  • LMGs receive a bonus that increases their damage to targets out of cover by about 25%. The design of LMGs is to force people into cover and control areas with their large magazine sizes.
  • Shotguns receive a stagger bonus against NPC. When shooting targets, you have a high chance of causing them to stumble and lose their balance. This will not affect other players, however. Shotguns are also receiving a buff to their base damage that scales with the weapon’s level and up to a maximum of 30%.
  • Assault Rifles receive a bonus to enemy armor damage. This allows Assault Rifles to be a powerful weapon in PVE situations.
  • No changes were made to the bonus on Marksman Rifles

As for the AUG and Vector weapons, the change is pretty simple: they're getting nerfed. Damage done is being reduced by 10 percent.

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"SMGs are meant to be close-quarter combat weapons that gain more from critical strikes and therefore rely on hitting the target with as many bullets as possible," Ubisoft said.

The M1A is being tweaked so that its minimum accuracy cap is increased. What this means is "when you shoot consistently, the crosshair will grow to a much larger size than it previously did."

According to Ubisoft, the change will allow the M1A to act more like a Marksman Rifle.

"The change allows for a slower and more controlled playstyle that is better suited to how Marksman Rifles should be used," the developer explained.

Also coming to The Division next week with the new update are entirely new weapons. These are listed below with their new talents.

Shotgun: Showstopper (Fully automatic)

  • Talent: Showstopper -- The emptier the clip, the better the accuracy.

Assault Rifle: G36

  • Talent: Focused -- When no skills are on cooldown you weapon damage is increased by X%.

Marksman Rifle: SVD

  • Talent: Decisive -- Killing a target will make your next shot with the weapon be an automatic critical hit.

SMG: PP-19

  • Talent: Hurried -- Each critical hit reduces your next reload time with X% to a minimum of Y seconds.

In other news about weapon talents, Ubisoft is introducing the ability to recalibrate them. To do this, you need to obtain a new form of currency called Weapon Kits; these can be acquired through crafting, enemy drops, and in crates in the new Underground content. You can then spend them, along with "some" Phoenix Credits, at a new Recalibration bench to make the desired changes.

"These changes allow you to adjust your weapon talents rather than forcing you to use a specific weapon type because of the talents it has on it," Ubisoft said.

Another component of The Division's upcoming patch is a big nerf for Special Ammo, covering both incendiary and explosive bullets. This nerf was discussed earlier today, and reduces the effectiveness of both by around 75 percent.

Here is how Ubisoft explained the changes coming up for Special Ammo:

"Explosive ammo provides a huge amount of burst damage that would very often be the deciding factor in a Dark Zone fight. While it should still provide a boost in damage, we are going to significantly reduce the burst damage that players are currently experiencing in Update 1.3. The ammo will now scale linearly with the damage of the bullet. If you hit for 10,000 damage, the explosion will do the same.

"Similarly, we've also taken a look at Incendiary bullets. Currently they set you on fire for a longer duration than Incendiary grenades. With that, their duration has been reduced from a 10 seconds to 3 seconds. This change should better reflect their power."

All of these changes will come to The Division's Xbox One and PC versions on June 28 alongside the Underground expansion for those systems. The 1.3 update was supposed to go live on PlayStation 4 that day as well, but it's been delayed. It will be out before Underground comes to Sony's system on August 2, but a specific date has not been announced.

What do you make of the upcoming weapon balance changes for The Division? Let us know in the comments below!

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