Is It Time to Come Back to the Division

Chances are you’ve already moved on from The Division but maybe you’re still holding onto it though a little unsure about the possibility of playing it again.  Let’s be real for a second, there have been some solid game releases of late so this third person looter/shooter mired with issues is probably a distant memory.  Even more so, the latest patch 1.4 arrived at a time (25 October) when Battlefield 1 jumped on the scene and Titanfall 2 and the remastered Skyrim were about to drop.

However, update 1.4 has vastly improved the player experience in The Division and a return to the dark, cold, post-pandemic streets of New York City should be on your radar.   One of the new features is the World Level Tiers.  Whether you a new player, one that hasn’t hit level 30 or you’re at level 30 and stuck at a gear score, the World Level Tier will make your looting adventure in NYC a bit easier to manage especially if you’re a solo player.  The World Level Tier doesn’t come into play until you hit level 30 but once you do, you’ll receive an invite (top left corner of your HUD) to Tier 1.  From there, enemies will now drop rewards at gear score 163.  Once you reach gear score 158, you’ll get an invite to Tier 2 which bumps the enemy level  to 31 and rewards go up to 182.  These little increments continue on up to Tier 4 that rewards gear score 229 loot which happens to be the highest gear score in the game.  While this seems excessively grindy, the idea is to allow players to raise their gear scores without having to plod their way through the most challenging aspects of the game dying over and over again or take their chances in the Dark Zone which can be frustrating no matter what level or gear score you are at.  The developers want you to feel powerful again and the World Level Tier system pulls this off quite well.  It’s also worth noting that along the lines of making you feel powerful again, the time to kill NPC has been considerably reduced.  Yes, the enemies are still spongey but there was a significant reduction in time to kill.

Get back out there and walk the streets even if you’re at level 30.   My reasons are twofold.   Experience gained matters once again even if you’re at level 30.  No, you can’t get any higher than level 30 but the experience you gain for each encounter, mission, etc fills your experience bar and when you completely fill it, you receive a field cache which rewards you with high end gear (scaled to your current gear score).  You also get these caches by completing the Weekly and Daily assignments.  You can also purchase gear caches from Vendors so if you’re a high roller sitting on a load of currency you may want to make a purchase.  The second reason to hit the streets are the named-bosses roam the PvE game world and they drop high-end gear and Gear sets.  These named-bosses were normally found in the Dark Zone but now they roam the streets of your PvE world with a very large entourage but you can solo them.   Now you don’t have to worry about extracting the gear from the Dark Zone.  While not new but worth mentioning here, I do recommend completing the daily and weekly High Value Targets as they now drop high-end gear and Gear sets along with mission intel for those of you that have The Underground DLC.

Do you want to change the look of your weapons but were annoyed that weapon skins took up valuable inventory space?  Well guess what, weapon skins do not take up inventory space.  Now you can go buy as much as you want.  Seems like small potatoes to some but for those of you that really wanted to have specific weapon skins but didn’t want to waste inventory space, you don’t have to worry about that now.

There were no specific changes to the Dark Zone other than the global changes to the previously mentioned time to kill NPCs.  It’s still an enter at your own risk area but preferably with a full group as you’ll likely encounter groups of four trolling the area. Yes, I’m salty so everyone in the Dark Zone are trolls but to my murderous rogue agents that PvP world is loads of fun.

If you have the Underground DLC, like the Dark Zone there were no specific changes but if you’re at the max Underground level 40, you can continue to run Underground missions since the experience gained works like the experience in the PvE world and will be rewarded with an Underground cache each time you level beyond 40.  For those of you that don’t have the DLC but are familiar with Destiny, these Underground missions are similar to strikes.  They take about 15 to 45 minutes to complete and can be solo’d.  You can set the mission levels which offer variety and different challenges.  You can also earn high-end gear and Gear sets.  Oh, and you can now run…yes, run from your Base Operations to the Terminal where you start your Underground missions!  I cannot express how unexpectedly enjoyable and thankful I am for that little change.  Before, it was a 30 second slow walk from the back of your Base Operations to the Terminal but now you can run.

Overall, patch 1.4 definitely improved the world of The Division and made the end game progression much easier especially for players that despised the Dark Zone or didn’t have a group for Incursions.  Yes, there is a whole matchmaking system but if you’re under leveled, chances are you were kicked from the group.  Now you can play the game whether it’s with a small group or on your own and still be rewarded for your time and effort.  The World Level Tier ensures you will no longer be stuck at a low gear level and doesn’t require you to roll the dice in the Dark Zone or suffer through Incursions.  Personally, I’m adding The Division back into the gaming rotation since I’m enjoying the changes and think it’s worth giving a shot.  If you feel like reading through all the changes, go ahead and read them here http://tomclancy-thedivision.ubi.com/game/en-us/news/152-271342-16/update-14-patch-notes.  It’s a very long list but maybe you’ll find something that means more to you than what I covered.

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