So I started this blog to share the things that I love in all things gadgets and gaming, combine the two and viola, genius!

I’ve written about a gadget and you can read more about that here, but for now lets move onto gaming and I submit to you today, Tom Clancy’s The Division, more specifically the 1.6 update due out soon.

The Division, what can I say about this game? I’ve personally invested over 600 hours of gameplay into it on in the least loved platform of them all, the Sony PS4. Massive, with their timed exclusively deal with Microsoft, dealt a blow into the hearts of Sony gaming fans everywhere when it was announced at the start of The Division’s life but no matter, I loved the game from the very first E3 trailer far too much to let simple things that potentially divide a gaming community get in the way. If there is one thing you should know, it’s that Ubisoft really, relly know how to market and sell a game at E3.

Fast forward through nearly a years worth of updates and expansions and you start to realise that the term ‘expansion’ is yet another stellar piece of marketing from Massive/Ubisoft just like their E3 launch trailer. You see although technically the game has been expanded, it’s not in the sense that you would naturally draw a conclusion to e.g. a larger spacious area of NYC or Brooklyn. Each expansion (DLC) has been a stapled on side game that provides no additional storyline to the main game:

  • Underground – The first expansion, called “Underground”, lets a squad of four players explore new territory in a post-epidemic New York City underworld.
  • Survival – In the second expansion, called “Survival”, players will have to try to survive in a hostile environment that will challenge even the most hardcore Division players.
  • Last Stand –  The third and final instalment due out soon on all platforms simultaneously.

So with update 1.6 and the Last Stand expansion (there’s that word again) I think it would be fair to say that for this player and for a vast amount of The Division we were hoping for a last hurrah, an honest expansion in the truest context of the word, for the streets of NYC to finally push out beyond its current borders, we know that this is technically possible because we’ve already ventured outside the map, check out MarcoStyle’s YouTube video to see exactly what is beyond the walls.

But this is not to be, instead, we have more balancing and updates to current gear and weapons in addition to much-needed balancing of the PVP portion of the game, it’s just not breathtaking in the way you wish for a final instalment of a DLC to be.

I’ve provided the summary below of the incoming changes and you can find the list of full changes here.

Summary of the new Dark Zone areas

  • The Dark Zone has been expanded with three new areas, Dark Zone 7-9, north of Dark Zone 6 and Midtown East.
  • New Landmarks feature waves of enemies.
  • Landmarks award you with additional loot placed directly into your inventory.
  • Fast travel between Dark Zone checkpoints has become available.

Summary of Contamination events

  • New Contamination Events have been added to the Dark Zone.
  • Roughly every hour, elite Cleaners will spawn in the Dark Zone underground. Contamination in those areas will reach lethal levels, so your virus filter will not be able to resist it.

Summary of Dark Zone leaderboards

  • Leaderboards have been added to the Dark Zone, tracking a wide range of different activities both in PvP and PvE. All tracked activities will be turned into a total score.
  • Leaderboard rankings are divided into three tiers and will give out rewards when they reset on a weekly and a monthly basis.

Summary of Legendary difficulty

  • Legendary difficulty mode has been added to Times Square, WarrenGate Power Plant and Napalm Production Site and features new, powerful and smart enemies.
  • Legendary difficulty is the most challenging content in the game and is intended for organized groups.
  • Legendary difficulty rewards you with unique vanity items not available elsewhere in the game, on top of the regular rewards.

Summary of Exotic weapons and new Gear Set

  • Named gear pieces and weapons are now called Exotics and have been given their own color in your inventory.
  • Exotic weapons all have their own unique talent. This change is retroactive.
  • Exotic weapon sets have been introduced.
  • Exotic Caches are available as a weekly reward from Legendary difficulty missions.

Summary of Gear Set Changes

  • Alphabridge 4-piece bonus now shares the free talent from your weapons instead of all three.
  • Frontline’s 4-piece no longer removes the critical hit chance, instead it removes the effect of any mods you have applied to the shield.
  • The Reclaimer set focuses on the Support Station. Its 4-piece bonus activates all Support Station mods simultaneously. It no longer has an effect on consumables.
  • Tactician’s Authority’s buff only disappears after you use a skill.
  • A new Gear Set, SEEKR, has been added to the game.

Summary of Armor and Resistances

  • Armor has been removed as a major bonus and replaced with Health. Gear still comes with base armor and some talents will still give bonus armor.
  • Health and stamina are your primary means of toughness.
  • Current Health rolls have been turned into the new stat Resist All.
  • Resistances have become analogue instead of binary.
  • Diminishing returns have been added to status effects.
  • Other parts of the game have been rebalanced as a result, to make sure Time to Kill and Time to be Killed stay balanced.
  • All changes are retroactive.

Summary of changes to Skill Power and skills

  • Skill Power has been moved to a system similar to armor, where each new World Tier you reach will demand more Skill Power to reach the same effectiveness of your skills.
  • There’s a bigger difference in skill efficiency between low and high Skill Power builds.
  • Changes have been made to Sticky Bomb, First Aid and Shock Turret.
  • We’ve rebalanced Signature Skills and made it impossible to trigger a Signature Skill when you’re already suffering from its immunity debuff. Tactical link’s damage bonus has been lowered in PvP.

Summary of PvP balancing

  • Hip fire stability while moving has been decreased and a new hip fire camera has been added.
  • The damage gap between body damage and headshots has been lowered.
  • When combat rolling, there’s now a one second delay before you can roll again.
  • You can no longer reload your weapon while sprinting.
  • Medkits can now be used at full health and remove certain status effects.
  • The Rejuvenated talent has been changed to give additional resistance to status effects.
  • Adrenaline no longer gives an overheal from medkits, instead it will give a heal over time.
  • Your enemy’s health bar will flash whenever they use a medkit.
  • Survivability talents like On the Move, Battle Buddy and Critical Save have seen some balancing changes.

Summary of economy changes

  • Unlimited recalibration has been introduced. The price increases each time, capping out at five recalibrations.
  • Helping civilians reward Intel.
  • High End pistols in Survival no longer costs Division Tech.
  • Scavenger Box now scales with World Tier.
  • Some item prices have been tweaked.

Summary of other changes

  • All activities now reward their own separate experience points and award their own caches.
  • In Survival, solo players can no longer end up in games with players queuing as a group.
  • Grouping up while in a PvP Survival game has been disabled.
  • Reviving a downed player in Survival always costs a medkit.

In my opinion on the changes, the removal of armor as a major attribute is by far is the single greatest change to the game since update 1.1 and now having to make a choice between other majors attributes that best compliment your build will lead to a less obvious meta. I’m curious to know if armor mods will be retroactively adjusted to the Resist All value as most players will have stacked this in all mod slots, myself included.

The SEEKR gearset is concerning from the outset, as the gap between headshots to body shots is being reduced in 1.6, will it make sense to stack into headshot damage moving forward and instead stack into crits + SEEKR build with the highest RPM SMG available? We shall see.

It’s fair to say that the Alphabridge build has been abused in 1.5 and the incoming change to this gearset is sensible.

As a hoarder of Named weapons, I’m happy to see that they shall be getting an overhaul with their own unique talents, they may finally come off of the mantelpiece, be dusted off, greased up and be put back into action.

Thankful that it’s a Pay2fashion update and not Pay2win.

What do you think of The Division’s 1.6 update? Will you be coming back for Last Stand and what about the incoming Armor changes? Let me know your thoughts below in the comments.