This week, The Division 2 State of the Game welcomed Senior Lead Designer Keith Evans and Creative Director Terry Spier from Red Storm Entertainment, who shared some of the changes Episode 2, Title Update 6 is bringing to The Division 2's PVP. Let's look at a few highlights:
- The Public Test Server has been live since Monday, with Loot Targeting and PVP changes active.
- The team is taking steps to ensure the Dark Zones are populated with 12 players as often as possible, to make them feel more alive.
- Agents may now be ambushed by the Black Tusk during extraction from the Dark Zones.
- Conflict matches will always reward players, win or lose, although winners will get more.
- A new PVP mode, Team Elimination, will be playable soon on the PTS.
No maintenance is scheduled for this Thursday.
The Public Test Server has been live since Monday.
- Patch Notes available on the forums. These might include changes that are not yet on the PTS.
- Wave 1 focuses on Loot Targeting and the PVP changes discussed in today's State of the Game.
Wave 2 will go live in the upcoming days.
- The team is still working on the build, which will include many more balance changes for players to test.
- A fresh set of Patch Notes will reflect the changes between the two waves.
- The focus will be on balancing and finding bugs.
- Keep an eye on @TheDivisionGame on Twitter for the exact timing.
Eagle Bearer nerf:
- Following discussions around the nerf to the Eagle Bearer, the development team wanted to offer more context, as well as updates on the topic.
- As previously stated, the balance changes on the PTS are not complete, and the Public Test Server is a testing environment, so developers can make further changes.
- Wave 2 will add more balance changes, and an extensive list of these changes will be provided.
- The Eagle Bearer is currently too strong in PvE and in PvP, and basically overshadows any weapon no matter the build.
- The team wants exotics to be powerful and unique, but thinks just having them being strong due to their attributes is not the correct way.
- The team will therefore test out talent changes on exotics, buffing them. That includes the Eagle Bearer as well.
- The team will also have an extensive round of balancing for weapons, with buffs to underperforming items.
- Once Wave 2 of the PTS is out, the team is eager for players to jump on the PTS, test out the changes and share feedback on the overall experience.
Title Update 6 – PVP Updates
- Title Update 6 will bring changes to PvP, the Dark Zone, and Conflict.
- The changes talked about on last week's State of the Game also have a big impact on PvP.
- Loot targeting will now allow players to find specific pieces for a PvP build.
- Recalibration changes will have an impact on PvP.
- There's a large balance pass coming with TU6 that will include changes to attributes and PvP talents.
Dark Zone Updates
The team's goals with TU6 are to have good incentives to participate in the Dark Zones, and to make the zones feel more active and alive by having 12 players in them as often as possible.
The community and Elite Task Force members have indicated that they'd like to have a more active DZ, and possibly increase the number of people in a zone.
- Changes are being made to the way Dark Zone servers fill up.
- When entering a Checkpoint, the server checks for an ideal server for the player so that they join a DZ that has a high population already. If they're on a server where not many players are exploring the Dark Zones, they'll be transferred to one with more active Dark Zones.
- This should increase player numbers in an active Dark Zone, and Agents should encounter 12-player DZs more often.
- Groups will also get matched to active servers, and group members will get a notification, similar to readying up in Conflict.
- The whole server process is also very fluid, and players shouldn't notice a difference when entering a DZ.
Supply drops are getting an update, with increased variety and more locations.
- Supply drops can now also drop at inactive landmarks, and will then be protected by multiples bosses, or different factions will fight for them. This also means a greater chance for contaminated loot!
- This also applies to the Occupied Dark Zone. Supply drops are being added to the ODZ, guarded by Black Tusk soldiers.
Ambushes are being added during extraction.
- When calling for extraction, there's a small chance that a Black Tusk Helicopter will ambush the extraction zone.
- Players then have two options: fight or flight!
- It's not going to be an easy challenge, so finding a new extraction zone is not a bad idea. On the other hand, survival may be rewarded with more loot.
The Thieves Den Vendor will be updated with TU6.
- It will have a storefront and an updated and improved stock of items, which will rotate regularly.
- Players can spend Dark Zone resources, which are being streamlined into a single currency (instead of three), to buy something there.
- The vendor will move between the two non-occupied Dark Zones, and the map will show where the Den is open for business.
Changes are coming to normalization.
- In the endgame, players' attributes are no longer normalized. For example, recalibrated gear will now have the same attributes it has outside of the DZ.
- This will allow players that really focus on perfecting their builds in PvP to have a small advantage over those that choose not to.
- Players below Gear Score 500 will still have their attributes boosted to the max level to allow for easier entry into PvP.
- Talents will still have a PvE and a PvP version, but the team is also making improvements to the UI.
- Talents will now automatically show their PvP version when in a PvP activity. PvP modifiers will be added to the UI for more clarity.
- This will make it easier to understand what stats are changing, so players know exactly what Skill does how much damage.
What does this mean for the PvP meta in TU6?
- With all the changes coming to the game – loot targeting, balance changes, updates to PvP talents, balanced Skill attributes in PvP – the developers expect to see a lot of new builds that can compete.
- The team also wants players to have more options in PvP, and not only to focus on armor-heavy builds.
Conflict Updates – Match Reward Adjustments
Whether they win or lose a game, players will always be rewarded for playing Conflict.
- The high score reward is being replaced with a Match Complete reward. Ranking up and winning will still earn additional rewards.
- This change was made to improve the pacing for rewards in Conflict, and should make it a little more rewarding to just jump in and play.
Conflict will be added to the Daily Project rotation.
- Players will now have either a Dark Zone project, or a Conflict project.
When playing Conflict, players will be able to adjust their loadouts freely during map voting. Players won't be able to switch during matches, however.
New PVP Mode – Team Elimination
- Team Elimination will come to the PTS in Wave 2, and the team is eager for feedback.
Next week, State of the Game will feature Lead 3C Designer Fredrik Thylander, who will talk about balance changes and the thoughts behind them to give players more insight into what's happening, and what the team wants TU6 to look like in terms of balance. For more on The Division 2, check out our previous coverage.