The Division 2 State of the Game looked to the (very near) future this week, as Lead 3C Designer Fredrik Thylander joined the show for a broad look at what's coming in Episode 2, Title Update 6. First, a few highlights:
- Title Update 5.2 has been deployed.
- Apparel Event #4: Explorers is live, offering exclusive cosmetic items themed around Washington, DC's historical museums.
- Basic gear talents will no longer be stackable, pushing players to use a more diverse range of talents.
- Among TU6's improvements are changes to the way your Agents move and interact with cover.
Maintenance was performed yesterday to deploy Title Update 5.2
- Apparel Event #4: Explorers went live.
- The team made improvements when using the game with DirectX 12.
- Fixed an exploit that could cause players to gain an unintended amount of armor.
- Fixed an issue that could cause the client to crash when navigating the Map Menus on console.
Public Test Server Wave 2
- The dev team's current focus is on balancing and finding remaining bugs before release.
- Wave 2 patch notes can be found on the forums.
- Some additional changes will take place between the closure of the PTS and TU6 release.
- Players are encouraged to answer the PTS survey about the balancing changes that are currently live on the PTS.
- The developers want to look at mission difficulty after the balancing changes present on the PTS. PTS players are encouraged to try to clear Heroic difficulty missions, and share their thoughts on the PTS forum.
- The PTS will close on October 1.
- Basic gear talents are no longer stackable, a change that will cause pre-TU6 builds utilizing basic gear talent stacks to no longer work as intended. The change is a part of a larger balancing overhaul aiming to increase build variety in the game, and the developers felt this change was needed as an important part of that. Sweeping changes to how builds are put together, such as this one, will not be common, and players should consider it to be an exception rather than the rule moving forward.
- The team has seen the discussion regarding explosive builds, and is monitoring the feedback.
Apparel Event #4: Explorers
- The event started yesterday, and will run until October 15.
- Outfits include the Aviator, the Trapper, the Paratrooper, and the Space Explorer, all inspired by Washington, DC's history museums.
- Players can log in to get a free key.
- Players with the Year 1 Pass get three additional keys.
- Caches are not guaranteed to drop an Apparel Event key; keys are awarded based on percentage chances.
- Apparel event items will no longer immediately go into the normal apparel caches after the event is over. To learn more, head over to the official site and read the associated article.
A Bird's-Eye View of Title Update 6
Key things the team wants to improve in TU6:
- Gear: Increase build variety, improve players' ability to get good gear, and increase their ability to do fun stuff with the gear. Getting gear and creating builds will become more intuitive.
- PVP gameplay.
- Bug-fixing and quality-of-life updates to UI and gameplay.
- The beginning of the game is being improved for new players, with better tutorials and pacing to create a smoother introduction to The Division 2.
- Talents are being buffed and nerfed, with the goal of making more fun talents viable to use in Agent builds.
- Basic talents are being made more powerful, but their benefit can't be stacked; players who put the same talent in two slots, for example, will only get the benefit of one slot.
- Weapon buffs and nerfs. All weapons are being rebalanced to ensure that none of them are duds, and that all weapon types are endgame viable, with similar damage over time for different models within a weapon type.
- Exotic talent buffs and damage adjustments; raw damage for the Eagle Bearer is going down, while talent output is being rebalanced to encourage players to utilize the strengths of their exotic equipment.
- The benefits of a full gear set can be unlocked with four pieces instead of six, and gear sets are being rebalanced. Backpacks and chest pieces will be more powerful than other pieces.
- New UI in recalibration menus.
- Material caps significantly increased.
- Players can now recalibrate stat colors.
- Developers are working to ensure that all appropriate talents can be applied to all gear brands.
- Covered in an earlier update, Loot Targeting lets you focus on getting the stuff you need.
- All brands now have an item in each gear slot.
- Improvements for named gear and weapons. Named weapons have their own lore, presentation, and perfect talents (which are better versions of existing talents). Some named items will be exclusive to the Dark Zones.
- The stream showed off a new weapon, the KSG Shotgun, which features two parallel magazines with 12 shells in total; and a new Exotic, Odessa Sawyer's knee pads, which can discharge an EMP blast when you slide into cover.
- SMGs were originally underperforming in terms of raw damage, so they've almost all received a buff to make them competitive. Also, critical strike range is being removed.
- Assault rifles are being nerfed and buffed depending on model, with a 5-8% adjustment across the board.
- Most rifles have been adjusted upwards.
- Shotguns have been changed to roll damage to armor, instead of imparting a melee damage bonus.
- Most marksman rifles are getting a boost to make them competitive with the best models.
- LMGs are being rebalanced to make all models more competitive.
- Players can sort through all gear in a new category.
- Improved filters to more easily discover, for example, all your critical strike gear, or gear from a certain brand.
- Players can now mark items for donation and recalibration.
- Better UI all around to understand stats, talents, and totals.
- Snappier starts and stops, with less inertia.
- Faster vaulting.
- Agents can execute a combat roll after landing.
- Agents can move around thin cover, from one side to the other.
- Agents can switch Specializations through the loadout system.
- New meta comes through rebalance.
- Hipfire is being addressed by forcing players to walk instead of run.
- Your heals (i.e. healing clouds) will no longer heal enemies.
- Thieves Den vendor has been improved.
- Unique loot in the Dark Zones, including named items.
- Improved feedback to let players know when opponents use Skills, i.e. warning markers, targeting lines.
- Players can reduce how long they're Pulsed; the spec tree node that was formerly Critical Protection is now Pulse Resistance, and unique gear from the Dark Zones can offer even further Pulse protection.
Episode 2, Title Update 6 is currently planned for release in mid-October, and more Episode 2 content will be discussed in the coming weeks. For more on The Division 2, check out our previous coverage.