This week’s The Division 2 State of the Game livestream explores some of the changes coming in Episode 3. With Associate Game Director Drew Rechner and Lead 3C Designer Fredrik Thylander in attendance, the stream took a look at a massive overhaul to the gear system coming sometime after Episode 3. Some highlights:
- Fixes to ongoing issues, including invisible walls, are coming with Episode 3 in February.
- The new gear system will make item stats easier to understand, while also changing the way Talents work.
- This week’s stream included brief video Q&As with Game Designer Bruce Kelly and Senior Game Designer Trick Dempsey.
- Scheduled maintenance was performed yesterday.
- Further work is needed to resolve the issue of invisible walls. The fix will likely not be ready until Episode 3 comes out in February.
- The cause of some NPCs getting stuck has been found, and the team is working on a fix now.
- An issue causing some players to become stuck in the UI and being unable to respawn when downed in the Dark Zones will be fixed with Episode 3.
NEW GEAR SYSTEM
During the stream, Thylander and Rechner outlined a whole new gear system, coming as part of a larger revamp sometime after Episode 3. When it arrives, all gear will be rebooted, and existing gear will be converted to the new system. However, Thylander says, this will only happen at a time when there are new items to get, new content to play, and a new power cap.
The new system is intended, in part, to address the following problems:
- At a certain point, getting usable things feels too rare.
- Item stats, talent availability, and other factors are not always easy to understand.
- Players end up keeping too many items in storage because they don’t offer an immediate or clear advantage.
- The rush of seeing a god roll diminishes, in part because it can be difficult to understand what a god roll is.
- Players are getting too much of everything; the current gear system allows for too many builds with consistently high stats, rather than builds with interesting trade-offs.
The new gear system will feature the following changes:
- No budget system – all stats can be rolled at max
- New brand bonuses, aligned with the real playstyles developers have seen players using. Low-popularity brands are being revamped.
- Core Attributes are being added to items, which either add weapon damage, a Skill tier, or more armor. (Skill tiers will be discussed next week.) These can be recalibrated.
- Bonus quality indicators will appear, with color-coded meters (i.e. blue for defensive, red for offensive, yellow for utility) showing how close each stat is to its maximum value. God rolls (maxed stats) will be identified with orange highlights.
- Build-defining Talents – Talents will amplify your gear’s stats, i.e. by increasing total weapon damage while in cover. The new approach to Talents will remove requirements, and limit Talents to appearing on backpacks and chest pieces. Talents themselves will become more powerful, and enable players to create builds around key Talents.
- Easily identifiable attributes will let players build out gear sets with pieces that complement each other.
- Instead of Talents, current named items will have attributes above the maximum level.
- Gear sets are being reworked. Chest and backpack pieces will come with amplification Talents that bring up the level of the gear set effect.