Numerous players of The Division report lower drop rates for high-end gear, leading to speculation that Ubisoft may have nerfed the rate in their most recent update.

When it comes to games like Tom Clancy’s The Division – that is, RPG shooters with a heavy focus on loot – eventually the missions start to blend together and the attention turns to the grind. Getting more loot and getting better loot is all that matters, and in The Division’s case high-end gear is what everyone is after.

However, the quest for high-end gear in The Division seems to have slowed considerably since the game’s first server maintenance – an overnight tweak that also nerfed the overpowered Midas submachine gun and lowered the drop amount for Phoenix Credits. Mind you, there has been no official word from Ubisoft on the matter, but all signs point to some sort of nerf of high-end gear drop rates.

In order to better understand what has changed it’s important to look at the time before the server maintenance and patch. Previously, Division players were seeing high-end items drop on a regular basis, from both the Daily Story Missions and named bosses in the Dark Zone. Mileage may have varied from player to player, but it was not uncommon for a player to have close to a full set of high-end gear, provided they were at level 30 before March 12th.

Now, however, there are reports of players grinding for several days without seeing a single high-end drop, best case one or two. Some players have even raised their Scavenging perk (a gear ability that is supposed to help players find better quality drops) by 200% and still not seen an improvement.

The Division Matchmaking

Based on those claims and our own experience with the game it seems very likely that some sort of stealth nerf was made to the high-end drop rates. Much like Phoenix Credits, it’s possible that Ubisoft saw players obtaining end game quality gear too fast and wanted to curb that progress, because the sooner players hit that end game gear wall the sooner they will put down the game.

The only problem here is that, like with the Phoenix Credits, the change widens the gap between hardcore day 1 players and the more casual Division fan. Whereas a day 1 player who rushed to level 30 in 15 hours will have tons of high-end options, the more casual player might only have one or two. It will take that latter player significantly more time to get to the same point as the hardcore player.

Granted, The Division has only been out for a week and therefore Ubisoft is still trying to feel out its game. There is only so much a developer can account for in a game like this – a lot of the real testing doesn’t happen until after release. We just hope that Ubisoft is a little more transparent with the fixes they do make, and don’t continue to widen the gap between players.

Tom Clancy’s The Division is out now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.