In the latest notes for the PTS of Update 1.6, Division developer Massive Entertainment reveals that it won’t release the Seeker gear set because of balance problems.
As the name implies, The Division’s Public Test Server is meant to test changes in Massive Entertainment’s game before certain major updates go live. For Update 1.6, which introduces the new Last Stand mode, completely reimagines gear stats, and creates new categories for weapons, that means a lot of things to balance, and already there have been some major changes. At the end of the day, the PTS is meant to be a work in progress, but the latest notes for PTS 3 on Update 1.6 suggest that Massive still has a lot left to do.
First and foremost, it appears Division’s new Seeker gear set simply isn’t meeting Massive’s expectations, and as a result it will not make the Update 1.6 cut. The devs didn’t say whether Seeker might return at a later date, but as of right now they have deemed it too imbalanced to be a part of The Division experience. Remember that Seeker was already re-balanced in PTS 2’s update, but even that clearly wasn’t enough.
Massive is also looking at normalization in the new Last Stand mode, and how best to keep things fair. Right now normalization works to an extent, but there are areas that the developers think they can improve. Specifically, the Division team thinks that skills do a little too much damage, and they will be working to correct that.
Other highlights and important changes for PTS 3 include some tweaks to move players away from the skill power meta, a nerf to the Historian exotic marksman rifle, and the addition of one checkpoint to the Legendary difficulty missions. For skill power, the issue seemed to be widespread, with almost every player spec-ing into the category. Unfortunately, a focus on skill power diminished other roles (DPS, tanks, etc.) and Massive wants to help bring those types of players back into the fray.
It was also those skill power builds that were making the Historian a menace, thanks to the weapon’s exotic perk (Each bullet embers itself in the target and detonates 2 seconds later for 20% Skillpower). With so many players running around with high skillpower build, that 20% damage was packing a massive punch and making it so you didn’t need to land more than two or three shots (at any range) to take out an opponent. In PTS 3, the Historian will benefit players with firearms builds, but how exactly is not clear.
For those that have been a part of the PTS for The Division it’s been a bumpy road, as a new OP weapon or gear set replaces the next. For many the PTS is about testing builds and finding new metas, but for others exploiting clearly broken items is the only goal. It’s why the Valkyria combo was all over the place during the first PTS for Update 1.6.
Now things are changing again and it will be interesting to see how these changes impact player decisions and loadouts when Update 1.6 eventually releases. And for the Seeker gear set, perhaps it might reappear somewhere down the road.
The Division Update 1.6 is live on the PTS on PC.