Massive Entertainment reveals PvP and other changes coming to The Division with Update 1.6 that will significantly change the way players engage with each other.

Tom Clancy’s The Division is making a plethora of changes to its PvP gameplay with its upcoming patch, Update 1.6. Along with introducing new Dark Zone areas and Legendary missions, the update will shake up player gear, weapons, skills, and PvP balancing.

In a blog post shared on The Division website, Massive Entertainment outlines the changes and additions coming to the game, which will undoubtedly cause severe changes to the way players engage with both AI enemies and each other. The changes affect nearly every aspect of PvP and will push players to try new builds with unique weapon and gear combinations.

The changes will be introduced during a PTS (Public Test Server) testing period which is set to take place in the near future. PC players will have an opportunity to test the changes, and Massive will make additional tweaks to gear, weapons, and skills based on the feedback received from players during the PTS. With that in mind, the revealed changes below for The Division are subject to change.


Changes to Gear Sets

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For those who play The Division, it’s no secret that the Alphabridge set is the most powerful in the game right now. Those players who wish to be effective in the Dark Zone, especially against other players, will often use this gear set for its available bonuses, which make weapons incredibly strong.

It was revealed yesterday that Alphabridge would be nerfed, but details were scarce until today. Massive explained in its post that the Alphabridge four-piece bonus will now only share the free talent between weapons, not all six. This means players’ primary weapons will have only one extra talent. While this still makes the weapons stronger, they won’t be nearly as powerful as they are in the 1.5 build of the game.

Massive is bringing changes to other gear sets in The Division as well. The Frontline gear set’s four-piece no longer removes critical hit chance, but instead will remove all mods players have applied to their shields. The Reclaimer set will focus heavily on Support Stations, with all bonuses focused on making Support Stations more powerful and useful. Tactician’s Authority will also see a change to its buff bonus, and a new gear set, known as SEEKR, will be introduced into the game.

All-in-all, these changes will shake up The Division meta, especially in PvP, and help give players more viable options with each gear set.


Armor and Damage Resistance

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Since the introduction of Update 1.5, players in The Division have been asking for a change to the game’s armor stat and damage mitigation. Due to the armor scaling, armor has become the most useful and effective stat for players to use. That means many other stats have been ignored, and players have been relegated to meta builds that focus on stacking armor instead of testing other gear bonuses and talents.

With Update 1.6, Massive will be removing all armor as a rolled stat and keep only native armor on gear items. Extra armor will be transitioned into health, allowing players to have a better choice between stacking health for greater tanking, or focus instead on DPS or Skill Power. The changes should give players more diversity of choice and allow them to take on more identifiable roles within the game.

With such a significant change coming to the way health and toughness work in the game, Massive will be updating player skills to update the damage dealt and received to better match player strength. Additionally, the developer is making tweaks to The Division’s enemies to make sure time-to-kill and time-to-be-killed, especially with NPC enemies, is balanced.


Skill Power and Skills Changes

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Massive is making major changes to Electronics and Skill Power in Update 1.6 in an effort to make Skills a more valid option for players. Skill Power will now scale similar to armor, and won’t see diminishing returns until players get to 450,000 Skill Power, which is an incredibly high amount of Skill Power. Essentially this mean those players that want to take on a support role, or focus their builds on powerful damage-dealing skills.

That said, Massive is nerfing the power of some Skills, including the Sticky Bomb, Turret, and Seeker Mines. Rather than just damage dealers, each will have differing roles that will aid players in their efforts to surprise and eliminate threats.

Signature Skills will also see a few changes to help balance their use in The Division, especially with PvP engagements.


Player-versus-Player Balancing

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Most of the changes coming with Update 1.6 in The Division are focused around balancing the game’s PvP action. Where previous updates improved the experience players have against NPC enemies, the bulk of 1.6 is around players fighting each other.

So it’s not surprising to see some major PvP balancing on the way. Massive is addressing the biggest complaints within the PvP space, and making significant changes to shake up the way players engage with each other.

Along with the changes to gear, weapons, and skills, the developer is also decreasing the effectiveness of hip fire. As it stands, players who engage in PvP tend to run around in circles, hip firing against each other in what can only be described as a bunch of chickens running around with their heads cut off. Hip fire stability will be nerfed, and a new “hip fire camera” will be added to make it more difficult for players to aim while hip firing. This should hopefully drive players to spend more time aiming down sight and strategizing their engagements with other players, rather than running around in circles shooting haphazardly using hip fire.

Other complaints include the constant rolling players do while in PvP battles, and the fact that players can reload while sprinting. Massive has addressed both concerns by introducing a one-second cool down to rolls and making it so players can no longer reload while sprinting.

Massive is also making tweaks to players talents, including Rejuvenated, Adrenaline, On the Move, Battle Buddy, and Critical Save. These changes will better balance survivability so PvP requires better planning and gear builds.


Many More Changes

As mentioned above, these are just a handful of the many changes coming to The Division with Update 1.6. Hopefully the changes will produce positive results for the community, and make both PvE and PvP content more enjoyable for all players.

It’ll be interesting to see how these changes are received during the PTS and at final release, and how what effect it has on the new activities coming with The Last Stand, the next expansion for The Division.

What do you think about the PvP changes coming to The Division with Update 1.6?

Tom Clancy’s The Division is available now for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.