Over a year after its launch, Ubisoft’s gritty open-world multiplayer shooter The Division is still growing and making improvements. Although the player base has definitely dropped off over the last 14 months, there is still a strong core community of gamers who actively play and Ubisoft continues to deliver content patches for balance issues, bug fixes, and gameplay enhancements. The latest big update for The Division delivers on some requests that players have been looking forward to.

In addition to a laundry list of bug fixes, Patch 1.6 also includes a series of gameplay changes. One big change that players will notice right away is that aim assist is no longer activated when users hip-fire with a controller. Hip-fire continues to be an issue in The Division and it seems like Ubisoft plans to continue tweaking the feature until the community and the developers are both happy with the result. The devs also removed a weapon from the PTS that wasn’t supposed to be there yet and made some tweaks to the way healing works with Nimble.

Here are the details for Patch 1.6…

the division update removes hip-fire auto assist

Gameplay changes

Hip-fire has been and still is a very important and consistent discussion since the release of Last Stand. While we want to look at hip-fire as a whole for future updates, for the time being we want to address the most pressing matter that has been reported by the community: hip-fire aim assist when using a controller.

  • Aim assist will no longer be activated when players hip-fire with a controller.

A new weapon was found on the PTS, the LMG M249 SAW. This weapon is still a work in progress and scheduled to be released in a future update.

  • Removed the M249 SAW from the pre-made character on the PTS.

The changes to Nimble with this PTS have generated a lot of feedback and discussions and we find ourselves agreeing with players mentioning that the combination of the heal over time and the restriction forcing players to stay in cover has proven too strong. We have decided to remove the “stay in cover” condition and let the heal over time run its course whether the player stays in cover or not.

  • Nimble: the requirement to stay in cover to receive the heal has been removed. Nimble will now heal 2% per meter over the course of 4 seconds, whether the player stays in cover or not.

Finally, while we announced our intention to change the damage of Airburst seeker mine and move some of it from burst to fire, we actually didn’t implement this change in the first iteration of the PTS contrary to what was mistakenly written in the Patch Notes. We had however indeed removed the stagger and also modified the fire effect to become a real fire status effect that can be cleansed by the player. Looking at the feedback and our own experience on the PTS, we believe that these changes might actually be enough to bring airburst in check without penalizing players who invest in Skill Power too much. We will keep monitoring the situation but right now we are not considering changing Airburst any further.

  • Airburst Seeker Mine damage was NOT changed in PTS 1 and will remain unchanged for Update 1.6.1. Stagger effect was however indeed removed.
  • Fire effect has been reworked into a real status effect that can be cleansed using MedKits. (this change was already implemented in PTS 1)

Bug fixes

Fixed a bug where Grenade types would change position randomly on the Grenade Wheel.
Fixed a bug where items couldn’t be marked as Junk in the Stash menu.
Fixed a bug where the Pakhan talent would only work on NPCs and not on players.
Fixed a bug that could create a delay when trying to deconstruct an item that is part of a Loadout from the stash.
Fixed a bug where the Appearance Vendor menu couldn’t be closed when it was empty.
Fixed a bug when acquiring new vanity items where the amount of new items would also show on the pouch tab.
Fixed a bug when comparing items from a Vendor menu where the stats displayed for the equipped item could be incorrect.
Fixed several instances of missing sounds in the Loadout interface.
Fixed several instances of various buttons working inconsistently in the Loadout interface.
Fixed several instances of Mobile Cover becoming invisible to the player.
Fixed a bug where players would not be healed by First Aid if they are damaged while in the radius of the skill.
Fixed a bug where the slowing effect of bleed would apply multiple times on a character using a ballistic shield.
Fixed a bug in Survival where a group of two would be disbanded if one member would be disconnected and reconnect immediately.
Fixed a bug where players joining a session in progress would not see any player information on the matchmaking screen.
Fixed a bug where NPCs at the landmark The Boiler would not respawn after the contamination event ends.
Fixed a bug where the reward pop up would not always appear when clearing a landmark.
[PC] Fixed a bug where players would not receive a Loadout warning when dismantling an item using the drag and drop method.
[PC] Fixed a bug where players would not receive any feedback when trying to switch to a Loadout that has insufficient backpack capacity when using keybindings.

Although a lot of gamers have moved on from The Division, which seemed like a major hit at launch, it is encouraging to see that Ubisoft is still dedicated to improving the game and keeping the community happy. Players who haven’t logged in since the first few months would likely be quite surprised at how different things feel and play after a year’s worth of tweaks and improvements.

What do you think of these changes? Let us know in the comments!

The Division is available now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

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