The Division is on the verge of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Update 1.2 added more PvE content to add more life to the map instead of sticking to the Dark Zone. Four (4) new gear sets were being added, along with a brand new Incursion. These additions are definitely taking The Division in the right direction.
Incursion: Clear Sky
The newest Incursion called Clear Sky was added to the map in the opposite corner of Falcon Lost. It recommends the same level of gear score to attempt the mission – 160 GS for Hard Mode and 180 GS for Challenging Mode. The Incursion will only feature Hard Mode for the first week and Challenging Mode will be unlocked a week later (May 31). Hopefully it adds more mechanics and excitement than Falcon Lost did. Regardless, it is new and something extra for everyone to complete.
New Gear Sets
Four new gear sets were added that bring more variety to various areas throughout the game.
Final Measure – Stand your ground by defusing hostile grenades with this powerful defensive set.
- 2 pieces: +50% Exotic Damage Resilience
- 3 pieces: +15% Protection from Elites
- 4 pieces: When throwing a grenade, gain the defuse buff. When in range of a hostile grenade, the buff is consumed and defuses the grenade as well as gives you a grenade.
Tank players now have a gear set to chase with the added resistance and being able to stop those pesky grenadiers in challenging mode. The exotic resilience from only having two pieces of gear will be beneficial for all players who plan on fighting in the Dark Zone.
Hunter’s Faith – Duel your enemies at range and come out on top with this survival focused marksman set.
- 2 pieces: +20% Marksman Rifle Critical Hit Damage
- 3 pieces: +20% Damage to elites
- 4 pieces: Hitting an enemy with a bullet grants you temporary armor. The further your shot, the more armor is awarded. The armor disappears after one bullet hits you.
This seems to be an alternative marksman rifle set to the Sentry’s Call gear set. It aims to benefit snipers who plan on sitting out of a fight. The added armor from having four pieces could be nice, but it is only applied for one bullet. This could be paired with the 4-piece Sentry’s Call to add 20% marksman rifle critical hit damage in addition to the 45% buff from the talent on Sentry’s Call.
Lone Star – Never reload your weapons again with this game changing utility set.
- 2 pieces: +100% Ammo capacity
- 3 pieces: +1000 LMG Damage, +1000 Shotgun Damage
- 4 pieces: When the weapon is holstered, it regains full ammo.
Finally, a set for LMGs (Light machine-guns) and shotguns! These two weapon types are seemingly the least used in the game (aside from burst-fire rifles, yeah those are a thing). The ammo capacity is nice, especially paired with the LMG and instant reload, with the talent gained from having 4 pieces. While it seems cool on paper, LMGs and shotguns may need a buff before this set is actually worth using.
Predator’s Mark – Make your enemies bleed with this powerful offensive set.
- 2 pieces: +20% Optimal Range
- 3 pieces: +800 Assault Rifle damage, +700 Pistol Damage
- 4 pieces: Hit 10 shots without switching target to make the target bleed for 100% of damage already done by those bullets.
Predator’s Mark is likely the most common set to be used in the Dark Zone. The optimal range with a bleed from hitting a target with 10 shots will prevent players from being able to run. Rogue hunters and Rogues alike will benefit greatly from this perk. The talent “Shrapnel” could also come into play and possibly apply a bleed to targets within the area. Time to stack up that bleed resistance!
High-Value Targets & Search and Destroy missions
Two new missions to the PvE area were added called “Search and Destroy” and “High-Value Targets.” Search and Destroy missions are aimed towards players who have recently reached level 30, haven’t obtained higher level gear, and don’t want to go into the Dark Zone just yet. Completing these missions will guarantee an item with 163 gear score to help players rank up their score. A new currency called Target Intel is gained from completing these missions and are essential to do High-Value Target missions.
High-Value Targets are bounty missions that can be started by using the Target Intel gained from Search and Destroy missions. These are more difficult and may require a group of players to complete. The more Target Intel it costs, the harder it will be. Beware, these missions will have to be bought again if they are started and failed. Completing these missions will give players better end game rewards such as 204 to 240 gear score items.
Dark Zone Changes:
The newest and most controversial addition to the game is the new “Cut The Rope” mechanic in the Dark Zone. Extraction ropes have the added danger of being hijacked (cut) and loot will drop to the floor. Players will now have to guard their extraction after adding their gear to the rope or risk having another player come and steal it. To compensate, players who start cutting the rope immediately turn rogue and gain a 19 second timer. If the rope is fully cut, they gain a 90 second timer as if they have killed someone. This gives players a chance to fight back. It takes 6 seconds to cut the rope, but it will take longer if the player cutting is shot during the process.
Named and elite enemies have a chance to drop a Sealed Cache that can contain a variety of items. These have to be extracted like any other item gained in the Dark Zone. There are four qualities for these caches which include: Specialized (Blue), Superior (Purple), High End (Orange), and Gear Set (Teal). These caches can contain any kind of gear, dark zone funds, division tech, and more. Don’t be afraid to pick up the purple caches as they will still be helpful to open.
Player Stash in Dark Zone Checkpoints
The Stash is now in every Dark Zone Checkpoint! Gone are the days where players have to go to a safe house or Base of Operations in order to clear out their extracted items before heading back out. Players don’t have to lose their current gear just to clear out gear they’ve already extracted. While this could have been done much sooner, or even on release, it is still amazing to have now.
New Bracket 201+
A new Dark Zone bracket is being added for players who have 201 gear score and higher. This will help separate players who are very strong and those still trying to earn their way up. The 201+ bracket also features much stronger enemies in Dark Zone 5 and 6 areas. They are now level 34 instead of 32, but also give much better drops. Tread carefully as it will actually take teamwork and effort to fight these enemies effectively.
New Named Weapons
Added new high-end named weapons in the game.
- Hungry Hog: M60 Light Machine-gun
- Centurion: M1911 Pistol
- Medved: SAIGA12 Shotgun
- Historian: M1A Marksman Rifle
- (Showstopper – AA12 Shotgun): Please note that while the Showstopper will be implemented in the game with this update, it will not be acquirable in-game until update 1.3
The Historian high-end marksman rifle is now available.
- Armor damage mitigation cap has been increased to 75%.
- Reduced damages from level 34 NPCs using Shotguns and Sniper rifles.
- Gear Score will now only take into account the equipped weapon with the highest Gear Score, and discard the other two. This will prevent players from equipping low quality weapons to voluntarily reduce their Gear Score.
This update adds many different aspects to the game that weren’t there previously. Content is what The Division was lacking, but now it seems to be in a much better place. Let’s not forget that SMGs and M1As are still the most used guns and a weapon re-balancing is still in the works. Even with The Division’s flaws, we still come back to it. It is gaining headway, but this kind of content needs to keep up in order to re-capture players.
All images from Tom Clancy’s The Division are property of Ubisoft.