Ubisoft Massive is taking an important step to improve The Division before the 1.4 update is released to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The developer announced Wednesday it plans to make changes available on a public test server before distributing it widely across all platforms.
The Division has hit rough waters since launch, but Ubisoft has committed itself to improving the online multiplayer shooter into the game fans had hoped it would be at launch. The developer recently announced it was delaying the release of the next two DLC releases in favor of focusing on improving the gameplay experience and is even flying players to Sweden to help. It now plans to make a Public Test Server available for PC gamers.
“We’ve seen a lot of very constructive feedback across the forums, Reddit, YouTube and Twitch. The enthusiasm that you have shown to help us make the game better is incredible and only proves that this is an important step in the right direction!” Ubisoft said.
“As many pointed out after we announced Update 1.4, a great way to involve you would be to let you try the update before its release. Good news! We are thrilled to confirm that we will be opening a Public Test Server on PC for The Division in the near future.”
Public Test Servers are commonly used to test changes and new content in MOBA titles, like League of Legends and SMITE, as well as MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft. Blizzard Entertainment also uses one for Overwatch to get a feel for changes coming to its competitive multiplayer shooter before they reach a wider audience.
The date of the Public Test Server for The Division has not been announced, but details are expected “in the coming days.” Ubisoft explained, “We wanted to break the news as soon as possible so you can have full visibility on the next steps we are implementing to improve the game.”
The Division 1.4 update is due to be released in October with only gameplay balancing and fixes with no new content. This pushes the Survival DLC back to later in 2017 while the third expansion, Last Stand, is targeting an early 2017 release.
As previously covered, Update 1.4 will be released at the same time across the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. So with no new content, what is Ubisoft fixing with the update? A high-level overview of the changes coming to The Division is as follows:
- Fixing bugs
- Making loot drops more relevant to the player
- Enemy difficulty and time to kill
- Gear Sets and weapons balancing
- Solo player experience
- Dark Zone and PvP balancing
- Quality of life additions based on community suggestions
Community Developers Hamish Bode and Yannick Banchereau both appeared in a Twitch live stream last week to explain the focus on the planned fixes in The Division 1.4 update. They admitted there have been many discussions about the differences in gameplay when players are under level 30 and above level 30. They particularly noted how frustrating fights against level 34 NPCs have turned out to be. As a result, the developers want to re-balance the whole system versus just tweaking NPC health and weapon damage.
Balancing the PVE will take priority of balancing Dark Zone. Ubisoft plans to balance the PVE side of the game first and then work with those tweaks to make additional changes in the game’s PVP area.
Loot is also going to be made more relevant and accessible for The Division players. This means getting gear you don’t already have while playing content at a specific difficulty level.
Some of the quality of life changes mentioned during the Division live stream include Weapon Skins no longer taking up inventory space, a buyback option from vendors, and the ability to run inside the Base of Operations. Another welcome change will be the addition of a “Craft All” button to allow players to craft higher level mats all at once instead of one at a time.
[Image via Ubisoft]