The Division, Ubisoft's big online multiplayer-focused third-person shooter, burned brightly at launch but quickly faded as a myriad of gameplay, performance and technical issues left players feeling disillusioned.
The game had gone quiet for some months before Ubisoft, and developer Massive, recently perked up to reveal a raft of changes it hoped would encourage lapsed players back into the fold.
Now, Ubisoft has announced plans to tackle one of The Division's biggest problems: balance.
One of the issues facing the game right now is that there's a massive power difference between optimised and non-optimised builds. This gap between the two extremes, most agree, is too large.
Ubisoft said that as part of the upcoming Update 1.4, due out in October, it wants to "bring back the shooter feeling" to the game, add more decision-making and hard choices when building your character, and add more variety to the viable builds.
There's a detailed breakdown of the planned changes over at The Division website. One of the more interesting ones is that after the 1.4 update, every piece of equipment dropped in World Tier 2 and higher with have all three stats (Firearms, Stamina and Electronics) on them. The idea is to create a balanced baseline that improves your ability to survive, and you no longer risk accidentally making the game much more difficult than it has to be.
Ubisoft will also adjust the gear score of gear sets. Right now, it's pretty common for you to get kicked from groups only because you haven't inflated your gear score with 268 GS Gear Set pieces. Ubisoft wants to make high end gear more viable and allow for more builds not relying on gear sets. "We want to make sure you're not automatically punished just because your gear score doesn't look high enough," Ubisoft said.
Gear sets aren't meant to be a measure of actual power or be "must haves" to be competitive at endgame, Ubisoft stressed. They're meant to represent "fun and specialised gameplay styles".
Weapons, armour, skills and consumables are being rebalanced, too. All in all, there are big changes coming to The Division. The whole thing seems designed to make players feel more powerful, even if it's done through a combination of just raising and lowering numbers across the board. "The current big numbers are going away, but that doesn't mean you won't feel a steady increase in power as you get better and better gear," Ubisoft said.
Tempted to jump back in?