State of the Game: November 2nd, 2017

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State of the Game: November 2nd, 2017

Postby JokerUnique » Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:21 pm

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Summary
This week, Petter was joined by two State of the Game regulars from Red Storm Entertainment. Creative Director, Terry Spier and Lead Game Designer, Keith Evans joined Petter to discuss the recently concluded PTS and all the exciting content coming in Update 1.8.


Maintenance
Maintenance coming for our Hong Kong datacenters Nov. 3, 10:00 CET to Nov. 4, 15:30 CET. ASIA players will be redirected to other centers.

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Hot Topics
Update 1.8
  • No release date as of now

Xbox One X Support
Great news for all the agents that will be playing on Xbox One X in the near future, as today it was confirmed that improvements for the console will be coming to The Division. More details and a timeline will come at a later date.


Update 1.8 PTS – a look back
PTS went very well – they got a lot and very good feedback from the community and they have changed many things based on that feedback

In general - how is a PTS used?
PTS is an important step in the development process that helps the developers to put the finishing touches on an update and brings a lot of value to the development team. Amongst other things, it allows them to play test the update, watch streams, listen to community feedback and act on analytic data that is gathered during the PTS. A Public Test Server is something most games do not have and it is a very hectic time with a lot of data and feedback to process in a short time span but the end result always ends up as an improvement.

Predators Mark / Nomad – too powerful?
  • They have seen a lot of feedback about those sets
  • They are intentionally powerful, because Predator / Nomad (or for example Reclaimer) center around one specific ability and bring a very specific aspect to the gameplay
  • Reclaimer for example has all its power in the Support Station
  • Predator has all damage in the Bleed and when it is built around that, it also has to be powerful to make it valid in PVE and PVP
  • Nomad gives you burst damage survivability, but once it is on cooldown, you are vulnerable because there is no backup and it also does not give you a damage boost.
  • But while they have very powerful abilities, you also have specific counters for them (for example med-kit against the bleed or EMP against Support Station) and because of that, you need to prepare, you have to adapt and find new tactics
  • These new tactics and the ever changing dynamics in encounters like Dark Zone, Last Stand or the new Skirmish should keep the game interesting for a long time. Simply because there are moves and countermoves - Gear Sets and counters to that Gear Set, in essence what an RPG is about.

D3-FNC / Ballistic Shield
  • Shieldbuilds were problematic before 1.8, because they made PVP frustrating and hard PVE content too easy and that was the reason why it was changed
  • Now Shieldbuilds have a designated Gear Set: D3-FNC
  • D3-FNC allows you to have that ultimate shield-build where you have the powerful melee, you can buff your team and support your team that way.
  • But at the same time, you don´t have that crazy high DPS as before, so it is more balanced and also gives you a counter.

Rogue 2.0
  • Over the last couple of weeks, there has been a common narrative, that the developers are apparently not listening to the feedback - but they have changed many things specifically because of PTS feedback
  • For example:
    - Shorter time to clear the Manhunt
    - The range where the Manhunt is broadcasted is smaller, so less people are notified
    - You have now a 60 seconds initial Rogue Timer instead of 19 seconds.
    - Group Management has also changed for groups that have manhunt status – it is blocked now for any group that has Manhunt status
    - Banshee was also changed over the course of the PTS, so that it is less an "I-win button"
  • They have specifically not changed the Manhunt loop, because they believe in that gameplay and want to try it out in the live game.
  • They expect that in some cases, nobody will be around to even camp the Manhunt Station, because they are doing other activities for example. Live game is always different than PTS – so what was a problem on PTS could be a non-issue on the live servers. But you have to try that out and see how it lives and breathes in the live-environment.

Underground
  • Classifieds Pieces will drop in Underground
  • Exotics will drop in the Underground (Big Alejandro and The House for example)
  • There will also be special chests with rewards
  • Hunters and the new Directives also bring a new Dynamic to the Underground
  • New checkpoints make it more accessible

Resistance
  • Resistance developed a lot from PTS 1 to the final version they ended up
  • Resistance also received a lot of feedback and there were several changes on that new mode:
    - Difficulty has been dialed in
    - More wave combinations to keep it interesting and challenging
    - Time / Reward has improved
  • All that turned this game mode into something the player will want to go back to

Update 1.8 in general
  • It is a huge update that also offers something for the entire playerbase and provides a lot of content that is also tied together.
  • Underground / Skirmish / West Side Piers / Resistance offer new experiences or in case of Underground an updated and refreshed one.
  • Gear Optimization that will help you upgrade and optimize the gear you find
  • The new Audio-Logs / Rick Podcasts also give you new insights in the lore and the story of the Division

A Thank you to the Community
Also a big thank you to the community for their participation - their feedback helped immensely to shape 1.7 and 1.8 into this good package that we have now


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