Tom Clancy's The Division Balances Weapons In Update 1.3

By Ashley Woodcock, 6 months ago
If you were to ask a regular player of Tom Clancy's The Division what their two main weapon types were that they used in and out of the Dark Zone, the majority would say an SMG and Marksman Rifle. Even though the Assault Rifles pack decent damage at distance, the large magazines of LMGs and the damage per shot of Shotguns just don't pack the same punch as the most popular two weapon types. Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment want to bring more variety to the weapons in the upcoming update and have shared some stats with the community showcasing why they feel the change is needed.

Out of the SMGs the AUG and Vector are easily the most popular weapons. I was personally using a Tactical Vector 45 ACP for quite some time that packed devastating DPS (damage per second) at close-range as well as extra critical hit damage, headshot damage, and I'd also receive 3% of the critical damage dealt back as healing. With the Tactical AUG blueprint on sale this week in the Dark Zone, I finally managed to upgrade to this weapon, giving my a slightly better DPS, more stability and accuracy, and a slightly bigger magazine. Of course, the First Wave M1A is my secondary weapon. The SMG and Marksman Rifle types are the only types that offer unique weapon bonuses. Naturally, this has lead to an uneven spread of weapon usage from players of the game.

The Division Update 1.3 Screens 3


LMGs and Shotguns are the least-popular weapons as the chart showcases. In the following stat screen, you can see the popularity of SMG weapons with the AUG leading the charge over the Vector :

The Division Update 1.3 Screens 2


To address the sheer domination of SMGs and Rifles, the following are inbound:

  • Add unique bonuses to each weapon family
  • Increase Shotgun damage output
  • Decrease the damage of the AUG and Vector
  • Make adjustments to the M1A
  • Introduce new weapons
  • Add the ability to reroll talents on weapons
  • Make changes to Special Ammo
To make some of the other weapon classes a bit more desirable and allow players to possibly play in the style they want to rather than be forced to use SMGs and Rifles to keep up with the competition, new weapon bonuses will be added to the weapon families currently without them. The SMGs current "critical hit chance" will be changed, and the marksman rifle's "headshot damage" bonus will remain unchanged:

  • SMGs now have a crit hit damage bonus rather than crit hit chance. It is much harder to reach a higher critical hit chance now, and you will have to make more stat choices when selecting gear in order to take advantage of the new bonus.
  • LMGs receive a bonus that increases their damage to targets out of cover by about 25%. The design of LMGs is to force people into cover and control areas with their large magazine sizes.
  • Shotguns receive a stagger bonus against NPC. When shooting targets, you have a high chance of causing them to stumble and lose their balance. This will not affect other players, however. Shotguns are also receiving a buff to their base damage that scales with the weapon’s level and up to a maximum of 30%.
  • Assault Rifles receive a bonus to enemy armor damage. This allows Assault Rifles to be a powerful weapon in PVE situations.
  • No changes were made to the bonus on Marksman Rifles
  • Each bonus provides an impact in a variety of situations and playstyles. Additionally, bringing up the damage on Shotguns up allows them to reach a level that is more on par with other weapons while they are in their optimal range. These changes allow you to now select your weapon loadout around your preferred playstyle rather than their DPS value.
As well as having their weapon bonuses changed, the AUG and the Vector will also see the damage they deal reduced by 10%.

The M1A doesn't get away without a nerf either. The M1A can be fired quickly while maintaining accuracy and doing as much (if not more) damage as the bolt-action style rifles. To slow down the weapon and make the M1A's be used how they should be, the minimum accuracy cap will be increased, making the cross hair "grow to a much larger size than it previously did".

If you feel like your current weapons won't have the same spark anymore, there's always a new set of weapons to check out that will be included in the update. Each weapon also comes with its own unique talent:

Named Shotgun: Showstopper (This is a fully automatic shotgun).
Talent - Showstopper: The emptier the clip, the better the accuracy.
Assault Rifle: G36
Talent - Focused: When no skills are on cooldown you weapon damage is increased by X%.
Marksman Rifle: SVD
Talent - Killing a target will make your next shot with the weapon be an automatic critical hit.
SMG: PP-19
Talent - Hurried: Each critical hit reduces your next reload time with X% to a minimum of Y seconds.
Not happy with a weapon talent you've just rolled? Then fear not, as the ability to recalibrate a talent on the weapon will be available in the upcoming update. To be able to do this, players will need to start saving up a new in-game currency called "Weapon Kit". This will be obtainable via crafting, enemy drops and crates in the Underground. Combined with Phoenix Credits, spending this new currency at the Recalibration bench will allow players to roll a new talent on their weapon. The recalibration will work the same way it does currently for gear.

Special Ammo will also be adjusted in the new update as some of the new gear sets focus on consumables.

Explosive ammo does what says on the tin. The damage output combined with the weapon's damage significantly gave players a massive advantage in fire-fights. The boost in damage will now be nerfed and will scale linearly with the damage of the bullet. If you land a shot that does 10,000 damage for example, the explosion will do the same.

Incendiary bullets will also be nerfed. Currently, once an enemy is set on fire, the duration of the fire effect lasts longer than that of an actual Incendiary grenade. The effect will now be reduced from ten seconds down to three.

The last topic of the upcoming update that was brought up recently during Massive's recent "State of the Game" stream, was the Sentry and Striker gear sets. Deemed as being too powerful and limiting the design space for future gear sets, the effectiveness of the 2 set and 3 set bonuses will be reduced and new 5 set bonuses will be introduced. Specific details are yet to be announced but currently the 2 set for the Striker offers 20% Enemy Armour Damage and the 3 set offers 50% Critical Hit Damage. The Sentry's Call 2 set gives 30% Headshot Damage and the 3 set dishes out 20% Damage to Elites. With six available gear slots to use, I know from personal experience a lot of people run three or four pieces of Striker combined with two or three pieces of Sentry's Call, making them very powerful. Unfortunately, the latest Gear Sets from update 1.2, have barely been used at all besides two pieces of the Final Measure set for 50% Exotic Damage Resilience.

Update 1.3 for The Division goes live this Tuesday, June 28th.
Ashley Woodcock
Written by Ashley Woodcock
Assistant News Manager for TrueAchievements and member of the Newshounds team since 2010. Lover of completions, tough achievements, shooters, action, adventure and racing titles, hip-hop, NBA, and my Scooby. Finding it hard to pull myself away from The Division and its dangerous Dark Zone.