Just yesterday, Ubisoft Massive released The Division 2 Title Update 9, and along with it, the huge patch notes that covered everything from Exotic item changes, to bug fixes. Unfortunately though, it seems one thing it didn’t cover are The Division 2 M1A changes.
In the latest State of the Game devstream, Ubisoft explained why The Division 2 M1A changes weren’t included, as well as the next steps planned for the weapon.
TU9 Patch Notes not Complete
The first topic was a short explanation of why the M1A nerf was not in the patch notes and how they plan to avoid that in the future:
- The Community Team is responsible for the Patch Notes
- It was also their mistake that the M1A nerf was not included in the Patch Notes
- This was not done on purpose because it does not make sense to try to hide a nerf of such a popular weapon and they also did not believe that they would “get away” with nerfing the M1A.
- To avoid such mistakes in the future, they will improve their internal processes.
M1A Situation and Nerf
They saw the general reaction to the M1A nerf itself, the amount of the nerf and this is how this came about:
- In 2019 the M1A was buffed for Title Update 6/7 because the meta at the time was Berserk, Clutch and Eagle Bearer builds
- While the M1A was already overtuned at the time, it was overshadowed by the Eagle Bearer.
- When Warlords of New York was released, that balance remained and the M1A became the new meta because the Eagle Bearer was changed.
- Then a pandemic happened, they are working from home and try to do their best to maintain a live game while also producing new content that will come in the future (including the next raid)
- They were, of course, aware that the M1A was an issue and they made a change that was meant to be a first balance pass for that weapon.
- Because of the pandemic circumstances the validation process of that first balance pass fell through the cracks.
- This was not the result of bad intentions, it was the result of bad processes and – like with the patch notes – this is something they intend to address.
- The Bottom line is, the 40% nerf in Title Update 9 was not meant to be final, but the shift to working from home disrupted the developers’ ability to more thoroughly rebalance it.
- The intention was to revisit the M1a post TU9 while also looking at all of the weapons and all of the talents and Gear Sets to make a better overall balance pass.
- But as players saw on Tuesday, the M1A got a 40% nerf and that was not intended.
Next immediate Steps
- As a first step they will revert the nerf of the M1A and the Bakers Dozen in PVE. After that, the damage of these weapons will be the same as before the patch in PVE content.
- In PVP the M1A will get a 20% nerf because that was well-received of the PVP community.
- The goal is to implement the reversion as soon as possible, it might be this week or the next – the exact details will follow.
- The change may cause a UI issue for Stadia users, showing the Title Update 9 values until a client update can be deployed.
Future Balance passes
- In the long term, they will address the M1A to bring that weapon more in line with the other guns.
- The change will be a nerf because it is more practical to nerf 1 overtuned weapon than to buff all the others.
- Other guns, Exotics, Gear Sets and Named Items that are underperforming will be buffed
- The NPCs are also part of that equation. Since TU8 armor, health and damage were adjusted and TU8.5 and TU9 deployed additional tweaks to address the difficulty.
- Now they will be looking more into specific NPC behavior and outliers
- But the general discussion is still the overall experience – casual vs challenging/difficult. The goal is to find a middle ground where gear progression is there but there should also be challenges for players that like difficult content and challenge themselves.
- The Raid will also be a big part in that difficulty discussion and the balance changes also impact the Raid.
- But these changes take time and it should be ready in June.
- Loot Overhaul (especially purple drops) will also be part of the June update
- Holstered talents were removed from all weapons, and this was initially missed for the Send-Off shotgun.
- It was never intended to keep a holstered talent for a weapon like the Send-Off, which needed to first be crafted before players could find out it had a holstered talent.
Studio also talked about what they plan on skill builds moving forward, and that the Raid 2 is still set for spring.
Skill Build Intentions
- Skill Builds are a bit underrepresented right now
- They don’t have as many Gear Sets, Talents or Weapon Talent options
- The next Title Update will add Gear Sets that are specifically designed for Skill Builds and Hybrid Skill Builds where you can be a little bit of Weapon and Skill.
- That means burst DPS and AOE DPS Skill Builds will be addressed
The Raid 2
- The release date of Raid 2 – The Foundry – is still in spring
- It will be free for everyone that owns The Division 2
As for Title Update 9, this patch introduced a few new bugs as well. Below is the priority list of stuff the studio is looking to fix from yesterday’s patch.
Title Update 9 – Priority List
We wanted to give you an update on the top priorities we are currently working on regarding bugs that have been introduced with Title Update 9.
- Kenly College Technology Laboratory being blocked.
- Coney Island, several progression blockers.
- Firefly Skill not launching or sticking to the agent’s hand.
- Turret Skills not placing properly and immediately going on cooldown.
- SHD-Levels not showing in group UI.
- Shield Skills and Assault Rifles not working together properly.
- Not being able to start or finish the Angel of Mercy Contaminated area.
- Being unable to link items in the chat.
- Being unable to deactivate/hide the Recommended Activity UI element.
No word yet on when the next patch will drop, but it’ll likely be sometime in May.