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‘The Division’ update overhauls late-game elements to make it more challenging

Publisher Ubisoft has launched a major update for its squad-based third-person shooter The Division that rebalances a number of crucial late-game elements in a bid to make a “more even playing field” for veteran players.

This week’s update implements a new damage-per-second formula for weapons while increasing enemy health and damage, making for a more challenging experience for players who have already reached the game’s level cap.

Related: Ubisoft discusses the challenges of fixing The Division

Ubisoft previously outlined the many weapon balance changes players can expect to see in this week’s patch, noting that it will specifically scale back headshot damage and chances for critical strikes. Previously, level 30 players in The Division could forge overpowered weaponry that broke late-game balance.

With the launch of version 1.4, players will need to carefully weigh the strengths and weaknesses of weapon mods before installing them, as weapon stats will now fluctuate based on how they are upgraded.

“Want to build for the highest possible damage?” Ubisoft asks. “That’s perfectly fine, but you’ll end up with a gun that might have a big recoil or a small magazine. Or if you prefer, you can build a weapon that is incredibly stable and precise, but you’ll have to sacrifice raw damage.”

Ubisoft continues: “It means that there will be more skill involved in using the weapons, just like in a regular shooter and during the level 1-30 experience, and our hope is that it will lead to much more variety and less cookie-cutter weapon setups.”

Equipped gear will also lose skill bonuses as part of this week’s update, but equipment will now include new performance mod slots to better suit individual character builds. Gear Score will also be adjusted to keep non-optimized players from being prematurely kicked from multiplayer squads.

Other improvements hitting The Division this week include more varied loot drops, tweaked signature skills, and the removal of scavenging. Players across all platforms will be prompted to update the next time they launch The Division starting on Tuesday.