The Division Weapon Balance Coming in 1.3

Have you been playing The Division recently and noticed a large majority of players running AUGs/Vectors and M1As? The Division Weapon balance has been an issue since release (the beta handle it better), but appears to finally be getting addressed in the forthcoming 1.3 update. For those out of the loop, the current system only grants inherent bonuses to SMG and Marksman rifle class weapons, causing the meta to revolve solely on these two classes of weapons. Recently Massive laid out there plans for 1.3 and how weapons will be adjusted. Some of the major points are below:

By The Numbers

The Division Weapon Balance

Look at this balance… Shotgun #FeelsBadMan. Graph courtesy of Massive

I am not a scientist, but it appears both LMG and Shotguns are useless. Massive has recognized this and will be doing a bunch of things in order to address this:

  • Add the ability to reroll talents on weapons:
  • Introduce new weapons:

    • Named Shotgun: Showstopper (This is a fully automatic shotgun)

    [2016-06-23] bullet_icon Showstopper: The emptier the clip, the better the accuracy.

    • Assault Rifle: G36

    [2016-06-23] scorpion_icon Focused: When no skills are on cooldown you weapon damage is increased by X%.

    • Marksman Rifle: SVD

    [2016-06-23] raptor_icon Decisive: Killing a target will make your next shot with the weapon be an automatic critical hit.

    • SMG: PP-19

    [2016-06-23] snake_icon Hurried: Each critical hit reduces your next reload time with X% to a minimum of Y seconds.

  • Make adjustments to the M1A: 
    • Increase the minimum accuracy cap on the M1A. When you shoot consistently, the cross hair will grow to a much larger size than it previously did.
  • Decrease the damage of the AUG and Vector: 
    • Reduce the damage done by the AUG and Vector by 10%.
  • Add unique bonuses to each weapon family:

    • 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
  • Increase Shotgun damage output
  • Massive is making it possible to recalibrate a talent on your weapon. In order to do so you have to collect a new currency called Weapon Kit that can be obtained through crafting, enemy drops, and crates in the Underground. Spend them in combination some Phoenix Credits at the Recalibration bench to be able to recalibrate a talent on your weapon. All talents can be recalibrated and it works in the same way gear rerolling does.
  • Make changes to Special Ammo: 

    Explosive ammo provides a huge amount of burst damage that would very often be the deciding factor in a Dark Zone fight. While it should still provide a boost in damage, we are going to significantly reduce the burst damage that players are currently experiencing in Update 1.3. The ammo will now scale linearly with the damage of the bullet. If you hit for 10,000 damage, the explosion will do the same.

    Similarly, we’ve also taken a look at Incendiary Bullets. Currently they set you on fire for a longer duration than Incendiary Grenades. With that, their duration has been reduced from a 10 seconds to 3 seconds. This change should better reflect their power.

Basically what Massive is attempting is a shift in the meta that should have taken place earlier within the games cycle. I am excited in seeing how the new tweaks shake out and hope this brings a bit of spicy to the game.

While it remains to be seen how 1.3 shakes out, what are you thoughts on the new changes? Let me know in the Pit below. 


Enricofairme is the founder and lead writer on He has been creating content about video games for the past 6 years. You can follow Eli on Twitter @enricofairme.

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