I will freely admit that up until I reached World Tier 5 in The Division 2, I felt it was one of the best games I've ever played. The combination of exploration, loot, a busy and active world, lots of events, and brilliant gunplay is so much fun. Unfortunately the mask quickly slips at "end game", as it becomes quickly apparent that many of the core systems are fatalty flawed. Here's what I think Massive need to do, in order to bring players back on side.
It's fair to say that The Division 2 has a disgusting degree of RNG. Not only do you need to pray for the right armor set to drop, but you also need to hope it has the right brand set, with the perfect number of talents, and mod slots. Effectively, and in the current system, the sheer amount of variables is dizzying, and to land a God roll, on a specific armor piece you're looking for, is like winning the lottery. Unless your item is 1 Recalibration away from perfection, often it'll be entirely useless (if you already have a half decent build).
While The Division 2 might shower you with loot, anyone who has spent any considerable time at World Tier 5 has likely found that almost every single item they obtain is trashed instantly. As for me, I've not had a single valuable drop in months, because everything that has dropped would need too much recalibration to even be viable. Not only does this level of RNG sap any life out of grinding content, but you quickly realize that looking for any incremental gear improvements is like finding a needle in a haystack: it's both exhausting, and pointless.
Reducing the RNG by tweaking many of the existing systems the game has (see below), while also trimming the fat on Mods would help Division 2 enormously. Everyone knows most Attributes are garbage, the majority of Mods (and the entire Mod system) an absolute nightmare, and even gear sets are a headache (there's too many, they don't have flexibility, and they don't play into your Specialization). Reworking these areas, coupled with reduced RNG, would instantly allow players to pursue builds they want, without having to invest thousands of hours to get there.
Make Crafting Useful
This really doesn't require a great deal of discussion, but crafting in The Division 2 - outside of making weapon mods - is absolutely pointless. Everything you make is below 500 Gear Score, still suffers from RNG and drains a large quantity of materials you've farmed. While I don't think crafting should ever replace loot drops, it should absolutely compliment it. Simply put, if you're looking for something specific, and have never had the fortune of it dropping, or want a specific Talent, crafting should be there to provide it for you. Better yet, pursuit of the right blueprints should - as far as I'm concerned - provide an avenue for top-tier items. It makes little, if any sense to deny players that, especially if you were to add a balanced resource requirement.
Implement Loot Tables
Perhaps this is due to my MMO experience, but I cannot understand why Destiny 2 doesn't have fixed loot tables. Why don't specific enemies, gaurentee specific loot? Why don't certain bosses, always have a chance of dropping, say, gloves with the Clutch Talent? Everything in The Division 2 is RNG, to the point where it feels cynical; it's Massive's effort to retain players, when it's having the complete opposite effect. Take farming certain Exotic weapons as an example, these can be dropped by certain factions, but there's no one enemy to farm (typically, it's just a named boss). That seems at odds with good old fashion design, and does little more than encourage players to guess drop rates, and pursue activities they think will be time efficient. Why make it so complex? Simply assign X boss, Y drops, with a visible Z% chance for it to fall. Not only would this provide some sort of certainty and clarity around farming, but also reduce the need for pure RNG on Talents/Attributes. Lastly, why isn't there some sort of token system rewarded for completing events, that you can then redeem for gauranteed rewards?
I've never played The Division, but it's fairly evident that Recalibration in The Division 2 is limited. It only allows you to change one thing on an item, and once you have, you can only ever Recalibrate that same slot. It's completely flawed, and in the face of so much RNG, in desperate need of improvement. I don't think Recalibration needs huge changes, but just the ability to change multiple elements on a piece of armor, while also having the opportunity to change Attributes completely. It needs to be a means of fine-tuning gear, while reducing some of the burdensome RNG that the game looks so much.
Remove "Damage To Elites"
Considering how important Damage to Elites is, as a Talent, it's crippling build diversity and - for the most part - renders most armor absolutely useless. With players only able to recalibrate one part of an item, if it's a key piece that doesn't have Damage to Elites, and already has sub-part Attributes/Mod Slots/Set, it'll instantly go in the bin. Removing Damage to Elites would instantly create greater build diversity, while increasing the value of most items. It'd mean that Massive would have to tweak player damage/enemy health pools, but in the long run, it would be absolutely worth it.
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