The Division 2 like any new game is going through balance changes. Some players are pissed at this, some don't really care. With the way itemisation works in the game right now, seeing your "build" skewered can hurt, and making a new one does take considerable time. However, it's evident that some Talents are so strong that they're not only mandatory, but also negatively impacting on the game. Effectively, when a Talent allows players to massively increase their damage, Massive (the developer) have to then increase the health of enemies to compensate. While this might feel fine for players using said Talents, it's not good for those who aren't. Either way, Massive have made massive changes, with the full notes below. 

Normalization Changes

These are the changes they are planning for the Normalization that will be tested out on the PTS.

These changes are ONLY for PVP content and it will apply to Conflict, Normalized Dark Zone and Occupied Dark Zone.

Normalizing mechanics

  • The Equipment and weapons will be normalized to GS 500 (even if your GS is higher)

  • That also means, that they are no longer normalizing for a middle ground, but they are respecting the rolls on your gear. That means when you had an item with a very high crit chance roll, it will be like that in normalized content.

  • Skill Power will also be respected and when the mods are active in PVE, they will also be active in normalized content.

Global PVP Modifiers

  • The PVP damage modifier will be reduced from 70% to 40% and that will bring the Time to Kill down to what you experience in PVE. This way, you have more time to react.

  • The Skill Damage modifier will be increased from 20% to 25%, so that should make your skills more effective.

  • Overall the encounters should last longer overall and the skills should be more useful.

Occupied Dark Zone PVP Modifiers

  • They have also added a specific ODZ PVP damage modifier

  • Currently it sits at 40% - same as the normalized DZ – but they have the ability to specifically fine-tune the ODZ depending on how things change.

  • That should also help to lower the Time To Kill in the ODZ

PVP Modifiers for Weapon Archetypes

  • They will add specific PVP modifiers for specific weapon types.

  • For example, they can specifically buff the Assault Rifle in PVP now.

  • That also enables for specific PVP balancing, because the damage of the weapon is overwritten by the PVP Modifiers when you enter PVP content.

Hip fire Changes

  • In PVP content you will not be able to crit when you hip-fire

  • In PVE it behaves as it is now.

Dark Zone

Loot Changes

  • NDZ and ODZ will drop less clean loot and more contaminated loot, they want players to engage in the Loot Extraction – loop.

  • Named bosses guarantee contaminated loot and higher leveled landmark bosses have the ability to drop multiple items.

Landmark Cooldown

  • Landmarks got a cooldown once they are cleared before they become activate again (about a minute)

  • That should also encourage more player movement and not just farming the same Landmark.

Dark Zone NPC Balancing

  • The NPCs in the Dark Zone will be less lethal, but they will also have more armor.

Rogue Loop Changes

  • They removed the Rogue Cooldown when you die

  • The Rogue-Toggle cooldown will stay, so you will not be able to spam that.

  • Dark Zone Perk was also changed that it will no longer reduce the Rogue Timer cooldown, but you will lose less XP when you die as a rogue agent.

Dark Zone Pouch increased

  • You will be able to carry more Contaminated items.

  • Default is 6 items per bag

  • The Character Perks were also changed – The Tier 1 Perk will increase the bag-size to 8

  • The Dark Zone Perk will increase the bag-size to 10 in total.

Preventing Empty Dark Zones

  • They plan multiple changes to “guarantee” that you encounter 12 players in a Dark Zone instance.

  • They are reducing the amount of Dark Zone Brackets to 2. Everyone below Character Level 30 and everybody in Endgame.

  • Not all changes will be implemented with Title Update 3 – there is more in the queue down the line.

Player Count increase in DZ is not planned

  • First they are implementing the changes that the player count per Dark Zone Instance is 12 because that is already a completely different experience than what it is now.

  • But they know it is empty now and they want to adress that.

Occupied Dark Zone changes

  • The ODZ specific damage modifier was already mentioned

  • They also lower the XP loss when you die in the ODZ

GS 515 Items will drop in the Dark Zone

  • In endgame Dark Zone you will be able to get GS 515 items.


I want to start off by saying the raid will drop the highest gear score (TBA), not the Dark Zones. As we've been transparent with our thoughts and decisions up until this point, we will continue to do so going forward. While we do want to experiment with Dark Zone rewards, we're taking everyone's feedback into account. It's still super early and we want to see how the content and looting plays on live. That's not to say things cannot be tweaked.

=> Official Forum

Thieves Den Changes

  • Players can weapon swap in Thieves Den to earn Special Ammo for the weapon of their choice.

  • There are also more changes panned to the Thieves Den to make it more attractive – but no further details were given.


Future Changes to the Occupied Dark Zone

These changes are planned, but they will not be implemented with Title Update 3

  • Rogue and Manhunt Loop will be added to the ODZ (no grey rogues)

  • The NPC-Patrols will also be lowered and more or less limited to the Landmarks so that it does not have such a big impact on PVP.



UI Change

  • The UI will now display the real value of the armor and not a standard value. So when a player has a ton of armor, you will see that displayed accordingly.


Boost Change

  • The Boosts (damage and armor) that become active over the course of a match will be lowered by 50%. They should have an impact but not that big as it is now.


Synchronizing Team Spawns

  • The chance that you spawn with a teammate is increased so that you don’t just spawn alone and die


Conflict NPC will be more Visible

  • There is an NPC beneath the helicopter in front of the Base of Operation where you can matchmake for conflict. They will make that NPC more visible.


Skill Cooldown Respected

  • The Skill cooldown will be respected now after you die.

  • So when the skill was on cooldown, it will stay on cooldown when you respawn.

  • That should also lower the skill-spam


Exotic / Talents / Gear

These are some general explanations about their philosophy around the Exotics, the Gear and the Talent design and balancing.


  • Exotic should feel special

  • They don't have to do the most damage, they should also promote a fun and unique playstyle that does not have to be the most effective one.

  • They are not always centered around raw DPS

  • But that being said – they still buff the damage of the exotics across the board.

  • Pestilence will be buffed specifically and it will also get even more effective in PVP.

”Just buff everything”

  • We are in the process of aligning the game

  • But there is only so high you can go and that causes issues when you add new World Tiers for example.

  • So at the moment they are aligning the items, the activities and the talents so that it is fun to play and then they go from there.

  • They know that nerfing items is not popular, but it also makes things more diverse.


Talent Changes

These are the changes that are currently tested on the PTS.

The old values are in ()



  • Damage bonus reduced to 20% (25%) / Handling reduced to 25% (35%)



  • Missing armor requirement increased to 10% (5%)



  • PVE reloading weapon from empty grants 20% (25%) weapon damage and 15% (35%) rate of fire for 3 (7) seconds

  • PVP 15% (25%) Weapon Damage 15% (25%) Rate of fire for 3 (7) Seconds



  • PVE Killing an enemy repairs 10% (5%) armor over 5 (3) seconds – headshots improve the repair to 20% (10%)

  • PVP 5% armor over 3 seconds – headshots to 15%

  • Requires 7 defense attributes



  • Headshot kills grant 35% (25%) Skill Damage for 20 (10) Seconds

  • Requires 5 (3) utility attributes



  • Headshot kills increase skill repair and healing by 15% (25%) for 20 (25) seconds

  • Requires 9 Utility attributes



  • Reduce healing bonus to 50% (75%) - reduced duration to 5 (7) seconds

  • Less than 4 (5) offensive attributes



  • Increased health gained per critical hit to 20% (15%) reduced armor gained per critical hit to 1% (2%)



  • Reduce critical hit chance bonus from 8% to 5%



  • Increased weapon damage to pulsed targets to +20% (10%)

  • Increased requirements to 5 (3) utility attributes



  • Shooting an enemy in the legs has a 15% (10%) chance to apply bleed



  • Headshots from cover repair armor increased to 10% (5%) of your armor.



  • After being in cover for 5 seconds, armor repairs by 5% every 1 second (requires 9 defensive attributes)



  • PVE: 70% (25%) of max armor is repaired when your armor is depleted. Armor kits used within the next 7 (5) seconds are not consumed.

  • PVP it is 25% (15%) of max armor and 7 (5) Seconds.

  • Requires 11 defensive attributes



  • PVE: Depleting enemies armor adds a stack of 25% (20%) armor bonus for 10 (20) seconds, max stack is increased to 6 (5)

  • PVP: 20% armor bonus for 5 seconds, max stack of 5

  • Requires 11 defensive attributes



  • PVE: the 10% weapon damage for every 20% (10%) max armor depleted

  • Requires 11 offensive attributes and AR LMG or SMG equipped



  • PVE: Swapping weapons within 3 seconds of a kill grants 35% (25%) weapon damage for 5 (10) seconds

  • PVP: 20% Weapon damage for 5 seconds


Used to require

  • Requires 9 offensive attributes now



  • Killing an enemy with your sidearm repairs 50% (25%) of your armor can occur once every 15 (10) seconds.

  • Require 11 defensive attributes



  • Reduce critical hit damage bonus from 8% to 5%

NPC Changes

While these are some drastic changes in some cases, they are also changing the health of NPCs – so just because you need some of the talents to be effective in heroic difficulty now – they are not necessarily mandatory in the new big picture and the new balancing.

Other quality of life changes

  • Players can toggle displaying personal and group loot drops now

  • Text chat will now lose focus after sending a message

  • Group tab will be populated with all raid members

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our The Division 2 Game Page.

Last Updated: Apr 18, 2019

About The Author

Lewis is currently playing The Division 2, Dota Underlords and Destiny 2, having covered a variety of genres for many years.