The Division’s First Expansion, Underground, Comes Out Tomorrow


At least on PC and Xbox One. Those on PS4 will have to wait until August 2nd to get their hands on Underground.

There’s also a 1.3 patch, and PS4 players are going to have to wait for that as well, but that’s console exclusivity for you.

Seems as though The Division came and went like a brief, torrential downpour. It broke practically all of Ubisoft’s sale records, and now, over three months later, only the tiniest fraction of people are left playing The Division. Those who stayed can experience all patch 1.3 has to offer, but to devour any of the content in the new expansion, you’re gonna have to pony up.

And what is it that you’re paying for exactly?

An official video does a fairly good job giving a general round-up of one of the expansion’s new features – if you can get past the sensation that Ubisoft is trying really hard to seem unbiased toward their own game.

The Division wouldn’t be an Action RPG without randomized dungeons, and now it has those. There’s also a new incursion, and new gearsets, which aren’t covered in the video. They’re also adding a new high-end Marksman Rifle to the game, but it won’t be available till a future update.

If you fell off The Division wagon months ago, and aren’t committed to coming back to the game, let alone dropping money on a paid expansion, then know that 1.3 also adds a fair share of stuff, too, including one new gear set, and The Division’s arsenal is expanding with 3 new assault rifles, and 2 new sniper rifles, submachine guns, and pistols.

There’s also a brand new high-end shotgun called the Showstopper.

Massive Entertainment is also adding challenging difficulty to the Queens Tunnel Camp and Hudson Refugee Camp missions. On top of that, now there is heroic difficulty for five of the missions: Refugee Camp, Queen’s Tunnel Camp, Russian Consulate, Lincoln Tunnel Checkpoint, Lexington Event Center, and WarrenGate Power Plant.

Heroic difficulty is being introduced for the incursions as well, including the new one only available to owners of the Underground expansion.

Not sure if any of that can truly qualify as new content, depends on the effort they put into the new difficulty. I imagine it’s just meant to help combat power creep. Players who have stayed on top of the game since it came out are leagues more powerful now than they were months ago.

Another change that stuck out to me is that the current gear sets in the game are having their 2 and 3 piece bonuses nerfed and are having a 5-piece set bonus added. Something I tried to do when patch 1.1 came out was to get the 4-piece bonus of one set and the 2-piece bonus of another. This doesn’t seem optimal anymore, since it seems as though you’re better off grabbing the 5-piece bonus.

Certain pieces of gear (chest, backpack, kneepad, mask) will also now come equipped with a mod slot by default, and chests get 2, which is great, since mod slots are the most powerful affixes for gear to have.

Another addition that I’ve heard tossed around for months from various sources is that, much like SMGs and Marksman Rifles, other weapons are getting innate traits. SMGs have always had more critical hit chance by default, and Marksman Rifles caused more headshot damage. Those bonuses usually made them the best weapons in the game.

Now, every other weapon is getting its own innate trait as well:

  • LMG – Increased damage to targets out of cover by X%.
  • Shotguns – Added a chance to stagger NPCs. This will not affect other players.
  • Assault Rifles – Added an enemy armor damage bonus. This does not impact damage done to other players.

Obviously, Shotguns and Assault rifles now have almost no place in PvP, since their bonuses don’t affect real players, so SMGs will likely continue to dominate there, but maybe we’ll see more variety in PvE.

There are also plenty of bug fixes and other tweaks. You can check out the official patch notes for the full skinny.

My time with The Division was fleeting, but I didn’t hate the game. 1.1 was a disappointment, but what put the nail in the coffin was the crazy amount of exploits and hacking that started to run rampant. It wasn’t until that point that I shelved the game indefinitely, but if Massive Entertainment can whip it into shape, maybe at some point I’ll give the game another whirl, but I don’t think the game will ever return to the success it had within the first six weeks of its life.

The 180 Diablo 3 pulled comes to mind, but I doubt Ubisoft cares as much about the longevity of their games as Blizzard does.

About Josh Price

Josh Price is a writer who probably spends too many hours of the day playing video games. At some point he decided to put the two together to (hopefully) great effect. He also wrote some fiction. You should check that out if you're into such things, which you should be. Reading is FUNdamental.

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