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Ubisoft is prepping for the release of The Division on March 8 this week for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC. The game will finally become available after years of anticipation and waiting by a lot of gamers, but it won't arrive without a little day one patch to make sure everything is set good and straight on launch.
PC Gamer pointed to the day one launch patch that gamers will have to download whether they pre-ordered the game and started pre-loading or not. The patch notes were released in full over on the official website for The Division, noting things like altering the appearance of the main menu to display everything as a grid as opposed to how it was setup before. They state that this is to make it easier to navigate the game's menus.
The main menu isn't the only visual overhaul the game has received, the team has also fixed some of the lights for global illumination, as well as fixed volumetric lighting on some of the traffic lights. Some of the signs that didn't cast lights before, do now. And they've adjusted some of the shaders on the character and increased the screen space ambient occlusion... although I do wonder if that's going to affect the console version of The Division or if that will be exclusive to PC gamers with high-end GPUs?
The changes aren't all visual and cosmetic, though. Some of the changes includes usability for the gameplay, such as improved tutorials to help gamers learn some of the more complex mechanics and features within The Division, and additional information in-game when picking up loot. This ties into some of the new map and world improvements that the day one patch will address, such as field data with audio automatically playing when it's picked up. They've also added subtitles to the field data while it's playing, so the hearing impaired can understand what's being said.
The game's crafting materials obtained from loot crates has been increased and skill modifiers have been added directly to the gear as opposed to only being present on gear mods.
Beyond usability and improvement to the overall playability, Ubisoft is also on bug-squashing duty. They have a nice little section on the site dedicated to the fixes and bugs they've addressed in time for the day one patch. This includes fixing a glitch that players could exploit that included going invisible or shooting through the walls, as well as implementing more server-side checks to detect illegal behavior from gamers looking to manipulate the game client or run hacks.
Ubisoft has a very strict zero-tolerance policy on Rainbow Six: Siege when it comes to hackers and cheaters, so I wouldn't be surprised if they used a similar policy for The Division.
A number of other minor bugs were also squashed, some of which included player characters getting stuck or log-in problems preventing gamers from being able to get into the game properly. Those are definitely the kind of things you don't want hampering a day-one launch experience.
You can check out the full changelog over on the official website. The Division launches March 8th, tomorrow, for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC.