Welcome to our Intelligence Annex, a sequence of articles where you can discover the latest insights about upcoming content & features in The Division 2. Today, we have the pleasure to introduce to you a brand-new progression feature: Expertise.
We all know that getting the most out of your gear is important to any agent in the field, and sometimes a lot of planning (and difficult decisions) goes into ensuring your equipment is maximized and ready for a fight.
While we know this will be much clearer once you see it in action, we'll today do our best to explain this new feature through this first glimpse article!
What is Expertise?
Expertise is a new way for agents to further develop the performance of their gear, weapons, and skill variants. Thanks to this feature, you will be able to improve the Grade of your equipment and directly increase their base stats for greater efficiency.
Of course, this feature will be complementary to the existing crafting & optimization systems to give you a new way to gain power while using your items on the field. Expertise will be available from the Recalibration Station in the Base of Operations or Haven through a dedicated new Expertise tab.
How does the Expertise feature work?
- With the new Expertise feature, you will be able to increase the Grade of an item, brand or gear set to increase its base stats, for example with base damage bonuses for a weapon.
- The number of times you will be able to increase the Grade of these items will be equal to your Expertise Level.
- To earn Expertise Level, you will need to gain Proficiency Ranks by using an item, brand or gear set in combat - or by investing resources into researching them.
- Once you reach the maximum Proficiency Rank for said equipment, you will become Proficient with it.
- It is important to note that you may only improve the Grade of items, brands, and gear sets you are Proficient with.
Through this feature, we want to encourage players to experience new builds and playstyles without penalizing those who prefer to stick to their favorite one.
We will now share some more in-depth information about this feature and how you will be able to develop your expertise moving forward.
Compatible item types
Expertise will be available for the following item types:
- Weapons (Black Market AKM, P416, SOCOM Mk20 SSR, etc).
- Brands (Gila Guard, Alps Summit Armament, Walker, Harris & Co., etc).
- Gearsets (Striker’s Battlegear, Aces and Eights, Hunter's Fury, etc).
- Named Items (Fox’s Prayer, The White Death, The Hollow Man, etc).
- Exotics (Lady Liberty, Diamondback, "Tardigrade" Armor System, etc).
- Skill Variants (Explosive Sticky Bomb, Incinerator Turret, Defender Drone, etc).
- Specialization Weapons (Survivalist Crossbow, K8-JetStream Flamethrower, P-017 Missile Launcher, etc).
For Brands & Gearsets, you will develop Proficiency for all compatible equipment in these sets at the same time.
It is important to note that you don’t need to acquire a copy of an item before you can start developing proficiency on it. You can always see all the possible items available for research in the Expertise tab in the Recalibration Station.
Also, with new content being added to the game, the pool of compatible items will increase and therefore, your capacity to develop your Expertise level further! Another good reason to discover and enjoy new equipment introduced with new seasons!
Gaining Proficiency with Items
An item's quality and type determine how many proficiency points is in needs to reach maximum Proficiency rank (10).
There are three different ways in which an agent can develop proficiency on an item:
- Using the items in the field and getting kill XP with them
- By getting kill XP while compatible items are being equipped, you will earn Proficiency points for each of them.
- Equipping several items from a brand or set will increase Proficiency points earnings for this specific type.
- Donating matching items.
- You can donate any item that matches the one you want to develop Proficiency with, for example with similar gear set, brand or item.
- Donating materials.
- You will also be able to leverage your precious stash of material and currencies to increase your Proficiency, with rare elements yielding to better results.
While donating items or materials could be a good way to quickly progress, you will also be able to passively earn Proficiency points just by playing any activity within the game, as long as you have compatible equipped items.
You can check your current items Proficiency levels at any time in the menu or join the Recalibration Station to review all of them and what items you may miss from your current collection.
Expertise level & usage
As you gain proficiency ranks in more items, you will also increase the Expertise Level of your agent, you will need to reach a certain number of cumulated proficiencies ranks to level up.
All Expertise and Proficiency progressions are account wide.
For every level of Expertise, players gain increased ability to upgrade an item using materials. This works much like the optimisation feature, but instead of increasing a particular attribute towards a max value, you instead get to increase the base stat of the item. This increase improves the item’s “Grade.”
However, note that items may only be upgraded if the user is proficient in that item by having reached max Proficiency Rank.
Players may upgrade any given item as many times as their current Expertise Level.
Upgrading each category item has an effect that is tied to that item category:
|Weapons||1% increase to base damage.|
|Gear||1% increase to base armour value.|
|Skills||1% increase to base damage/healing/status effect duration.|
Important information: Current values are work in progress and may be subject to changes based on future balancing needs and PTS feedback.
Agents can continue to level up their Expertise Level by ranking up with all the items available to them. Each time new items are added to the game, the maximum Expertise Level also increases.
Closing words & glossary
Our ambition with the Expertise feature is to give newcomers and experienced players alike an opportunity to get better rewarded whenever they use their favourite items or want to try something new.
We are looking forward to showing you this new feature in action and to hear from your feedback during the PTS to help us put the finishing touches on its balancing!
- Expertise: The name of the new feature, allowing you to upgrade your gear, weapons & skill variants.
- Expertise Level: Agent’s level with the Expertise feature.
- Proficiency Rank: How proficient you are with a specific type of items. Maxes out at 10 ranks.
- Proficient: Reaching Max Rank in an item type proficiency. Permits upgrading of items of that type.
- Grade: Individual item upgrades. Displays on your item, for example: “Lady Death, Grade 2”.
That is all for this Intelligence Annex! Next time around, we will provide you more information about the improvements we are currently working on for our Seasons, which will be implemented starting from next Season!
Thank you for your continued support Agents!
/ The Division 2 Team