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Angrywaterfowl

[Build] The Ultimate Dark Zone Build (Solo/Group)

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I am currently DZ level 74 and thought newer folks getting their first taste of the Dark Zone might appreciate a guide to help set themselves up for success. Whether you group up with your friends, friendly randoms you run across in the Dark Zone, or you're brave enough to fly solo, this guide should help put you in a good position to succeed. Before I dive in, here are a couple quick links to display my Division Tracker rank and gear setup, just so you who is publishing this post.

Division Tracker Results - currently #7 for Items Extracted and #22 for Dark Zone level on Xbox
High-level Overall View of Stats and Gear

This build could also be labeled "End-Game Solo & Co-Op Dual Purpose Build Guide (PVE & PVP)", considering I make only slight variations to my Skills when playing with a group versus solo, and Missions versus the DZ. It was inspired by the approach I found myself taking when clearing DZ 1 & 2, but the reason I enjoy it so much is because it is multi-purposed.

Skills

Signature Move: Tactical Link - Increases damage and critical hit chance to the user and all nearby allies.

  • Although my Skills remain the same in group versus solo play, it is worth calling out one group dynamic with this. When attacking a named elite group at various landmarks (particularly in DZ3-6), try to pair this with the security signature move for a powerful duo of high damage mitigation and damage output values. You should be able to clean up the majority of the pack during the 12 second window and simply clean up the scraps thereafter.

First Aid: Booster Shot - Temporarily increases damage for the affected targets in addition to the normal healing effect.

  • Yet another source of damage boost on this build. Noticing a trend? It's all about the quick clears to keep the 30% damage mitigation up from 'On the Move' at all times.

Pulse - Damage is increased when attacking any hostile targets identified by the pulse scan.

  • With my current skill power, this boosts my crit hit chance by 31.30% and my crit hit damage by 57.50%

Abilities

Solo Play

  • On the Move - Kill a hostile while moving to reduce incoming damage by 30% for 10 seconds.
  • Critical Save - Use a medkit during low health to increase damage resistance by 40% for 10 seconds.
  • Strike Back - Reach low health to reduce active skill cooldowns by 20%
  • Tech Support - Kill a hostile while any skill is deployed to extend any active skill duration by 10%

Rationale: On the move is the focal point of this build. Assuming a certain quality of gear is already in place (relatively high DPS, decent health pool, and respectable damage mitigation), this build focuses killing enemies while on the move. As long as the 'On the Move' damage reduction is activated - which only requires you to kill something once every 10 seconds - that, coupled with the inherent damage mitigation from the armor and various other stats on your gear, should be enough to keep you up under normal volumes of enemy fire. When things get sticky and your health gets low, great! Now you have 20% CDR. Eventually, you may need to pop a medkit, which will grant you an additional 40% damage mitigation. Keep in mind, you will also occasionally be using your First Aid skill, too. The bottom line is this... as long as you're killing at least one enemy every 10 seconds and cycling your First Aid and medkit heals when necessary, you will have enough damage mitigation to not be all that concerned about moderate amounts of incoming fire. If things really get hairy, well then alright, I guess you can take some cover and play a bit more methodical until your 'First Aid' skill is off cooldown.

Group Play

  • One the Move - Kill a hostile while moving to reduce incoming damage by 30% for 10 seconds.
  • Critical Save - Use a medkit during low health to increase damage resistance by 40% for 10 seconds.
  • Triage - Heal an ally with a skill to reduce skill cooldowns by 15%
  • Combat Medic - Use a medkit near allies to heal group members and proxies within 20m by 40%

Rationale: Triage and Combat Medic are the two variations in comparison to the solo build. They are fairly self-explanatory, but the bottom line is you are offering some added healing to your team members and effectively replacing the solo ability, 'Strike Back', with a more effective solution for your group. Now, instead of 'Strike Back' only offering CDR when your health is low (which, in all honesty, doesn't happen that often), your CDR is triggered any time you hit a teammate with 'First Aid' OR you simply use a medkit. Medkits are a dime a dozen in the DZ, since you can replenish them at any safe house.

Detailed Overall View of Stats and Gear (23 image gallery of all weapon/gear base stats and attributes)

High-level Stats

  • DPS - 216,567
  • Firearms - 3116
  • Health - 57,780
  • Stamina - 1926
  • Skill Power - 19,080
  • Electronics - 1908

Gear Talents (see image gallery for detailed gear stats and attributes)

  • Armor: Reckless - Increase damage by 13% and increase incoming damage by 10%
  • Operator Mask: Rehabilitated - Heals 2% every second during Status Effects
  • Pads: Perceptive - Item find and Credit find bonuses are increased by 25%
  • Pack: Resourceful - All healing is also applied to skill objects
    • Note: This is not an ideal talent. I would prefer "Specialized: Adds 13% of Firearms and Stamina to Skill Power". Since this build primarily stacks firearms - and secondarily stamina, if applicable - you leverage 'Specialized' more than any talent on the pack gear slot. I previously used this talent but sacrificed it for more optimal stat rolls.
  • Gloves: Savage - Critical hit chance is increased by 13% against targets out of cover
  • Holster: Steadfast - Health regeneration kicks in twice as fast while in cover

Weapon Base Stats and Talents

Tactical AUG A3P

Weapon Talents

  • Fierce - Critical hit chance is increased by 8% when using this weapon
  • Sustained - Killing a target increases your health by 6%
  • Accurate - Accuracy is increased by 46%

Weapon Mods

  • Magazine
  • 98.0% Magazine Size
  • 28.4% Rate of Fire
  • Scope
  • 7.50% Critical Hit Chance
  • 22% Headshot Damage
  • Muzzle
  • 38% Stability
  • 35% Critical Hit Damage
  • Underbarrel
  • 33% Hip Fire Accuracy
  • 20% Accuracy

Black Market AK-74

Weapon Talents

  • Self-Preserved - Critical hits with this weapon heal the user for 3% of the damage dealt.
  • Destructive - Armor destruction value is increased by 18% when using this weapon.
  • Restored - Killing a target with this weapon removes all negative Status Effects.

Weapon Mods

  • Magazine
  • 97.5% Magazine Size
  • 24.20% Weapon Damage
  • Scope
  • 20% Headshot Damage
  • 22% Accuracy
  • Muzzle
  • 33.50% Stability
  • 20.50% Accuracy
  • Underbarrel
  • 20.0% Accuracy
  • 35.50% Stability

Final Thoughts

Here are a couple items worth noting that aren't called out elsewhere within the guide:

  • Tip: When focusing on itemization, take particular note of item level 31 versus item level 30. It makes a big difference when you itemize with i31 gear across the board.
  • The build is primarily centered around using the SMG. This build previously contained a Tenebrae as the second weapon, simply because I hadn't crafted an AK-74 worth using yet. The Tenebrae still maintains it's spot for Challenging missions, but for the Dark Zone, the damage output of an AR exceeds that of a Marksman, in my personal opinion. both of my weapons have plenty of room for better talents. Feel free to post the talents you have on your SMG and AR for comparison's sake. 
  • With this build, my scavenging is at 179%. Try to keep your scavenging as high as possible. You do this by getting the 25% talent on the pads, rolling a minor attribute on your pads and mask to scavenging, and for an extra boost, using gear mods with scavenging. This build was previously 197% scavenging, until I dropped to mods in favor of % increase signature skill resource on kill. [Edit: My scavenging has dropped a bit, but I'm leaving the original comment intact, because the value is still there.] 
  • As I just mentioned, consider adding mods to your gear that contain % signature skill increase. Especially when running solo in the DZ, simply adding a couple of these mods will virtually guarantee that you will have your signature move available during every named elite encounter. That's pretty huge, because without it, you're looking at only having it available for every other encounter at best. I run two mods for a total of 6%. [Edit: I have played around with 9% and 12% as well. I would encourage you to balance '% signature skill resource' with 'increased crit hit %', based on personal preference.]
  • Increased XP % works in the Dark Zone. Dependent on which chest I use (increase ammo capacity or increased XP %), I run between 65% and 43% increased XP. Once you have reached DZ 50, it really does not matter, so it is not an attribute worth chasing. But, if you're interested in climbing the ranks, or simply reaching DZ50 to get your blueprints and be done with it, increased XP% is worth using.
  • Be sure to hit your Firearms, Stamina, and Electronics marks to unlock your talents. This is a big DPS boost that isn't always realized in your overall DPS calculation (which we know to already be inflated by stats that don't directly impact damage output). The basic threshold for most High-end items is 1889. Hit that for all three! (you'll notice that I just barely hit it for electronics - that's intentional) The higher threshold is 2362. You won't be able to hit that for all three, so pick your poison and prioritize it. Mine is Firearms.

I think that about covers it. I encourage folks to share their thoughts about this build. This is build version 2.0. Constructive feedback on the layout of the post itself is certainly welcomed. I keep an eye on the thread every so often, so feel free to ask questions. If there is anything missing that you would like to see included, feel free to let me know. It still has it's opportunities, but this should offer folks a something to work towards in terms of piecing together a top-tier Dark Zone build.

Thanks in advance for the views and replies! I enjoyed throwing this together.

Edited by Angrywaterfowl
2.0 build version. Updated attributes, stats, pictures, descriptions and included desired rolls. Oh, and removed novice experience disclaimer, since the original was fairly well-received.

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Nice work dude... Awesome guide!

We have similar build, with some differences

I have more health than dps and my skill power is near 33% of my dps amount

Im not using marksman when im playing dz solo. Im using assault rifle / smg (marksman isnt good against a squad of rogues hunting you)

Your document is impressive! Thanks a lot!

PS.: Can I translate your document?

 

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This is awesome and one of the better builds I have seen so far. Really appreciate that you share that with us, especially with the side notes and details. You definitely don't have to hide with your post as it's perfect! And Dark Zone Rank 65 is worth the mention too, how many hours have you played since release if you don't mind?

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8 hours ago, MichWolverine2012 said:

Did you get all your gear in DZ? Is there a higher chances of higher end items in 3-6 do zones? 

I didn't get all my gear in the DZ, but a good portion of it, that's for sure. My gear was collected from a combination of DZ3-6 drops and purchasing item level 31 high end blueprints for the remaining slots. I can't confirm with 100% certainty, but I am willing to bet that the drop rates in DZ5-6 are higher than in DZ 3-4. However, that's not necessarily the most important thing to keep in mind in terms of drop rates. What is most important to note is that High-end items that drop in DZ 1&2 will be item level 30 more often than they will be item level 31. In DZ 3-6, you are guaranteed that your high end drops will be item level 31. So, although the drop rates may be highest in DZ 5&6 (again, I'm not certain on that piece, it's just an assumption), the most important thing is just to stay in DZ3 and up if you're capable to ensure you are giving yourself the best opportunity for i31 gear.

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15 hours ago, QXARE said:

This is awesome and one of the better builds I have seen so far. Really appreciate that you share that with us, especially with the side notes and details. You definitely don't have to hide with your post as it's perfect! And Dark Zone Rank 65 is worth the mention too, how many hours have you played since release if you don't mind?

Thanks man, I appreciate the compliments. I thought it wasn't too shabby, but being my first guide ever, I thought the disclaimer was relevant enough to add. :) As for your question about play time, I am at an absurd 5 days and 8 hours, according to DivisionTracker.com. I have been looking forward to the release of the Division ever since they highlighted cut scenes leading up to the original launch of the Xbox One a few years back, so I took launch week off from work. Now that work is back, my time is limited to the typical couple hours each evening. I feel like I got the most out of my time off though. :) 

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On 3/17/2016 at 0:57 PM, Kalibhan said:

Nice work dude... Awesome guide!

We have similar build, with some differences

I have more health than dps and my skill power is near 33% of my dps amount

Im not using marksman when im playing dz solo. Im using assault rifle / smg (marksman isnt good against a squad of rogues hunting you)

Your document is impressive! Thanks a lot!

PS.: Can I translate your document?

 

Feel free to translate it to your heart's content. I'd love to see your set-up in comparison.

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On 18/03/2016 at 7:13 PM, Angrywaterfowl said:

Feel free to translate it to your heart's content. I'd love to see your set-up in comparison.

I'm gonna do it this weekend, ill keep your name in the document, Angrywaterfowl or...?

 

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I'm relatively new to MMOs and video games all together so all of the crafting and pairing of talents, mods etc. is a bit confusing to me.

So my question is, is weapon damage a randomly generated stat or is your displayed weapon damage so high because it's being paired with the skills you use?

For example, I've rolled my Vector 45 ACP on several occasions but I can't craft a base gun over 8k damage and I'm seeing others with up to 10.3k damage on theirs. Is that somehow randomly generated? Your AUG has 11.4k DMG but the blueprint says it has a range of about 7.5k - 8.5k. How did you get yours up so high? 

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On 3/24/2016 at 6:13 AM, Kalibhan said:

@Angrywaterfowl: just a question... this AUG was crafted or dropped ? 

The AUG, luckily, was dropped. On day 2 after launch as a matter of fact. My buddies and I rushed to 30 on launch day and were in DZ6 by mid-day on the second day. Fortunately, that was before they originally nerfed the high-end drop rates (which has recently been improved, but not quite back to the lucrative levels it was before the original nerf) and I was lucky enough to score that drop. Oddly enough, I crafted a vector the other day with identical talents, passive crit chance, and a little bit higher base damage. But, even considering the vector's higher base damage, the AUG still had a higher DPS value overall (and it wasn't close either). So, apparently, the DPS output of the AUG seems to inherently be greater than the Vector. I'm still not entirely sure why. The only thing I can contribute it to is the five additional rounds in the AUG's mag, while maintaining the same RPM as the Vector. We all know how much the extended mags contribute to the DPS calculation, so that's my best guess, even though it is only a five round difference.

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On 3/25/2016 at 9:02 AM, XxCPTcalzonexX said:

I'm relatively new to MMOs and video games all together so all of the crafting and pairing of talents, mods etc. is a bit confusing to me.

So my question is, is weapon damage a randomly generated stat or is your displayed weapon damage so high because it's being paired with the skills you use?

For example, I've rolled my Vector 45 ACP on several occasions but I can't craft a base gun over 8k damage and I'm seeing others with up to 10.3k damage on theirs. Is that somehow randomly generated? Your AUG has 11.4k DMG but the blueprint says it has a range of about 7.5k - 8.5k. How did you get yours up so high? 

This is a great question! Especially, if you're new to MMOs. It had me and my buddies a bit confused at first, too. Before you craft your vector, when you're looking at the blueprint on your crafting stating, you'll see a relative base damage range. For you, it looks like you already acknowledged the fact that it's 7.5k - 8.5k. Your firearms value contributes to that range. The reason my base range is so much higher (the same Vector blueprint for me has range of roughly 10k - 12k for the base damage) is a result of my firearms being higher in comparison to yours (or so I would assume). Some of the talents will contribute to your overall DPS calculation, but they won't contribute to that base damage you see on the blueprint. That said - this may go without saying - not all talents will contribute to your overall DPS figures. Things like Fierce (8% crit when using this weapon) or Accurate (46% accuracy boost) will contribute to your DPS, but others like Restorative (3% heal on crit) any many other's will not because they are more of a passive benefit instead of a direct contribution to your damage values. Many folks aren't too fond of things like 'Accuracy' and 'Hip-fire Accuracy' contributing to someone's DPS values, but that's a different topic for discussion entirely.

Thanks for the question. Hope that helps! Keep 'em comin' if you have more.

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On 3/27/2016 at 7:57 PM, Angrywaterfowl said:

This is a great question! Especially, if you're new to MMOs. It had me and my buddies a bit confused at first, too. Before you craft your vector, when you're looking at the blueprint on your crafting stating, you'll see a relative base damage range. For you, it looks like you already acknowledged the fact that it's 7.5k - 8.5k. Your firearms value contributes to that range. The reason my base range is so much higher (the same Vector blueprint for me has range of roughly 10k - 12k for the base damage) is a result of my firearms being higher in comparison to yours (or so I would assume). Some of the talents will contribute to your overall DPS calculation, but they won't contribute to that base damage you see on the blueprint. That said - this may go without saying - not all talents will contribute to your overall DPS figures. Things like Fierce (8% crit when using this weapon) or Accurate (46% accuracy boost) will contribute to your DPS, but others like Restorative (3% heal on crit) any many other's will not because they are more of a passive benefit instead of a direct contribution to your damage values. Many folks aren't too fond of things like 'Accuracy' and 'Hip-fire Accuracy' contributing to someone's DPS values, but that's a different topic for discussion entirely.

Thanks for the question. Hope that helps! Keep 'em comin' if you have more.

Went back and tweaked some stuff and got lucky with a few high end drops. I was able to increase my firearms quite a bit to reach about 10.6k damage and access all weapon talents but ended up sacrificing that for now to increase my health a bit. Really helped though. I'm actually able to compete in a firefight against other players in the dark zone which I previously didn't stand a chance. Picked up my first few PVP kills over the weekend.

 

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I'm a modest 153k DPS / 91k Health / 5.8k Eletronics

But i would say... DPS IS NOTHING!!!! DPS shows the bests shoots in a second. With all your % combat stats, and for example, if your gun hit 3 bullets per second DPS Calc will be the amount of 3x critical hit in the head, its the perfect hit chance that you have.  Ok thats a good, but you must have the "personal" talent to aim the head and a good % critical chance.

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Royal Smitty said:

I've been following this build since I hit level 30 and it's definitely working for me so far! I just need to hit DZ rank 50 so I can craft most of the gear :(.  Do you suggest crafting the gear first, or the weapons?

I suggest craft blue prints from  your base of operations. BP from dz cost HE Division Tech and this detail makes those crafts very very expensive. Buy all BP but... spend your DTech carefully

 

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Great build guide mine again like most is similar....i have a question....

 

Now that Patch 1.1 has dropped are you going to get the Nomad Gear set? i have 4/6 so far and the crit increase is insane...if so...what other two bits of gear would you take from another set?

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Rocking 200k dps, 90k health, and 12k sp and I think that might be a bit better for PvP play. Trying to get higher though if anyone has suggestions, because I've seen people with stats much higher than mine..

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