The item and loot system in Tom Clancy’s The Division is without question the most important gameplay component. Not only because the fact that it’s a RPG, but leveling alone wouldn’t be enough to stand against the threat of the virus and the people behind it.
The item’s rarity or quality defines how good an item can be in terms of the
- different bonuses it has
- how many bonuses it has
- how big the actual bonuses are (min. and max. values)
and also the item’s level plays a role in how valuable it finally is. A level 5 protective vest could have a bonus of 3% weapon dmg., while the same on level 10 could have 5%.
There are 7 different item rarities in The Division, which you can find in the game. While it requires a certain level to find certain qualities, you will find better stuff during your game progression.
- Worn (white)
- Standard (green)
- Specialized (blue)
- Superior (purple)
- High-End (yellow)
- Exotic (red)
- Gear Set (teal)
When it comes to end game, legendaries are the BIS (best in slot) items with the best/most bonuses as well as attributes on it. It should be one of your goals to get these later in the game and you will probably find the one or other during your journey.
Besides normal items, there exist so-called vanity items that are applicable to parts of your gear or weapon skin slots. These are not based on the aforementioned rarities because they have no stats and serve the only purpose to change your character’s appearance.
Such skins can be found in any kind of chests in the world, by having luck at enemy NPCs’/players’ loot drops, buying them at vendors or by simply helping out civilians. Face masks, in particular, can be obtained during Global Events.
Exotic Items are basically nothing else than normal High-End items, except for that they are very rare and named after a Named Boss, character, or something else! Two types of Exotic Items can currently be acquired:
The Gear Score indicates the advancement of a player. Every non-vanity item has got an item level (ilvl) which visible maximum item level is 31. After that (ilvl 32+), the so called Gear Score progression mechanic replaces this item level classification to simplify the process of comparing players and their gear.
The Gear Score of an item will be determined by the level of the NPC, for Named NPCs it’s a guaranteed Gear Score High-End of:
- Level 30: Gear Score 163
- Level 30: Gear Score 182
- Level 32: Gear Score 204
- Level 33: Gear Score 229
- Level 34: Gear Score 256
The overall theoretical Gear Score is calculated by the items you are wearing and those you have in your inventory and stash. It will only take into account the weapon with the highest Gear Score. This is not the one that is shown in your inventory though. The value shown there is based on your currently equipped items.
Furthermore, the built-in Matchmaking makes also use of this score to prevent lower geared players from joining missions on higher difficulty.
Gear Sets consist of multiple set items and the more items you equip of the same set, the more you can get out of it as set bonuses and a talent are unlocked on top of it.
Acquiring new items (equipment) becomes more and more important throughout the game. New gear and weapons can be obtained primarily by exploring the zones New York City’s and finding the hidden loot crates, but there are many more ways to get new loot.
The best and most valuable loot can be found in the Dark Zone (high risk, high reward). Despite of that, if you are not a fan of player versus player encounters, it would take you a bit longer to find those items outside this zone, but since Update 1.4, the chances out there are pretty good too as all enemies can theoretically drop (the best) loot in the game.
Here are some possibilities of obtaining new items:
- Roaming NPCs and Named Bosses
- Hidden spots and crates
- Looting of fallen enemies and other players in the Dark Zone
- Trading with other players in the PvE Zone or DZ checkpoints
- Search and Destroy & High-Value Targets
- Extraction Hijacking
- Sealed Caches
The item-drops are based on randomly generated parameters, which make them unique like it’s working in other RPGs. Depending on the rarity level described above, they can be provided with additional features/modifiers, that change or improve – based on the items’ and/or player’s level.
There are 2 ways how loot is shared in the game:
- PvE Zone: Everybody gets his own loot, meaning that nobody else than you can take it.
- Dark Zone: Everybody gets his own loot when killing NPCs, but loot of recently killed players is shared amongst all players in the Dark Zone, following the principle of “First come, first serve”.
Loot trading was introduced in update 1.1. It is now possible to trade between players you have played within a group and within a time frame of 1 hour, starting with the time of the initial item pick-up.
Once you drop an item for another member in your team, it can be picked up by everyone that was playing with you when the drop happened, so evaluate first for yourself if you can trust them all. Dropping an item is generally possible in the PvE Zone, but also in checkpoints to the Dark Zone, so that you can’t be killed by other players while a trade is ongoing.
The crafting system in Tom Clancy’s The Division allows you to create new items like weapons and gear, or improve and customize your equipped gear by using different types of Crafting Sources.