Update August 15, 2017: 1.7 has left the PTS and is now live. Update your game now.
The Division's free 1.7 update has officially launched today, introducing global events, commendations and patches, masks and face customisation, new gear, and more loot boxes.
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You can check out the full (and extensive) patches notes over on the official site.
The first global event has kicked off, too. In Outbreak, enemies will be infected, so you'll need to keep your distance unless you want to come down with some killer flu. Ubisoft recommend that you line up those headshots for extra damage. It will run for a month and will give you access to powerful classified gear, commendations, and patches.
Original story: The Division’s private test server for the upcoming 1.7 update is launching tomorrow, and with it comes a few potentially controversial new features.
The PTS, which will also be available on consoles later on, will feature most of the content of update 1.7.
As a PvE-focused update, it will introduce modifiers to change up how players tackle missions, and global events that provide special modifiers every player can take part in with the hopes of earning special loot. The PTS won’t include global events or the recently-announced classified gear at first, however, they are expected to be added in the coming weeks.
Full patch notes for the 1.7 PTS will be made available on The Division’s blog tomorrow once the servers have been opened.
Some new features for 1.7 have also been unveiled, predominantly focused on the vanity options for characters. Two new vanity slots are being added, with face masks joining the already-announced patches that can be earned through achieving commendations (achievements such as killing a large number of a certain enemy type).
Character remodelling is also being introduced, letting you change physical attributes, hair, makeup, and, more importantly, remove any of the permanent accessories you picked during character creation. No more face-obscuring glasses! However, you won’t be able to change the gender of your character, for reasons not quite made clear by Massive.
Most controversially, 1.7 will see The Division hopping on the loot box bandwagon with the introduction of “encrypted caches.” These boxes can be bought through the premium item vendor, and keys can either be acquired through collecting “key fragments” from missions, or by just buying them outright. Plenty of the items inside encrypted caches can be purchased seperately, however, Massive have said there will be a few cache exclusives to be found too.
Seeing as the developers are on record as saying the game would not have microtransactions, "not even for vanity items," only to add them with the 1.6 update earlier this year, loot boxes feel like another step away from the original promises.
A full release date for The Division 1.7 has yet to be announced. The PTS will begin on PC tomorrow, and on consoles for a limited number of players at a later date to ensure better stability.