Image via Ubisoft

XDefiant faster weapon level progression update further divides player base

Weapon leveling continues to be a controversial topic.

Ubisoft expedited XDefiant’s weapon leveling process by decreasing the XP requirement. However, to maintain player engagement, the development team made the weapon mastery unlock process harder, dividing players.

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As part of the June 18 XDefiant update, Ubisoft lowered the XP needed to level up a primary weapon from 3.500 to 3,000 and a secondary weapon from 1,500 to 1,000. As a counterbalance, the Bronze camo level was increased from 50 to 100, Silver from 75 to 150, and Gold from 100 to 200.

Previously, XDefiant developer Patrick ‘ACHES’ Price explained that one kill equals 100 XP, meaning it took around 35 kills per level. Considering that there are 18 primary weapons and all attachments aren’t unlocked until level 43, that’s a steep undertaking for a player of any skill level. Multiple double XP weekends have helped aid the cause, but it wasn’t enough to satisfy a growingly frustrated player base.

XDefiant executive producer Mark Rubin stepped in and admitted that players were unlocking attachments slower than originally intended, so this update should make it easier. But it’s the weapon mastery re-balancing that’s raised eyebrows. XDefiant content creator NerosCinema argued that the update makes no sense because while the it’s nice that you can unlock attachments for primary weapons 14 percent faster, doubling the level requirement for mastery camos is too harsh of a change.

In response to complaints, Rubin claimed, “Weapon Mastery on the other hand does not affect gameplay and is supposed to be something special that shows off your dedication to a weapon. And so the re-balance of levels was in response to that.”

14 percent will make a substantial difference, and that will be even more noticeable on double XP weekends moving forward. But asking players to reach level 200 on every weapon instead of 100 is a tall order and possibly too harsh of an ask. Players who have already unlocked all three mastery camos for a weapon won’t lose them, but it’s also not necessarily fair that players who missed out now have to work twice as hard for the achievement.

Another issue is players only get weapon XP from kills. As a result, players don’t get rewarded for playing the objective, which leads to users only hunting kills. Thankfully, this update is retroactive, meaning every player will have higher weapon levels than before. But it’s clear that the system still needs work, and players aren’t fully satisfied.

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Ryan Lemay
Ryan graduated from Ithaca College in 2021 with a sports media degree and a journalism minor. He gained experience as a writer with the Morning Times newspaper and then Dexerto as a games writer. He mainly writes about first-person shooters, including Call of Duty and Battlefield, but he is also a big FIFA fan.