After what felt like an eternity, The Division is finally getting public test servers. This means that new experimental updates will be tested before they are pushed out to live servers.
With public test servers, players get two benefits. Firstly, players can experience new content before it's ready by visiting the public test servers. Secondly, the developers for The Division can monitor feedback from players on the public test servers so that all bugs and issues are ironed out before a new patch goes live.
Public test servers should hopefully improve the overall quality of each patch massively. Not only can the test servers be useful for spotting bugs before they hit live servers, but they can be incredibly useful for testing new balancing changes or new weapons.
To begin with, the Ubisoft developers will be working on bringing the upcoming 1.4 update planned for October to the public test servers. Players who'd like to join the servers will need to install a public test version of the game. Once in the test server, players will be given a level 30 character with purple tier gear. This is because Ubisoft is focusing the first days of testing on 'Progression between World Tiers.' When you go back to the normal game, you'll continue playing with your original characters and the level 30 character will remain on the test servers.
The public test servers will remain open until update 1.4 is ready to hit live servers. At this point the test servers will go offline until Ubisoft need more player feedback for future updates.