Kit Harrington was the guest host of the most recent Saturday Night Live, and while he gave an underwhelming performance as the main bad guy in Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, he did fine as a needy NPC in the above sketch. The “new game” he’s supposed to be in isn’t specifically The Division 2 (there’s a zombie towards the end of the gag) but that hasn’t stopped Ubisoft from commenting.
“You’ll be happy to know that Damien and Ethan are now less chatty with our Invasion update. All hashed out!”
The Division 2 doesn’t actually have a Damien or Ethan that I know of, but I’d play a few missions like that in the middle of gathering widgets for the various bases. I assume a real effort to reconstruct a plague-ridden Washington D.C. would be filled with juggling drama queen personalities.
Today seems like a good day to talk about Ubisoft’s The Division. The dystopian shooter MMO set in a future New York City, broken by plague and economic hardship, streets made into a war zones thanks to roving gangs and totalitarian police, somehow seems fitting now. The good news is that there is a plan to make The Division great again. Premium Credits, a new in-game currency, will be implemented in the upcoming patch 1.6 for purchase with real-world money. Those Premium Credits will be used in a new in-game vanity store. Cosmetic items only, so if you want to get anything more than snazzy new paint schemes, emotes, or clothing textures, you’ll have to grind for it the old fashioned way.
According to Ubisoft, they will not be selling anything for Premium Credits that gives anyone an advantage over other players. Additionally, players will still be able to earn vanity items as normal mission rewards and loot drops. It should be noted that almost exactly a year ago, Ubisoft’s Magnus Jansen told VG247 that they would not have microtransactions for The Division that gave any players a competitive edge.
It’s been a little more than six months since Tom Clancy’s The Division launched and big changes are afoot. Ubisoft has heard the complaints, collected data, and analyzed the information. They agree that The Division needs some attention. The upcoming 1.4 update leans hard into what the developers term “the importance of gunplay” and making progression more intuitive. Character boosting stats like Firearms, Stamina and Electronics, for example, will be on every piece of loot you equip in the endgame tiers, so gear management more closely resembles the journey in the early part of the game. The Division’s all-important firearms are being walloped with the balance stick so oddities like sub-machine guns outperforming assault rifles won’t be as common. There’s a long and detailed set of data the developers have to back up these decisions, including a few charts. Who doesn’t love charts?
Want to build for the highest possible damage? That’s perfectly fine, but you’ll end up with a gun that might have a big recoil or a small magazine. Or if you prefer, you can build a weapon that is incredibly stable and precise, but you’ll have to sacrifice raw damage. It means that there will be more skill involved in using the weapons, just like in a regular shooter and during the level 1-30 experience, and our hope is that it will lead to much more variety and less cookie cutter weapon setups.
The Division’s 1.4 update is supposed to come out in October, and Ubisoft is taking feedback on the announced changes. Players on the PC version will be able to check out the planned changes on the public test server beginning on September 26th.
Meanwhile, Destiny just released Rise of Iron, their latest major expansion since The Taken King. It brings back Gjallarhorn.
The Division’s upcoming patch will fix a few exploits. Farming lucrative encounters is a tried and true technique with any loot-heavy game, but the ability to kill named enemy characters (the equivalent of Diablo 3’s mini-bosses) was being abused to a ridiculous level in The Division. Run to mob. Kill mini-boss. Hoover up loot. Die. Rinse and repeat. Apparently, this is engaging to some people. The upcoming 1.0.2 patch does away with this loophole, putting the grind back to where Ubisoft wants it to be.
Named NPCs will no longer respawn after being killed in the Open World. This will prevent situations where players were able to kill a same named NPC over and over again.
If you want to watch Tom Chick and Jason McMaster play The Division the correct way, start here.
Ubisoft has released some details of their support plans for Tom Clancy’s The Division. In a post on the official site, Ubisoft has listed their update schedule as well as the content of the season pass, at least for the first year. There will be two free content updates that will add new end-game activity for multiplayer groups, new loot, and more “features” for the player versus player Dark Zone gameplay. Starting in June, the paid content starts with Underground, an expansion centered on the tunnels and subways of New York, followed by Survival and Last Stand which are even more vaguely described. At least you have some hint of what you pre-ordered now.
Tom Clancy’s The Division launches on March 8th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC.
Tom Clancy’s The Division does not include anything outside of central Manhattan. In the most recent batch of information coming out of Ubisoft for their open-world cover shooter, it’s been revealed that the playable map area includes popular tourist destinations like Times Square, the Empire State building, and Rockefeller Center, but stops short of Central Park and the Flatiron District. Eagle-eyed fans noted that the E3 2013 reveal video and similar gameplay snippets included bits of Brooklyn that are no longer present in the game. Ubisoft could add more New York City boroughs to their game in updates and DLC, so it remains to be seen if the playable area will grow beyond the launch map.
The Division launches on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC on March 8th.