Everyone listen up! The Division 2 has a raid coming!
At least that’s what Ubisoft tells us. There’s no reason we shouldn’t listen to them, right?
Look, folks, we’re about to get real with you. We like The Division 2. We really, really do. But we’ve been burned so bad before with Ubisoft’s mismanaging of its predecessor that we can’t help but feel nervous at the slightest indication that something might be going awry.
Thus far, The Division 2 has offered us more compelling combat, better loot progression, and an even more detailed world than the first foray into this strange sort-of Tom Clancy sort-of not Tom Clancy world where paramilitarism and frontier justice is put on a pedestal.
The bulk of the game just works as it’s supposed to – despite the strange inclusion of “World Tiers” that seem to last for only a day before patting you on the back and sending you up to the next bracket.
The death knell for the first Division was that it had an appalling lack of an endgame.
The only thing that could be constituted as an end-game activity – The Dark Zone – was a horrific breeding pool for hackers, exploiters, and griefers. It wasn’t exactly a mystery why the project floundered shortly after its release.
Even in spite of the DLC that Ubi released for it, the majority of the playerbase had already moved on.
The Division 2 has already proved that Ubi has learned from its lessons, but still, the fretting over the future is ripe within the community.
The new raid notwithstanding, The Division 2’s largest glaring flaw is the World Tier system mentioned above. Each world tier constitutes of a bracket of gear levels that players are funnelled into – typically ranging from a base zero to -50 numerical values.
Once a player has kitted out to the max of this bracket, they are tasked with assaulting a stronghold or clearing out several hard-difficulty story missions that re-open to be plundered once again.
When all is said and done, a new World Tier opens up and the progression is reset – ushering players forward to rinse and repeat for greater rewards. The base game launched with four World Tiers, with a fifth being added with the last stronghold: Tidal Basin.
The idea of these World Tiers isn’t exactly anything new, they’re merely iLvl brackets that are made public to the player – but their execution leaves a lot to be desired. They’re simply gone and done with far too quick for players to feel as if their presence was even warranted, to begin with.
We fear that the upcoming raid may suffer from the same issue. Even Tidal Basin felt as if it had so much preamble and hype up to its release before falling a bit flat upon its drop. Don’t get us wrong, it’s not that the Stronghold isn’t fun – it certainly is. It just feels that its all over and done with so quickly that you’re back to square one farming before you even knew what hit you.
Perhaps that’s just a symptom of the looter-shooter design paradigm.
Or perhaps Ubisoft is doing its absolute damndest to flood the playerbase with a never-ending string of content to retain their attention for as long as possible.
Whatever it is, we hope that the repercussions in the long term don’t spell doom for The Division franchise.