After one Alpha and two Betas, it’s clear that Ubisoft’s The Division is shaping up to possibly be one of the biggest games of 2016. Though the game doesn’t fit into one exact genre, much like Destiny or even The Elder Scrolls Online, Ubisoft’s new game pulls various elements from other genre’s outside of just third-person action. Most notably would be both their MMO and RPG features that tie into almost everything that The Division has shown off to the general public. Even the famed PVPVE (Player vs player vs Enemy) mode “The Dark Zone” has its own loot, leveling system, and challenges.
After playing both of the Betas, however, I had to wonder what would a game like this offer to players once they reach the final level and have all the gear needed. Ubisoft has been especially mum, outside of some DLC announcements, about any sort of post-game content for high-level players. Given games like The Divison live and die by their sustainability, we have to wonder exactly what is available after you finish the main story and side missions.
Below are our predictions and hopes for The Division’s endgame and what it could really offer for all of us after the dust of just finishing story missions has settled.
This is a fairly obvious concept for any game boasting MMO-like qualities and a clear progression of gear and equipment. However, the trick is a game like The Division doesn’t necessarily seem like the world in which a raid could be a believable or intriguing enough challenge. Yes, tougher enemies are always a good challenge, but where a good raid succeeds is being something beyond that. Combining various elements such as puzzles, timing, and above all else teamwork; raids are meant to push players to their limits and truly test all that they have learned.
Despite the fact that Ubisoft has never outwardly confirmed nor denied a raid being either added or already in the game, it does lend a few questions as to what exactly we will be experiencing. In games like Destiny or World of Warcraft, each raid is both an experience and a story. In a plague-ridden New York City set in a fairly grounded reality, there is only so much that The Division can really utilize to offer a unique experience. This also goes for bosses as many are just criminals and rioters trying to cause as much havoc, which truthfully lack in any sense of intimidation when facing them. With that being said, there are some interesting locations that could serve as fun and engaging levels in which to raid in. Climbing a skyscraper such as The Empire State Building or delving through destroyed Central Park could offer memorable experiences. There is something to said about experiencing memorable fights in locations you have either visited or have an opportunity to. The concern is simply if The Division, at its core, could offer a compelling PvE experience.
The Dark Zone:
Ah, the big selling point for The Division and much of what the Beta experience has been based around. There is no doubt that this is an interesting game mode that delivers on the tension of trying to extradite contaminated gear. Of all our hopes, this is one we know will, in fact, be in the final product. The Dark Zone does offer a unique style of play that many non-PC gamers may not have a lot of experience in. While massive survival based games where your gear can be taken at any time have been thriving on computers, consoles have largely not had this experience. This could easily be to The Division‘s benefit as it would lend a breath of fresh air to most console games standard suite of PvP based game modes. Something like this is a bit of a doubled edged sword as without proper balancing high-level groups of players can easily just kill new players entering the zone. Yes, this is indeed part of the risk one takes when entering The Dark Zone, but given that most of best loot as been noted to be in this area it almost makes it a bit of a necessity.
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Now when I say Public Events, I am not inferring to the small side missions that were scattered about the Beta you could beat by yourself. In a game that tries to infuse and MMO like community atmosphere, bringing players together for a common goal seems like a no brainer right? Events that would pull large groups of different squads together especially lends itself to modes such as The Dark Zone, where players would have to trust each other in order to take down the possible entry of a boss or secure a certain location. Add on the chaos that would most likely erupt during and after between the users themselves and it could offer memorable and varied experiences that could keep bringing players back.
The Division offers enough wiggle room in the fairly realistic setting and events to open up the possibility of various factions around the city to join. We have seen in a recently released trailer that the enemies are quite varied and clearly join different gangs, so lending such an opportunity for others to do so would seem like the next logical step? Even if they were not dedicated factions such as ones in The Elder Scrolls Online or Planetside 2, lending easy social connectivity and in-game rewards for playing with your faction members could keep a more competitive PvP scene alive. As it stands there is no real competitive mode outside of The Dark Zone for The Division, so having either factions battle for control/reputation could inject some real longevity into the game.
The Division is a game that has everything going for it as of now. However, given Ubisoft’s growing trend to release contentless games (such as Rainbow Six: Siege) there is a bit of room to worry. One can only play the story missions so many times before they grow boring and players move on to the next new and exciting release. It desperately needs a real reason for players to keep coming back and feel not just a sense of progression and rewards, (As important as those both are!) but just unique and fun experiences. This is just our hopes and speculations here at Nerd Much, however, they are frankly realistic concepts a game like The Division could easily include. We’ll know soon enough if this is going to the massive success Ubisoft is riding on, or just another story similar to Destiny.Pre-order it here.