The Division, aka “Tom Clancy’s The Division is an online action-RPG set in an immersive & realistic urban open world.” has all the hype around in a month into the release of the game. We are on the eve of the April 12th patch, Incursions. This patch is a free patch that is adding new features to the game, nerf’ing some content, buff’ing others and a lot of random bug fixes. Here is my impression of the game, my experience in the dark zone, the patch notes and my thoughts & suggestions to get ready for the patch come April 12th.
Impression of the Game:
So a little background to myself. I’m currently a fresh level 30 in The Division with about 40hrs played. (I’m not setting any records over here by any means but I’m really enjoying the game so far.) I play 2-3 nights a week, for about 2-3 hrs at a time. I play the PC edition with keyboard and mouse with the occasional controller via Steam Link when playing on the 55″ TV. With the PC Master race content out of the way, my overall experience and impression of the game is good. I’m really enjoying the game, the story and the actioned based RPG/MMO gameplay.
First, I enjoy the missions. They give you roughly 40-45% of your XP for your current level. When playing in a group of friends, you feel like your playing tactically. You move as a team, you have open communication, all of a sudden you feel like you’re part of a military group, slicing the pie and you move from room to room or cover to cover taking out the Cleaners, the Rikers or the Last Man Battalion (LMB). All of a sudden you’re speaking with different terms, saying things like: “Watch your Six.”, “You’ve got a runner coming up.” and “How much longer until we can get another scan.”. It is just a fun game to play with a group of friends. And if you’re running the game solo, the game has a great match-making setup to quickly group you with other people for missions or at a safe house to go and run PVE content together. So you never have to be alone, unless you want to be.
Besides the missions, there are side missions, encounters and tons of random items to find in this large open world environment. So if a couple friends are taking longer than they should to log in, you can go and track lost agents, you can find cell phones and listen to the recorded calls, you can investigate why this event is happening with the intel you collect.
Overall, this game is all I’ve wanted to play the last couple of weeks. I don’t really feel I’m grinding out levels unless I’m playing solo in a zone that is a two-four levels lower than my current level. Even with the enemies level scaling up, it feels like you’re just going through the motions and that can get boring fast. I recommend keeping pace and moving to the next zone once you’ve completed the mission(s), side mission(s) and encounter(s) for that area. The gear that the mobs drops, the end reward for the task (weapon, gear, blue-print) will be more relevant closer to the level you are.
The Dark Zone:
I came, I saw, I wasted four hours of my time, IMHO. The dark zone, the PVP area of The Division is a great place to find gear, to battle other agents and to have a great time gaining DZ money and DZ levels. I went into the dark zone around level 12. I had a lot of fun extracting the gear I got from mobs and rogue agents. The problem I had at level 12 is, I wasn’t gaining actually XP, I was gaining DZ XP towards my dark zone level. So you can spend a lot of time running around the DZ and getting gear that once back into the PVE side of things can be replaced quickly. I haven’t stepped back in, but now that I’m level 30 and all of my missions are completed, I plan on jumping back into the DZ to collect gear and XP. I highly recommend you put in work in the DZ, you get use to the areas but I would recommend this at max level so you’re working towards a high gear level and better rewards.
Patch 1.1 Changes:
The addition of Incursions into the game, the first being Falcon Lost. A level 30 event that is balanced around a well geared 4 player composition. Also the addition of gear sets, allowing perks to different talents and abilities, adding a item level beyond your max level of 30. You can now trade items dropped by enemies and share with other players in your group. They have to be in your group currently and at the time of when the item dropped. There is a two hour time limit so pass that gear around if you don’t need it.
You now have daily assignments, some will be a 24-hour assignment, others will be a 7 day assignment. Most assignments can be complete solo but other will require more work and the help from other agents. In the dark zone there are now supply drops, this supply drop is a global event where the Strategic Homeland Defense agency airdrops multiple supply caches to assist division agents. These will occur multiple times a day. The items in the supply drops are not contaminated and the items can be equipped once you loot them, no need to extract them. Like I mentions above, you gear now has a gear score (item level) so you’ll now know what the stronger item is in your inventory.
Now when you die, you can now use a group spectator camera to help give information to your teammates who are still alive vs. looking at the ground where your body is at rest.
Crafting materials conversation rates are also changing. What was a 5:1 (Green to Blue) conversation will now be 10:1. 5:1 (Blue to Gold) will now be 15:1. 8:1 (Gold to Lvl 31 Gold) will now be 10:1. Also when deconstructing the items will now yield less materials, 1 green vs. 2, and 1 gold vs. 2.
And lastly, a response to the nerf / changes to crafting. Ubisoft has came out and said that almost 50% of all high end gear was being created via blueprints. They didn’t like the number being that high, that are you were doing was farming NPC’s to deconstruct gear to craft the gear you really wanted. They are now changing the drop rate on named NPC’s to 100%, they will always drop a high end gold. They are adding a loot table to all NPC’s so you’ll know which ones give out the gear that you need. They are wanting you to use those green and blue materials while leveling instead of saving them and converting them once you hit level 30.
My Thoughts & Suggestions:
I would deconstruct as much gear as you can before the patch on 04.11.2016. I would convert as much of that material to the next level so that you get the best conversation rate as possible. I would clear out your inventory by creating your “alts” in the four character slots you have available to send gear over to them via your stash to hold. I expect the stash to be looked at and scaled as now you may have multiple gear sets to hold on to. Also I expect the weapon skins to be treated how the clothing is treated vs a item to help clear up space. I would also like the clothing to have the option like purchased clothing to have the option of creating an outfit or set so you can change the pieces fast. I would also suggest to group up, going solo isn’t always for the best.
Overall Ubisoft has created a great game that is fun to play. Now that I’m level 30, I’m excited that these changes are coming right as I’m about to hop into the action. If you play on the PC, add me via steam, WowDotBen.