The Division post patch 1.1

After about 288 hours in game, I can say for sure that Massive/Ubisoft has something there. If they don’t fuck it up by overtuning/nerfing or by being high handed in their dealings with the playerbase. Which is just another way of saying, they really need to tread carefully or risk a very steep drop off in their player base. They have a good thing going and the game is fun with friends but the darkzone grind to get crafting patterns is a pretty bad design choice, as it was stated by the devs that you didn’t need to grind out levels in the Dark Zone for PVE. And then they just add 2 blueprints (a First Wave Vector 45 and First Wave M1A, the 2 best weapons at the moment) at Darkzone level 75 and a huge darkzone credit cost. I’ve put nearly 300 hours into this and I’m Darkzone level 60 for context purposes. So it makes zero fucking sense for them to do that and then take away those patterns after a few days, which numerous players were able to pick up, creating a clear gear/weapon gap that is already pretty wide. The Division has had numerous glitches/exploits that allowed many players to get a crazy amount of gear, which created another gear gap. The Darkzone still has it problems as well, going rogue in groups of 4-8 players namely, signature skills in pvp, the crazy amount of Damage Reduction from talents, and the pretty crazy amount of hacking going on. The crafting nerf was pretty harsh and Division Tech crafting mats are still a pain to get. Also, since there is no PTR and no Beta Testing changes, the game is a mess sometimes. 99% of the exploits are due to Mobile Cover and others are poor collision detection with walls.

The Incursion Update, while a cool free update, is just a room with spawns of enemies that attack in waves and a dodge grenades/missile mechanic. The turrets with an off/on switch is just a bad design mechanic. It’s a bad mechanic because you already have to clear waves of enemies until a wave that has an explosive charge carrying mob spawns and then planting it. It would have been better to have to defend it for 10-15 seconds while more enemies spawn to try and defuse it. Challenging Mode Incursion is the same thing but the enemies are just bullet sponges, even more so than they were already. It just a matter of having 200+ Gearscore weapons combined with your preferred 4 piece set (Sentry’s Call at the moment, it’s so much better than the others although you really need 1 person with Tacticians to buff with Pulse and Smart Cover) and your preferred 2 piece bonus.

Despite all that criticism though, the game still has it moments and is something different from the numerous other “Looter Shooters” out there. I did buy the season pass so I’m already committed to playing it and have no regrets, as it took blizzard 3 years to get Diablo 3 where it is now (meaning accessible, fun to play, and a worthwhile experience) and it took DICE a couple of patches and a year to get Battlefield 4 a decent FPS. So I’m hoping Massive/Ubisoft will get it eventually.

As a side note, the game looks pretty good and plays very smoothly. I think the Division is just a testing bed for Ubisoft, as it is pretty obvious that the snowdrop engine will be used for future Assassin’s Creed and Farcry games.

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