GAMING POINT OF LOU – THE DIVISION 1.8
This article isn’t about Destiny 2, there has been enough hate thrown at that game to fill the Library of Congress. But, the complete lack of endgame grind has left many, myself included, longing for something to fill the void. Many have moved on to Fortnite Battle Royale, others to Monster Hunter World (which I plan on reviewing in the near future), and some have even retreated back to Destiny 1 to fill the itch. I, on the other hand, have revisited a game that when it was launched was supposed to be the “Destiny Killer”. At that time that claim was laughable, but now nearly two years later, Ubisoft may have actually created the Destiny 2 killer.
The Division launched on March 6, 2016, and I was ALL in. I was captivated by every article, video, trailer, scrap of info, and even the “Agent Origins” live action short movie. I must have watched that video 20-30 times. I played the beta, and even preordered the collectors edition (as I write this, the wrist watch that came in that set is sitting right next to me). But as so often happens in the video game world, the final product did not live up to the hype. A complete lack of endgame content drove players away within weeks. I myself returned to Destiny, joined my first clan, met some great people, and all but forgot about this game. But to Ubisoft’s credit, they didn’t give up. Working hand in hand with the small, dedicated player base that remained, added a slew of features and game modes. While the specific title of this article references it latest update (1.8) this is more of a big picture review of the game in its current state.
The following list is by no means comprehensive, but it should give you a pretty darn good idea what has happened in the last 2 years:
1.1 – Falcon Lost Incursion (think of an Incursion as a hybrid raid / horde mode)
1.2 – Clear Sky Incursion, High Value Targets, and Search and Destroy missions
1.3 – The Underground (this is a randomly generated environment offering endless replayability, with its own dedicated ranking system, honestly my favorite of the content drops), Dragons’ Nest Incursion
1.4 – World Tiers (this is endgame leveling for your agent)
1.5 – Survival (a PVP / PVE gamemode, where you start with NOTHING, and have to scavenge / craft items to survive, it’s a “last man standing” mode)
1.6 – Last Stand (8 v. 8 PVP, in which you have to control hard points to extract data), Stolen Signal Incursion
1.7 – Global Events (limited time events with special gameplay modifiers)
1.8 – Resistance (a full on horde mode)
Now the above list doesn’t even mention all the gear additions, exotic weapon / armor additions, all the set armor additions, or the addition of classified gear. What I’m trying to illustrate is HOW MUCH has been added to this game. It’s absolutely staggering and more than I could ever write about in a single article without it being 70,000 words.
Logging on for the first time in ages the first thing I noticed was how much there was to do!!! It was overwhelming!!! I had never experienced the Underground, or Survival, or The Last Stand, any of the new Incursions, HVT’s, seek and destroy’s. I was basically still world tier 1, and had a bunch of work ahead of me. How I relished the challenge to not only hit World Tier 5, but to also completely optimize my loadouts. It’s at this point that I have to give a special thanks to Blury, one of my clanmates, who not only put me in his backpack and got me to World Tier 5 in a matter of hours, but is one of the finest people I have ever met on the internet. Without his knowledge, especially of the Dark Zone farming routes, I could never have gotten to the point I am now so quickly. So thanks bud, I owe you one.
First things first. I LOVE the Underground, as mentioned above they are randomly generated environments (think Diablo). No two runs are the same, it offers a bunch of different mission types, eliminate target, protect supplies, find a lost JTF force etc… and features it’s own leveling system. As you level up you gain access to multi phase missions, special modifiers, and higher difficulty levels. This is my ABSOLUTE favorite addition, as I am a PVE junkie, so anything that gives me endless replayability is a plus in my book.
I’ve also taken a particular shine to The Last Stand mode. Noyt because I like PVP, generally I hate it, but it has allowed me to nerd out on creating a dedicated PVP loadout, which has been one of my current favorite tasks. I love pouring over data, comparing stats, modding my gear, and synergising it all with my abilities to create the perfect setup for melting other fools. Plus my PVP kit also works well in The Dark Zone for eliminating Rogues, but this only if I’m running with a crew where i have healing support. If not I run my standard Nomad / Lonsestar build while hunting for gear in the DZ.
Resistance is a super fun time, especially if you are rolling with a fully communicating fireteam. It is a very challenging mode, and even getting to the 10th enemy wave is a pretty hefty challenge. It requires some heavily optimized gear to melt higher level enemies. Long have Destiny Players begged for a horde mode, only to be repeatedly shunned by Bungie, much love to Ubisoft for including one in a free update mind you. You heard me right….we didn’t have to pay for 1.8, and oh yeah, it also added a WHOLE NEW AREA TO THE MAP!!!! The upper West Side complete with its own safe house, missions, High value target’s, World bosses etc!!!! Just think on that for a moment, players got a whole new mode, and a whole new area to explore for NOTHING. In today’s video game climate that’s almost unheard of.
I haven’t had much time in Survival yet, so I cannot speak to it too much. There is a definite learning curve to this mode as you have to memorize the spawn position of items, and what areas to avoid if you are underpowered. Mostt players in this mode have been actively involved in it for a long time, so they definitely have a serious knowledge advantage. The concept is brilliant, and just remember this important fact, Survival is only ONE PART of this games experience. You can play a last man standing mode (a la Fortnite Battle Royale, and Players Unknown Battle Ground) and then head off to the Underground, or participate in an Incursion… If you get tired of PUBG all you can do is turn the game off….
If you have never played The Division, now is a great time to experience it for the first time. If you are a “first wave” agent who disappeared, now is the perfect time to re-install. The game has never been better, and I can’t recommend enough giving it a second, third, or even fourth chance. I always loved how this game was basically a hardcore RPG with guns, how 3% on a piece of gear can actually make a difference to your loadout when stacked with other bonuses. It more than scratches my D&D itch, and as I sit here finishing up this article, I am booting up my Xbox to go and continue my quest to save what remains.
Until Next Time Agents……
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