Tom Clancy’s The Division 2

Continuing from yesterday, we now conclude with the Dark Zone, and the PvP mode, Conflict.

How I could just kill a man

The Dark Zone meanwhile, occupies three fenced off areas on the city outskirts. Each DZ is aimed at different player levels, so pay attention to that before venturing in. Not as foreboding as you imagine, they are good places to bag loot. Kit and equipment there being of a better than average range for your level. There are introduction/tutorial missions for the DZ before you get let loose, and these serve to ease us into proceedings. From a PvE standpoint, the DZs can actually be a breeze. the missions within involve clearing landmarks within the area. There are Normal, Hard, and Challenge difficulties for each landmark. The higher the difficulty, the more enemies, incentivised, of course, by more loot. I would recommend each player hit the DZ at your earliest opportunity. You’ll be surprised by how easy it is to gain quality gear, from fairly standard enemies.

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When tha sh*t goes down ya better be ready

The flip side of the DZ is, naturally, the PvP element. Immoral, or amoral, agents, can make the choice to go “Rogue”. A choice which leads to stealing loot, or ambushing and murdering other Division agents. “Ganking”, I believe is the preferred term. As a normal Division Agent, you may pick up contaminated loot within the DZ, which must be evacced by helicopter. Doing so will alert all agents active in the DZ. A drop of blood in the water, which, brings in the sharks. Individual agents, entire squads, will lurk in the DZ, waiting for opportunities like this. That’s what makes the game-play so damn tense in there. It is genuinely exciting, waiting on that evac. Crucially, other agents won’t appear on your radar, so keeping an eye on your surrounds is vital.

You, of course, could also side with the sharks. With a simple button hold, you may disavow your Division comrades. A timer will appear on your screen, which is your cool down as a Rogue agent. If you survive until the timer runs down, you revert to being a good guy again. Sounds like it’s more fun to be the shark right? No downside? Not quite. Other agents will be notified of your turning rogue. And they, in turn, may seek to hunt you down. The hunter may become the hunted, to coin that old phrase.

A hollow point shell’s hard ta swallow

Lastly, we have the Conflict. A pure PvP mode, this exists to scratch that murder itch, without feeling bad afterward. Teams of up to 8 will duke it out in a selection of city arenas. These all take place removed from the main game. The Conflict mode isn’t as strongly sold as the campaign or DZ, but it is definitely worth your time. Stats will be normalized, so your level shouldn’t, in theory, matter too much. But all told, I wouldn’t bother until you’re at max level. This is due to how gear is normalized online in Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, which will often lead to lower end gear not standing at all in PvP.

There are two modes in Conflict: Domination, and Skirmish. Skirmish being the deathmatch style game, whereas Domination is about defending key points. The lure of Conflict is, as you can probably guess, the loot. You will get loot caches for completing matches, with the number and quality being determined by your performance. The problem with Conflict is that it never feels necessary. That, and it can often take time to find a match, even this soon after launch. It could serve as a good place to hone your PvP skills, so as not to get too brutally punished in the Dark Zone. But it still felt a little tacked on to me. I think most PvPers will spend their days in the Dark Zone, as that’s where the most fun is to be had.

Hot damn I didn’t want to kill a man

Ultimately I’m viewing Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 as a PvE looter shooter with PvP elements. I’ve stated previously how, before playing the Beta earlier this year I wasn’t really bothered with the franchise. Now, two months later, and I’m a full on fanboy. The Division 2 has an inspiring amount of content, with the Black Tusk Invasion nearly doubling the campaign length. A game which was only two years in development launched so smoothly and had free DLC out in month one. That’s rarely heard of in this day and age. Hardcore fans will contend the issues surrounding stat normalization online, but the devs seem genuine in their efforts to address all reported issues. They engage with fans on social media, and they drop everything when a major issue arises. For example, one week after launch, they focused down one major issue and patched it out within hours.

As for the future, Massive has already laid out their road-map for Tom Clancy’s The Division 2. Raids have been pushed back, unfortunately. This seems in conjunction with a push towards more balancing for online play. While another Public Test Server has been announced for PC soon. This has become a double-edged sword for Massive. Players are asking for better balancing, but others gripe that they must dump all their builds after each update. I can empathize here. It’s a frustrating experience grinding towards a specific build, only to see your preferred weapon or talent being nerfed. Ideally, Massive will find a system and stick to it. Of course, either way I’ll still be blasting fools.

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About The Author

Brian started gaming on a Commodore 64 before you were born. He played everything worth playing on every platform worth playing them on since then, but refuses to mess with that new fangled VR stuff. Makes him nauseated he says.

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