60+ Hours Into The Division: Enjoyment Stifled By Limited Endgame
After 61 hours and 55 minutes, it’s fair to say I’ve spent a healthy amount of time with The Division. With reviews pouring out daily, along with various opinion pieces, the general view on the game seems mixed. Views differ from player to player, but they’re all united in one school of thought. The Division is fun, but limited…at least for now.
From a personal perspective, The Division feels very much like Diablo 3 did when it initially released. Good ideas hampered by ‘safe’ design and repetitive tasks. This format hasn’t stopped me (and millions of others) from enjoying the game. When played as part of a team, The Division starts to flourish. Missions are a breeze on Normal, switching to Hard allows for so much more engaging play to develop. Calling out enemy locations, prioritizing enemy types, managing skill cool downs and suppression. Hard is simply where the fun can be found.
The quest for the perfect weapon provides motivation to keep playing, much like the before mentioned Diablo 3 did. As a player, you want to find the best equipment you can, this is where the issues start to arise. The Division’s current end game has very little to offer outside of grinding. The best gear can only be achieved by gaining Phoenix Credits, a currency that only drops from select bosses and situations.
Daily Missions offer players the chance to Phoenix Credits, but this simply involves playing missions over and over again. The challenge is increased, but only by buffing enemy health and damage, there are no other alterations. If Daily Missions aren’t appealing, there’s always hunting bosses in The Dark Zone.
Originally meant as The Division’s version of PvP, the Dark Zone has been rather friendly. Players prefer to farm Bosses and Dark Zone experience, shunning the idea of killing other players. The community has a number of theories to why this is. Some say the rewards for going Rogue are too little compared to the consequences of failure. The more common reason is players just want loot and rank, opting to farm for High-End gear and experience.
The desire for loot is both The Division’s biggest motivator and biggest flaw. Grind to Dark Zone level 50 to get High-End gear. Grind out 179 Phoenix Credits for High-End gear. Once you’ve acquired the desired gear the game hits a wall. You’ve earned all that top notch gear, only to find there’s no where to really use it. The Dark Zone should be the next logical step, but no one wants to fight due to the hefty punishment for going Rogue.
After 60+ hours, The Division is starting to run out of gas. Grinding can only carry a game so far. Turning in 179 Phoenix Credits in order to obtain a weapon should make me ask ‘where to next?’ but it didn’t. Once the credits were earned and spent, I looked at the shopping list of items. They required many more hours of grinding, all to walk around the Dark Zone.
Ubisoft are already in the process of altering the Dark Zone to encourage PvP. The addition of Incursions will also provide much needed options for level capped players. The Division could easily grow into a much more well rounded experience. Both Diablo 3 and The Division share traits, there’s no reason Ubisoft can’t make their title into something great. The foundations are there, as too are the players.
Fix up the endgame and watch The Division flourish.