Ubisoft’s The Division Update Is A Step In The Right Direction
The Division’s first major patch is live and that’s great news. I’ve enjoyed The Division, at least for the most part. Levelling to 30 was more like a feeling out experience than anything. It becomes quite apparent that playing story missions on Normal is probably the worst thing you can do.
Hard offers so much more in terms of depth and engagement. Suddenly call outs and suppressing fire became vital instead of just an option. Tactical retreats and calculated rushing factored into the general play. In short, Normal did not do the game justice, along with playing solo.
If there was one issue that truly detracted from The Division, it was the end game. Grinding Phoenix Credits and Dark Zone ranks was repetitive and tiresome. The process turned The Dark Zone into a giant farm. Players would walk around in rotation, seeking out bosses to slay. Even when a boss was downed, the tiny amount of credits they dropped meant hours upon hours of farming was required.
No one fought each other, the idea of going Rogue was almost taboo. Little reward for heft consequences, what was the point? Where was the enjoyment or thrill in risking hours of play time for the sake of a few extra DZ funds and keys? Players were smart enough not to go Rogue, leaving the Dark Zone in a state of limbo, used to farm and nothing else.
To their credit, Ubisoft have saw the errors of their ways. The latest patch ushers in a number of changes, most of which directly address the Dark Zone. Going Rogue will now reward players with more DZ funds and experience. Dying while flagged as a Rogue has also been changed, players loose a reduced amount of goodies and experience. These changes have already made the Dark Zone a much more hostile environment, gone are the days of free farming.
Phoenix Credits and High-end drops have also been increased, with drop rates increasing based on the enemies level. It’s a simple change that encourages players to journey into the higher level DZ zones. Pre-Patch, players tended to float around the lower level areas. Farming low level enemies, gathering large amounts of DZ funds in the process, was much safer than attacking heavy hitting level 32s. With the new changes, players who boldly take on higher level targets will be met with higher rewards, justifying the risk.
If this is a sign of things to come, The Division may grow into a quality video game. The new patch is one step in the right direction, even more so given how quickly it was released. Ubisoft have to keep up the pace, addressing further niggles and gripes, as well as adding regular content updates. So far, so good.