The Division Beta and Post Launch Plans

The Division Beta and Post Launch Plans

The beta for The Division is upon us and the internet hype is swelling. Xbox One began the beta yesterday and PS4 and PC are joining the fun today. We’ll be streaming the beta starting Friday at 6PM PST and will stream each night of the beta at the same time on the Fextralife YouTube Channel. On the heels of all of this beta goodness, Ubisoft has revealed their plans for post launch support and DLC. Let’s take a look at what to expect as laid out on The Division’s official site.

the division 4

REGULAR UPDATES

The development team is working on a complete post-launch plan to keep the experience fresh for the months to come, including several free updates, new features and functionality. The free updates to be released for all players will add new game modes such as challenging group-oriented operations to test players’ abilities in co-op mode and win unique rewards.

DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT

There are also 3 paid expansions that will be released over the course of the year. Each expansion builds on The Division, continuing your agent’s journey and progress with new content, gear and gameplay as you fight to take back New York:

Expansion I: Underground
This first major expansion opens up a new area to players as they explore the uncharted underworld of New York City with up to 3 friends for intense co-op action.

Expansion II: Survival
In this expansion, players will have to survive as long as possible in a very hostile environment that will challenge even the most talented agents.

Expansion III: Last Stand
There were no details shared on this DLC as of yet.

Also detailed were the options for players to purchase a season pass for the game, with details as follows:

SEASON PASS

The Division Season Pass

The 3 paid expansions are included in the Season Pass, along with exclusive content.

Here is a full overview of the Season Pass content:

  • The Division Expansion I: Underground
  • The Division Expansion II: Survival
  • The Division Expansion III: Last Stand
  • Exclusive Sawed-off Shotgun, a unique sidearm customized for short-range destruction.
  • Full set of exclusive outfits and weapon skins
  • Special monthly benefits including exclusive content drops and special events.

The Season Pass is included in the Gold Edition and Sleeper Agent Edition of the game, and will also be available for stand-alone purchase when the game releases, on March 8th, 2016. There is no word yet on pricing for either the DLC packs or the season pass, but we’ll be sure to update you when we know for sure.


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Editor at Fextralife. I look for the substantial in gaming and I try to connect video games to the emotions and stories they elicit. I love all things culture and history and have an odd fondness for the planet Jupiter. I think my dogs are pretty awesome too.

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30 comments on “The Division Beta and Post Launch Plans”

  1. Avatar Back_Lot_Basher says:

    With Ubisoft burning up the hype on DLC, my big burning question is, will The Division go the route of ESO, where opting out of DLC has no impact on your game, or the Destiny route, where DLC was actually cleverly disguised subscription fees for the way it shut down much of the end game content for vanilla players. If that’s the case, having learned my lesson the first time, I would choose to pass on the game until the inevitable "Deluxe" edition surfaces.

  2. Avatar Lich180 says:

    If they do follow Destiny, I hope they don’t try the exact same formula. ESO works great the way it is, along the lines of eastern mmo’s and their microtransactions. What Destiny did destroyed any amount of respect I had for Bungie. Looked like a big cash grab.

  3. Avatar Back_Lot_Basher says:

    Yeah, I agree, Lich. I can’t imagine me ever buying another Destiny game after that fiasco. While lots of people love the game (I have a few friends who play it like a religion), I can’t support this model.

    The Division looks to have a better campaign and story, but 1/3 of the content, supposedly the "best" loot, is going to be in the Dark Zone. Unless I’m not seeing the whole picture, this looks like an absolute mess for people who aren’t into ganking. Seriously…it looks like the wild west in there on a level that makes GTA look tame. Not exactly my speed. But it will be interesting to see how people respond to it.

  4. Avatar Lich180 says:

    I left Destiny around the time House of Wolves dropped. I was so tired of the game I couldn’t play it, and other games (ESO, MSGV, etc) convinced me not to go back.

    The Dark Zone thing sounds sort of like the Imperial City in ESO.

  5. Avatar Emergence says:

    You’re pretty ok in the DZ unless you are hostile yourself towards other players. You don’t get marked as a rogue until you do. When it comes to extraction, you can’t do it solo but the matchmaking is way better than Destiny which has all of its best loot behind the raids which don’t feature matchmaking. Matchmaking with other randoms is a breeze, so getting a 4 person party together gives you a fighting chance at getting the loot out. I’m pretty sure anything you buy at the vendors in the Dark Zone Safe Rooms go right to your stash as well, and they sell the High End gear people will want to go for. You only have to extract the loot that drops. Solo players have been savvy about piggybacking on someone else’s extraction rather than call one of their own.

    A lot of it does depend on the temperament of the players live at the time. Some might not bother with extraction hunting, some might.

  6. Avatar Back_Lot_Basher says:

    So I had a nice sampling of the DZ gameplay, and actually put a friend of mine into a share play session so he could play while I made note of my observations. We both agreed it’s an intriguing game with potential, but still has a lot of questions surrounding it. One thing we’re wondering is, what’s the endgame here? DZ seemed to involve just wandering around until you got your hands on loot from drops or chests, then extracting. But I thought it seemed a bit one-dimensional. I’m trying to see what the longevity is here. Any thoughts?

    Games like ESO feature loot drops that are part of the natural flow of questing. Destiny is more of a "loot for loot’s sake", where people are basically running the same content hundreds of times, hoping for something interesting. But at least in Destiny, you have motivation to find better gear for Iron Banner and Trials. I’m not seeing anything in The Division where your loot matters, unless all you’re interested in is forming gank squads with friends. Have there been announcements about other game modes? Or are these slated to be part of the DLC?

  7. Avatar ViralEnsign_ says:

    Having played through the beta quite extensively I found it really enjoyable to play a well made 3rd person shooter again with pretty good cover mechanics, some pretty good gunplay, and a nice RPG like progression system that was fluid enough to cover players who like to make DPS, Tank, and Ability Centric characters.

    That said the beta only contained a single mission and four of the nine skills with none of the modifications or link abilities. That seemed concerning to me as if they were so worried about allowing players to push through content we’ve already seen and really test out some of the abilities then how deep can the main campaign actually be?

    That and the character customisation was abysmal insofar as choosing your characters facial appearance however this was more than made up for by the items of clothing you regularly picked up.

    The Darkzone I found to be a really enjoyable PvP setting. For the most part you have free reign to wander throughout the area engaging tough gangs of NPC enemies led by named characters who dropped rare loot and often times protected valuable Darkzone chests containing powerful loot and 1000DZ credits.

    Players are free to engage one another on sight though they risk a short term of ‘Rogue’ status for damaging a player past a certain threshold, and a 90 second period of ‘Rogue’ status for killing an innocent bystander. This status marks you to all players within 100m or so allowing them to track you with ease.

    Fortunately the Dark Zone didn’t seem to be populated with too many Kill On Sight players and most were simply there to extract their goodies and get out of dodge though it was supremely rewarding to go Dark Moon Blade on the sinners who always seemed to tunnel vision on their intended target and leave me room to sneak up on them. Also there weren’t many 3-4 man KOS gangs roaming around however when they did they quickly were shut down either by our random band of vigilante extraction zone protectors or the mobs of irate lone operatives who utterly overwhelmed them a few minutes later.

    I felt like the beta was a stress test for the servers rather than a real showcase of what the game was about. That was a shame as I really wanted to see the other second tier abilities and more PvE missions.

  8. Avatar Lich180 says:

    I think it was a stress test more than anything. I remember doing the ESO beta, and the game was pretty buggy and broken, and you were limited to the first island and zone, because all they wanted to do was break their servers.

  9. Avatar ViralEnsign_ says:

    I suspected as much as since they are extending the beta to allow more of the ‘wait list’ applicants to play all but confirms it. That said I do feel like adding that little bit more even to the beta would have really generated some hype for the game.

    At least the first three missions to establish your BoO (one mission makes me worry the Single Player is so shallow that allowing us to play those missions would cut into the games main story) so you could get at least second tier abilities from each tree and maybe one set of skill modifications.

    It would definitely add some depth to dark zone PvP and make Tech a stat worth using with a few high damage offensive abilities.

    Currently I find myself only running skills from the Medical Tree because scanning and a second instantaneous use med-kit is just too good to pass up. Certainly more useful than a regenerating grenade or a slightly HP buffer that demands you only use your pistol.

  10. Avatar Emergence says:

    Cas and I have gone from not caring for it to really enjoying it. It took a bit to click, and a lot of it depends on the people you’re playing with both friendly and not. I’m starting to see some of the subtlety in its design from playing it over the weekend. I went from thinking it could be a bust to thinking it could be a win after all.

  11. Avatar ViralEnsign_ says:

    In many respects I agree with you on that.

    Initially I was on my lonesome in he Dark Zone being picked on by groups of multiple enemies until I picked up on the ‘knack’ to moving through the Dark Zone. After figuring that our both survival time and killing rogue agents became quite a lot easier.

    That said I only wished for a little bit more from the beta… perhaps what they showed off to youtubers at that gamescon/closed session so we could all see a few more skills, mission, etc. Mainly becaue after the beta I was at that point where I couldn’t get anything better and finding exciting PvP without a group of my own was rare.

  12. Avatar Emergence says:

    Yeah there is definitely an art to the solo Dark Zone that requires smart movement and subterfuge. I spend the better part of today working on it. My only gripe as a Solo player is its incredibly difficult to earn Dark Zone Funds compared to earning Dark Zone XP and loot. I wish the normal NPC enemies gave out at least a grindable amount of currency. Combining the rarity of it and the keys for the chests with the amount you lose from dying makes it a tough climb.

  13. Avatar ViralEnsign_ says:

    That true until I figured out that I was doing it wrong.

    I think my character finished up yesterday with a little over 4500-6500 DZ Funds. The greater bulk of that were earned through opening a few Dark Zone Chests as well as tagging along in Man Hunts to kill those marked players.

    As for the smart movement… absolutely. It took me far too long to figure that out but once I had combat was much easier. Knowing to run to cover rather than fight in the open as well as being able to rely on blindfire for kills helped immensely.

    I’ve also watched a lot of Day Z (that’s what I kind of compare this too) and figured it was all about where you set yourself up.

    E.G- I was trying to kill these two rogue agents on top of the gas station opposite one of the Extraction Points. I must have downed one of then about 4 times but could never kill him due to his buddy reviving him constantly.

    So I made this massive detour down through a parking garage, around the block, up onto the scaffolding opposite the roof top and got their just in time to start shooting when two other agents opened fire from behind the bill board.

  14. Avatar Daos_Strange says:

    The beta was incredibly fun. The DZ was were I spent most of my time after power-leveling to 8. I thought it was pretty easy to get DZ currency and bought the two legendary guns early on. I found most of the best gear came from the checkpoint vendors with a couple of rare gems as drops from the mobs. Extracting was tense, but I rarely lost any gear to campers. Did my fair share of going rogue and hunting them down. All in all, I enjoyed every aspect of it and can’t wait for the final release.

  15. Avatar Back_Lot_Basher says:

    A friend of mine who had no beta code got into a share play session with me and quickly went from not even wanting a beta code to being extremely intrigued by the game. HOWEVER, as a testament to just how wary Destiny made him (and others), he refuses to even consider buying the game until a few weeks have passed after release to see what kind of endgame there is. One of the biggest fears he expressed to me is that the base game will only include a small number (i.e. less than a dozen) main missions, which require grinding multiple times like Destiny strikes.

    In conversation, we kept coming back to the same concern about DZ play, namely that without some mode variety to give it purpose, it feels pointless. Running to a helicopter to extract goodies doesn’t exactly scream long-term fun. Then need to spice this up with some sort of loosely structured objectives. It’s fine if the open world exists as it is, but at some point people are going to want to have a reason for looking for loot.

    The Division is dripping with potential, but I can see Ubisoft pissing it all away by trying to horn in on Destiny’s model of forcing players to keep buying DLC.

  16. Avatar Lich180 says:

    If Ubi does that, they will have lost what little respect I still had for them. They dropped the ball with Assassin’s Creed, realized they needed to be better, then drop the ball again here, with The Division?

    I hope they avoid the Destiny model like the plague.

  17. Avatar Back_Lot_Basher says:

    Have they even stated what’s going to happen with all the other boroughs after launch? Manhattan is the only day one map, correct? So are we to assume that the others are going to be packaged for later sale?

    My problem is that ESO has spoiled me. There’s a game that lets you play for 1000+ hours and never run the same area twice. It drives me insane that some companies are pushing out skimpy base games out, then conveniently have lots of extra content to sell. It’s fine if that’s your plan, but at least be clear about it so people can make an informed decision.

  18. Avatar Daos_Strange says:

    The base game will have at least enough objective based missions to completely fill up the abilities tree as that’s how they become unlocked. Then you have to start unlocking mods for the abilities which will be done in side missions and through collectables.

    Extracting loot by helicopter is not the draw of the DZ. It’s getting and keeping the loot that is the draw. Eventually, when everyone has end game gear, the DZ will turn into a war zone much like it did towards the end of the beta. Going rogue is going to be a fun thing to do because there will be no need for DZ currency or keys anymore. Since DZ rank only matters when first purchasing equipment, it won’t matter to drop a few levels either. That is what will keep the game going aside from additional DLC missions. For a lot of people like myself, that is plenty.

    It’s a loot game so people don’t really need a point to look for loot except just to have it. That’s how loot games work. This game is no different than Borderlands in that aspect. I put countless hours into farming raid bosses and mobs in BL2 for rare drops. The added bonus with The Division is that someone can now take that loot away. A lot of people will be put off by that, but for me, it’s a huge plus.

  19. Avatar Back_Lot_Basher says:

    Everyone looks for different incentives in their game experience I guess. I need there to be a reason to have loot. Dark Souls/Demons Souls represents my ideal "incentive". A particular level is kicking my ass, and then suddenly I get a nice weapon drop and it’s enough to get me over the hump. But if I’ve reached the end of the game, and my player is maxed, at that point I have no more reason to "grind". This is what turned me off Destiny. There was so little content, and I didn’t find raids entertaining enough to bother doing them repeatedly.

    As I said, this is the appeal of ESO. Questing can go on for hundreds upon hundreds of hours, so I have a feeling of meaningful progression. You mentioned Borderlands, another game I did enjoy. I was always excited by a good drop, but once the game was over, I felt no need to grind bosses if there are no more quests. But that’s just me.

    Anyway, I think as long as there’s a good amount of mission content in the base game, I’m okay with that. If they go down the Destiny route, I can always trade/sell it later and move on. I certainly don’t have a problem with games being designed this way, since there’s clearly a market. I just wish the publishers would be more forthcoming in their long-term intentions. Deception is the biggest cardinal sin in commerce, IMO. If I feel a company has tried to mislead me, even in subtle ways, I really get my back up and tend to shun their products in the future.

  20. Avatar ViralEnsign_ says:

    That’s quite a shame at least from my perspective.

    If the DZ is solely a PvP zone with no focus on PvE, Exploration, or Story Content I can already see myself becoming tired of it once the best weapons and vendors are located. Loot games can be enjoyable but looting for the sake of looting is unrewarding.

    I’d certainly like The Division to tell us a story we haven’t heard before especially with such an interesting setting.

  21. Avatar Back_Lot_Basher says:

    When I think of the whole concept of the Dark Zone, I see all sorts of potential for structured activity and story driven missions. I imagine a four player squad being tasked with extracting some sort of unique piece of tech that’s part of the game lore, while four other players try to stop them. Rockstar has done all sorts of things like this in GTA5 to keep the game alive, and it works relatively well.

    If Ubisoft does have plans, for the life of me I can’t understand why they wouldn’t be shouting it from the rooftops. I’m sure a lot of people are still in wait-and-see mode for this game, simply because the beta provided more questions than answers. I’m one of them. I’m prepared to get the game, but only after I have some clearer info about the direction the game will take.

  22. Avatar ViralEnsign_ says:

    To me keeping it close to their chests seems the safe bet. Making promises that either aren’t kept by a certain deadline or are pulled from release for future updates tends to generate intensely negative reactions to the point I think most developers don’t want to promise more than they can provide.

    That said I prefer open links between developers and their community having spent the last 3 years invested in Dust 514, a game that despite the developers assertions never made it to commercial release, and has been for at least half that time been in a state of information blackout and non-development.

    The Developers promised more than the PS3, technical teams, and engine could deliver (no so any more with Angels Fall First) and their community responded in kind with enormous discontent and backlash.

  23. Avatar Daos_Strange says:

    Yeah, I know what you mean about the secrecy. Massive has been really tight-lipped about the entire project until very recently. Ultimately though, everything they’ve unveiled so far has been a pleasant surprise for me. Hopefully, I will be pleased with the end-game content when they finally decide to talk about it. I’m confident I will get my money’s worth out of the game based on PVP alone, so for me, everything they announce for end-game is basically a bonus for me.

    I’m not really sure what you are looking for out of The Division. For me, it combines a lot of my favorite things:
    3rd person, cover based shooter
    PVP
    loot
    team based
    open world

    If I’m remembering correctly, Massive has stated that you can complete the entire story campaign without going into the DZ. But the DZ does have tie ins to the lore. For a game to have longterm playability, there needs to be some component of the game that is dynamic. Some games accomplish that through randomized loot drops. Others do it through PVP. The unique thing about TD is that it ties those two together. As far as a story that hasn’t been told before, I wouldn’t get my hopes up to high for that one. Frankly, the plot of this game has been played out in tons of movies and books. They can try to spice it up with terms like "mid-crises" or whatever, but it’s a man-made virus that is weaponized, and you play the part of the hero. It doesn’t get much more generic than that. Tbh, I am already sick of listening to the drivel of the NPCs. For me, this game is not about the story and purely about gameplay. If an engaging story is at the top of your list though, I can see how you would be disappointed.

  24. Avatar Back_Lot_Basher says:

    You mean like "They killed Alex!"…? How many guys named Alex survived this apocalypse. Perhaps the fate of the human race could have been altered by a different naming trend. Perhaps they could create a DZ drinking game where you fire back a shot every time you kill Alex.

    I remember in Rainbow Six Vegas, we used to hear NPC terrorists shouting "The bitch owed me money!" all the time. I mean, how random is that?

  25. Avatar Daos_Strange says:

    LOL. I was actually referring to Lau, but I must’ve killed Alex about 100 times over the weekend. I could have sworn I heard them saying a different name or two towards the end, but maybe that was just me wishing it was someone other than Alex


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