March 8th 2016, Tom Clancy’s The Division final landed two years after its initial release date, but we all knew it’d be worth it. Bringing hope and aspirations to the hearts of the gaming community with its unique concept and its realistic approach in the form of a apocalyptic New York City.
Yes that’s right, as an Agent of The Division, you are America’s last hope and civilisations last line of defence after a man made virus called Green Poison sweeps through the streets of New York City, and one by one, basic services start to fail.
With the other 6.4 million Agents I took to the streets of Hell Kitchen and Times Square like a young Jason Bourne fresh out of a coma.. Reaching level 30 in true Usain Bolt fashion the Dark Zone is where all the big dicks hang out.
With its PvE and PvP cross setting tailored to perfection you would battle your way through Rikers, Cleaners and the LMB to find the best gear the game had to offer. Trying to extract those spoils with other Agents ready to go Rogue at a drop of a hat created Wild West stand offs that Steve McQueen himself would be proud of.
The Division Patch 1.0
Two weeks in and Patch 1.0 came in, with a game with such a unique concept there were bound to be a few teething problems. We could handle that as a community, allowing Ubisoft to make the gaming experience better for the user.
They did however probably create more problems or didn’t address issues the community had like the fucking stun lock from more than one shock turret. You’d be frozen to the spot like a deer in the headlights until someone turned you into Swiss cheese.
On a brighter note, a month later we did get our first taste of what was to come. The Devs dropped their first FREE Incursion DLC, Falcon Lost, bringing a high risk high reward feature to the game where teamwork would certainly make the dream work.
They also introduced gear scores and the new Gear Sets which kind of made those high end gold gears you had spent hours upon hours grinding fucking worthless. Nevertheless the gear sets were a new feature and gave longevity going forward.
The Division Patch 1.2 Conflict.
Conflict seen another Incursion drop in the form of Clear Sky and we were introduced to 4 new gear sets. HVTs also hit the Base or Operations breathing some much needed life into the forgotten PvE world and we seen a much need increased drop rate for those gear set items.i mean I felt like I was hitting my head against a brick wall trying to find that final Striker piece.
The Division Patch 1.3 Underground.
Underground was the breaking point for many players, The Division was well and truly fucked at this point. Rumours circulated that 80% of the community had finally had enough of this broken platform.
If it wasn’t the one shot builds exploiting the Dark Zone Or the broken mechanics like being able to walk through walls with mobile cover. It might be the hours you put into getting the right gun or gear with the right talents. For Massive to then nerf your build beyond recognition and making it as useful as a chocolate teapot.
They did however introduce the recalibration station in a last ditch attempt where you could re-roll one talent and your weapon or attribute on your gear. But for the majority this was a too little too late. The balancing was fucked!
The Division Patch 1.4
In Patch 1.4 the community demanded answers, Instead they got Survival. Don’t get me wrong many people love Survival to this day but considering the problems Patch 1.3 Underground provided, there were clearly more pressing matters at hand.
The Division Patch 1.5
In Patch 1.5 seen the introduction of the super rare exotic gear which is useless today as it was when they were first released. And the standard nerfing of any gear sets you’d grinded for instead of making other gears less shit..
The Division Patch 1.6 Last Stand.
Last stand rounded off the year one content and saw some big plays, their was the Last Stand expansion and the Dark Zone got an expansion bringing in zones 7,8 and 9. This brought more Landmarks to clear, more extraction points and boasted a massive underground system where you could get the pinnacle of loot if you could handle the heat.
The Division Update 1.7
Year 2 content started off with a bang in the form rm of a Global Events. If there wasn’t enough pointless in game currencies already, at least the Global Events Credits had some use. You could buy guaranteed caches which included yet a higher rated gear set item in the form of classified gear sets. Having 6 of these would instead of your standard 4 piece gear sets. Would unlock some higher tier buffs. Making you feel like Johny fucking Rambo.
So as you’ve probably already gathered, everything you’ve grinded for the past 12 months was yet again as useful as an underwater hairdryer. So out with the old, in with the new, the grind was back on yet again..
The Division Patch 1.8
Patch 1.8 introduced West Side piers extension to the world map, inside had resistance missions, very much a carbon copy of Call of Duty Zombies. Where you would tackle waves of LMB, opening doors and seeing how long you can last.. for bang average rewards.
At least gear sets, weapons, talents and skills started to feel a lot more balanced at this point. It’s only 18 months into the game, no one will notice, if there’s anyone else left that is..
On a serious note, yes I do have some, the numbers started to pick up again, the game seemed to have turned a corner, it started to look like the game we wish we’d had at the start.
Division 1.8 felt like an apology to the community for the game’s poor showing up until this point and with an ill-tuned $40 season pass, I felt similar to Barcelona when Neymar left for PSG, betrayed!
The Division has certainly had more low points than high. The lowest point may be arguable, but the highest point is not. The Division’s high point is right now. Twenty-two months after launch, we’re finally getting a great game.
The Division 2 E3 2018
So moving forward to E3 2018. Ubisoft announce The Division 2 and there’s has been plenty to divulge. The Division coming to the end of its life cycle but who would have thought, the moment The Devs down tools, is the moment the divisions get fucking interesting.
So the Sleeper Agents in us have arisen in their numbers once again, taking to the streets of New York. Spurred on by the monthly shields the game is now busier than Times Square during rush hour. I now have a reason to grind the Dark Zone, legendary missions and all those mediocre expansions once again.
From the plague of Exploiters to those disappointing early add-ons things looked grim, but with some hard work from Massive, well I mean they could have threw the towel in like a beaten Apollo Creed but instead they carried on like a young Ivan Drago, we’ve finally got a great game.
With the prospect of The Division 2 on snow, can’t fucking wait until 15th March 2019!