As we near March 8th, many of you are wondering what’s in-store for Tom Clancy’s The Division.
The third-person roleplaying shooter is one of the most talked-about games of 2016. If you’re planning on booting it up on Tuesday, there are a few things you ought to know – if you want to hit the ground running.
Following Black Friday, a smallpox pandemic (transmitted by virus-laced banknotes) ravages United States cities. The government collapses in five days – basic services fail, and without access to food or water, it’s chaos nationwide. You are a part of the Strategic Homeland Division (SHD), or The Division, for short. The SHD is a classified force of autonomous, stay-behind agents devoted to combat this chaos and restore order. The Division‘s motto is “Extremis Malis Extrema Remedia” – desperate times call for desperate measures.
And the times are desperate. People die in the streets of New York City, either from the virus, or one of the game’s many enemy factions, which include: Rikers (formerly prisoners of Rikers Island), Rioters, Cleaners (pyromaniacs with a penchant for setting things on fire), and The Last Man Battalion (a rogue military unit, hell-bent on restoring order at any cost). On the opposite of these groups is the JTF (Joint Task Force), comprised of police, firefighters, emergency responders, and the National Guard – or rather what’s left of them.
A Reddit dataminer, itsgamerdoc, has uncovered you’ll take part in 26 missions all over New York City and Brooklyn in an effort to turn things around.
In addition to battling non-player enemies (NPCs), The Division agents may have to face other players in the game’s Dark Zone – the area hit hardest by the pandemic. It’s also where the best gear can be found. But be warned, it’s only yours if you extract it, and other agents may try to take it from you.
The Game Details
The Division on Xbox One is approximately 32.5 GB in size, according to Xbox.com. It’s 29.8 GB for Playstation 4 players, while it requires 40 GB of space on PC, according to Steam. We also know a Day One patch is required to play the game. It’s not known how large the update is, but we do know it fixes a bunch of things. Either way, it will take some time to install the game on your console or PC.
On the topic of installation, if you preordered The Division digitally, you are currently able to preload the game (unless you’re in Japan). Servers for the game go online March 8th at 00:01 AM AEDT across all systems.
Interestingly, digital copies of The Division will be active at 12:01 AM EST on March 8th. This means if you get your physical disc early, you will be able to play earlier than those who bought the game digitally (AEDT is 16 hours ahead of EST). This method appears to be publisher Ubisoft’s method for avoiding server overload.
The Preorder Bonuses
Although lacking, The Division does have preorder bonuses. There’s still time to preorder if you have not already, so what’s on the table?
If you preorder The Division from any retailer, you’ll receive the “Haz-Mat Gear Set.” The set includes orange coverall-style pants and jacket with black ballistic vest, a beanie, a POF P416 weapon with weapon skin, and one backpack with a bonus resistance to viral damage.
If you spring for the Gold Edition ($100) or the Collectors Edition ($160), you also get the “National Guard Gear Set.” This set includes a jacket, pants, and cap (all styled after the US Army National Guard uniform), with a POF P416 weapon and thematic skin, and a backpack with a bonus to armor.
If you purchase the $40 Season Pass (included in the Gold Edition and Collectors Edition), you receive all preorder bonuses, plus the four freebie sets detailed below.
As part of a promotional effort with short films, Ubisoft is offering four free sets of gear to The Division‘s North American players. To obtain a code (only usable after the game’s launch), click here. When prompted to enter a code, enter “AGENTORIGINS” – and viola! The following gear will be granted to you.
- The New York Firefighter Gear Set consists of pants and jacket styled after those worn by the New York Fire Department, a themed black baseball cap, a Go-Bag with increased burn resilience, and a Super 90 shotgun.
- The Paramedic Gear Set consists of a paramedic themed baseball cap, jacket, and pants, a POF P416 assault rifle with a custom skin, and a Go-Bag with increased healing.
- The Police Gear Set consists of a black beanie, police themed jacket, and cargo pants, a M870 shotgun with custom skin, and a backpack with increased ammo capacity.
- The Hunter Gear Set consists of a light brown cargo pants, and boonie hat, with a hunter camouflage patterned jacket, a Super 90 shotgun, and a backpack.
Again, the code will only be redeemable after launch, so write it down. Ubisoft will also email it to you. In the meantime, you should watch the Agent Origin shorts – they’re pretty good.
If you were a Beta participant, and you have a Ubisoft Club account, visit the rewards page to claim rewards tied to your account. You can also spend Ubisoft Club points to unlock additional items.
The Season Pass
Like most modern games, The Division will get a Season Pass. Ubisoft recently made an announcement on what your $40 investment will get you.
- Expansion I “Underground” is coming in June. Players “will descend into the underbelly of New York to save what remains.” After being sent reeling by players, enemies of The Division are regrouping underground – hiding in the maze of tunnels and catacombs beneath The Big Apple.
- Expansion II “Survival” is slated for release sometime this summer. This expansion’s description reads, “Will you find enough essential supplies throughout New York to survive and secure high-tech equipment? or will you succumb like so many others to the temptation to turn Rogue?” It sounds like new loot and combat situations will be added in the Dark Zone – as well as more reasons to backstab your friends.
- Expansion III “Last Stand” arrives in winter. Players will face a “new threat” in the third expansion, “You and your squad must prepare to defend against a relentless foe. Recruit other agents and build your defenses to help you hold the line.” It sounds like The Division will be getting a tower-defense “Hoard Mode” with this addition.
All of this content is coming in 2016, in addition to free updates.
What’s On The Way
Though staying tight-lipped on a lot of details, Ubisoft has said what’s coming in The Division‘s first couple free updates.
- Update 1.1 “Incursions” hits in April, and includes the addition of “Incursions” – missions which have been developed specifically for squad play, a major strength of The Division‘s concept. The first Incursion “will pit you and your squad against a seemingly-unstoppable force, and will reward you with some powerful new weapons and equipment.” This update also includes support for loot trading.
- Update 1.2 “Conflict” releases in May, and “will change the way you play in the Dark Zone.” The update will also add a new Incursion in the iconic “Columbus Circle.”
There will undoubtedly be more updates to come, but this is all Ubisoft is prepared to release at the moment.
If you weren’t able to play The Division‘s Open or Closed Beta, you might not be familiar with some of the game’s subtleties. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
If you can’t view the video:
- The Division is a roleplaying game and shooter crossover. This means there’s more to the game than “shoot the other guy.” Your character inThe Division has three primary attributes: Firearms, Stamina, and Electronics. These attributes impact your damage per second with weapons (DPS), your health, and your skill power. Gear you equip has different attributes that boosts your Firearms, Stamina, and Electronics attributes. Not all gear is created equally, so take a close look at what it does – although one may offer more protection, it may lower your DPS. Additionally, better weapons have “Talents” that are unlocked when you meet certain primary attribute requirements. Let’s say a weapon has the “Brutal” Talent, which increases headshot damage by 10%, and this Talent unlocks at 197 Firearms rating. Unless your Firearms attribute is at or over 197, that Talent remains locked, and you do not receive the benefits.
- Mod your abilities. We weren’t able to do this in the Beta, but we know it’s important. Modding abilities can drastically alter them and make them way more powerful and useful. You should have a character build in mind before selecting these abilities (for example, will your character be a healer? a tank? a sniper?). In order to unlock these mods, you will have to improve your base’s Medical, Electronics, and Security wings. This means completing missions, so don’t spend all your time in the Dark Zone.
- Mod your gun. Learn the behavior of your gun and tailor it to your preferred playing style. Attachments can make a big difference, and vary wildly in their abilities. For example, if you prefer a stable gun – equip your weapon with mods that specifically increase the controllability of the gun. This means you might overlook a “superior” or “specialized” attachment in favor of a “standard” one – as long as it does what you want it to do. Pay close attention to scopes, too. Not only do they modify the gun’s characteristics, they may also change what it looks like when you use the zoom function while aiming down the sight. Long scopes provide the traditional “crosshair” view, while others like ACOGs just provide a little bit of zoom.
- Know your loot. This seems pretty basic, but it’s easy to get confused if you’re new to the world of RPGs. Loot on a scale of common to legendary in The Division runs: white, green, blue, purple, yellow.
- Learn how to fast travel. It can take a while to get from Point A to Point B in The Division if you don’t know how to fast travel. Check your map and select a major location or player to travel to, and follow the instructions on the screen to fast travel. Sadly, you can’t fast-travel to friends in the game’s Dark Zone, or the Dark Zone entrance, which makes walking there tedious.
- Help civilians in need. It’s a neat game mechanic, but it may also unlock something cool for your character. I’ve received paintjobs for weapons and cool pieces of clothing to customize my character, in exchange for a soda or medpack.
- Use consumables. They’re good for more than just handing out to the unfortunate citizens of New York: Canned Food increases healing effects on the player by 40% for 30 seconds. Energy Bars remove all negative status effects on the player and protects them from such effects for five seconds. Water increases the damage dealt to Elite enemies by 20% for 30 seconds. Soda reduces all cooldowns on skills by 30% for 30 seconds. Incendiary Bullets have a chance to light a target on fire, and last 30 seconds. Explosive Bullets have a chance to deal area of effect damage. These consumable are easy to overlook, so don’t forget about using them! They can make a big difference in tough fights.
- Customize your character’s appearance. Aside from the face generator in the beginning of the game, you also have the “Appearance” tab in the game menu. That’s where you can equip different clothing options to help your character stand out from the crowd. The Division is at its best when you take ownership of your Agent.
- Use emotes. You’re able to have your character perform an action in the game, such as a salute, jumping jacks, or a “surrender” emote. The latter may be particularly useful if you accidentally shoot another agent in the Dark Zone and go Rogue without meaning to. It basically gives you the option to beg forgiveness, though how effective such a gesture may be depends on who you shot.
- Party up. Join your friends on The Division. You can have a party of up to four players exploring and fighting in the Dark Zone. If you don’t have any friends online, try out the in-game matchmaking tool and test your luck with randoms. It’s dangerous to go alone.
- Watch your back. In The Division‘s Dark Zone, players can “go Rogue” and attack other players for their loot. It happened quite a bit in the Beta, and it may be a turn off for some people. I didn’t like getting my gear taken, but it was so rewarding to kill a rogue agent. Never forget that the person who helped you take out some enemies a minute ago, could turn their gun on you. That’s another reason to play The Division with friends – you watch their six – and they watch yours. It’s suicide to attack a group of four agents if you’re just one person.
Post-Launch and Bug Support
The Division will probably have a very busy launch. Ubisoft recently revealed 6.4 million players participated in the game’s Open Beta. Even though the developers have had some time to prepare, it’s still possible you may encounter issues.
You may want to bookmark these links, in the event you have a problem or need to report a bug early into the game’s launch:
- Official Ubisoft Support
- Official The Division Forums
- Game FAQs (yet to be updated from the Betas)
- The Division‘s Facebook page
- The Division‘s Twitter
We hope you found this information helpful. If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it on your social media pages, and leave us a comment below. We’ll see you in the Dark Zone.