The Division is a hot new title from Ubisoft that revolves around a big open world, AI enemies, and (of course) online players who could be friend or foe. The game centers on the idea that players will team up, backstab each other, and create interesting scenarios between organic factions. Most players will finish the “single player” aspect of the game quickly and head into an area called “Dark Zone.”
In this area players can shoot each other to become“rogue” agents and the more they do, the higher their bounty becomes. This creates an interesting environment where you are unsure if the stranger next to you is just using you to carry loot or genuinely helping you out. I really enjoyed this aspect during the beta, yet now that I’ve plowed through the main game there are some changes I desperately want.
Separate Level Areas (Cap Them)
You have many options on where to enter the Dark Zone. There are doors and vendors all around the entire zone, but it’s just that… a zone. There are separate areas for higher and lower levels, but the only thing that really changes is the enemy AI and loot. If you go into higher zones the enemies are harder, but the drops are way better.
In terms of PVP there is no changes and Ubisoft seems to be putting connection at the forefront of matchmaking, not so much skill or anything else. That means people better than you with better gear could be roaming around with you while you desperately try to level up and extract what little loot you can get your hands on.
My “fix” for this is to simply separate zones between higher and lower levels, and maybe a mid-section for “average” players. If you were to enter a lower level zone, your rank and gear would fall to top level of that designated zone. Say you are a level 30 and enter a level 1-13 zone, you’d decrease to 13 and be put on even playing ground.
I say make this change purely based off my beta experiences. I loved the beta and had a ton of a fun, rogues were not a big pain in the butt at all. The reason being it had a low level cap and everyone was on an even playing field. In the actual game people are so spread out it is hard to really stay within your boundaries without crossing someone higher than you.
Give Dark Zone A Purpose (Objectives, Capture the Loot)
Perhaps the biggest problem I have with Dark Zone is there’s no real purpose to it. You get nice drops from enemies and create a grind, but beyond that, it’s a fairly weak endgame without much motivation. There is no reason to risk your rank by killing random people, but if you get bored there’s not much else to do. Unlike the big PvE area, there just isn’t a reason to do anything beyond hoping for some loot drops.
Why not create missions within Dark Zone to create competitions? There could be loot drop races where 4 agents could potentially pick something up and run to a safe house or extraction zone with it. It would create a competition and potentially a reason to kill other agents so that you get the loot. There is also people going around with the idea of adding “cops” to the Dark Zone to put a little more pressure on Rogue’s, while adding a layer of protection to innocent agents.
I understand the developers didn’t really want a dedicated PvP area, like Destiny has, but it wouldn’t hurt to create at least some competition between players. It will add longevity to the game and give Dark Zone a little purpose.
Open PvE Area To Public
While reading forums I notice a lot of people simply asking if they could play a Dark Zone type area without dealing with rogues. Personally, I think it is a great idea but I don’t think changing Dark Zone is an option. The idea of Dark Zone was to create that potential risk, thus providing a bigger reward.
Instead they should take the PvE areas, aka everything not Dark Zone, and provide an option to turn public options on. As it stands only friends and people within your squad will show up on the map. If you divide too far you will end up leaving the group too. I think it would be cool to open it up, allow random people to play together all throughout the map. If you come across a PvE area filled with enemies it would be cool to have a random stranger pop up and start helping you out. This is what happens in Dark Zone and everyone seems to love that experience, so expanding it, but removing rogues, would be a great idea.
Buffer Zone In Entrance / Promote Loot
There seems to be a lot of camping in the entrance areas of Dark Zone. There is an option to leave the area and run to another entrance, but there’s no guarantee camping isn’t happening there too. There needs to be a buffer zone near entrances that either give you a power boost, or simply make you invincible.
Another reason for this is to prevent “rogue tagging.” As it stands if a rogue attacks you, you can’t exit since you “are in combat.” Instead of allowing that to happen there should be a buffer zone that basically signals “I give up” which allows you to exit without dying. If people are utilizing the zone to escape battles then people will stop camping near them, pushing firefights away from entrances and into a more centralized area.
Also, there really needs to be a better reason for killing other players. It shouldn’t be a swift decision to randomly want to go rogue, it should have a justified reason to it. If a player is carrying loot then a rogue player should be rewarded for it. They get the loot, they get XP, and there was a reason for their actions. Simply sweeping player’s that are not carrying loot, or giving a reason to be shot at, should yield less of a reward or no reward at all. Killing innocent players with no loot should also yield way higher bounty hits on the rogue’s head. Perhaps if a player does this enough then it sends all agents after them.
Run Forest, Run!
Honestly my biggest gripe about The Division is how long it takes to get anywhere. Even if a marker is right down the street, it takes forever to reach it. When you have to travel longer distances it becomes tiresome, and it’s an issue I had with the beta too.
You could head into safe zones and unlock a “fast” travel to those locations, but even that takes a good amount of time to load. Plus the trek getting to that location is a huge pain. At one point I caught myself running for a good 10 minutes then out of nowhere I ran into some NPC enemies above my rank, they obliterated me without warning, and I was stuck running all the way back from the respawn point.
This isn’t an issue that is exclusive to The Division as many games of this nature have this issue. However some games, like Dying Light, throw in a ton of stuff on your trek to keep you occupied. The Division has random pockets of enemies and that’s about it. Can we at least unlock a hoverboard or something so it doesn’t take forever to run from point A to point B?
Fortunately, The Division isn’t a broken game and for that we are thankful, but there are some improvements that could be made to keep players going. I feel these improvements, if addressed in any way, would be a good solution to the longevity of the game. If you peruse around with the game’s community there are plenty of players simply getting annoyed, or complaining about the same aspects of the game, which is how I compiled this list.
What are some changes or improvements you would like to see in The Division?