My friends and I absolutely loved The Division 2. I bought the hundred dollar version when it was releasing (take a moment to finish laughing at me before continuing). We played it for countless hours, the story/leveling up was a ball, and it had a pretty solid endgame on release with world tiers and tons of activities.
Then I hit cap on my gear score and the issues started to show their ugly little heads. Mostly the insanely large amount of random number generation (RNG). Need gloves? You have to play every activity hoping you get lucky and get a gloves drop, that they are actually a higher level than your current gloves, and that they have better stats. It was RNG on RNG stacked on RNG. there have been little fixes here and there to help out but overall it had a huge retention issue with players and mostly because of the endgame gear grind.
Now suddenly they’ve announced Warlords of New York and wow, it fixes all the issues! Better ways to compare loot and save good rolls, a new system similar to paragon levels in Diablo III, a new level cap, and brand new areas to explore. It’s a solid expansion with pretty good content and fixes. So why does it piss me off?
I wanna start by saying the year one content drops in The Division 2 have been kind of pathetic. Yes, we got the raid and some new activities here and there along with the new specializations but really nothing that compares with most other games as a service.
I will give them credit that all the content was free. You could pay to avoid some hoops but none of it was completely locked behind a paywall so that was a good thing. But then again, they promised free content from the beginning, so even then I’m just giving them props for not being liars.
But compare most of it to other games of the type like Destiny 2 or even Path of Exile. They have constant updates with new activities, level caps, gear etc., some of it paid and some free, which keeps the games fresh. To put it plainly, The Division 2 never offered me a reason to come back.
Warlords of New York seems to have plenty of content, however. A new location with New York, the setting of the original Division, new missions, new factions to fight. They finally seem to understand that it takes actual new content to get people to return and not just little tweaks to already existing activities and minor missions you can beat in one sitting.
Warlords of New York also seems to finally fix the gear and endgame issues The Division 2 suffered from in a lot of ways. There’s no way to know without a proper play-through how good the endgame is but the developers seem to have took complaints to heart. The level cap is up to 40 along with additional power you can acquire with excess SHD tech. Always having something to work towards is the key to this type of looter shooter and that alone gives you extra carrot to the stick.
Also the loot fixes seem to be legitimately good. You can now tell which piece of gear is better much easier, thanks to a new system that shows you at a glance which has the higher percentage on stats. The old system was a confusing mess of digging into menus and doing math. Now you can easily see which piece fits your build. Plus the new “God Roll” system that has the ability to get a perfect piece of gear and be able to easily see what stars are maxed out with a new “gilded” visual so it stands out. Not to mention that you can actually save the good stat and move it to another piece of equipment with the new re-roll set up they’ve added, removing a good bit of the frustrating randomness of the gear game.
I’m sure this includes many needed bug fixes and balancing changes as well.
So…Why Am I Mad?
“Well John, it sounds awesome. Why are you mad? Why don’t you want The Division 2 to be good?” I’ll tell you why. All this costs thirty dollars. It’s not the fact that it costs money alone, I bought the most expensive edition so I am willing to spend on a product that’s worth it, it’s the fact that for the first year, all these glaring issues barely got touched and that no effort worth mentioning even got attempted in order to bring back lapsed players and the reason is obvious. Because they promised that year 1 stuff would be free. I truly think they withheld content and fixes over to the second year in order to keep their promise of a free first year and still be able to charge for the first substantial drop in the game’s life span.
Maybe some of the fixes with gear and systems and bug fixes will be free. Great, you know what isn’t free? The new level cap and content. So what do I have to work towards if I don’t buy the new DLC? Nothing. The new gear means nothing if I’m making sideways upgrades. It’s as cynical an announcement for a game I’ve seen in a while. Do I have proof they withheld it for this drop? No, but the subreddit has been openly complaining about all these issues for a year with no signs of major changes until now.
To add insult to injury it looks as if people like me who paid thirty extra dollars a year ago don’t get the DLC. I would be ok with everyone getting the gear changes and level cap raise for free, even those who paid the base price, and the new campaign and areas being locked behind the paywall but for everyone to need to pay seems wrong to me. Furthermore, outside the campaign missions, there’s no talk of other activities.
No new raid, nothing like that. Did they also hold back the vital fixes to make this seem more substantial? I can’t say for sure but I can say this, I’m not a fan.
Are you excited for the new expansion? Am I right or just cheap? Let us know.
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