1. #1

    Why I Don't See Myself Buying This Game

    Let me start off by saying I'm not here to rant or cause flame wars, nor do I want to come across as entitled, self-centered, or anything like that. I'm merely sharing my opinion because I like doing that with fellow gamers. If you're not interested in whether or not I buy this game, feel free to click away.

    With that out of the way, I just want to say that the beta may have single-handedly swayed me from buying this game. I was a huge fan of the first game (I mostly quit after Year 1, but did play well over 1k hours). I even bought and enjoyed the companion survival guide. I'm looking forward to the potential movie set in the universe. The Division is easily the most flawed game I've ever truly loved and been passionate. Despite its many bugs and balancing issues, I was deep into that game, researching builds, running high-level missions, going into the DZ with friends, staying up late playing Survival, unlocking all the Underground rewards, you name it. So naturally, I was super excited about the sequel, and eagerly awaited the beta like many others. Then I played it.

    My first impressions were honestly pretty good. There are some really great improvements from the first game. I think the balancing is going to be drastically better just as a side effect of the overall narrowing of the power gap and the way the gear system has been redesigned from the ground up. The LZ has so many great new side activities to keep PvE players busy. The settlement system with all its little intricacies is a very welcome departure from the usual cut-and-paste Ubisoft side mission checklist formula. The game is still gorgeous to look at. Really, there's a lot to like in this game.

    But Ubisoft and Massive seem to repeating one key mistake that their competitors have made time and time again at great cost: they haven't really resolved the key issues of the previous game to a satisfactory degree in order to justify an entirely new game. Sound familiar? Bungie came out with Destiny, people complained for a year that it was seriously lacking in good end-game content, and then they finally got their butts into gear and fixed it. EA kept pushing micro transactions and loot boxes harder and harder until they went straight over the tipping point and forced a bunch of countries to start passing legislation. With The Division, Massive took well over a year to really flesh out the game, and even then, it never really reached its full potential, not to mention the vast majority of the player base never even got to experience all of the positive changes, because they came so late after launch. So going in to the second game, I REALLY REALLY EXPECTED to at least have most, if not all, of the core issues resolved. Balancing is a big one, and they seem to have done a great job addressing that. But when it comes to technical bugs, it's absolutely unforgivable that many of the same bugs we've had since the alpha days of the first game are not only back, but worse than ever! I mean seriously, I don't care how hard or complex the audio drop issues are; Massive and Ubisoft NEEDED to have AT LEAST THAT sorted out in order to justify a new sequel. I mean, what's next, I have to blow on my Blu-Ray every so often like an old NES cartridge to keep the game running? I'm not going to keep buying game after game with the same CRITICAL bugs. I'm okay with the odd disconnect or lag spike every so often due to server load, because obviously, those things are impossible to eliminate 100%, and very difficult to debug. But the audio issue in particular was just a slap in the face. As someone who has invested a lot of time and money into the first game, I really was not ready to have my audio constantly cutting out again, and it made me sad because I knew from the previous game that it only meant a crash was imminent.

    Another way in which this game kind of fails is that it just doesn't capture the same magic as the setting of the first one. Does DC look amazing? Yes, I think it looks even better than snowy NYC. Are the factions cool and interesting. Individually, yes, they aren't bad at all. But they just don't all blend together as coherently as they did in the original. The Rikers made sense. The Cleaners made sense. The LMB made sense. The back story about how the virus was released was a great foundation for a chilling and terrifying world. Suicide hyenas with grenade launchers? Ninjas with bows? A government "cure" gone wrong that created an even worse DZ? This is supposed to be Tom Clancy's The Division, not Marvel's The Division. It sometimes feels like I'm watching another Avengers movie (and just to clarify, that's a very bad thing for me; I know it needed to be stated explicitly because a lot of people obviously watch those movies, but I can barely stomach the thought of them). This world is almost borderline silly. Heck, even the guy who gives you the first mission in the base seems to be kind of joking around with his plastic toys. I concede that what we saw in the beta was an extremely small slice of the overall world that we will get to experience, but it was not very reassuring.

    And one last thing: while I think people are kind of exaggerating the degree to which movement was ripped out of Ghost Recon: Wildlands, I think it's pretty obvious that the movement does feel quite different from the original game. The fact that Massive thought it was higher priority to change what was arguably one of the best feeling and most well-received parts of the first game than to fix borderline painful audio issues shows how poorly managed this game's development was. I don't mean to take away from the hard work of the technical developers themselves, as this game is clearly the culmination of many thousands of man hours from passionate game developers. But the high level management definitely screwed up somewhere. In trying to check things off a list, they lost some of that special magic that separates the good from the best. When you think back on your favorite games of all time, they're almost never perfect in an objective sense; it's the soft things, the things that are slightly harder to quantify, like how a particular soundtrack made you feel, or the memorable feeling of a single weapon. The Division had that kind of magic in spades. Judging from the beta, it has almost none of that. Instead, it feels like a game that was made just to get another game on the market, business as usual. I'm sure marketing will highlight all kinds of improvements. But really, you lost me at *crackle ceaksdmaowim iailefm eflpafmdsifpaenrgp aowiuenr...f.a39.ka2.a3.....=.=9k.=9k=9 (GAME CRASHES).
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  2. #2
    DeMizeFPS's Avatar Senior Member
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    Oct 2016
    Well said.
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