Ubisoft has revealed some more details for how PvP will work in The Division 2 in a blog post over on The Division’s website. Players will be able to do battle in two forms of PvP in The Division 2, namely the Dark Zone and structured PvP.
There will be three Dark Zone’s in The Division 2—DZ East, South, and West—and each one will be a PvEvP area that drops players in with other human players and AI controlled enemies, working in the same way as the Dark Zone from The Division. Rogue status will work slightly different in The Division 2, though, as Ubisoft are introducing a three-tiered progression system, which works as follows:
- Rogue Status—This early stage in the Rogue loop is new to The Division 2, with a focus on theft and greed. Once Rogue, players see nearby opportunities to complete new Rogue actions—stealing other players’ loot, hijacking Supply drops, and cutting ropes to name a few. Performing any of these actions will toggle you Rogue. Here, the ultimate goal is gaining access to the Thieves Den—a hidden instance that houses vendors only accessible by Agents in this Rogue state. The entrance location varies and appears when you execute enough Rogue actions. After exiting the Den, players return to SHD status. If a player kills another player while in this new Rogue state, they will go Disavowed.
- Disavowed Status—This stage is the most familiar to fans of The Division. Killing players raises the attacking Agent’s disavowed level, and killing enough players raises the disavowed Agent’s status to Manhunt. SHD Agents can eliminate Disavowed Agents to claim their bounties.
- Manhunt Status—This is the final stage in the Rogue loop in which players have to clear their status at a SHD terminal in order to earn rewards. In The Division 2, you have a choice of three random terminals active in the Dark Zone to clear your Manhunt status. You also have the option to Increase Notoriety at any terminal, effectively raising your rewards but requiring you to cash-out at the next terminal. General terminal areas are visible on the mega-map for SHD agents while a Manhunt is active, but precise terminal locations are only revealed to the Manhunt player. This creates a cat-and-mouse style gameplay loop where SHD Agents can track down Manhunt Agents and attempt to claim their bounty.
Players will be matched together in the Dark Zone in two brackets. Firstly, players will be grouped by levels 1-10, 11-20, and 21-30, and will be normalized to the same power level. All players who have reached World Tier will be matched together seperately and will be normalized to the same World Tier. Players that are above the normalized power level will receive bonus stats to reward them for the time that they have invested.
If you’re more of a structured PvP kinda person then The Division 2 should have you covered with Conflict. Conflict is The Division 2’s structured PvP mode, and it will offer two game modes at launch – Skirmish and Domination. Skirmish acts as a traditional Team Deathmatch mode with each team having a limited number of respawns, once your team runs out of respawns then player death will result in elimination – the first team to wipe out the other team wins. The second game mode, Domination, works just like the Domination that we all know and love from Call of Duty, with teams doing battle for control of three objectives.
Boosts will also be available in both modes in the form of pre-placed supply crates that offer random team bonuses when activated, such as extra armour or extra damage for a limited time. These should act as another point of focus for teams to do battle over, as controlling supply drops will give your team a much higher chance of victory. Supply Drops will also be active in end-game structured PvP, this time providing Specialization Ammo. These supply drops will land on the map following an announcement that all players will receive, so expect players to suddenly make a rush for the drops when they land.
This time around, maps have been specifically designed for structured PvP. Because of this, maps will not be an accurate 1:1 visual representation of Washington D.C., as Ubisoft don’t want to “sacrifice PVP balance for authenticity”. Conflict will have three maps at launch, and they are as follows:
- Capitol Ruins—players will compete for control of this forest environment.
- Stadium—players fight in the urban streets and parking lots outside a baseball stadium.
- Georgetown—players battle for control over rooftop perches in this residential area covered in yellow powder contaminants.
Similarly, matchmaking in Conflict will also be done in two brackets. Players who have not reached World Tier and began end-game will be matched together and normalized to the same power level, and players who have reached World Tier will be matched together and normalized to the same World Tier. Ubisoft said that “normalization is active to reduce the peaks and valleys between players with high survivability and high damage output in organized PVP”, but minor stat advantages will still be available to players who have put a lot of hours into their builds.
Structured PvP will also feature skill-based matchmaking, with factors such as wins and losses playing a part in deciding who you’re matched up against. Players will have a PvP level that increases separately from Dark Zone level and character level.
Players will be delighted to hear that structured PvP will be available in The Division 2 at launch. Players of The Division had to wait almost a year for structured PvP to be introduced in the Last Stand expansion, with the Dark Zone being the only option before that. Including structured PvP straight out of the gate will offer players another way to experience the game and add some more variety for players.
PvP is often a difficult thing to pull off in loot and gear based shooters like The Division 2, and it gets particularly more awkward when there are two different types of PvP in play that act in completely different ways. Things like gear and level normalization are absolutely crucial or it becomes absolute hell for players who haven’t invested hundreds of hours, but it’s also important for people who have invested a lot of hours to feel like their investment was worth it. Hopefully Ubisoft manage to get it right straight out of the gate, but I’d expect various tweaks and balance patches throughout the early stages of The Division 2’s life.
The Division 2 launches on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on March 15th 2019.