One of the best parts of Tom Clancy’s The Division, the player-versus-player area named the Dark Zone, may also house one of the game’s biggest longevity problems. It’s been less than a week since The Division was released into the wild, yet players are already questioning one of the game’s best features. And it might not be the hot air most associate with internet criticism.
In a post on the Division sub-Reddit, user ResolveHK posits The Division community with a dilemma, one that many high-level Dark Zone players are starting to experience. The basis of the argument is simple: players are refusing to go Rogue because as you progress in level, the risk versus the potential for reward are not even on the same playing field. The example put forth is simple: a level 30 Dark Zone player in The Division risks their DZ currency and DZ rank in order to potentially grab some high level gear off of an unsuspecting agent. However, if that rogue agent dies, the loss of DZ Rank and money are completely unbalanced versus the potential reward if they succeed. Some players have mentioned that if they die as a rogue agent, carrying say $300,000 in Dark Zone money, the stand to lose potentially around $92,000 of that upon death. On the flip side, they stand to only gain $1,700 DZ if they successfully complete the manhunt.
The issue is prominent because much of the tension that The Division wants you to feel is that at any given moment in the Dark Zone, a player nearby who was helping you a minute ago could turn their weapon on you to reap whatever reward you might have on offer. This, as Kotaku regaled during the beta, is one of The Division’s finest elements. Players are complaining about the mere fact that there is zero suspense in the Dark Zone offered by other players, simply because there is not enough reward to outweigh the risk of going rogue anymore. During the beta, rogue agents flooded The Division’s PVP area, making it one of the best experiences in its testing phase. However, at the moment, the only time anyone goes rogue is because another agent strayed haphazardly into the line of fire of another during an NPC firefight.
The Division players may have a reason to be concerned about the potential for PVP dying early on in the game’s life. The Dark Zone is meant to afford a no-holds-barred area where at any given moment you could come under fire from NPC or human allies alike. That suspense is all but nonexistent in its current form.
Some players have proposed ways to fix the issue, such as balancing out the gains and losses. No one is saying you shouldn’t have a risk involved — that’s part of the fun. However, the reward should be comparable to the risk. Ideas include offering more rewards for going rogue, less of a penalty for dying while rogue, markers on the contaminated loot bags for rogue players to determine of the risk of engaging other players is worth the end reward and so on.
Ubisoft has put a lot of stock into their newest entry in the Tom Clancy’s franchise. The Division has sold record numbers for Ubisoft, and The Division is clearly going to be around for a while. However, issues with end-game and PVP elements have doomed other franchises before, such as what was seen early on with BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic, or other MMOs like Age of Conan and Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. Hopefully, Ubisoft can inject some urgency and benefit for cultivating a true PVP community, otherwise The Division’s Dark Zone could end up being just another Player-versus-environment area within The Division’s Manhattan.
Playing The Division and have some thought about The Dark Zone? Sound off in the comments below.
[Images via Ubisoft Massive]