The Division closed beta ended early Tuesday morning with an open beta reportedly on the horizon for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Ubisoft stated that it will address cheating occurring in the PC version of the game, but what else can be improved on from the beta experience? Let’s take a look.
More PVE encounters in the Dark Zone and Regular Map
There are times when you can walk through the Dark Zone and not encounter a single AI-controlled character for minutes. The same holds true in the non-Dark Zone areas, but at least there are side missions on the map that can point a player to encounters in the pure PVE area of the game. The biggest issue there is the time it takes to run to encounter point.
The same can’t be said of the Dark Zone, which led to memorizing possible spawn points. Even then the times between when AI-controlled characters spawned felt abnormally long. It’s unclear if Ubisoft plans to implement the same side mission system in the Dark Zone, but hopefully the spawn times can be tweaked.
The Dark Zone Rogue system in The Division helps create wonderfully tense moments in the game where players are unsure whether to trust others not in their group. It’s a superb blend of survival games like DayZ, but it could use some tweaking of how players are marked as Rogue Agents.
There were a couple of instances in my play-through where an opposing player shot first and mostly missed. Meanwhile, I would return fire and hit them. This caused me to pass whatever damage threshold is in the game and be designated as Rogue instead of the attacking player.
This puts players in an untenable situation where they will be forced to wait for another player to do enough damage to them before they can return fire.
Additionally, there were instances where firing at a Rogue Agent could result in stray bullets hitting another player running in front of or behind the target. Turning Rogue in this instance is
This will be a tough fix as Ubisoft has to figure out intent as well as damage. It may not be able to be done, but it will make the Dark Zone less frustrating.
Melee enemies should stagger when shot
Bad guys in hoodies wielding bats were the biggest annoyance during the one campaign mission available in The Division beta. They were an annoyance and not a challenge due to the fact there was zero reaction from them when shot and would continue to charge unimpeded.
By comparison, some gun-wielding opponents would do the “I’m getting shot” dance and have their ability to fire interrupted. Meanwhile, the bat-wielding hoodies can take players down in a couple of blows.
The Division would do well to borrow from Battlefield when it comes to LMGs. Their damage felt barely better than automatic rifles and they had the downside of higher recoil and less accuracy. Their main benefit in the mission was to suppress PVE enemies. That’s lost in the Dark Zone, however, which makes their utility there almost nil.
Tone down the bullet sponge
Yes, The Division is an RPG more than it is a shooter. The giant bullet sponge nature of even low-level enemies in PVE is off-putting though in a Tom Clancy-based world. This was especially true on hard difficulty during the mission with enemies holding even larger health pools.
It gives away the illusion of Division agents being badasses when street thugs take almost an entire clip or more to bring down while players themselves can be dropped after a couple of hits. Something that Destiny never does despite being full of different bullet sponges itself. Additionally, it creates a meta where entire squads will ultimately favor high-powered sniper rifles over the different classes of weapons.
What did you think could be improved from The Division closed beta? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Image via The Division]