‘The Division’: ‘Marrying’ Together An MMORPG With A Tactical Shooter

Tom Clancy’s The Division is weeks away from release, and the hybrid action-MMORPG game is gaining popularity, with the second beta having taken on around 1.6 million players, most having spent about five hours at a time play testing it. This gave people time to explore the weapon types and equipment, gameplay, the Dark Zone, PvP, and more. It looks to be full of content with a rather involved character development tree allowing for great player engagement.

Although the content is fun and engaging, there could be a learning curve, and what better way to explore that curve than with The Division’s senior game designer Fredrik Thylander of Ubisoft Massive. He gives an explanation as to how they’ve married together the shooter/RPG hybrid nature of the game. Fredrik explained that although it’s a tactical shooter that Tom Clancy games are famous for, it also incorporates RPG elements as well, according to IGN.


Reddit user Miodec provided a web-based interactive medium to the Division’s skills, talents, and perk tree.

It was emphasized using fantasy RPG weapons as an example. For instance, Fredrik gave a comparison between a dagger versus a broadsword. He wanted to make sure that the different weapons in the game had their unique handling characteristics in how they feel. It was explained how Ubisoft wanted to have more than just a cosmetic difference to the weapons.

The Division’s weapon system is categorized by their “core mechanics.” There are six weapon types: light machine guns, assault rifles, sub-machine guns, marksman rifles, shotguns, and side arms.

Those that fall into the full-auto category tend to have their stats lend to their corresponding accuracy depending on how long they’re fired, recoil, and most characteristics associated with automatic weapons.

The marksman rifles tend to have a high-damage percentage rate when “rolling” for headshot damage in The Division, according to Fredrik, and this damage type is exclusive only to these weapons. Sub-machine guns have their extra critical strike bonuses, and side arms come with their own sub-categories. For instance, just like in real life, a revolver would have a different feel than a semi-automatic handgun.

The Division takes into account “making weapons feel new for a new RPG,” according to the IGN YouTube video.

Warning: Not safe for work, some video game violence.

Details have further explained acquiring more highly advanced or high-end weapons. For instance, a unique M-249 automatic weapon needs to focus on a certain amount of talent points per corresponding stamina, electronics, and firearms to unlock the “restored” or “ferocious” characteristics significant of the M-249.

This is where the RPG is “married” to the shooter aspect of the game comes into play, and it forces one to familiarize themselves with the potential of the chosen weapon.

Then there’s the Division’s weapons modification (mods) section for these items. While drawing a likeness to the fantasy-RPG aspect, Fredrik likened those pieces to that of enhancements for placement of gems or whatever token enchantment additions made to swords or armor. These are thought to be more supplemental items. For instance, a suppressor would silence the noise, resulting in a reduced sound detection distance, increased critical hits, and reduced threat situations in Division agent groups.


With all this said, The Division is kept in-line once again to the Tom Clancy namesake when it comes to tactical shooters. It looks like the developers are satisfied with the outcome of turning an intense firefight into a tactical and strategic fray between the enemy factions. It looks like they were able to keep a good balance between the two.

Tom Clancy’s The Division releases on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on March 8. It’ll be interesting to find out the evolution of these weapon types for each player.

[Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]