the division

Official Site: The Division
Studio: Ubisoft
Launch Date: N/A
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic MMOTPS
Business Model: B2P (DLC)
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One

Ubisoft investor presentation highlights the profit benefits of ‘games as a service’

Have you wondered why it is Ubisoft is so dedicated to putting out a continual string of games as a service, even its ostensibly single-player offerings? Actually, as an MMO fan you probably haven’t wondered, but the latest investor presentation for the company makes it absolutely clear why this model is favored by the company. Specifically? Because it means money. So much money, for such a long time.

Ubisoft has found that games like The Division and The Crew wind up generating much more revenue over the long term, meaning that a yearly game released as a service makes a lot more money over the long term than simple single-player launches. Of course, long-time MMO fans are probably familiar with this principle, and it doesn’t exactly address the question of whether or not it produces better games. But if you needed confirmation, here it is.

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Toxicity roundup: Overwatch troll, Fortnite pro fired, Division modder ban, HOTS’s voice chat, and Twitch’s new anti-hate rules

When the toxicity topics just keep piling up in the news room and nobody wants to cover them, you get the Toxicity Roundup, your weekly report on who’s being a jerk in gaming this week! (We’re kidding. This is not really a thing. We don’t really want this to be a thing. Please don’t make this a thing.)

Let’s start with Overwatch. Kotaku has a report out on a stream sniper who was hassling popular streamer TimTheTatMan. The troll would show up in the streamer’s matches, refuse to play anything but Symmetra, and proceed to suck – meaning the team always lost. Apparently, TimTheTatMan wasn’t the only person this jerk had griefed. “To be clear this player is being banned, not for their hero choice, but rather for systematically ruining Overwatch games for thousands of players,” Blizzard wrote on Reddit. “We recognize that not finding this player faster is an unfortunate failure of our ever-developing reporting system and we’ve already taken steps to quickly eliminate outliers like this in the future.” So one down, how many more to go?

What else have we got here…

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The Division stocks up on gas masks for next week’s event

Need a stylish gas mask to cover that thing on your neck that could be charitably called a mug? Jump in to The Division next week for its Ambush global event to earn a new mask while pulling the world out of an apocalyptic disaster.

It’s interesting that several outlets are starting to tout this two-year-old game as getting its second wind. PC Gamer said that the recent 1.8 update “made it worth playing again,” pointing to the numerous activities that players can enjoy at the endgame. “In broad terms, The Division is in the best position it’s ever been, and it’s well worth easily sinking triple-digit hours into it if loot-shooters intrigue you,” the outlet said.

Echoing these thoughts is YouTuber Cleanprincegaming, who made the case that The Division has made an incredible comeback in terms of its quality and content from its messy and unfocused launch. Perhaps it’s time to check back in with this multiplayer shooter in 2018?

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Steam’s best-selling 2017 games include ARK, Warframe, and H1Z1

With 2017 officially over and done, Steam’s taking a moment to report on its best-selling games over the course of the whole year. While there are no specifics shared as to which title sold how many copies, Valve does roughly rank games according to overall sales.

In the “platinum” category are several familiar online titles, including ARK: Survival Evolved, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, H1Z1, Warframe, and Dota 2.

Moving down into “gold,” we find Elder Scrolls Online crowing happily. “Silver” sellers mark Conan Exiles, Black Desert Online, War Thunder, and Path of Exile among the third-tier titles. The list is rounded out with other MMOs and MOBAs like Paladins, Elite: Dangerous, and The Division.

Steam’s Winter Sale, which contains many of these games and more, is ending on January 4th.

Source: Steam

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One Shots: Hand over the presents or the reindeer gets it

Well, that escalated fast.

A showdown with a Santa Claus raid boss in The Division led to BalsBigBrother attempting an unorthodox tactic of threatening Donner or Blitzen (we can never tell the difference) with a headshot. A standoff ensued, during which police negotiators came out with hot chocolate and candy canes, and everyone declared it the best-tasting hostage situation ever.

“Gimme all your presents or the reindeer gets lead poisoning,” he shouted to the other side. “Heh just kidding; no reindeers were harmed in the taking of this screenshot.”

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The MMOs of the Steam winter 2017 sale

Another December, another Steam sale to entice you to spend money on games you don’t have time to play just to have them for a rainy day! Here’s a quick look at what’s on the list for MMO and survival sandbox players.

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The Division’s Patch 1.8 is coming this week with free game modes and map expansion

The Division’s long post-apocalyptic winter isn’t over, not by a long shot. This week, Update 1.8 arrives to bring a whole bunch of free goodies to the game’s community.

The crown jewel of the update is the addition of the West Side Piers, a new map zone that will host the Camp Clinton social hub and see enemy factions working together instead of separately.

Past the West Side Piers, Update 1.8 has quite a lot else for players to do. There’s the new PvE Resistence mode, skirmishes for small-scale PvP encounters, a revamped underground region, a new way to upgrade gear, and additional exotic weapons.

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LOTRO Legendarium: What the Amazon TV series means for Lord of the Rings Online

If you haven’t been paying attention to the television market over the past few years, you might have missed the fact that we are in the middle of a revolution of how shows are made and broadcast. Streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, HBO, Disney, and CBS are greenlighting all sorts of fantastic shows with the hopes of strengthening their audience and luring them to these pay-to-watch platforms.

Game of Thrones, Westworld, The Walking Dead, The Defenders, Star Trek Discovery, and Stranger Things are a few examples of how these companies are getting acclaim and major viewership with ambitious projects. Large amounts of money are being thrown around on both the licensing and production of these shows, and companies are frantically looking around for the next big hit. So while Disney is boldly announcing a Star Wars live action TV series, Amazon went to the fantasy equivalent and nabbed a little thing called Lord of the Rings.

Yes indeed. The big news from this past week was that Amazon bought the rights to produce a multi-season Lord of the Rings series. While the exact cost of this deal wasn’t revealed, industry experts estimate that it was somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 to $250 million. No small po-tay-toes any way you look at it. But what will this series mean for our beloved MMORPG? I have a few thoughts about that.

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Massively Overthinking: The state of early access, alpha, and beta ‘testing’ in the MMO genre

I remember years ago when then-Massively-columnist Rubi Bayer let loose with a blistering rant on the state of faux beta MMOs. She helmed Betawatch back then, see, and she was fed up with (mostly imported) MMOs claiming to be in beta when in fact they’d soft-launched. A lot of readers didn’t understand her fury at the time, but boy have things changed, right? Now, every game’s in on that very old trick, only they call it early access now, while some are still pushing the boundaries, charging $1000 for pre-alpha.

MOP reader Pepperzine proposed a topic for this week’s Massively Overthinking that’s right on point. “I was thinking it would be interesting if we could discuss when people consider a game to be in alpha/beta versus a final launch as a topic,” he wrote to us.

“Back in the day, this was easy to determine. Selective testers were extended invites into beta who were experienced testers who had the computer hardware to handle the software. The primary purpose of being in the testing phase was exactly that, to test and bug report. When the game was made available to the public at a price, a game was considered launched. Now, players are granted access to pre-launch titles by ‘donating’ or purchasing access. For the most part, the primary purpose of participating in the pre-launch experience for these players is not testing or bug reporting but rather to experience and play the game. The division of purchasing a game and donating to test has become so blurred that it is no longer a valid way of determining if a title is at a state to where it is launch ready. These titles can stay in this pre-launch phase for as long as they deem necessary, easily deflecting criticisms by reiterating it is still in development. So when do you consider a game to be launched? Is it when the producers declare it is? Is it when there is no longer the possibility of wipes? Is it when cash shop monetization is implemented? Is it as soon as the company begins selling access?”

Where’s the line in 2017? Let’s dig in.

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The Division is rolling out patch 1.8 for console testing

Console players eager to test out the next addition to The Division are finally getting the chance to do so… in small numbers. The game’s console test server has opened up, but while the PC server lets in anyone who wants to test, only a limited number of players are invited in for the console testing. If you’re not one of those lucky souls, well, you’re just out of luck and will have to wait for a full release to experience everything in patch 1.8.

You can, however, check out the patch notes for the test server on the official site either way. There are a lot more ways to get D-Tech now (even outside of the Dark Zone), bugs have been squashed, quality of life has been improved, new restock points have been added to the West Side Pier… you get the idea. There’s no assurance you’ll be able to test all of that on console, but it is coming.

Source: Official Site via VG24/7

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Massively Overthinking: What keeps you from playing mobile MMOs?

Earlier this week, we wrote about Black Desert developer Pearl Abyss’ IPO and its grand plans for the future – among them, four additional MMOs. Sounds great, right? Except that the suspicion, at least in our comments, is that Pearl Abyss will just follow in the footsteps of Nexon, NCsoft, and Netmarble in that the games will mobile MMOs and not “real” MMORPGs at all. That may or may not be true; the games have fairly fast turnaround for a full-scale MMORPG, but then the company talked up the BDO engine for future games and expressed great ambition in the MMORPG market in the west and on console.

But the suspicion seems to turn off so many of us — the stigma is real. So for today’s Overthinking, I wanted to dig into that. Do you play mobile MMOs, especially any of the modern crop that are popular in East Asia and then ported here? What keeps you from playing mobile MMOs, and what would you want out of an MMO for a mobile device that would actually make you consider it a home MMORPG?

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The Division is hosting a free weekend for PC players starting today

Let’s introduce you to Trab. Trab is a PC gamer who really enjoys shooting things, so he’s looking forward to some other shooter that recently released on consoles, with a PC release coming later. What is Trab going to do for this weekend? Perhaps he’s going to jump in and play The Division’s free weekend, which is happening this weekend from September 14th through the 17th. There’s lots of stuff to shoot there, and Trab won’t have to wait for a later PC release.

If you’re in the same boat as Trab or just want to try before you buy the game, you can start pre-loading the game now, so you’ll be all charged up when the free weekend kicks off. Your progress will be saved if you buy the game, and there’s even a 60% discount if you buy from Ubisoft directly during the free weekend. That seems like a pretty good deal for anyone with a need to shoot something on PC.

Source: Steam page

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The Division’s new patch 1.8 locations want you dead

Have you ever really wanted to get ganked by the AI in a game? That’s what you’ll be getting with the two new areas in The Division arriving with patch 1.8. Players traversing the West Side Piers will find enemies dynamically spawning along the zone, and the designers are bragging that it’ll at least seem like the game is trying to take you out specifically. Which probably sounds either awesome or awful, depending on how you feel about enemies popping up to shoot you from diverse angles.

You can check out all of that in the latest developer stream, archived just past the break. The new areas will also make Division Tech (previously available only in the Dark Zone) accessible to players within these wholly PvE regions, which should be welcome for those who don’t wish to have even the threat of actual ganking. Check out everything just below if you’re curious to see what it’s like by the harbor in the next patch.

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