6.4 million people propelled The Division’s beta to a new console record

    
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The Division set a record this weekend for the biggest beta in a new-brand, current-gen console game.

Ubisoft told blog readers today that more than 6.4 million people showed up to test the game during its open beta.

“On average, players spent around 5 hours as an activated sleeper agent journeying through The Division’s open world. The Dark Zone proved to be particularly popular, with players spending around 2-hours in the PVP zone, with almost 50% of agents turning Rogue in the process. Fun fact: over 63 309 800 contaminated items were successfully extracted out of the Dark Zone.”

The game is still scheduled for a March 8th launch on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

Source: Ubi.com
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wontgrowup
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Jack Kerras ihatevnecks cromahr Siphaed
But they are calling it an RPG; both on their live streams and interviews. Mostly to explain away the bullet spongyness of the enemies.

wontgrowup
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Ten10K
I feel you, I preordered BD and only logged in once over the CBT. Instead I was switching between Division and XCom 2 all weekend. BD was overpopulated so I couldn’t get a good feel for it, when it launches I will put more work into it. There are so many cool games hitting this year, I am not sure if there are enough hours in the day.

wontgrowup
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I played a bunch over the beta weekend, PC version.
The bit of story was thin but not bad, I am interested to see the whole story when game releases. They had a little agent origins live action short available on Amazon which was way better than it had any right being, definitely gave me a better understanding of the setting.
I am not a mandatory PVP sort of dude but Dark Zone open PVP kept me coming back. I basically spent my entire time running around killing NPC pods and working with or running from other players. There was no excessive ganking and the playerbase was self policing. If a squad goes rogue pretty much every other player in the general vicinity joins in a grand chase to hunt them down and kill them. You get whatever public DZ loot they had on them and a small cut of the DZ currency they had on them. It never strips you out completely, more like the death penalty from MMOs of old. You can go back to where you died to recover a bit of your loss but there are no corpse runs required.
The feature I want to see in more games is the proximity Voice chat. The ability to speak to people you are just passing by is really great. I even tried to plead for my life a few times, “I only have one shitty green don’t kill me!” ” I have a wife and kids!”. These words invariable fell on deaf ears but it was super immersive. I don’t usually partake of RP but with the local Voice chat I could see some great opportunities to just get in character and play it straight.
One session I was trucking around, finding no targets but then heard gunfire and yelling in the distance. Went to check it out and it was a couple of folks dealing with a big pod of baddies, one of them was in a downed state, Cleared a couple of dudes from a round him and popped the downed player back up and then cleared the rest and then we all head off in our own directions. Very organic.
I got a free copy with a Logitech keyboard but if hadn’t, after playing the open beta I would most likely get it just to see what it was like after hitting production servers.

Jack Kerras
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Jack Kerras

ihatevnecks Jack Kerras cromahr Siphaed I don’t really know about that.

I definitely agree that it shares more with Diablo or Destiny than it does with World of Warcraft, but I still think that making a hard-and-fast distinction between online RPGs of these types (ARPG or SWS) is a bit shaky.

Although I understand that player counts are extremely different, all the same mores apply, as I said above. A dumb design decision in Destiny will be a dumb thing in Diablo, World of Warcraft, and the Division, and the converse also applies in all these cases.

I resist the ‘is it an MMO’ argument specifically because it brings very little to the table; we have a basically atavistic urge to put things in boxes because we’re all primates and primates love that shit in a very deep-down part of our brains, but when you’re down to brass tacks, all these games have so much mechanical similarity that the only thing you can say to ‘it’s not an MMO’ is ‘yeah okay but who cares?’.  It’s like black sheep and white sheep; they both eat fuckin’ grass at the end of the day, even if they do have a very significant difference.

Also, I have put this question to many and gotten few good answers: in what way would a version of The Division with eighty or ninety people milling around between the Base of Operations and Madison Square Garden actually improve the experience?

It is surely not any more MMO than BF4, but BF4 shares few mechanical similarities; progression is near nonexistent and almost totally horizontal beyond the first few games, no option to fight against hordes of weaker CPU enemies exists, etc., and therefore BF4 is a very different game from The Division.  TD takes much more of its DNA from WoW or even a more recent and more instance-heavy always-online game like Diablo or Skyforge than it does from BF4.

So… what makes ‘not an MMO’ such an important distinction, when the design mores underlying the whole thing remain so closely connected?

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ihatevnecks

Jack Kerras ihatevnecks cromahr Siphaed Problem is, the game shares more in common with ARPGs like Diablo than it does an MMO. Single player by default loot pinata enemies with light RPG elements, with optional invite-only/small group co-op and larger group lobbies. They’re not calling it an MMO because, quite simply, it’s not an MMO. It’s no more Massively Multiplayer than Battlefield, CoD, or Diablo.

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Jack Kerras Sorenthaz deekay_zero DeadlyAccurate Exactly.  I personally like the idea of a run and gun style to it as it’d require decent knowledge of map layouts and knowing which routes to escape and evade players with.  But then eventually players/groups could coordinate to pincer rogues and whatnot.  It’s a really interesting mode that has a lot of strategic value to it, and reminds me of Kane and Lynch’s Fragile Alliance stuff where you could backstab your teammates but you’d have to do it in a way where you effectively can win a 1v3 (often by blasting someone in the head when they least expect it, then throwing a well-timed grenade to make it a 1v1 or kill the remaining two in the explosion).   It’s not something you can just do willy-nilly.

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Jack Kerras That’s why I lived in lowsec. ;-)
I do see some issues Ubisoft needs to work through to keep the Dark Zone from turning into a griefer’s paradise. Sunday night, we ran into the zone and a group of four immediately surrounded my husband, calling him homophobic names* and making it impossible for him to move. As far as we could tell, he was trapped. (Maybe you can roll out? We didn’t think about it at the time). 

A couple others I’ve seen/heard about: 

Walking in front of your turret/gunfire to force you into a rogue state so they can attack you.
If you’re in combat, you can’t exit the zone. There was a situation where I guy sat on a roof near an exit and pinged anyone trying to leave. He caused so little damage his rogue time was only a few seconds long, but it prevent the guy from leaving. 
*And that’s when he learned why the first thing I do in these games is turn off localized chat. He found he enjoyed the game much more when he did the same.

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DeadlyAccurate I’m pretty sure that the Dark Zone is as good as you make it.  If you’re inclined to feel a pleasant sort of tension when you’re carting a load of good gear back to a highly-populated area for extraction, then you’re probably going to like the Dark Zone.  There’s not a whole lot of content there; there are some encounters, and apparently roaming NPC squads and higher populations will be in the full version, but the real content there is the other players.

Very much like nullsec space in EVE, there’s not a whole lot out there, but it’s also kinda the Wild West; shit can go sideways pretty fast, and it’s crazy to carry valuable things around for long.  I’d imagine that big fights far from extraction zones or deep warrens full of bad guys and loot that aren’t right near the LZ are going to be more and more common as you get to the higher DZ levels… that’s how I’d do it if I were a world designer on the thing.  Maybe I’m wrong; lord knows enough games consider ‘difficulty’ a simple matter of cranking the numbers up super high (sup Diablo).

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Strangepowers I would imagine that this number represents total unique logins across all platforms rather than actual concurrency, although within a two-day period, it’s not that insane to think of a brand new AAA getting an unusually high rate of concurrency.

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Jack Kerras

Nordavind What’s interesting to me is that there are must-not-haves also, and loot-dropping PvP is one of those things.  I am kinda amazed a game with lootable PvP is coming out of a triple-A game developer with a triple-a budget.

It is -wonderful-, but it has been decided for many years that it is a proven non-seller.  I hope their modifications, adjustments, and etc. make the playerbase happier than… y’know, Darkfall.