The Division 2’s early access begins as Ubisoft details the living world endgame

    
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But seriously, what's Damien's deal this week?

Early access is officially underway for The Division 2 for preorder buyers ahead of the formal launch this weekend. If you’re in, you’re already skipping class and taking sick days from work to play to grind toward endgame. Everyone else gets to read about it because Ubisoft dropped another blog all right on topic. And yes, the studio’s still using the term “living world,” which means nothing to most gamers but probably makes MMO players’ eyebrows twitch ever so slightly.

“Our goal for the sequel was to create experiences for you as the player that would not only surprise you but also keep you coming back for more,” the studio explains. “To achieve this, we developed our ‘Living World Simulation’ – a series of rules that allow all activities and encounters in the open world to spawn systematically. Your open world adventures will be both unique and dynamic in The Division 2, encouraging travel and exploration as a result.”

Essentially, you’ll be operating as part of a faction controlling points, with AI that will determine what it does next – for example, “if a point is low on food, [it] will send scavengers out into the open world to gather resources,” thereby “[creating] an opportunity for other factions to eliminate the convoy and take the supplies to fit their own agenda.” And yes, as we noted last week, it’s not dissimilar to the way the vanilla Guild Wars 2 world map operates.

Take a peek at the whole blog on the official site, then get your countdown clocks ready. And your wallets, if you haven’t yet picked up the game and plan to; just don’t forget that after Friday, you won’t be able to get the game digitally anywhere but Ubisoft and the Epic Games Store.

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Danny Smith

I’ve heard a lot so far about just how dense the map is and how much there is to find if you explore which for me is a big deal in open world games. FFXIV’s Eureka Anemos for example was completely empty outside of mobs and fates to grind and while i have no problem with grinds a grind in a world with nothing to find and no reason to explore killed my interests. Its part of why i was iffy of Anthem -beyond all the good bioware staff having left years ago and them not having put out a good game since Mass Effect 2 that is- i was looking at the videos of anthem and thinking “boy that sure is more slightly grassy craggy valleys with a body of water in it. Again” and from what i’ve seen since outside of caves thats basically how they designed the entire map and exploration is kind of pointless so that was a hard pass for me.
Personally i liked walking around Manhattan in D1 and finding all those audio logs and echo files, true its the lazy mans way of adding worldbuilding and once i had that pointed out with Bioshock its kind of hard to unsee from a development standpoint, but in D1’s case it was cool to explore the underground subway system and find the actual audio recordings of an urban explorer that broke into manhattan thinking it would be a fun adventure till she ran into the last man battalion and found her escape routes closed. It made you want to find out what happened to these people even if it was often nothing good. If theres more stuff like that in D2 i’m interested at least.

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Bullet Teeth

I’ve been playing for several hours. Now I’ve been MERCILESSLY critical of this game leading up to launch. Especially with the Epic Store exclusivity and considering the original was the first game I put more than 100 hours into besides GW2.

I took a chance (which I NEVER do) with a little bit of my tax refund and bought into the Early Access.

I have to say, they COMPLETELY changed every complaint I’ve had with the BETAs that I could find. Even the Bullet-Spongeyness is gone. The pacing is fantastic, the environment is more “vertical” and exploration-friendly than New York ever was, and the amount of content & loot is MORE than you’ll ever need to level. The sound is great (the echos in enclosed spaces sounds so crisp now), the weapons pack the right amount of kick, the controls are smooth, and the missions are hilariously fun & varied compared to current-gen titles.

The game here may have just set the new standard for release. It’s not miles better than Anthem, it’s fucking atmospheres better. Even as a sequel of a game I LOVED, it’s decidedly better. A true sequel – No doubt about it. They truly took the current gaming industry, and their experience with the previous title as a lesson in what NOT to fucking do and delivered a near-perfect package right out of the gate. Have had no server issues / DCs / crashes. It’s been a positive & overall welcome experience to get what you paid for, for once.

ONLY complaint I have is the cover system is a bit of a touchy & finnicky thing now that they changed its mechanics. Need to get used to it.

Overall, this is a rocking experience.

UBISOFT: Good show!!

EDIT: The menus…the menus are fucking hideous though…I prefer the original’s menus by leaps & bounds. Sometimes simpler is better

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Blake

Completely agree with what you’ve stated. Loving it.

I’ve had one crash so far, going into Inventory–Clothing, but other than that it’s been smooth sailing.

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Mewmew

My game starts to run perfect and beautiful and after a while it’s running my hard drive too often, like there’s a memory leak issue or something. It’s not stressing my video card at all, it doesn’t kick the fan into high gear like it needs to when processing certain things and it starts to heat up, but it starts to run my hard drive too much and stutter me. It will run perfect for a while after starting so I have to keep quitting out and starting it up again.

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Blake

Yea I’m sure there are some leaks still hiding in the game. I’ve now had three crashes to desktop where I submitted my crash report. Even with that I’m still enjoying myself.

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angrakhan

So… this all sounds great except one thing I’d like to point out from the original game. The original game felt nice and tactical too until you hit end-game at the max difficulty setting. That’s when everything turns into a bullet-sponge. I’ll be highly surprised if the same isn’t true of The Division 2. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be buying this at some point, but I fully expect to be dumping a mag and a half worth of ammo into purple-bar bad guys at end game.

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Reht

Yes i expect it that to a certain extent. There are times when it feels a little bullet-spongey now but that’s with armored baddies. Take care of the armor and they go down pretty quick, the sponginess feels more meaningful that way. So far it still feels better, even doing the level 30 missions in the betas.

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Armsbend

I bought mine directly through Uplay. There is no reason to give valve any money for not doing anything. Give it all to the developer.

Dantos
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Dantos

I was looking at The Division 2 vs Anthem thread on the Anthem reddit… besides favoring basic gameplay differences no one is even trying to defend Anthem against it anymore, no one. It’s kind of surreal just how much the community over there seems to have just thrown their hands up in the air by this point.

Sadly I’m not in until Friday, but its all pre-loaded

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Random MMO fan

I haven’t played yet but game looks pretty good on streams. Seems like there’s a lot of content added compared to previous game.
And SkillUp seem to like it too, would be interesting to see his video (since his other ones were pretty accurate for the games I’ve played):

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A Dad Supreme

The fact that SkillUp, a guy who knows The Division as a franchise in and out/up and down and is a streamer who notoriously races to endgame so that he can focus more on builds and PvP content has played 8 hours and only gotten to level 9 is shocking. Especially when in Div 1 you could be Lev 9 in less than an hour.

That says a lot for anyone who likes PvE, because you can’t even get into the Dark Zone until Level 10 I believe.

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Reht

16 hours played and level 15 and that’s with the benefit of knowing quite a few of the missions from both betas. But yeah, the PvE is good so far. Some of the areas used in the missions are downright awesome, my favorite so far is the Air & Space Museum. They did a bang up job, so far…

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Sorenthaz

Unfortunately money’s tight so I’ll have to give it a bit more time before I jump in. Definitely interested in it though, looks like they took all the positive notes from Division 1 and expanded upon it, like a proper sequel (or expansion – hint hint, Blizzard) should.

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3dom

I’ll wait for DLC with human characters replacing the […] swamp apes. Hopefully, next time the devs will outsource character creation to Asian devs – unlike Western 3D modelers those know how to create non-ugly humans (just check out recently released Ring of Elysium shooter).

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Nathan Aldana

read: I want my womern to be busty yet waifish no matter how much photoshopping that requires irl

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

I want my womern to be busty yet waifish no matter how much photoshopping that requires irl

I mean, it’s a video game and many people don’t play those to continue experiencing the ugliness of real world ;-) I like my characters to also look attractive, regardless of how “realistic” it is or how many of such people are in real life.

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Indigo Salma

Well the presets do look ugly as fuck.
I’m really pissed off that they made the story characters so beautiful and we get the drug addicts ones. At least they added sliders, some of the faces can be turned into normal looking humans.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

Yeah I worked pretty hard to get a barely attractive person, to some she would be “average”. But at least she no longer looks like she’s been wrung through the wringer.

I was content about the looks I was able to make out of what they gave us until I got in game and started to look at some of the NPCs. I saw these extremely pretty faces on NPCs in the Theater place we’re sent out to right away. I’m looking at the faces wondering why we didn’t have the options to make our characters look like that.

I definitely don’t need a supermodel but darn these are some rough looking characters. And yet it’s following true to The Division 1 which was basically the same way (though they beat them up a bit more for this one).

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Ravven

Sigh…as soon as someone uses the acronym “SJW” in public, that’s all I need to know about them. I like attractive characters most of the time, but they don’t all have to look like underage plastic dolls with ginormous boobs.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

With enough tweaking of the sliders, you can make some fairly attractive looking characters. Not supermodel looking like in so many other games, but you can get them to be pretty decent if you play with the settings enough.

Going in the presets are pretty bad on most of them, though it depends on which race you’re creating. The caucasians here are the most ugly to start for sure. The other races have some okay starting points here and there.

The Division 1 was pretty much the same way, fairly ugly presets that you could tweak to get to slightly attractive if you worked on them.

This is all on the female side, I haven’t looked at the male options to know how they can look. From what I’ve seen in game they’re no supermodels either though :D

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Ravven

I liked my character in Division 1 – she definitely wasn’t a supermodel, but she had character and a good face. If she was trying to pick up the pieces after a cataclysmic event she wouldn’t have time for makeup and hair extensions, anyway. :D I play darker-skinned characters by preference, just because I think they look better.

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Dug From The Earth

cant justify the 40 dollars to start 3 days early, so ill be waiting until friday

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Greaterdivinity

Staying optimistic, if this one manages to go a few weeks without any major issues I’ll likely be picking it up.

RIP this POE league and my recently started playthrough of AC:OD if that’s the case, because I’m totally going hard on this if it launches in a solid state.

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Indigo Salma

Dam it, my paycheck day is on 16th …. they don’t transfer money in on weekends. So i have to wait till next week.

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Armsbend

It’s kind of fun feeling some genuine excitement and buzz around a release. Div2 seems to have more positive feelings surrounding it rather than negative. I pre-ordered this game – something I haven’t done in god knows how long!

Pumped for Friday (sorry I’m not filthy rich enough like all of you snobs who bought the super-duper edition)!

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A Dad Supreme

Yeah same. I’m ready for Friday as well (Standard PS4 Edition here).

I’m still messing with Anthem’s Colossus so I do have something to do in the meantime though. There is something inherently satisfying about emptying a full chain minigun into enemies while walking them down. People say it’s like Iron Man but I disagree.

Playing the Colossus is the closest thing that I’d imagine being a Warhammer soldier would actually be like. Hitting things with shields, absorbing great punishment from bosses, miniguns, rocket launchers, railgun, electric and cold arcs, and of course my go-to weapon of choice.. a flamethrower.

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Armsbend

jeez that one might need a nsfw tag :P

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Cypher

Gotta say, watching this gif makes me sad for what happened to the Dawn of War franchise :-(