The Division 2's first year of content has been mapped out by Ubisoft in a statement released earlier today by the publisher. The Year 1 plan will feature at least five different instances of major new content, as well as eight different versions of a feature called Classified Assignments.
The Division 2 could be one of the biggest Ubisoft releases in the company's history. Developer Massive Entertainment has created a game that has managed to generate a lot of positive buzz in a short span of time, aided by beta signups and player totals that broke Ubisoft records. The game is slated to release on March 15, 2019, and will follow a first effort from the franchise that fell short of initial expectation before rebounding in a big way towards the end of its life span. Most fans saw the work Ubisoft did to mold the first iteration of the series into a better game, and are eagerly anticipating The Division 2, which seems primed to capitalize on all the lessons learn from its predecessor.
The Division 2's Year 1 content release will be available to all players, and is being described as following an "endgame-first philosophy." These content updates will include new Episodes, free major updates with additional narratives and missions, new PvP and PvE gameplay modes, and new specializations for Agents. The latter will also feature new signature weapons and skill trees, which should help keep the game fresh post-launch.
There is something of a catch, though: players with a season pass will still get more content, and they'll also get the free content faster. Those who purchase a The Division 2 season pass will receive all content updates a week before those without it, and will also gain access to the Classified Assignments, which sound as though they will be exclusive to those who own a season pass. There will also be exclusive cosmetics and additional in-game activities like bounties for those who spend the extra money.
Still, giving players the option to spend money for some additional but not vital story content isn't the worst approach, and all of the most important updates will be available to everyone. Here's a closer look at what to expect in The Division 2's Year 1 post-launch schedule:
- Tidal Basin, releasing shortly after launch, will reveal a new challenging stronghold held by the Black Tusks.
- Operation Dark Hours, also releasing soon after launch, will be the first 8-player raid in the history of The Division.
- Episode 1, D.C. Outskirts: Expeditions, releasing in Summer 2019, will take players to the surrounding areas of Washington to fight for the liberation of the city in two additional main missions, a new game mode to investigate the fate of a lost convoy, encountering unexpected threats along the way.
- Episode 2: Pentagon: The Last Castle, releasing in Autumn 2019, will have additional main missions, with players storming the Pentagon and unveil the secrets that hide beneath one of America’s most iconic locations
- Episode 3, releasing in Winter 2019 will close the first chapter of The Division 2 story and pave the way for more content to come.
Ultimately, The Division 2 looks like a game that is being built to address the concerns many fans have with the looter shooter genre - mainly a stale end-game and concerns over lack of consistent content between expansions. Whether that system works will be a discussion for later in 2019, but from an outsider's standpoint, it's the kind of thinking that could make The Division 2 one of the biggest games of the year, especially with many players finding Anthem unable to scratch the itch they have for looter shooters.