Things are looking up for Ubisoft's young film division Ubisoft Motion Pictures, with Assassin's Creed representing one of the year's most anticipated movies and recent news that Tom Clancy's The Division is also being adapted into a big budget motion picture. Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain are already attached to star.
The Division was a record-breaking new intellectual property launch by Ubisoft and developer Ubisoft Massive when it released in March but it quickly fell off. A lack of end game content, an inexplicable focus on forcing users through even more of a repetitive grind, and a half-backed PvP mode made The Division something forgettable after a playthrough. And content add-ons have not helped at all, including the recently released first paid DLC, Underground, which simply isn't great.
With mounting negativity (see: Reddit) from the active online players, a "State of the Game" live stream session was hosted on Twitch.tv this morning by The Division community developer Hamish Bode to finally address the game's problems.
"There Are Issues With The Game Right Now"
After the introduction, Bode jumped right into it, echoing the sentiments that the still-loyal community has been boasting about for a while:
"There are issues with the game right now. You guys and us guys play the same game. We know because we still get shot in the face with like M870s and those sorts of things and it's frustrating. We totally get it."
Bode continued, explaining that they don't have a working solution available with the next maintenance update, as much as they - and everyone playing - would love that.
"So, with these big issues requiring big fixes we want to keep having this conversation over a period of time because that's what it's going to take."
"We Have A Lot of Work To Do. That's True."
The conversation went on, while responding to various live chat questions, to list some of the key issues that are being worked on:
- The current meta of the PvP game isn't fun, and balancing is required.
- The two biggest issues they think are scaling and the end game - when players hit level 30 the scaling becomes insane with the amount of ammo and reloads it takes to defeat NPCs.
- Players can be one-shot killed in high-level incursions or the Dark Zone 5 and 6 areas even if they are gear-capped. "That's not cool," says Bode.
- Solo play - issues with ammo and revives unavailable for players not grouped.
- Loot rewards are off and devs agree, weapon drops compound on scaling issues.
- Players feel there's lack of a real PvP space in The Division and the Dark Zone doesn't support it. It currently doesn't appropriately service PvE or PvP players.
- They want to make the underground areas more rewarding.
- Bugs regarding climbing ladders, using skills, or simple lag issues.
- They want to add a simple buy back option in case of accidental selling of loot to vendors.
- All weapons should be usable.
"You're Not Rewarded For the Investment Put Into Your Gear"
Fans in the chat were unsurprisingly demanding "shotgun nerfs" and requesting a "real PvP" mode instead of the weird, close range circle-running style the game forces in the Dark Zone. The latter is likely not something that will change since The Division is an RPG first, with large health numbers, instead of a tactical precision shooter like Ubisoft's other current Tom Clancy action game, Rainbow Six Siege.
The devs also want to find a way to add more difficulty levels on NPCs without simply increasing enemy healthy and damage output. They know they need to do something but it's not an easy fix. Again, the game design cannot support gunplay in the way a lot of players are demanding, which is exactly why in our review we straight up labeled The Division a "bad shooter." It's an RPG first but for PvP and advanced PvE, it doesn't support it well, not does it reward progression.
It's commendable the devs are making this all a priority over the next several weeks, and addressing it with transparency while interacting with fans directly. It's one of the great aspects of current-gen gaming and the advent of accessible and easy-to-use live streaming services like Twitch which has become a staple platform for most devs. They "agree with all of it" (their own words) when it comes to the game. They want to have "ownership" of the problem of their own game and their goal is to have everyone get what they want from the title.
It's only been a few months for The Division but with more content on the way, and title's biggest competitor, Destiny, getting a major new content expansion, it's crucial that Massive rights the ship, so to speak, to maintain or grow its dying player base. Even at E3, the expansion for The Division was arguably the least exciting element of Ubisoft's presentations and that shouldn't be given its place as a potential flagship franchise.
Tom Clancy's The Division is available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The Underground DLC is already available and up next is the Survival expansion.
Source: Ubisoft Massive