Ubisoft revealed today all the content in store for The Division from launch until the end of 2016. This includes free updates as well as paid expansions that are included in the season pass, or sold separately.
The Division already seems not-too-far-off from an MMO, just one that’s much smaller scale and mostly instanced. Still, continued content was to be expected. We’ve known for a while now that The Division would to see updates after the game was out (what AAA game these days doesn’t?) but now we have a good idea what’s in store. It’s worth noting, however, that there’s a deal with Microsoft for the Xbox One to receive the DLC first. It’s unclear if that includes all DLC, both paid and free updates, or if it’s just the expansions. I’m wagering it’s just the paid expansions, though, because I’m an optimist.
In April, we’ll see the Incursions update. That “will add an endgame activity designed for squad play, challenging teams of four players to face nigh-unstoppable enemies for high-level loot. Also coming with the Incursions update is loot trading. Players in the same squad will be able to trade loot that’s collected during their co-op game session.”
If I had to guess, incursions will likely be some sort of high-end dungeon, where complaints about bullet-spongey enemies will reach an all time high. At least until you’ve grinded for loot at least two tiers higher than the gear you currently have equipped, in which case you’ll breeze through it and complain about how boring the game is. Trading is also really nice, games like like this are likely to build a pretty big trading community around them. It’s a little disappointing it won’t be in the game at launch, but April won’t be too long of a wait.
The 2nd free update, dubbed the Conflict update, will come in May and will add “new Dark Zone feature and an incursion into New York’s Columbus Circle.” What a new Dark Zone feature might be, well it’s a little unclear. That’s probably because even Ubisoft and Massive don’t have it quite figured out yet. Or at least not figured out to such an extent they feel like sharing with the rest of us. They may also be waiting to see how players take to the Dark Zone and react accordingly.
As if two free updates in two months wasn’t already threatening to smother players under the weight of new content, the paid expansions start the following month, in June. The first of those is dubbed Underground and “will send you to hunt enemies in the vast mazes of tunnels and subways that run under Manhattan. Underground will be followed by Survival later in the summer, which will challenge you to survive for as long as possible in a very hostile environment while gathering supplies and equipment. Finally, Last Stand will arrive along with winter, challenging players with a new, relentless threat.”
It’s not clear when or if any free content or other updates will be released in the months between these paid expansions, but if Ubisoft has any intention of going the Destiny route, which they most definitely appear to be headed toward, then they’d be silly not to keep their ravenous hordes of Division players fed.
On top of that, all this content is referred to as Year One, which can only imply years two through infinity (and beyond).
Ubisoft even has a Year One content trailer to show you how serious they are about continuing to inject content life into The Division.
Best case scenario, The Division starts out strong and only gets better. Or it can start off poorly and improve dramatically over the next year, or it can start off poor, stay poor, and only its fleas will mourn it.
The truth is probably some weird amalgamation of all those options.
And it’s less than a week now before the flood gates open.