Today marks the end of The Division Beta, which Ubisoft extended by one day. Reactions have been mixed with some people thoroughly enjoying the brief look at Tom Clancy’s latest, and others feeling a bit disappointed. If you fell into the latter category, let’s take a moment to shine some light on what’s missing from The Division Beta, and what you should expect in the final version of the game when it releases on March 8, 2016.
While The Division has a heavy focus on the Dark Zone and multiplayer functionality (and that was one of the primary purposes of the Beta), players only got a small taste of the story missions. We covered the limited story missions in our guide last week, but expect the final game to have a much more robust story experience. You can still play through the story missions with a squad of up to four players, and that should be your focus when you first pick up or download the game on March 8.
Dark Zone is fun and you can get some pretty good loot there, but you won’t level up your character very much in the Dark Zone. All of the experience you gain in the Dark Zone goes toward your Dark Zone rank. While that rank is important, it’s equally important to level up your normal rank which is done by completing story missions and side missions outside of the Dark Zone. That aspect wasn’t present in the Beta, but it will be very important in the final release.
Skills, Talents, Perks and Mods
Due to the limited story mission availability, it was only possible to acquire limited skills and even fewer mods for those skills. In addition, there were no perks available at all. This limitation meant that gear was the primary differentiating factor between players. If you had better gear you inflicted more damage to enemies and stayed alive longer. Your level factored into this as well, but gear was a key component given the focus on the Dark Zone.
In the retail version of the game, players will have a large number of skills, talents, perks and mods that will offer a great deal of customization. This extends beyond simple appearance and into the abilities of your character. This is also where the class system comes into play that allows you to really customize how your character is individualized compared to everyone else playing the game.
You can unlock skills by completing missions and upgrading your base of operations. While you can only equip two base skills, you can alter these with additional mods. In addition, there are talents which activate when you perform a specific action such as using a medkit. You can have four of these equipped, along with a Signature Skill that requires a bit more to unlock, but gives you a third skill you can use.
Classes and Crafting
With the additional of a plethora of skills and mods comes the three main classes in The Division. Now, The Division doesn’t have a traditional class system that you might find in an RPG. We discussed how classes work in the past, but you basically have three different categories of skills and mods. You can pull skills from any of these three categories, with Medical offering healing and support skills, Tech offering skills that increase your damage output, and Security harboring skills that give you more defensive abilities and help you last longer in a fire fight.
You can take these skills and mix and match them to create very unique classes. For example, you may have noticed that many of the enemies in the Beta had what appeared to be an over-shield. You had to inflict enough damage to clear the over-shield before you started depleting an enemy’s health. You can gain that ability if you focus your attention on the Medical branch of skills. The Recovery Link Signature Skill allows you to overheal yourself and your allies beyond their maximum health.
For anyone who thought The Division Beta may have been lacking, keep in mind it was a multiplayer stress test. There’s a lot more to do in the final version of the game, and Prima Games will have considerably more coverage once the game has been released!