The Division - Strategic Preview

We take a closer look at skill trees and how to build character classes in The Division!

Jan. 7, 2016, 2:54 p.m. by Bryan Dawson

Ubisoft is a company that develops a lot of games that people anticipate for years. When Rainbow Six Siege was first announced there was huge buzz surrounding the title. However, after people got to play the game during the various beta periods, servers issues removed much of that anticipation. The final game is a solid and enjoyable shooter, but the server issues still progress even a month after launch. We’re sure Ubisoft will have these issues corrected before the first DLC drop, but it’s safe to say players weren’t exactly pleased.

The Division is another Ubisoft game that a lot of people are anticipating. So far the reactions are positive after people had time with the game at various events and during the Alpha test, but the mobile companion app has been canceled. Despite that small setback, there’s a lot to look forward to when it comes to The Division as it blend elements from Rainbow Six Siege, Destiny and a few other shooters. Let’s take a closer look at how people will be playing The Division when it releases in March.

Many people think of The Division as Ubisoft’s version of Destiny. It’s a shooter with MMO elements in which players must complete missions to earn experience points. These experience points can then be used to upgrade existing items and gear, or purchase new gear. Players will need to grind out missions in order to level up their characters to prepare for more difficult missions and battles against other players.

Speaking of PvP, while Destiny has the Crucible for player vs. player battles, The Division has the Dark Zone. There are a multitude of Dark Zone areas on the world map where players can enter. These areas are filled with high-end weaponry that you can only obtain by if you extract the weapons via helicopter. This may sound simple at first, but you’ll have to contest with others players when you enter the Dark Zone, and they’ll want the loot just as much as you.

You can go into combat and missions with other players on your team, but they can turn against you at any time and steal your loot. With the number of trolls there are in other games and just the internet in general, you’re better off running with a team of friends so you don’t have to worry about anyone betraying you. Don’t be surprised if you party with a stranger and they turn on you as soon as you come across some loot.

While Destiny and other MMO-type games have specific character classes, The Division has a more open system that allows players to adjust their skill sets and load outs as needed. The Base of Operations is where you can find any weaponry pulled out of the Dark Zone, adjust your skills and make other customizations. This basically serves as your primary game hub and you’ll likely be frequenting the area quite often.

There are three branches in the Base of Operations that have a direct impact on your missions and skill set. The Security Branch offers missions that increase the defenses of the city and allow you to unlock defensive skills. With these skills you can craft a character that works like a tank in an MMORPG. A character crafted around Security Branch skills will have more health and defensive abilities compared to other skill sets.

The Medical Branch is exactly what it sounds like. Completing missions in this branch of the Base of Operations allows you to unlock skills that heal and support the team. We don’t have exact details on the skills that will be available, but think of it like you would a support class in almost any other game. You’ll be able to heal and support your teammates in the middle of a fire fight if you focus your skill set on the Medical Branch.

In the Base of Operations, the final branch is Technology. If you want all the latest and most advanced weaponry and the high-tech gadgets and skills, this is the branch you should be focusing on. This is where a bulk of the drones and other high-tech weapons of destruction will come into play. A character focusing on Technology skills will essentially be the damage dealer of your group.

If we look at the various skill trees like classes in a tradition role-playing game, the Security Branch skills are for the tanking class so they can take as much damage as possible. The Technology Branch is for players looking to take on the DPS role, with skills and weaponry that will allow them to inflict as much damage as possible to the opposing team. Finally, the Medical Branch offers players the ability to become what is essentially a healer class supporting their team by replenishing health and making sure they stay in combat for as long as possible.

The Division beta should be coming up version soon, with the official release date set for March 8, 2016. We’ll have more on The Division for the release date, but for now feel free to check out our initial first look and how The Division compares to Destiny .