Box art - The Division 2

The Division 2 Dark Zones – What do we know about The Division 2 Dark Zones?

While The Division 2 looks set to give players a lot more to deal with when it comes to getting Washington DC back into working order (insert funny political joke here), one aspect of the game that we’re still waiting to hear a bit more about are the game’s Dark Zones. Information has been pretty sparse on what we can expect from The Division 2 Dark Zones but we gathered everything you need to know. So continue on and see what’s in store for you in The Division 2‘s Dark Zones.

The Division 2 Dark Zones – How many will there be?

The Division 2 Dark Zones - Dark Zones map

According to details from a Creator’s Event in December, there will be three Dark Zones for The Division 2, with zones popping up in the east, west, and south of the game’s map.

Each of these Dark Zones caters to a different style of combat, with the eastern zone designed around sprawling governmental building that suit long-range weaponry, so make sure you’ve got a decent Sniper Rifle, or at the very least an Assault Rifle with a scope. The southern Dark Zone is the smallest of the three, with a compact play area that favors close-combat weapons, meaning those of you who are surgeons with a Shotgun or enjoy wildly spraying bullets with an Automatic Rifle will feel right at home here. You might have already guessed what the western Dark Zone will be; it’s designed in two parts which are separated by a canal, favoring mid-range weaponry. We’re guessing that the western Dark Zone will act as a melting pot for all play styles, while the southern and eastern Dark Zones will attract players looking for players with a similar loadout to them.

It’s worth pointing out that story missions in The Division 2 will have players exploring each Dark Zone. The missions will give you the chance to go out and explore the layout of each Zone without the fear of being shot repeatedly by higher-level players. Once you’ve finished these story missions, you be able to return to each Dark Zone, though you should make sure that you’re at a fairly high level with a loadout that suits the type of Zone you’re going into. Players can go into the Dark Zones solo, though they’re designed with squads in mind and will try to match solo players together to give you a better chance of survival.

The Division 2 Dark Zones – What is Normalization?

The Division 2 Dark Zones - Dark Zone Normalization

The Dark Zones are areas typically reserved for players with a high level but anyone can enter them. To give the Dark Zones something close to a level playing field, Normalization means that all weapons and armor that players have equipped revert to a base level. That means all armor has the same defense level and all weapons deal the same damage.

Every now and then one of the Dark Zones will switch to an “Occupied State.” When this happens, your armor and weapons will work at their normal damage output levels. So, if you’re rocking up to a Dark Zone in an Occupied State with only a white t-shirt and a pistol, you might want to go home and wait for things to settle down.

The Division 2 Dark Zones – How does PvP work in The Division 2 Dark Zones?

The Division 2 Dark Zones - Dark Zone PvP

One of the attractions of the Dark Zones in the original game was, well, mostly the beanie hats, but also the chance to play some PvP matches. While there will be a lot for squads of players to do on the PvE side of things, the Dark Zones have a few special rules that make it the go-to place for players looking for a real challenge from other Agents.

PvP modes in the Dark Zone are now run in Zones separate from the main game, with a Capture the Flag mode returning from the first game. The Division 2 will also get a new game mode in “Conflict” which is being described as a more volatile version of the Skirmish matches. Conflict will have players fighting it out in a Team Deathmatch where close combat looks set to be the dominating play style, and PvP modes will also feature a progression system, where the rewards that players get can also be transferred to the main game.