Ubisoft has been quiet about The Division 2 since E3 2018. However, in a recent blog post, developer Massive Entertainment popped back in to state that it hopes to drive home how much the core experience in The Division has changed while retaining its identity. Ubisoft is bringing about that change by altering how mods work, adding another weapon class, and more.
Massive stated that it was trying to make the gunplay more unique and satisfying than the original. According to Massive, every weapon type had to be rebuilt from the ground up to provide realism and depth to each combat encounter. Instead of each weapon essentially feeling like a bullet tube, Massive is aiming to make each class of weapon behave and feel unique in unto itself.
The Division 2 is adding a seventh weapon class: rifles. This new distinction acts as a catchall for semi-auto and burst-fire weapons, of which were previously considered an Assault Rifle or a Marksman Rifle. Although the previous categories of firearms exist in The Division 2, the result will bring about more refinements in the perk system and talent tree, giving additional specialization options for players.
The game is also changing how mods work. Previously found as drops that could be swapped between similar types of weapons, mods will now be available across all weapons once they are unlocked. The development team said it views mods as essential to the gameplay experience and making them more easily accessible across your entire arsenal. The revamped mod system will remove the randomization of stats, making the pros and cons of each option uniform for all players.
The blog post also touched on some changes to class specializations, exotic weapons, and grenades, but few specifics were shared.
When it was initially released, The Division did relatively well with critics but was met with harsh criticism from the gaming public, citing a lack of variety in gameplay, a lifeless world, and unimpressive gameplay. Massive Entertainment has helmed the series since its debut in 2016 and has been working to sway public opinion on the franchise. Fan feedback appears to have improved since the game’s release, while the three DLC expansions focused on mixing up the loot grind formula with new locations and a roguelike survival mode.
Earlier this year, Chadi El-Zibaoui, associate creative director of The Division 2, spoke with us about creating a more dynamic world for players to explore. Factions and control over resources (two elements that were present but didn’t precisely impact the gameplay or story of the first game) are said to play a more important role going forward.
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is set to release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on March 15, 2019.