The Division 2 Has A Big Surprise Ready For The Endgame
Since its debut at E3 2018, the developers behind the The Division 2 have focused on the sequel's endgame. It's a recurring topic for many online looter-shooters such as Destiny and Anthem, as it's often seen as the make-or-break point for a game's long term success. That's something the developers of the original Division know all too well. Players who finished its vanilla campaign inevitably hit a slump, leading to a repetitive cycle. Ubisoft eventually overhauled much of the game's mechanics and added in new encounters--leading to an impressive post-launch life for The Division. However, many players still burned out by the original release missed out on the revival once other games came around.
With the sequel, Ubisoft is taking steps to ensure that it won't fall into the same traps as the original, while also giving the campaign a greater sense of purpose. We recently spent some time getting an early look at the game's upcoming private beta--playable February 7-10--which offers a tease for what's to come in the early hours of the campaign and the late-game content that follows. After you've established yourself in The Division 2's turbulent setting of post-outbreak Washington D.C. during the campaign, things take a more chaotic turn after the conclusion, forcing you to defend what you've built up in the expanded endgame.
During this event, the developers spent some time reflecting on what they learned from the original game and detailed their approach in the sequel.
"One of the biggest things for The Division 2 is the importance of the endgame and our focus on it," said creative director Julian Gerighty. "We launched The Division 1 with very little in terms of endgame content. It was a great campaign, you reached level 30, the endgame started, but it was lacking in activities. We were trying to operate this live game, yet we saw things that weren't working out for the long term. That's why a very tough decision was made before patch 1.4, which was to stop the development on all of the planned features and the DLCs to be able to focus on the technological debt and on the improvements to get the game to where we wanted it to be. That all fed into how we've set up The Division 2 production-wise, creatively as well."
The Division 1 is a vastly different game now than it was at launch, and all for the better. That second wind is something that the developers wanted to carry over into the sequel, which they did in a few important ways. For starters, The Division 2 will incorporate much of the existing game's content from the post-launch updates, which includes update 1.2's bounties, 1.4's world tiers, 1.6's exotic weapons, and 1.8's PvP arena. These features will also be available for all players at launch, and future DLCs for the first year will be free. This is not only to stay consistent with the current game's flow and meta but also to ensure that the community would stay engaged.
With the new game, there also comes a fresh start for all players. Whereas the original was set in Manhattan, Division 2 brings a new set of agents to the nation's capital, which introduces new systems and world events that occur in the field--presenting more moments and opportunities to leave a large footprint. At the beginning of the demo, our first mission was to retake the White House from one of the opposing factions, which becomes your base of operations soon after.
Over the course of the campaign, the White House increases in influence and followers the more you expand the Agency's reach throughout Washington D.C. In order to reassert control over the city, you'll set up new settlements and interact with key characters who will aid in your rise to power. Some NPCs are recruitable and can even be brought to the White House to upgrade the various areas--leading to new items and perks to acquire.
Exploring ruined D.C. offered plenty of opportunities to meet new characters and come across control points that are in constant dispute. Though D.C. doesn't have nearly as strong of an atmosphere and eerie vibe as the original, it does fill that void by presenting more reasons to explore and engage in the various side-missions. Much like in the original, there are ECHOs that allow you to play back moments from the lives of supporting characters. While the original's take felt one-sided since the characters were dead long before you arrived, several of the persons of interest in The Division 2 are alive and reasonably well, and the ECHOs offer more details about their connections to others throughout D.C.
Things, however, take a particularly surprising turn in the endgame. A new threat in the form of Black Tusk emerges, leading into the broader endgame that shakes things up. Similar to the Hunters from The Division's 1.8 update, who only appeared in the Survival mode and Underground DLC, Black Tusk is a roaming faction that serves as the antithesis of the Division agency. Possessing an arsenal of high-tech weapons and gadgets that match your own, this new faction invades D.C. and actively tries to retake areas of the city--and even the Dark Zones. In the two endgame missions we played, one in the Air and Space Museum and along with the Federal Emergency Bunker, the Black Tusk proved to be a powerful force to be reckoned with. Along with using robots that look like they come right out of the Boston Dynamics lab--except they actually have guns this time--the endgame faction also uses mini-drones, and have soldiers wearing heavy armor that require strategic shots to open up weak points.
During the endgame, you'll unlock new specializations that further enhance your character, which also open up power weapons like the grenade launcher, heavy sniper rifle, and the crossbow. In order to find better loot and gear, you'll have to tackle missions that are several notches more challenging than the campaign. But as is typically the case for endgame content, you'll also be repeating some older missions. The Division 2 does, however, spice things up by introducing a new tier called Invaded missions. During the endgame, all previous missions from the campaign will have a new difficulty that replaces the existing enemies with the Black Tusk. To cut down on repetition, the Invaded missions will also randomize each encounter with Black Tusk in the level, leading to different fights with enemy squads on each playthrough.
This new faction also changes the dynamic of the Dark Zones in the endgame, which actively occupies one of the areas. As we detailed in another preview, the Dark Zone's PvPvE (player-versus-player-versus-environment) dynamic has been upgraded for the sequel. In addition to three separate zones, all of which have story missions that allow you to get your feet wet, the endgame will introduce an Occupied Dark Zone. With one Dark Zone under occupation by the Black Tusk faction, which cycles to a different location every week, the occupied zones also remove certain handicaps from the base version of the PvPvE mode, particularly level-balancing and friendly fire.
The skirmishes with Black Tusk during the two missions we played were intense and required some solid communication from our team to make it through. However, the invaded missions also felt a bit exhausting as well, leading to some moments where we were trapped in a room for up to 10 minutes dropping squads of bullet-spongy enemies as they funneled in. Though this is often the case for endgame content, it definitely hurt the pacing of some otherwise thrilling missions. Granted, we were just dropped into these missions for the purpose of this demo, which came after the rather brisk early game missions we played at the beginning. They may flow better once you've invested the hours to work your way to this content.
However, this also reminded me of some of the larger issues I've felt from The Division 2, in that it comes off a bit too similar to the original. It strongly emulates much of what worked in its predecessor, almost to a fault. Though some of the new innovations make for a more engaging and interesting setting to explore, the general looter-shooter loop itself can be exhausting, and lead to those familiar moments of occasional tedium that bogged down the first game. Having said that, I do feel the new approach to the endgame, though somewhat overwhelming, does offer a more compelling hook that felt absent from the original. By tasking you to defend the place you've been actively building up and investing yourself in throughout the campaign--which can be taken by the enemy faction. It creates a greater sense of urgency in the late-game, which was lacking from the original.
Ubisoft seems to be on the right path for The Division 2. Though it's obviously building off of what came before, the new features do seem to be a natural step up that plays to the renewed strength the series saw with its revamped gameplay from the original. Ubisoft's approach with this private beta was a neat way to kick the tires from both ends, and it'll be interesting to see how players--even those that missed out on the revival of the original game--will take to it. The Division 2 is series' second chance, and hopefully it'll be able to make good on it's renewed vigor.
For more info on The Division 2, including how the new Dark Zones work and how to get into the private beta, you can check out our features and articles on here on GameSpot.
TKC servers are well run and every attempt is made to ensure a fun gaming environment. No racist or rude behavior is tolerated on any of our servers. TKC tries to have round the clock administration for it's servers but obviously sometimes a server will have no admin playing so if you witness any abuse for any game please attempt to report the offending players nickname, and if possible GUID here: "Server Vistors Complaint". Just give as many details as you can remember such as what the player was doing/saying. In addition cheating is not tolerated on our servers. We are protected by any of a number of different cheat tools at any given time including; VAC, steambans.com, pbbans.com, ggc-stream.com, metabans, pbscreens.com and punkbuster, depending on the game. If caught cheating your information will be submitted to the appropriate cheat tracker and you will be added to their database which will ban your Steam ID, PB GUID or EA GUID depending on the game and website.
When available we also offer ways for players, in-game, to contact admins to report bad behavior. These come in the form of game server plugins. Players will, if the server has the option available, have the option to report a player using, @report [player] [reason] or @admin [reason] to call an admin to the server. If an admin doesn't respond in a timely manner, please use the @report option so we can follow up on it later or use "Server Vistors Complaint" as mentioned above. If an admin is not available, we also try to give the players the opportunity to use @votekick [player] or @voteban [player] [reason]. This allows the guests to our server the ability to kick or temporarily ban a player who is breaking rules.
Profanity - Many of the games we play have very bad language, some don't, that should make a difference in how we enforce our rules. For that reason we are going to implement a new rule, which will seem strange at first, but there is reason behind it. Bad language will only be tolerated on Teamspeak channels for games where there is bad language in the game. In other words, since there is bad language in Bad Company 2, bad language will be acceptable in the Bad Company 2 Teamspeak channel and on the Bad Company 2 servers. On our Half-Life 2 DM Teamspeak channel and game server, bad language will not be allowed. Future games will also be handled in this manner. The reason, we do not want to exclude members with different beliefs. If I buy a game and one of the selling points for me was the fact that it did not have bad language, that should be respected. I do not want a father or grandfather having to explain bad language to their children or grandchildren because they heard profanity on a TKC Teamspeak channel they thought was free of such things.
How to deal with with Mic/Text spammers - No one wants to listen to a lot of unrelated chatter either on the game server, or Teamspeak. No one wants to see a lot of text spamming either. It's distracting to some, and in the case of Bad Company 2, causes lag problems when the text log gets too long. If someone is talking or typing too much, respectfully ask them to stop. If they continue, you may have to mute or kick them, and if they continue after that, a ban might be in order. When on Teamspeak, a certain amount of "visiting" is fine, but the gamers who want to communicate tactical information to others playing shouldn't have to constantly interrupt talk about the latest CPU, or talk of what's going on at school. If someone is talking too much and you don't feel like you want to address it, PM a clan leader and we can handle the situation.
Team Switching - In some games this is a big no-no and if you are admin for one of those games, ask the player to go back, if they don't and you have the ability, move them back manually. If you continue to have problems, kick/ban them. In other games, like Bad Company 2, team switching usually isn't as big a deal. Sometimes friends or clan members might want to play together, in that case, try to facilitate them and swap some people around. This will show you to be respectful of community and they will probably be very appreciative of your efforts. If there is a mass exodus of people from a bad team to a good team, you can mention in-game that people need to stop. If someone is ignoring you and continues to unbalance the teams, just kick them off the server. For a game like Half-Life 2, teams change after each round, so trying to put clan members together is just a waste of time, that is why team switching is considered bad.
Hacking/Cheating - This is the most overused excuse for kicking someone off of a server. Players are unjustly booted off servers all the time simply because they were too good. That is not fair. Do not base a decision on cheating on a single round, if it isn't really ridiculous score-wise, sometimes people just have great rounds. But if they continue to have an unbelievable K/D ratio, then you might need to ban them. Sometimes it might be necessary to ban someone just because they are killing the server. For me, this is the thing I hate to do the most. That person might be doing nothing wrong, other than being really good at a game. Try to put yourself in their shoes and only ban guys who are really obvious. I don't want to see anyone being banned for an aimbot because they went 29-0. I and many others have had a better score than that, it DOES happen. You have to consider how the person is playing the game. Are they playing as recon? Are they in the heli with a really good pilot? Sometimes, if you are unsure, it might be best to ask the opinion of a clan leader. Remember, visitors to our servers have the ability and a forum to complain about unjust behavior from our server admins. If someone complains about you, you want to know that you did everything by the book.
Soldier Names/Nicknames - We will not allow names that are offensive to anyone. I think we can all use our best judgement here, but if you are unsure, ask another admin what they think of the name and come to a consensus before taking action. Players using racist names should be perm banned immediately. It does no good talking to someone like that because they're only goal is to cause trouble.
Banter and Trash Talking - Now its okay to joke around, but if several players are going at it constantly on the mic or in chat just nicely ask them to stop. If it continues warn them again that if they don't stop they will be kicked, if for no other reason that mic/text spamming. If they ignore this warning then go ahead and kick them. A certain amount of this is fine as long as it's good natured, however sometimes this can lead to hard feelings so you have to use your best judgement of when something is going too far or things are starting to get out of hand.
Racist/intolerant behavior - This is a subject that we will show no mercy on. If someone is being a racist, and that means they are hating on blacks, whites, browns, yellows, whatever the case may be, they get perm banned. No warnings, no kicks, just ban them. We don't need that kind of intolerant behavior on our servers. I don't care if the person is joking, I don't care what his real intent was, if he's spewing hate speech, he's gone. This also applies to someone who is spewing hate speech against a group of people, like Muslims, Christians, agnostics, atheists whoever. We are a gaming clan. This is our hobby and it's supposed to be fun. Everyone who comes to a TKC server should be respected and able to play the game hassle free. Not everyone believes the same, and if someone can't get over it and comes to our server with an agenda that includes racist or intolerant speech, I expect you guys to bring the hammer down swiftly.
Metabans - We will use Metabans only for cheaters and will verify each ban using Cheat-O-Meter. This will ensure that we are not forcing our Metabans followers into banning players we have banned for breaking rules other than cheating. If we deem you are cheating and Cheat-O-Meter doesn't really indicate cheating and we can not find information about you or your clan tag, meaning there is no website or previous information on you as a player or clan that we can cross reference, we will ban you on our servers, but not Metabans. Clans must have a website that we can find and access to be considered legit, otherwise we will view your tags as hogwash and your suspect behavior will be deemed as cheating. Again, we will not add a ban that is not supported by Cheat-O-Meter to Metabans.
We want everyone to have the best time possible so do your best to maintain a good gaming atmosphere, then everyone can have a good time.
To join TKC you only have to read our "Code of Conduct" and then apply for membership by filling out an online application. After submitting your application you will become a "member candidate". You will be allowed to wear our tags but only as (tkc), all letters in lowercase. As you progress, as seen by our members, you will be advanced to (Tkc), then (TKc) and then finally (TKC). You will receive emails at each step with detailed instructions on what you need to do. To obtain your full membership and the right to wear the (TKC) tags, you will have to pass a vote by the TKC members. Only those members who have gotten to know you will vote. An 80% yes vote will be required for full admission. Please keep in mind that full membership takes 8 weeks.
For you to be accepted you will need to display good manners, sportsmanship, and the ability to follow our rules. This applies to all game server activitiy and forum participation. If you do not feel you can meet our requirements we respectfully ask that you not apply as we have many who want to join and we can not waste time on gamers who are not serious about membership.
So now you're a member of TKC congrats! It is important for you to note that membership in TKC is not a lifetime privilege. Only the clan founders Big Flem and Squidward have lifetime membership and can not be removed. Clan leaders expect it's members to participate in clan activites when they can, and to be an ACTIVE member in the clan. We consider active members to be members who regularly post on the forums, participate in clan activities when possible, and communicates and develops friendships inside the clan. We do NOT consider a member to be active if they only ever play on our servers and nothing more. The leaders of this clan work hard to organize events and if you can't support these activities, can't check and post on the forums at least once or twice a week, then you are not TKC material and eventually you will be kicked from the clan. If you do not think you can meet these requirements as a member of TKC, then please don't attempt to gain entry into the clan as you will only waste your time, and ours.
Beyond administration positions such as "Clan Leader", "Division Leader", etc, the answer is no. However we do have achievable military style ribbons and medals that can be won for various acts. You may see each members ribbon and medal "Display Case" by going to the "Members" tab and under each members profile clicking the "Awards" icon. Below is each award and how you obtain that award. Note that medals also have an associative ribbon:
Ribbons(Hover over information icon for description)
In the past TKC had too many admins on our servers and things got a little out of hand. We are not looking for any new admins, however if we feel you will make a good addition to that team we will ask you. Being a server admin is not fun and games. It requires you to WORK, and follow server administrator rules which are well defined once you become an admin. Our admins are forced to stop playing whatever game they might be playing, and work to secure and maintain server tranquility reguarly. If you are an admin that does not mean you will get to run willy nilly and ban, kick, and torture at will. Admins who do not follow our rules will be stripped of admin duties and power. In addition there are more requirements of admins such as, reguarly checking our server admins forum. Once you become an admin you will be given access to this forum and you must check and read it quite often. It is a way for admins to help one another by posting their thoughts on what is going on, who to watch closely, etc. Do not ask us constantly to be an admin, that is the surest way I know to never become an admin. Our leaders will identify the best candidates for admin duties if we think it necessary.
No. In order to have an official TKC server it must meet certain standards. In addition, we might not want a server for a particular game, and if you aren't an admin, then you shouldn't have admin authority on any server. Official TKC servers have to be setup as close to identical as possible. This means that the clan leaders must have all access to any of it's servers including the ability to restart that server, gain access via FTP and game panel. It means that the clan leaders can setup the server with it's normal settings and add the usual addons. In short, if you want to have your own server then that is fine, but don't try to name it "Boom Boom Room" or tie it in any way to TKC.
Clan TKC maintains several servers that are open to it's clan members and the public. In addition TKC has other expenses that require money. To pay the bills TKC relies on it's members and visitors to donate. Without these donations, TKC will cease to exist. Please consider donating money when you can. We do our best to use the money wisely, to invest in TKC, to invest in PC gaming.
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