Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment’s loot shooter The Division 2 is overhauling its whole deal on March 3, just in time for the game’s first anniversary and the launch of a surprise Manhattan-based expansion, Warlords of New York. As a bid to get people to finally, actually care about The Division 2, and as an effort to win back the attention of the first game’s most feverish supporters, Warlords of New York will introduce a new story campaign set in a new one-to-one scale Manhattan zone; bring sweeping changes to the game’s loot systems and UI; introduce new weapons and items; and usher in a new season-based content schedule, complete with free and premium battle passes.
Massive also plans to raise the level cap from 30 to 40, and to introduce a new “infinite-progression system” that allows players to continue augmenting their agent’s abilities, well, infinitely. New players can create a character at level 30 and jump straight into the Warlords of New York content, without first having to complete The Division 2‘s base story or any of the Year 1 DLC content. Anybody that makes their character this way will be able to go back and complete those old missions if they want to, but not until they’ve completed the full Warlords of New York campaign.
“All gear and weapons stats are being streamlined,” according to the below trailer. “We’re bringing in major improvements to our UI, ensuring that attributes and advantages are easy and quick to understand. Every single loot drop will be exciting; we’re ensuring that you will always loot something that has a stat or bonus to compliment your gear set and play-style.” The trailer doesn’t go into specifics about how The Division 2‘s revamped loot tables will ensure this happens.
Perhaps the most exiting change to gear is a new “talent storage” system, which allows players to remove talents (read: perks) from items that they own and store them for later use on different items. This way, even if you loot a pair of knee pads that are mostly worse than the ones you’ve already got, you can rip the “+10 to knees” bonus off of it and apply it to what you’re already wearing. Massive hopes that these changes will help diversify the group of viable builds for high-level, end-game content.
While Warlords of New York introduces four eponymous Warlords for players to hunt down over the course of its campaign, the new seasonal content format will introduce even more big-name targets to take out post launch. Each season also introduces new global events, leaderboards, weapons, and items, along with its own season pass that grants additional apparel, equipment drops, and resources. Massive hasn’t outlined the differences between The Division 2‘s free and premium season passes in detail, aside from the obvious assumption that the premium pass has more and better stuff than the free pass.
I bought a new processor that came with The Division 2 last year, and I bailed on it after about 30 hours or so, if I recall correctly. The game’s post-apocalyptic geopolitical Good Guys With Guns™ story failed to capture my attention, and while the majority of the guns felt good and outfitting my agent was sufficiently satisfying, I hated that every enemy required a minimum of 50+ bullets to go down. Elite and boss enemies take, no joke, several hundred (if not thousand) rounds to defeat, and these aren’t mutants we’re shooting with lasers or anything, these are just regular-ass people who have some body armor on. It’s deeply frustrating and makes every mission take 400 years longer than it feels like it should, and based on what I’m hearing in this trailer, it doesn’t sound like Warlords of New York will fix any of these problems. If you’re already fine with how The Division 2 feels though, this might give you enough of a carrot to keep caring.