Changes to the Dark Zone in Tom Clancy’s The Division 2

Ubisoft released the story trailer for Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 yesterday. Today, the team behind the game is breaking down the changes coming to the Dark Zone. This is the PvP and PvE areas separate from the storyline. The Dark Zone will be broken down into three areas: East, South and West. The East will be the largest of all three Dark Zones. This area will utilize long sightlines in an over-grown governmental parks. The South area will be the smallest as it emphasis close-quarters combat with the use of large interiors and choke points. Finally, the West will be split into two parts by a large canal. Georgetown is characterized by medium-range combat and includes a European-type architecture.

Ubisoft states that the need for a better server capacity is required. They have created smaller chunks of Dark Zone to max out at twelve players. This reduces the maximum player capcity by half and the overall size of the Dark Zone by thirds to focus on increased player density. The focus is to bring quality over quantity. Ubisoft also mentions that each area reacts to player activity and engagements as the player continues in that area. The idea is to balance out the region as a whole.

The perk system for the Dark Zone features a tree of bonuses that unlock every five Dark Zone levels gained. They won’t be power based, but improve the Dark Zone experience based on your playstyle. Ubisoft lists perks such as extra space for contaminated items, increased rewards for Rogue agents or additional opportunities for loot. Extractions will include more rare and scarce gear upgrades in the Dark Zone. Weapons and gear will drop at the same power level the player is at who successfully extracts it. This means if you’re a lower level, let someone higher take the extraction. The idea behind this is a more varied opportunity for gear.

Normalization will be used to level the player field in the Dark Zone in The Division 2. Unlike Manhattan’s Dark Zone, this normalization will reduce the peaks and valleys between players and allow for a more stable matchup. The team is taken a keen thought on balance as a whole in The Division 2, as a lot of this was exposed early in the first game. Matchmaking has also been altered to help solo players play in Dark Zones mostly comprised of other solo players. Ubisoft has released a multiplayer trailer to further break down these changes. Look for Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 on March 15 and players can pre-order and gain access to beta on February 7