Roughly a year ago, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 brought the pandemic-induced collapse of society to Washington DC. In the upcoming third episode expansion, the Division returns to New York, albeit in a new area in a re-imagined Lower Manhattan. Hardcore Gamer recently had the opportunity to sit down with Jesper Karabanov, one of the producers from Tom Clancy’s The Division 2: Warlords of New York, to discuss what new features and changes players can expect to find in the new content.
[Hardcore Gamer] Can you give us a general overview of the premise of Warlords of New York?
[Jesper Karabanov] Absolutely. We are really excited about bringing a lot of changes to the Division 2, we are excited to return to New York and gave a lot of upgrades to the RPG system, making multiple builds more viable, adding stat storing for all the core attributes, new gear, weapons and tons of new content.
You mentioned earlier in your presentation how the DPS build was the only real viable option originally. Can you expand on the changes that are coming with Episode 3?
It’s a lot easier to figure out to make a good skill build with the changes we made. As you put on more gear with skill stats on it you go up in skill tiers, each one making your skills visibly better so it’s easy to see how good am I at using this and you’ll see another player put out a turret that says turret level seven so it’s easy to relate how powerful your character is compared to other players whereas before it was more difficult to know where the power was.
You mentioned you wanted to revitalize the Dark Zones with this expansion, can you elaborate on what specifically is happening with that?
With Warlords of New York we put our emphasis on player-to-player interaction so everything you do in the Dark Zone should revolve around players coming together. Whether it is saving you if say a rogue comes after you or if the player wants to go rogue and attack others. There will be more rewards for helping other players along with experience awards from being combative and going rogue yourself.
Originally there were a lot of rewards for hunting people down if they went rogue and there was a bounty hunter element to it. Now it sounds like there are more rewards for helping people.
We’re still keeping the core rogue aspect with the manhunt but also making every type of play style can be rewarded. More player freedom to hunt rogues, go rogues or help protect other players from rogues. We’ve also removed some non-player interactive elements from the Dark Zones and tried to make those areas and the rules of engagement easier to understand, such as how do I go rogue as a player and what do I do when I am in rogue status.
One of the more interesting aspects you mentioned was the four lieutenants Keener has and how each one of them has their backstory and motives. Each one of them has their own skill that the player can take as a reward for killing them, like the Decoy skill we were able to acquire in today’s demo where it made copies of the player to draw enemy fire. Can you tell me about some of the other skills we can steal from the other lieutenants?
Absolutely. There are four unique skills that can be acquired by killing the lieutenants. In addition to Decoy there is the Shock Trap that fills an area close to you with mines that will shock and neutralize enemies that come within the area. Then there’s the fan favorite Sticky Bomb launcher that we now have in two variations: the explosive one that we had in The Division 1 and the new version that sets enemies on fire.
When you were discussing this the fire sticky bomb sounded like the most fun out of the new skills.
It’s super fun. You can do a lot of tricky things with it like putting it on the wall and waiting for the guy to come by and set everything on fire there. It can be a lot of fun. Turn up the heat.
You hinted earlier that you were tailoring some global events for the new content. What can we expect to see in the near future with those?
We have three new global events planned for the new season. The first one is called Polarity Switch and it’s a really fun thing that completely changes the way you play the game by putting polarity on your enemies and you and you have to figure out how to interact with them by changing polarity. There is also the ultimate test of The Division 2 player’s mettle coming up in the Foundry Raid. It’s our second raid and like the first one comes with multiple bosses and some secrets. The players will need to work together as a group and this time we’ve raised the bar quite a lot to be really sharp in their collaboration and skill. You will need to be a very strong team that works together.
I’m super excited that we’re going home, back to New York and back on track of Aaron Keener. It feels like we’re back there where it all started and we’re excited to go back about Aaron Keener. It’s a different part of Manhattan so it is a brand new area but still connected to the first Division, which was more in midtown and now we’re in southern Manhattan.
For more on The Division 2: Warlords of New York, be sure to read our hands-on preview.