The Division released back in March to quite a bit of praise. Ubisoft Massive had created something that provided both a single player experience that was worth playing, and a solid footing for multiplayer fun. The Division’s unique take on PvP also helped to garner some attention. Giving players the option to “play nice” or slaughter one another helped to created a sense of tension that isn’t so easily found in other shooters, especially on console.
But for all the things that The Division has gotten right, it hasn’t done much else. The first impression was strong, yet when it comes to online driven games, there has to be more. Games like The Division and Destiny live on content that keeps the player base coming back for more at regular intervals while the hardcore crowd stays entrenched. Unfortunately, even the hardcore crowd is starting to find very little reason to continue exploring the snowy streets of New York City.
The developers attempted to counteract that with updates that add new content for those who have reached the end game, and activities for those who need help doing so. This was definitely a step in the right direction, as the Incursion along with new daily missions provided reasons to keep your Agent signed up for war. Players were excited to partake in a new raid-like challenge that promised powerful new gear to help them fine-tune their Agents. And, for a moment, all was well… until the cheating began.
The Division has had its fair share of bugs since launch. This didn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone as ambitious games are known to have a few hiccups. When you add the fact that the devs have been on top of releasing hot-fixes and patches, it’s easy to turn a blind eye to the less than favorable features. However, when those bugs start ruining the game for those wishing to partake in multiplayer, it creates a huge issue.
Bugs in the online shooter became exploits, and those exploits were used to beat the new incursion, hide in the Dark Zone, and obtain powerful gear much quicker than those who play the game the way it was meant to be played. Doesn’t sound like much of a big deal, right? After all, those people paid their money and should be able to play as they wish. Normally, many would agree with that sentiment, but when that gear makes the Dark Zone virtually unplayable for a lot of people, it’s impossible to look away.
This is a problem that Ubisoft Massive has become aware of, and has been making great strides to correct. In fact, just a few weeks ago, the developers have begun punishing offenders. Those caught using exploits repeatedly now receive a temporary ban the first time, then a complete ban for further infractions. It’s a bold move by Ubisoft, one made to win back the fans who want to play the game. But it may be too little too late.