The Division has received yet another major patch. This one, titled Conflict, introduces a lot of new features to the online, RPG-esque shooter that players have been clamoring for – more reasons to jump into the long dead PvE side of things, new daily/weekly objectives, more Dark Zone threats, and some seriously useful Gear Sets. Ubisoft is re-poising the game to pull players back in, but unfortunately, Conflict doesn’t exactly work.
The main attraction, the Clear Sky Incursion, is stuck on an endless loop of restarting for most players. For some, it’s just an issue of being sent back to the entrance, but others are being completely removed from the activity for no known reason. High Value Targets, which serve as new daily/weekly objectives, sometimes don’t even spawn. The two largest reasons to jump into Conflict are pretty much non-existent for a large fraction of the player base.
Normally, players can forgive a few bugs. It sucks, that’s true, but with massive games that are built for online engagement, a problem here and there is excusable. Yet this has become a constant occurrence for The Division. Since launch, the game has been no stranger to complications, ranging from simple glitches such as falling through the ground to exploits that let players bypass even the toughest of challenges. With every update and hot fix intended to stamp out the issues, new troubles arose, driving a wedge between players and their game.
It’s become a sort of vicious cycle that has sprung up around The Division, one Ubisoft can’t seem to shake. No matter what new element gets released, or what fixes come out, something inevitably breaks. And frankly, it’s taking a toll on the player base.
It has become increasingly difficult to grow excited for anything coming to The Division, as usually the first thought that comes to mind now is, “will it work?” What’s more troubling is that Ubisoft has been aware of the problems. After patch 1.1 was released with a mountain of bugs and exploits, the developers vowed to put Conflict through rigorous testing to ensure a much smoother experience. Yet, if anything, Patch 1.2 is in worse shape than anything that came before it. Sure, there’s nobody cheating the newest Incursion, but most people can’t even get into it.
Having to jump through hoops and struggle to play something so long after release is weighing down on the community, much against the will of its creators. The experience is dying, and it not due to lack of interest. There are plenty who want to enjoy The Division, and grow excited with every new announcement, but the constant flood of difficulties is suffocating what life remains within its servers’ confines. The most hardcore of agents will press on, but there comes a point where it just isn’t worth it anymore.
It’s common knowledge that an online game lives and dies on the backs of its players. The Division can’t afford to hemorrhage the fans that developers worked so hard to obtain. Yet, as long as those same fans are unable to thoroughly enjoy the content being made for them, there is nothing to keep them engaged. The Division is not a game without competition, and, unfortunately for Ubisoft, the competitors’ product is poised to work better.
Unless this unchecked stream of bugs is tended to, The Division will fade into obscurity, no matter how good the game may be. It’s unfortunate to watch, as there’s no denying that Ubisoft’s latest has great potential. Hopefully the future sees the end to these barriers, for players and developers alike.