When Ubisoft first unveiled Tom Clancy’s The Division at E3 2013, it was touted as a massively multiplayer online shooter. Meanwhile, Destiny from Bungie had a similar description during its development cycle. Only a month after the release of Destiny, the game isn’t performing as well as Activision and Bungie had hoped. With the similarities between these two titles, will The Division end up becoming Ubisoft’s Destiny? Let’s take a closer look at how these games are similar and what that means for fans of The Division.
The only aspect of Destiny that closely resembles an MMO is The Tower. In this area, the game changes to a third-person perspective and you can interact with anyone else online at the time. This is exactly how traditional MMOs work, but this is the only area in Destiny in which you interact with a large group of players. In most cases you’re restricted to your individual party, or you’re playing PvP against a limited number of players, similar to the multiplayer in many other FPS games.
The Division offers a similar social hub in which players can interact with anyone else online at the time. Just like Destiny, this is the only time players will be able to interact with a large number of people who aren’t in their immediate party or playing in Dark Zone PvP areas, which are limited in number; Dark Zones are similar to the Crucible PvP arena in Destiny.
One of the key differences between Destiny and The Division is that in PvP Destiny, you load into the arena just like you would in a normal FPS. When you enter a Dark Zone in The Division, you’re not immediately thrust into a PvP match. Instead, you’ll encounter other players and have the option to engage them or continue on your journey. The Dark Zone and social hub areas are the only time you’ll run into players who are not in your party.
Destiny and The Division both share the endgame grind found in most MMORPGs. In Destiny, this grind has you repeating the same missions and instanced battles over and over again in the hopes that the loot you want will drop. Drop rate isn’t based on in-game achievements, which means that someone can easily be carried through an instance, only to get the best drop. At the same time, the player with the highest KD ratio goes home empty-handed.
Many players have expressed frustration with the endgame activities in Destiny, which some consider repetitive and not particularly fun. Most MMO titles avoid this problem by offering a wide variety of endgame activities that continue to grow as the game matures. As with any MMO, the goal is to have people playing all the time, but to do that, you need compelling content.
Ubisoft has plans to make people want to play The Division. Once a player reaches the endgame portion, they’ll be able to upgrade their weaponry and obtain new items and weapons. There’s no classification on the gear you receive from endgame activities like there is in Destiny. You won’t gun for legendary gear. Instead, you’ll be able to upgrade your weapons to create more powerful versions that give you less recoil, faster reload times and other enhancements.
One thing lacking in Destiny is a healing class. While healers aren’t typical in shooters (aside from medics), Ubisoft will use the holy trinity for The Division. For those unfamiliar with MMORPGs, the holy trinity is a system designed around three main classes: tank, damage dealer and healer. When translated into a shooter, expect a class type that focuses on high damage output (explosive rounds, high-powered rifles, etc.), a heavily armored class that can soak up damage in a gun fight and some sort of medic or support class.
While it won’t be mandatory to have all three classes in your party, it will be very advantageous and rewarding to do so. The challenges in the game are designed to push players to their limits, which means that well-balanced parties will perform better than parties made of all damage dealers or tanks. Either way you go about it, there’s more variety here than in Destiny, and that’s exactly what Ubisoft wants.
Stay tuned, as Prima Games will have more in-depth coverage of The Division in the coming weeks and months.