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The Division Gameplay Demo Guide

June 12, 2013

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The other night, Blank, Grymmie, rED, and I spent 2 hours in party chat pouring over the 7 minute gameplay demonstration of The Division. We were left with more questions than answers, but what answers we did find, has us quite excited. While I don’t buy many Ubisoft games, they generally deliver what they show and say they will, and usually near the time they say the will deliver it. So, while this game is announced for 2014, I suspect that any changes that occur in graphic fidelity, environmental interaction, HUD, or gameplay will be for the game’s improvement, not diminishment. Ubisoft has earned that concession of faith.

The video is embedded after the jump, and the text below that is a “walkthrough” (the things we noticed) to help highlight some of the features shown in the demo. Also, we have started a Page for all things The Division from here on out. Enjoy!

0:00 – 1:02 – detail, snow particle effects, reflection in the puddles, content
1:08 – this is third person as opposed the first person action
1:09 – the hud display centers around the character, not in the corners of the screen. Notice the names of the other “squadmates” with icons of the Skills, health, and even if the mate is playing on a tablet or not.
1:28 – the 3D map providing info on locations, events/objectives, and progress – gamer in the Dark Zone selects to secure the Police Station
1:41 – walking down the street
1:50 – voice “bubbles” for visual confirmation of who’s speaking
1:53 – in-world physics demonstrated by taxi door partially closing as squadmate bumps into it.
2:20 – street names etc. suspended in 3D space indicating location and orientation
2:28 – blonde female playable character (appearance customizable?) male and female playable.
2:44 – object scanning from distance
2:50 – slide into cover
2:54 – Pulse skill employed (“promethean vision”) activated with 15 second recharge – icon red while charging, white when ready for use.
2:57 – vaulting cement barrier
3:06 – Skills menu up to 7 levels of 3 items each – “unlockable” (up to 2 Skills available at any time?) Talents menu on the left showing upgrades to things like stamina (up to 3 talents allowed?)
3:16 – human squadmate sliding over hood of car (parkour), popping out of cover to shoot, visual numbers in red for enemy injury (health bars too) and white for xp?
3:26 – squadmate pops turret, HUD indication of icon in red
3:34 – bullet physics bullet goes through both windows
3:35 – animation: uses hand to close door as character slides to back of car
3:41 – car tire goes flat upon being shot, car slumps, health meters of squadmates visible, decals on cement barriers all unique
3:44 – +380 XP for (headshot) kill
3:53 – +250 squad health boost
3:58 – +245XP for kill assist, “Chris [Tablet]” flies in (drone), +20 damage to all squad members?
4:11 – deploys “seeker mine” which hunts out enemy within 10 meter radius. 1980 enemy damage dealt.
4:21 – plastic police lights small particle destruction (Is this “procedural destruction”?)
4:32 – Chris laser sites roof target with drone
4:36 – +500XP (for co-op kill?)
4:45 – Chris leaves squad (Presumable his boss walked in and he has to hide the tablet in his desk quickly before he is discovered.) Offline
5:15 – food, water bottles etc.
5:25 – looking upon the map in police station automatically updates info on player map
5:32 – Police station secured +2270 XP
6:05 – LOOT
6:34 – launches flare for extraction, (90 seconds)
6:42 – Pulse Skill employed, 4 player squad suddenly appears for PvP skirmish
6:47 – sky (icon) view of imminent coming skirmish,
6:49 – Dumbo Police Station shown inside the Dark Zone, indicating that there are computer AI engagements within the Dark Zone. Zoom out to show city map, all other PvP skirmishes, all within the three Dark Zones, other orange dots within orange circles outside the Dark Zones indicating other squads not engaged in PvP?
6:58 – 100? humans on the map/server?

  1. June 13, 2013 2:27 pm

    This game has a lot of potential, and looks absolutely amazing. My main concern is that they will greatly restrict player-vs-player combat. Copying DayZ’s model would be the smartest decision.

    OFF-TOPIC: Interesting article.

    • June 17, 2013 8:47 pm

      Grymmie was mentioning similar disappointment when I suggested that the PvP would be limited to the Dark Zone. He was hoping, like you, that it would be more like DayZ.

      I think that as awesome as the DayZ gameplay is, the intensity and finality of that model isn’t something that necessarily makes for day after day gaming. I noticed that you guys didn’t play if for more than a couple of weeks when it first came out. It wouldn’t take me more than a couple of long and promising sessions that ended in a sudden headshot from across the map, to think twice before committing the evening gaming to it. I am not saying it isn’t awesome, just that it may not be something that one is always up for.

    • June 18, 2013 12:51 am

      I agree wholeheartedly. After spending a week sitting on the idea I think it would have much more replayability with designated PvP zones.

  2. Average permalink*
    June 13, 2013 4:15 pm

    • Average permalink*
      June 13, 2013 4:16 pm

      From IGN:
      Developed by Massive Entertainment, The Division is a new game in the Tom Clancy franchise. Using the Snowdrop engine, it is a open world, multiplayer RPG game set in a world devastated by a deadly pathogen. Players will fight enemies factions, loot abandoned buildings and level up their player as they explore a ravaged New York city.
      A devastating pandemic sweeps through New York City, and one by one, basic services fail. In only days, without food or water, society collapses into chaos. The Division, a classified unit of self-supported tactical agents, is activated. Leading seemingly ordinary lives among us, The Division agents are trained to operate independently of command, as all else fails.

      Fighting to prevent the fall of society, the agents will find themselves caught up in an epic conspiracy, forced to combat not only the effects of a manmade virus, but also the rising threat of those behind it. When everything collapses, your mission begins.
      The Division will feature mainline quests that will take you to specific places within this re-imagined New York City.
      David Polfeldt, managing director at Massive, says “We wanted a lighter game than World of Warcraft. I’m not calling [The Division] an MMO,” although he’s aware of the similarities. The Division will not, however, feature classes. “We allow you to progress through the skill tree as you refer,” Polfeldt explains. Plus you can do a mulligan on your skill tree progress at any time and switch to custom-built classes with the touch of a button.
      Though it’s a role-playing game first and foremost, The Division also draws from the hardcore survivalism of Day Z or State of Decay. When your sleeper agent awakens, their belongings include just three days of food, water, and supplies.
      After that, you must scour for resources like ammo and weapons. The whole point is to drive players to explore and discover.
      A Companion App
      The Division will feature a companion app that allows a tablet-user to become a guardian angel, a good samaritan, or a legendary troll.

      In the E3 2013 demo, the tablet-user was privy to a suite of skills that each had their own specific cool-downs. From the vantage of an aerial view of the block currently being explored, the tablet-user could tap a skill to use it, then tap somewhere on the screen to engage the ability in that area.
      Many of these skill types are recognizable to a massively multiplayer online (MMO) veteran, with such classic staples as an armor enhancement that boosted party stats, and a healing type drone that can revive injured allies. [1]

      The player using the tablet won’t be limited to just these support abilities; they can recon and mark enemies so that enemy locations appear on the party’s radar, and even summon powerful airstrikes.

  3. Blankman permalink*
    June 13, 2013 5:43 pm

    Check out the specifics from an interview that Adam Sessler had with Nicklas Cederstrom, lead designer for The Division. They discuss PvP, PvE, Dead Zones, customization, etc.

    • June 16, 2013 8:08 pm

      I have a question, when is “Winter 2014”, is that Jan, Feb, March, or December 2014?

    • Blankman permalink*
      June 16, 2013 8:13 pm

      Nov., Dec., or Jan. 2015.

      BTW: How did your team do in the tourney?

    • June 16, 2013 10:53 pm

      Thanks, Kenny.

      We won everything! First time in the history of our school. We took the equivalent of a five state, interstate championship. This secures a seed placement for us in the National Championship. The boys played well, and one junior had two fabulous life-line rebounds. Massive plays!

  4. June 18, 2013 12:10 pm

    A pretty good write up on the Division. Not much new, but nice looking pics and some interviews / quotes

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