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The Division Beta: Impressions

January 28, 2016
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Last night (JST), Cornie and I were playing Ark and suddenly Blankman jumps on, getting up in the middle of the night to play the Beta the moment it launches. Cornie didn’t have a code and so Blank informs us of some that were dropping fast on a reddit thread (500 almost all gone in 15 minutes). We got one for Cornie and 30 minutes later, we were all teamed up and ready to take back New York.

The Beta is noticeably prettier than the Alpha and even more importantly, better functioning. Weapon swapping is now just a tap of the “Y” button, and the party load time is now literally just a fraction of what it was. The gameplay, locations, and scenarios are the same, but that is good or bad depending on whether you enjoyed what you got when playing the Alpha. I haven’t tried the Dark Zone yet, but I am sure with the changes I will enjoy it even more than I did previously. Gears cover habits continue to get in the way, but I found it much easier to adapt this time, and knowing what I am in for, less frustrating. I can’t be sure, but I think the game is smoother, too. I like the interface, and find it intuitive and easy to navigate.

I don’t know how much time I am going to get with the Beta, but it doesn’t matter. Cornie likes the game and so do I. We will be buying it at launch. The “choose your own experience”, that being intense PvP or relaxed PvE alone or in party, is just about the perfect thing for this gamer at this time in his gaming life. The Division looks to be the perfect compliment to Ark:SE, the surface of which I am just beginning to scratch and the stories of which Kenai and I are trading daily via email (it is that good).

I am also going to take this opportunity to welcome any new members to the blog. Welcome! We are a very diverse (including timezones) group and welcome you to find someone you are comfortable with and hang out. Cheers! Play ’em if ya got ’em!

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14 Comments
  1. RoBBins permalink*
    January 28, 2016 7:31 pm

    I’m surprisingly impressed with how much better the beta is than the Alpha. Really enjoy the Dark Zone, even though theres only 2 zones open in the beta out of 6 or 7 total I believe. The potential for party play is very high, even though I have yet to team up with anyone. After the Alpha I had this game completely off my radar, but now it’s definitely back on thanks to the beta. Most likely will get it at launch!

    Now to debate if I want the season pass or not…

    • January 28, 2016 7:51 pm

      Glad to hear you are having fun with it. As for the season’s pass, if that is the “Gold” version, I think Kenai already bought it. If there were details on the content, I would be more inclined to consider it. As a policy, however, I just cannot support giving these devs/pubs money without even knowing what they are giving me in return.

    • RoBBins permalink*
      January 28, 2016 7:53 pm

      Yeah the Gold edition is $100. That includes the game and the $40 season pass. I think I’ll wait to hear what the season pass includes before I pre-order the Gold version.

    • January 28, 2016 8:54 pm

      http://www.ign.com/articles/2016/01/28/the-division-will-get-3-paid-expansions

      3 DLC’s in season pass:

      1) Underground instance (1-4 players)
      2) Survival Mode (horde)
      3) Last Stand (no details given)

      From the sounds of it, this will not be the other areas of NYC shown on the maps/early vids. If those due come, I am assuming “year 2” content or free DLC this year.

    • January 28, 2016 10:27 pm

      3 game modes for $40….the price of Ark….. Hmmm….

      UPDATE: Reading the IGN article, it would appear that it is a LOT like “Premium” for BF games.

  2. Blankman permalink*
    January 29, 2016 4:28 am

    I’m disappointed about the details of the season pass. The fact that the three expansions don’t allow access to more boroughs leaves me deflated. Zos said it best when he reasoned with me on grabbing the standard digital edition over the gold edition by stating that we’ve been burned by Ubisoft too many times.

    I hope Massive doesn’t let their new IP flounder due to lack of substantial content. Give your gamers/customers what they’ve been championing for; more of New York! We’ll just have to wait & see if anything worthwhile materializes from the season pass. Another waiting game…

    • January 29, 2016 4:44 am

      Hey, is the game as it is worth $60? If it is, then there is no problem with the purchase. After that, it is up to Massive/Ubisoft to figure out what kind of deal they can offer to get more people buying. Don’t wait on their sorry asses. Buy their game because you like what they are giving you out of the box, what it is, not what it might be. Then, if they never come through with a deal you like, it was a great experience for a while, and then you are free to look for the next best thing.

      The good thing is that it is demonstrating that there is a demand for this kind of game and that means that more devs will come up with their own flavor.

    • January 29, 2016 9:44 pm

      I think the same (maybe even more) about Ark. If you saw, the Conan MMO developers announced a new Conan survival persistent online game (base building, the whole bit). Hopefully, more developers will follow suit. There are just so many games on PC that are like this, I hope we get more experiences down the road.

      Also, Microsoft has an Xbox+Windows event in the next couple of weeks. Hopefully the build on their talk of making games more “portable” between windows 10/xbox. This will hopefully help with number of PS4/Windows 10 (for now) exclusives.

      I’m hoping to jump in the division tonight and/or tomorrow.

  3. Herandar permalink
    January 29, 2016 8:28 am

    Beta feels the same as the Alpha to me. Not a complaint.

    Had a weird graphical glitch where everything was tinted red after I was killed (happened twice to me), and the only way to get rid of it was to log out and log back in. It really sucked during the ‘bloodstorm’. There’s a pic on my feed, if you want to see an example or two.

    I don’t understand buying the Season Pass now, when there is no discount to do so. I’m going to be in Costa Rica when the game launches.

    Also, I’ve been following the lesson from Bambi, and not saying anything negative, but I have serious Buyer’s Remorse for getting Ark. Gave it another shot the other night and no revelations, just more frustrations… Franko recommended I try SP, but I’ve already got the bad taste in my mouth.

  4. January 29, 2016 5:15 pm

    Herandar,

    Good points about Division and in fact, I too, won’t be near my Xbox for a couple of weeks after it launches.

    I want to talk about the other in the Ark thread. Jump over. I will leave a comment there to start it.

  5. January 30, 2016 7:33 pm

  6. Blankman permalink*
    January 31, 2016 10:20 am

    The beta is definitely more polished than the alpha, as in terms of graphical fidelity. Bump up the brightness & sharpness and turn off chromatic aberration to improve it even more. The XB1 version is running at 1080p according to Eurogamer. However, I feel that Massive will drop it down to 900p on the final product. They did this to avoid the circle-jerking of PS4 claiming superiority. Dropping it down to 900p will make the framerate smoother and help with the screen tearing. 900p vs 1080p is negilible to the eye. I’d prefer a smoother gameplay experience over eye candy that would slow the performance.

    There are still a few issues that exists in the beta that were carried over from the alpha. The invisibility exploit still remains where players can make themselves appear invisible to other human players & kill in the Dark Zone without reprieve. Massive has already went on record during several of their live Twitch streams to confirm that they will squash that exploit along with the red screen of death bug. While we’re on the issue of the Dark Zone, the Rogue status needs to also be addressed. Players are baiting others by switching to their pistol and shooting players with one shot, when you return fire; you & your team will be slapped with Rogue status. Also, there’s some confusion because even though other non-hostile players are engaged in a fight with NPCs or Rogue agents, you can see their health bars as red. This visually adds confusion in the fog of war making you think that because you see red that those players are Rogue. Massive should remove the ability to see other non-hostile players’ health bars if you’re not engaging them, or at least change the health bar into another color. Visual cues are important during the midst of battle and that would surely fix that problem.

    After playing the beta for a ridiculous thirty-three plus hours, it’s safe to say that this game is in my wheelhouse. In the end, the beta was enjoyable and I look forward to walking the streets of post-pandemic New York with this community. I think the Brooklyn borough will be featured from levels 1-4 before the helicopter ride to Camp Hudson. In order to stop the pandemic from spreading, I think Brooklyn might be cut off because both the Manhattan & Brooklyn bridges were severed by destroying sections of them similar to the movie, I Am Legend. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I’m disappointed that the Season Pass is not opening any more boroughs. I guess we’ll see if this game has the content to keep us entertained for a long time starting in March.

    • RoBBins permalink*
      February 1, 2016 11:02 am

      I have a feeling that unfortunately this game will have the “Destiny effect” where there just isnt enough new content to keep players entertained and on the game. I hope I’m wrong because I’m really looking forward to doing everything possible in the game, much like I did with Destiny.

  7. Blankman permalink*
    February 1, 2016 1:30 pm

    The MS Xbox Italian home page had a community calendar of events for February and inadvertently leaked an open beta for TD. They immediately took it down when they realized their mistake, but savvy visitors to their site were able to capture the image. The image was highlighted with a red box from MS Paint by the original poster. Apparently, it’s an “open” beta similar to how they handled R6:Siege. It is scheduled for Feb. 16-21st with a 24-hour timed exclusivity for the XB1 platform. I know a lot of us are hoping that Massive is able to remove the invisibility exploit and red screen of death along with other bugs.

    EDIT: It looks like the info is legit because the MS XB1 Hungarian site also has the same calendar of events on their home page.

    Feb Calendar

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