I wrote a post three weeks ago that never got published that was in defense of The Division. I had just reached max level and could not understand why there was so much derision of this game. I was riding a high after just beating the final story boss. I am now writing because that high is long gone, leaving disbelief, disappointment, and disillusionment in its place.
The Dark Zone
I had such high hopes for the Dark Zone. During the betas, the Dark Zone was most of what you could do and it was pretty fun. There were plenty of tense moments with other players waiting for an extraction. We would hunt down rogues with authority, bringing them to justice. By the time I had reached level 30, that was all gone. Now bands of goons with maxed gear sit outside entrances, killing any unsuspecting player who ventures through. Think you are safe in that Safe House? Nope! They’re out there, just waiting for you. The difference between a brand new level 30 and one who has maxed out their gear is everything. You feel helpless. Maybe some people like that, but I’m not one of them. The only option is to always be with a group of at least four so you have some level of protection.
The Dark Zone being what it is, we have dailies as an alternative. The hard dailies are fine: you run through the same story missions you have already run through, killing the same enemies, and hoping that you get a good drop. Nothing new, nothing inventive. The challenging missions, on the other hand, are unbelievably hard. You will most certainly need a group of four or you will be slaughtered. Immediately. Coop, Aaron, and myself could not even get close to the entrance to Lincoln Tunnel without being viciously mowed down by the regular enemies. We were proud we were able to take down a single person.
Does not exist. Moving on.
All The Bullets In The World
I thought I could get over it. I tried to accept it. However, firing an entire LMG clip of 75 rounds into a human's head and watch as they just keep coming is just wrong. It feels wrong. I dismissed the concerns that others raised about this very fact, but I know now that they were probably right. I even went back and played Destiny for a little while to get a comparison. There’s something about a nine-foot-tall armored gorilla bullet sponge that just makes more sense. How do I know how many bullets it takes to down something like that? It takes whatever I am able to hit it with. Also, enemies have shields and armor, they’re not wearing a hooded sweatshirt and a bandana over their faces. I know how many bullets it takes to take down an enemy like that: one.
This was going to turn it all around. A good first raid could be enough to get people through the early hurdles of balancing out a massive game such as this. We didn't have the four people we would need yet, but I was willing to work to get everyone up to snuff in order to take on the Incursion just as soon as I heard some good things about it, but that never happened. Instead, people talked about glitches and disappointment. Instead of the awesome puzzle aspects of Vault of Glass, you got waves of enemies. It wasn't what I was hoping for. I want to run it at some point, but there is no urgency to complete it.
To The Bottom
At this point, I have not played The Division in probably a week. It doesn't help that there are so many great games to play, including, but not limited to: Hyper Light Drifter, Enter the Gungeon, and Rocket League: Hoops. Maybe if more of the people I play with were still into The Division we would carry on, but it feels like everyone has moved on. The good thing is that it is always there. There is no subscription I am wasting, so I can take a break, maybe wait for another content update of the first DLC, and come back. I still have some hope that there is a good game in there for me, I just hope it shows up before Destiny 2.