Arguably the Dark Zone was the most exciting concept when I first heard about The Division. I give a lot of credit for that hype to Ubisoft for the first video they released showing how the DZ would work.

If you can get past the stiff dialogue delivery and scripted moments, there is a really cool concept laid before you in the DZ: trust no one. At anytime, any player, even your own party members, could turn on you. It creates this palpable tension that is present every time a non-hostile player shows up. During the beta, I experienced many standoffs with other players, never taking our eyes off each other in case anyone made a move.

There were other times where a band of rogues would be moving through the DZ, trying to recover their "non-hostile" status while being mercilessly hunted by everyone else. It completely sold me.

Watching Every Step

We have now had The Division for a week and there is an interesting trend that is developing: no one is going rogue. I, myself, have only gone rogue once so far and it was actually a complete accident. I did decide to finish what I started, executing the unfortunate soul, and then promptly died from an AI attacker. Even in that experience, I did not receive anything for going rogue, but more importantly I lost a lot.

I have not reached max level yet, so I can't speak from an end-game vantage point, but at this point in my career as an agent, there is really no reason to go rogue. The punishment can be quite severe and the reward just doesn't make up for that.

I know this a problem that Ubisoft recognizes as well. During the State of the Game stream on Twitch, Kévin Goyon, an Associate Live Producer, acknowledged that they are seeing only about 10% of players go rogue. They are looking at ways to try and increase that number through balancing. I think this is going to be important for the long term success of The Division. I don't think Destiny would be where it was at if The Crucible was not a strong offering. While some can run a raid over and over again, others are going to need some kind of competitive outlet.

Temptation Iteration

I am interested to see what changes Ubisoft makes to try and make going rogue more enticing because I truly believe the Dark Zone needs villains. Villains are a key ingredient when building great stories and there are lots of opportunities for great stories to come out of the DZ. I am hoping at my current pace that when I reach 30, I will be able to reap the benefits of a few more weeks of data and iterations as they continue to improve the Dark Zone.