After a year hiatus, I’ve returned to The Division 2. Now, I should note that my buddy and I returned to the looter shooter before Coronavirus really spread in the US, but there is something nevertheless cathartic about playing a game, which is based on rebuilding society after a global pandemic, during an actual pandemic. But that’s beside the point. I’m here to share my thoughts on just why I’m loving my return to DC.
When I left The Division 2 last year, I was level 27. I hadn’t attempted the strongholds yet, even though I had completed the main story. Fun fact, I honestly cannot remember the names of any of the characters except for Agent Kelso.
Truth be told, we jumped back into The Division 2 because of the Warlords of New York expansion. We both bought the expansion, but have yet to actually go to New York because we both want to get through endgame. Let me explain.
There are a couple of ways you can access New York. For one, you can simply go there, in which case your character will be boosted to level 30. But this effectively makes you skip the actual base game campaign, in addition to all the World Tier content. By boosting, your character is vaulted to World Tier 5.
My buddy and I thought about this, but decided against it, instead opting to take part in the endgame. And man, I’m loving it. My buddy and I are now World Tier 2 as of this writing. Although we’ve met the gear score requirement for World Tier 3, we’re still taking our time side questing and diving into the various activities in The Division 2.
I love the Black Tusk AI faction. The AI here is unlike almost any other AI I’ve come across in games. They are actually smart. They will outflank you. They will out-tech you. And I love them for it.
Recently, one of our other friends grabbed The Division 2 when it was on sale for $3, and I described the game to him as real-time XCOM. I feel this description is 100% accurate during this endgame with the Black Tusk. My friends and I have to constantly think about our positioning. We have make sure our skills complement each other. Even our weapon selection is complementary.
I have been dabbling quite a bit with recalibration – a system which allows you to strip attributes, core attributes, and talents off of existing weapons and gear to apply to other weapons and gear. This system is actually insanely deep. And I caught myself the other day thinking that I have never once dabbled in systems like this in other games. Allow me to explain.
I’ve always been more of a “casual” enjoyer of RPGs, in that I’m there for the exploration and setting. I love RPGs more than any other type of game. But I’ve never cared about min/maxing my build. I’ve never been one to delve into wikis to find the optimal skills and stats for a certain playstyle. I pretty much always allow momentum to carry me through my exploration and adventure. This doesn’t mean I do not have deep knowledge about various systems in these games. But I’ve never been one to deliberately focus my time and energy onto such things. My time and energy have always been directed towards exploring the vast open worlds.
The Division 2 is completely different. I’ve found myself spending hours in the guts of the recalibration system, pushing myself to get every ounce of efficiency out of my build. Obviously, I’m no expert, but the fact that I’m even doing this speaks volumes about how much I’ve thrown myself into The Division 2.
Right now, I’m focusing on a Skill build, and I’ve seen the dividends of this pay out big time. My current skills are the auto turret and revive hive – two skills which beautifully complement my friend’s seeker mine and attack drone. Recalibrating my gear has allowed me to reach the Tier 6 perks for both my turret and hive and man, these have proven instrumental.
My turret has so much more health now and deals much more damage. This makes it vital in fights against gold bar enemies, if for no other reason to aggro and tank all that damage while my friend and I reposition for better attack.
My revive hive has been seriously clutch as well. Diverting my gear to provide skill tier instead of armor as its core attribute has meant my overall armor rating isn’t necessarily being buffed by my gear. Thus, I’m a tad squishier than normal. And so, having a Tier 6 hive which not only revives me, but provides me substantial armor is a huge boon.
I am enjoying this current build, and my next goal is experiment in the base attributes, specifically skill haste so that I can use my skills more often. It is this depth and freedom of customization which has completely hooked me into The Division 2 endgame as of late. The chase is real.
Additionally, I have always wanted to really get into a looter shooter. I flirted with Destiny 2, but it just didn’t do it for me, and I honestly don’t know why. It gives me such joy to say that The Division 2 has filled that void for me.
The deep recalibration system, the intelligent AI, the absolutely stunning graphics, the masterful third-person animations, the entire DC area filled with layer upon layer of macro and micro detail – all of these elements combine to create one truly epic game.
I’m having a blast in endgame so far, and cannot wait to see what lies ahead on my journey to World Tier 5 and beyond. After all, New York beckons, and I must save it.