But not ‘free-to-play’
The whole “free-to-play” concept has really thrown me for a loop whenever a game goes temporarily free. I mean it is free to play, but not “free-to-play,” dig? The hyphens used to let you know a game wasn’t swimming in microtransactions, before premium games started to abuse microtransactions.
Anyway, The Division 2, a premium game that’s currently on sale for $3 for four more days at the time of publication, is free to play this weekend. That means you can download it on PC, PS4 and Xbox One and lay it from February 27 through March 2. The catch, of course, is that you can’t partake in any of the upcoming Warlords of New York expansion bits, as that DLC drops on March 3.
If you do partake, and you should, because Division 2 is still pretty fun, you’ll get a free mask for logging in and progress will carry over to the retail edition. That includes anyone who buys it at the sale price, as Ubisoft points out in their announcement blog for the event.
As a reminder, The Division 2 is going full swing with the “seasonal” concept that so many other shooters of its ilk are using, which will be the framework for the game going forward, to propel it past the Warlords of New York story campaign. Season 1 kicks off on March 10, and you can find all of the relevant info regarding them below. Have fun this weekend if you boot it up!
The Division 2 – State of the Game Recap [Ubisoft]
What are Seasons?
- Seasons will continue the narrative after the end of the Warlords of New York campaign.
- They are a large part of the new endgame and each one runs for 12 weeks.
- Seasons include weekly in-game activities that start and end on Tuesday; the length is dependent on the activity itself.
- Along with new seasonal targets, new items, and a new skill mod, Seasons bring new events including Seasonal Manhunt, Global Events, Leagues, and Apparel Events.
- Seasonal items granted along the seasonal progression track will also be available in the general loot pool.
- Each Season will have 100 levels, and the team’s goal is to have each level require a similar amount of time as a Field Proficiency Cache.
- Every activity will give you XP towards Season Levels and SHD levels.
- Narrative target briefings continue the story of The Division 2 after the Warlords of New York.
- New targets unlock every 3 weeks. Targets are available throughout the season after being unlocked, which allows players to join in late for the Seasonal Manhunt.
- Take down the first four targets to unlock the prime target.
- Take down the prime target to earn a unique skill mod.
- The prime target will have a revamped Target Mission, with new factions occupying the area in order to give players a unique encounter.
- Manhunts can be repeated in Normal, Hard, Challenge, and Heroic difficulty mode.
- A one-week long celebration of a new target becoming available.
- XP Bonus will be active, affecting not only Seasons but also SHD Level and Field Proficiency.
- Gameplay modifiers that spice up gameplay with unique effects that can be activated and de-activated by players.
- Global Events last one week, and there are three Global Events per Season.
- They include Challenges that unlock on a daily basis. Players earn stars, rank up, and unlock Global Event rewards. This reward progress is separate from SHD Level and Season Level.
- Playing Global Events and completing Challenges rewards players with big chunks of XP that applies to their Season Level and SHD Level.
First Global Event is Polarity
- Players and enemies will have a visible positive or negative charge.
- Attacking an enemy with the same polarity as yourself will do increased damage.
- Attacking an enemy with the opposite polarity will have shocking consequences.
- Switching weapons, reloading, and melee-attacking enemies will change your polarity.
- Special weapons, Skills, and grenades are not affected by the polarity.
- Leagues include faction-based PvE challenges that players complete for rewards. The first League is the Westside League focusing on defeating Outcasts.
- Compare times and compete with others through time attack leaderboards, and fulfill other challenges to rank up.
- Rank up and earn rewards. League progress is separate from SHD Level and Season Level, but doing League activities will contribute to your SHD Level and Season Level.
- Players must be level 40.
- Receive an Apparel Event Cache every few SHD Levels.
What are the rewards for participating in Seasons?
- Players can unlock a unique Skill mod by completing the Global Manhunt.
- On the free track of seasonal progression, players can also unlock gear (including the Striker gear set, the System Corruption gear set, one exotic item, and named items) and arm patches.
- There is also a premium track for seasonal progression. It costs $10, and the first one is included in the Warlords of New York expansion.
- Premium track rewards include a unique season outfit, unique named weapon skins, additional randomized seasonal gear, crafting materials, apparel keys, emotes, unique gear dyes, Faction Keys, and textiles, as well as all the rewards offered in the free track.
- Global Events & Leagues reward up to 10 guaranteed rewards each, including two unique cosmetic rewards and eight caches of gear.
How long will it take me to achieve Season Level 100?
- Level 100 is meant to be meaningful and aspirational.
- Players who participate frequently and consistently should not have any difficulties getting to Level 100.
- Season Level rewards in both the free and premium track are designed to give out the majority of seasonal gear early in the track.
- The team doesn’t want players to feel forced to complete the season to get a lot of value out of playing it.
- As mentioned above, the team is aiming to make a Season Level take similarly long to how Field Proficiency works now.
Seasonal Level Skips
- The team recognizes that there are a lot of different types of players in the community. Some will play every free minute they can get, others will have not as much time on their hands.
- Depending on playtime, 100 Season Levels are achievable with a little effort, but of course not all players will have the ability to do so.
- To help with this, the team will be allowing players to purchase Season Level skips as a catch-up mechanic.
- These will be available towards the end of the season depending on how players engage with the season. The team wants to make sure they are fine-tuning the season experience before unlocking the Level Skips.
- The current plan is to have this purchase available sometime in the final few weeks of the season.
Where do Seasons happen?
- Seasons take place in both D.C. and NYC.
When do Seasons start?
- Season 1 starts March 10.
- This should offer players plenty of time to play the campaign and explore NYC before the season.