Just like pretty much every modern MMO
When Ubisoft announced that the first Division 2 raid would not have matchmaking, despite stating previously that “every activity would have it,” it was a shock. Why alienate folks from the most popular endgame activity?
Before people respond with “but it’s meant to be difficult,” I’ll explain how it works in pretty much every MMO for the past decade. Basically, developers put out an easier version of the raid first, which serves as a blueprint for what’s to come. Then one to two weeks later the “real” version comes, which usually spurs “world first” races as teams try to discern all of the new tactics crammed into the more difficult edition. It’s satisfying, has multiple levels of hype involved, and has worked out wonderfully for games like Final Fantasy XIV. A few games have the opposite approach (hard first then easy later), but either way, there are almost always multiple difficulty settings.
That concept is coming to Division 2 after a massive blowback that forced the developer to respond. The change is very plainly detailed in the game’s new patch note dump, with the phrase: “Added Story Difficulty to the Washington National Airport raid.” That’s all part of Title Update 5, which is currently in testing, and players who are partaking have confirmed that the raid will have a matchmaking concession.
This is great news. Now casual players can see the entire game without having to worry about the sometimes anxiety-inducing and high-standard practice of “looking for group” tools, and hardcore players still get their hardcore experience with the non-story difficulty setting. Win-win. I hope this is the gold standard going forward.
Maybe Bungie can implement this decade-old MMO/live service concession next for Destiny 2?
Division 2 Title Update 5 [Reddit]