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The Division Year 2 Expansions

Ubisoft has taken on a new kind of paradigm for their games when it comes to post-launch support. It's no longer fire and forget. For a game like The Division they have a complete rundown of the kind of content they want to roll out for the year, and how much you can expect to pay for it.

Over on the official Ubisoft blog they're reporting that they have an entire year's worth of new content planned for The Division. There will be two separate expansions that will actually be free. You won't have to pay a dime for the next two upcoming packs. This will follow up on the one year anniversary celebration content, which is also free. The content includes a celebration emote, higher value target rewards, higher field proficiency cache and 200 premium credits.

They mention that the first expansion will be an event-based system modifier that will center around encouraging players to partake in various events and special activities in order to unlock vanity items by topping the leaderboards and winning the goods. The first expansion is designed to change the way players -- for all levels, from top to bottom -- will engage with The Division.

The second expansion will be "content-focused" according to Massive Entertainment's creative director, Julian Gerighty. The second expansion is kind of oddly described. They say that it will be narratively driven but it won't be story missions in the traditional sense.

The reason they are attempting to steer away from the story-style mission expansions is because they mention that tying that into the RPG mechanics can be extremely difficult. For those of you who don't know, The Division is setup very similar to MMOs, and has level scaling very similar to Borderlands.

Adding in story content usually means setting up quests structured around rewards and levels that accommodate a specific kind of player. In this case, they're trying to steer away from that by focusing more on sending players through a narrative thread that does not directly tie into the current story arc for The Division. I have no idea how they plan on pulling this off with the second expansion, but in saying that they also noted that the level cap will not be raised. This likely means that they won't be adding in new high-level items either.

The second expansion is going to be a long ways off, though. So the team will have plenty of time to figure things out and how they plan to address adding in new content missions without necessarily making it story oriented.

The post also addresses the fact that the two new immediate expansions for The Division won't expand the map, either. So that's one of the reasons why both expansions will be released for free for the entire playerbase.

This is very similar to how Ubisoft has addressed content for Rainbow Six: Siege in a way to keep the playerbase engaged. Oddly enough, this tactic of free maps and content has actually worked, and Rainbow Six: Siege has retained its player engagement since 2015 (and actually expanded said engagement).

We'll see if Ubisoft's tactic of focusing on expansion packs for The Division that give players new reasons to play through the different events and special activities will work in rekindling interest in the third-person, post-apocalyptic MMO.

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