After you have completed the vast new narrative experience in Warlords of New York and reached level 40, Seasons will be waiting for you with a whole new set of rewards, activities and opportunities. In this article we will provide an introductory run-down of how the first Season is going to work – starting with learnings from the previous year.
Leaving 2019 behind – what have we learned?
One of the most important takeaways from 2019 is that we want to be better at making the game feel rewarding to play, and that players should meaningfully progress whenever they play, no matter the length or contents of their session. A strong narrative and living world must not interfere with players’ ability to steadily grow in power and be faced with nuanced gameplay opportunities.
The last few months of updates have brought some incremental changes to key systems in this favor, such as targeted loot, but Warlords of New York and the coming Seasons represent a much larger and more impactful set of improvements across the board.
Easier to navigate UI minimizing time spent in menus; a completely revamped RPG system with transparent roll numbers and a simple-but-deep set of stats/archetype allowing for much wider gameplay variety; updated recalibration and stat storing, providing more flexibility and quality of life when creating your builds and much more.
This all with a few key goals in mind: give players the ability to play The Division 2 the way they want, always progressing towards the goals they set for themselves and ultimately having more fun when playing.
In essence: we are working on across the board improvements to make the game feel and play better, smarter and smoother, to be more rewarding, predictable and nuanced.
A Breakdown of Seasons
Once you finish the story of Warlords of New York and reach the new level 40 endgame, Seasons bring further progression opportunities and playstyles. Starting one week after the release of Warlords of New York and lasting 3 months, Seasons revolve around the manhunt, a multi-step journey hunting down Rogue agents; players can also look forward to reimagined Global Events, new gear, Leagues and apparel – all with a unique thematic that not only applies to loot but also encounter design.
Every Season pits players against a new target, aided by their local network. The Manhunt takes players across a large and varied set of locations in both New York as well as D.C. – unlocking step by step as targets become available throughout the Season. Finishing the Manhunt will grant a new unique skill mod used by the target players are tasked with taking down. Further down the line we will communicate how players can attain the unique mods of previous Seasons.
Part of our effort to provide players with more meaningful and nuanced gameplay opportunities is to streamline the width of content added to The Division 2, with the goal of a more focused and fun experience.
Narrative elements have been entwined with the Manhunt’s story, gameplay of a particular Season and its Live service, rather than delivered as static story missions such as Classified Assignments. These type of story missions might make occasional appearances but will no longer be the main way we deliver new narrative content going forward.
Throughout a Season there will be a multitude of different activities to provide players with varied and rewarding gameplay. Our fresh take on Global Events will have Agents facing completely new types of challenges never before seen in The Division; new gear sets added in a Season will be designed with the intention of keeping a living and interesting meta-game; and Leagues give players with a more competitive attitude a go-to area to check their standing.
We will share more information on Global Events and Leagues in the coming days and weeks.
Players progress through a Season by gaining Season Levels, each unlocking a reward in the Season Track. Season Levels were developed as a direct response to the previous years’ learnings and player feedback with the intent of making progression feel predictable, ensuring that no matter the mercy of the RNG Gods, you benefit from playing. To reach this goal we have designed the Season Track to feel directed, flavorful and meaningful featuring named weapons and gear. Additionally, Gear Caches will contain season specific loot tables. The Track has been balanced so that impactful rewards are granted early, to ensure not only the most committed players get to enjoy these and avoiding putting pressure on those who play at a calmer pace.
A total of 100 levels can be attained over the 12 weeks of a Season; presently we estimate an average player will gain a level every 30 minutes to 1 hour of gameplay with no additional experience modifiers. These numbers are still in flux as internal (and external) testing happens up until the moment we launch – stay tuned for further details as we finetune this new progression system to make it feel truly rewarding. Those who wish to progress faster and perfect their leveling efficiency will be able to do so by completing seasonal activities or participating in XP multiplier events throughout a Season.
These numbers are subject to continuous reevaluation even after launching the Season. As we observe players engaging with Warlords of New York we will better understand nuances of how people want to play and keep looking for that sweet spot; again with the goal of ensuring gameplay is always rewarding, meaningful and allowing players to reach level 100 in their own preferred way.
Anyone who owns Warlords of New York will have access to all Seasonal content for free. Those who wish to gain additional rewards when gaining Season Levels can purchase a Season Pass unlocking an additional track of gear from that Seasons’ loot table, seasonal apparel, apparel keys, crafting materials and more. To keep the playing field fair, we made sure all gameplay affecting rewards on the additional reward track can be attained through normal playing. Gear available in the Premium track will be non-curated random rolls.
As the season track has been built in a manner highly respectful of players’ time investment and skill, with the most powerful and gameplay affecting rewards appearing at early levels, we foresee most players reaching their levelling goals by simply playing. Yet we do not want this to be the only option; catering to different player types and lifestyles is key when designing an inclusive and fun experience. To solve this for different player types we intend to make Season Levels available for purchase in the final weeks the season. These are designed as a catch-up mechanic for players who have not had the time to reach their intended level and still wish to do so. We are going to evaluate how players are engaging with the Season and take it into consideration when activating the Season Level Skips.
Free Season 1 Pass for all Warlords of New York owners
The Season Pass for Season 1 will be included in your purchase of the Warlords of New York expansion and you will immediately be able to unlock the Premium track rewards when Season 1 starts after claiming the Pass in the in-game Store. You will be able to claim the Season Pass for the entire duration of Season 1.
Future seasons will require a Season Pass purchase to gain access to the Premium track rewards. The Pass will be available through the in-game Store for 1000 Premium Credits, about 10 € or your regional equivalent.
What happens to players that choose to stay in D.C?
Travelling back to New York to hunt down Aaron Keener and his posse of Rogue agents will start a whole new chapter of The Division 2 for many players – with a whole new endgame, infinite progression system, seasons and more becoming available at level 40.
For those who choose to stay in D.C. all Year 1 content will still be available, along with level 30 versions of Dark Hours (as well as Raid #2 once released) and the level 30 endgame. To minimize the division of playerbase, any level 40 player will be able to join level 30 activities with level scaling.
All players, regardless of ownership of Warlords of New York, will continue receiving Quality of Life changes, in addition to core system improvements such as RPG 2.0 and improved UI/UX flows.
Apparel Events, Global Events and Seasons are exclusive to owners of Warlords of New York.
We are curious to hear what you think
Hopefully this brief introduction to Seasons and Warlords of New York post-launch has answered many of your questions.
As always, we look forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback in the comments here, or any of our official social medias.
Regards, The Division 2 Team