The Division 2: Dark Zones, Conflict and PvP mechanics explained

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Following the story trailer for The Division 2, Ubisoft has detailed the game’s PvP mechanics, which includes revamped Dark Zones and Conflict.

The Dark Zone is a scary place. But it can also be quite lucrative. If you plan on succeeding in Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, you’re going to want to pay attention.

Ubisoft has published multiple videos and a blog post fully breaking down the PvP experiences offered in The Division 2. The sequel will expand PvP beyond the Dark Zone experience and introduce Conflict, organized PvP modes that are more in line with traditional multiplayer experiences.

For those of you who played the first game, you’re probably quite familiar with the Dark Zone and all that comes with it. The Division introduced Dark Zones as an intense mix of PvE and PvP, offering players high rewards in this high risk instanced zone.

Dark Zones were essentially The Division‘s form of PvP. The Dark Zone was a gated area in the game that was completely open for PvP. Players could venture into this zone in hopes of obtaining high-end gear; however, the catch was that they would need to extract it before they could use it.

What made the Dark Zone intriguing was that everyone was a threat. At any moment, another group of agents could sneak up on you, kill you and loot your scavenged equipment.

Admittedly, the Dark Zone wasn’t perfect and Ubisoft made plenty of changes to it over the game’s lifespan. With The Division 2, more changes are coming.

For starters, there will now be three different Dark Zones (West, South and East), each supporting up to 12 players. Each of these areas will offer their own distinct environment, landmarks and challenges. Once again, the Dark Zone is where you’ll find some of the game’s best loot by clearing landmarks, taking down enemy factions and securing supply drops.

Of course, turning on other agents is also an option, though you risk going “Rogue.” Ubisoft has offered a bit more incentive to going rogue, which includes the ability to lockpick supply crates, steal other agents’ loot and hack SHD terminals. New to The Division 2, there are now three different Rogue statuses that “present players with a variety of ways to combat agents in the Dark Zones whenever they choose.”

Ubisoft has also added automated turrets to entry points to prevent camping. This will give newer players a chance to actually experience the Dark Zone without immediately being overpowered by veteran agents.

Another mechanic that’ll make things easier for lower-level players is the “normalization” of the Dark Zones. In an effort to bring a bit more balance and fairness to the game – and prevent a player with better gear from completely steamrolling someone with lesser gear – Dark Zones will bring all gear and weapon stats to within a narrow range. This will hopefully give all agents a fighting chance.

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That being said, The Division 2 will also offer “Occupied Dark Zones” with no rules to keep anyone safe. Once you reach the end game in The Division 2, Dark Zones will become occupied for a period of time. During this time, the Dark Zone will not be normalized, icons signifying rogue players are removed, and friendly fire is enabled. Occupied Dark Zones are described as “the most brutal” version of the Dark Zone, and as such, they’ll offer some very valuable loot.

For those who prefer a more traditional form of PvP, Ubisoft has added Conflict. This is a more organized PvP experience that pits a team of four  SHD agents against a team of four Rogue agents against Domination and Skirmish game modes in three new maps. These modes will feature their own progression system that grant rewards you’ll be able to bring back with you into the main game world.

Domination is essentially a capture-and-hold game mode with three capture zones up for grabs. Skirmish sounds like your typical deathmatch where your goal is to whittle down the enemy team’s reinforcement to zero.

The Division 2 is set to release on March 15, 2019, for Xbox One, PS4 and PC. A private beta will run from Thursday, February 7 through Sunday, February 10, with those who pre-order the game guaranteed access.