The Division 2’s first major expansion, Episode 1 – D.C. Outskirts: Expeditions is set to arrive this week. Check out everything new that’s coming with it.
During this week’s State of the Game, Ubisoft finally announced the release date for Tom Clancy’s The Division 2: Episode 1 – D.C. Outskirts: Expeditions. The first major expansion as part of the developer’s robust first-year plans for the game, Ubisoft fully detailed what players can expect when Episode 1 arrives this month.
First off, all of the content coming with Episode 1 – D.C. Outskirts: Expeditions will be free for everyone. It’s just a matter of when you can access it. Year 1 Pass holders will get first dibs when D.C. Outskirts: Expeditions releases on July 23, a week soon than when it becomes available for everyone else on July 30.
The Division 2 has received numerous title updates since its launch, each continuing to improve the game. Episode 1 – D.C. Outskirts: Expeditions will arrive with Title Update 5, but more importantly will mark the release of the first of three planned episodic releases. While previous title updates have added new gear, introduced the Operation Dark Hours raid, and balanced and tweaked various gameplay mechanics, Episode 1 – D.C. Outskirts: Expeditions is considered the first major expansion.
As such, there’s a lot for players to look forward to. Ubisoft briefly pulled back the curtain of Episode 1 back at E3 last month, but during today’s State of the Game, they fully detailed the contents of D.C. Outskirts: Expeditions.
The biggest new features is a brand new “experience” called Expeditions. Unlike anything currently in the game, an Expedition is a multiweek activity in which three different wings — each varying in theme and tone — are unlocked on a week-by-week basis.
For D.C. Outskirts, the Expedition will take players to Kenly College where they must locate any surviving members of a military convoy that was carrying vital supplies. Completing the three different wings will grant access to a treasure room filled with rewards and loot.
In addition to the new gameplay experience, D.C. Outskirts will come with two new main missions: Camp White Oak and Manning National Zoo. Both missions continue the main story of the game’s campaign, following Division agents as they take back D.C.
Another major highlight with Episode 1 is a new Discovery Difficulty for the Operation Dark Hours. This slightly easier setting will allow for in-game matchmaking, a long-requested feature. And while it will contain a “variety of great rewards,” the Operation Dark Hours Exotic loot will remain available only in the Normal difficulty. Still, it seems to be a good way to train for the raid and at least offers players to experience the raid if they don’t have a group of friends they can matchmake with.
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Players can also expect the typical weapon balancing and skill buffs that come with a standard Title Update. Ubisoft is focusing on Skills with this update, fine-tuning them and allowing for more diversity in an agents’ build. Players will also be able to craft gear up to Gear Score 500 and share blueprints across all of their characters.
Speaking of weapons and gear, Title Update 5 will introduce the Diamondback Rifle (exotic weapon), BTSU Datagloves (exotic gear) and the Stoner LMB and Carbine 7 weapons.
While all of the major content for Episode 1 – D.C. Outskirts: Expeditions will be free for all players, Year 1 Pass holders do get exclusive access to two new classified assignments. These will be set in Washington’s Central Aquarium and NSA Site B13, but no other details were offered.
Looking further down the road, Ubisoft has plans to release two more episodes worth of free content for The Division 2 for free as part of the game’s first year. Keep in mind, these episodes are in addition to the regularly released title updates that improve upon the game. Episode 2 Pentagon: The Last Castle will release this fall and introduce a second 8-player raid, while Episode 3 Brooklyn: Homecoming will arrive in early 2020 and take players back to New York City.
The roadmap beyond Episode 3 has not yet been paved, but it’s probably safe to assume Ubisoft will continue to expand upon The Division 2 well beyond its first year.