Now that a large percentage of players have hit the level 30 cap of The Division and have begun the great endgame journey, everyone has come to a consensus that there are some issues that need to be addressed. At this point, there are three avenues of progress: Daily Missions, Challenge Missions, and The Dark Zone.
The first two are simply upscaled versions of the story missions we’ve already played through, and is something fairly standard to this “shared-world shooter” genre. They are, at this point, the single most reliable source of Phoenix Credits, an important currency for purchasing the best high-end (yellow) gear and blueprints. Tackling those Daily Missions, however, is a very daunting task coming fresh out of the “campaign.” Single enemies in these runs will have the ability to take down Agents in two shots, and require concentrated, continuous fire from an entire team to take down. In my first attempt at this mode, my team could not get past the metal detectors of the Russian Consulate, making it clear that high-end gear is a necessity.
Replaying missions on challenging is slightly easier, and will garner some of that gear, but replayable is not a word anyone would use to describe The Division in terms of story content. With no interesting mechanics or real boss fights, at the end of the day these missions are just generic gunfights through the same hallways. While fun the first time, I have no desire to go back. That leaves The Dark Zone, which was advertised as the core of the endgame.
Unfortunately, The Dark Zone’s open nature and lack of structure works against it. It has largely devolved into players running circles around the same blocks, waiting for the same three packs of elite packs to respawn. Phoenix Credits can no longer be efficiently farmed from “bosses” (named versions of regular enemies), so the real objective is to increase your Dark Zone level so that you can purchase gear and blueprints from vendors. This creates a wall, blocking the sense of progress that was present in the rest of the game.
Regular Dark Zone gear cannot be purchased until you’ve reached rank 30, which for players serious about their progress will have been outclassed by high-end gear obtained from missions. For slightly more casual players like myself, reliant on RNG in the Dark Zone, this means that I won’t be seeing real progress until I grind up to 30. For every purple piece of gear I find, I seem to either get “baited” into going rogue (a group will run into my line of fire to take my loot with no repercussion) or it turns out that it’s simply another grip or scope. From my impressions, the only reliable way to progress is vendors, and they are gated behind level caps. My credits, therefore, are useless for most of the endgame grind. Furthermore, there is another 20 levels to grind to gain access to high-end gear. There is no steady increase in power, just massive jumps.
But then what? This is perhaps the most glaring issue. There is no raid boss awaiting you, just the same story missions. Granted, there is an “Incursion” coming in April, but Ubisoft has been awfully quiet about it. If it were to be a Raid-like activity, I feel like we’d be hearing exactly that. As for now, there are two things to do in The Division: run around in circles pointlessly in The Dark Zone, or replay story missions that are artificially difficult.