March 15, 2019
If you’ve suited up to battle the raging infection in Washington D.C., in The Division 2, it’s time to go back – back to New York, where players first battled the Green Poison plague in the original game. The Division 2’s first full-blown expansion features large system overhauls, a new level cap of 40, and a new antagonist. This expansion hopes to reinvigorate agents that have been playing forever – as well as attract newcomers.
Haven’t played The Division 2 yet or are way behind? No problem. While you need to own the base game to play, the expansion comes with the option to create a character at level 30, suited and booted for the new content. There’s a serious threat on the horizon: Aaron Keener, a Division agent gone rogue. From his stronghold in lower Manhattan, Keener seeks to destroy everything the rebuilding efforts have accomplished, harnessing a new strain of the virus to take down what he perceives as establishment forces by unleashing an even more virulent plague. Forget looking for bounties in museums and subways around D.C. – it’s time to go back to where it all began and battle this twisted opponent.
Keener has turned other Division agents to his cause, with NYC under siege by these rogue agents. Players must discover their whereabouts in the city and take them on before attempting to take on Keener himself. These manhunts take players around new areas of the city such as the Civic Center, Battery Park, Two Bridges, and the Financial District. These zones contain Keener’s four lieutenants, five main missions, eight side missions, and other activities to explore as you break through fogged areas on the map and uncover content.
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If the Green Poison wasn’t enough to level NYC as we know it, a catastrophic hurricane has also altered the landscape and changed the environment on a massive scale. In addition to leveling your character up to 40, Warlords of New York also features an infinite “post-leveling” system called SHD (Strategic Homeland Division) level, which means you can continue to develop by completing activities forever even after you’ve achieved the level cap. This system hopes to keep engagement high as players hit the endgame along with a deluge of variable tasks and hunts. The item system has been simplified and streamlined – you’ll be able to easily identify upgrades immediately instead of spending valuable time scrolling through your bag and stash for powerful gear.
New skills are available for unlocking alongside exotic options for your equipment, with the goal of increasing build diversity and options along the way – far greater than the ones available in the base game. Not only will players participate in a continuous and growing endgame as they increase their SHD level, but the expansion also marks the beginning of seasons coming to The Division 2. These provide new story beats, objectives, unique rewards, and essentially create an evolving content model at a regular cadence, addressing the lack of activity concerns that players may have had with The Division 2’s core content. I had a blast playing with my crew in The Division 2 when it launched, but found myself falling off hard due to the endgame offerings and content drop schedule, so hopefully this journey to New York brings me back and keeps me there for an extended session as an agent of The Division.