Of Division and Destiny
I was never a big fan of Destiny. Not that I hated the game it just never sucked me in. I guess the one thing I had against Destiny was how controlled it felt. PVE and PVP were separated into small sections in the form of matchmaking lobbies and instances.
Of course there are open areas where you could encounter other players but aside from the occasional Encounter missions most of these players kept to themselves with little to no incentive to interact with each other.
This was done by design to make Destiny more accessible but in turn it also made the game play feel repetitive along with a complete lack of tension while exploring. Playing World of Warcraft my fondist memory was when I got acces to the neutral zones where you had a chance of encoutering a player from a rival faction.
At first glance I was not interested in the division. I guess because of the comparison with Destiny I assumed the experience would be identical save for a different perspective. Division shares many features with Destiny but the one standout experience was the Dark Zone. Set in an infected closed off section of the city players can access valuable loot, a special DZ currency and a chance to rank up your DZ Rank.
Players can turn on each other to steal DZ points and quarantined items marking them as rogue. Once rogue you paint a target on your back notifying all players on where you are while preventing non-rogue players from going rogue if they kill you. Quarantined items are rare pieces of gear found in the DZ that can only be used after they get airlifted out. To do this you must call in an helicopter extraction notifying everyone on the area.
This creates an immense sense of tension as you try and extract valuable gear that could be stolen by a rogue player. Your role as both the hunter and hunted are constantly shifting creating a sandbox of possibilities.
The Division DZ experience is something that truly sets itself apart from Destiny offering a rewarding and dynamic experience. Along with the DZ players can experience PVE instances like Destiny allowing the game to still be accessible to less aggressive players who are interested in a purely cooperative experience.
To my surprise the Division is truly shaping up to be an excellent multiplayer experience that helps scratch that open world PVP itch I got when I played Destiny.