I’m Not Alone in Being Alone in The Division
Ubisoft’s answer to Destiny is now a month old, and you would be forgiven for having shied away from diving into The Division for fear of the emphasis on co-operative play. I’ll admit, I feared that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the game solo, but I have had a great time so far. Surprisingly enough, I’m not alone in playing the game like a lone-wolf.
As you can see in this handy infographic from Ubisoft, the majority of playtime has been people playing the game solo. Admittedly, this is only an average, but it is an interesting insight into how the masses are exploring New York.
It is even more interesting when you consider that update 1.1 which brings Incursions to the game. As detailed in a Q&A with game director, Petter Mannerfelt, this new end game content isn’t designed for anything less than a four-person group:
How many players do Incursions support? Is it still up to four players?
PM: Incursions are designed for teams of four players. They are also accessible by one to three players, but the missions will be very challenging, as enemy difficulty will not be scaled.
This is something that strikes at the heart of one of the core problems with The Division for while it is being heavily promoted and advertised as an online co-op title, there is a small majority of people who have been playing the game by themselves.
While this undoubtedly includes people who are pootling around with side missions while waiting for their buddies to come online, there will also be people like me running around who are happy playing by themselves. I wonder then, why Ubisoft won’t include some sort of scaling in Incursions (and the game in general). While I’ve made good progress in the main missions so far, I am aware there will become a steep challenge towards the end of the story. If there was some scaling, not enough to take away the toughness of Incursions, but at least enough to make it accessible to well equipped solo players, I would be impressed.