New details about The Division emerge as we learn about elements of survival, equipment, trading, exploration and more.
In a recently discovered interview, Ubisoft Massive lead game designer Mathias Karlson and design director Axel Rydby discuss elements that put the “RPG” in The Division.
Food and water, given the current state of the game world, will have much greater value, but will be used for currency instead of being required for survival.
“Not only do you actually have to go out and look for food and water, but [they] become very valuable and rare resources that can be used to trade and stuff like that,” says Rydby. “But when it comes to having to drink water and eat food to be able to survive, that’s not really what we want from it. Food and water will be a very important part of the game, but players will not need to eat and drink to stay alive.”
Also according to Dydby, players will start off in the always-online game world with 72 hours-worth of very basic equipment and supplies, but will want to find and equip better items as soon as possible.
“Moving throughout the world, it’s going to be a lot about looting and acquiring new gear as you progress. We’re focusing a lot on the RPG aspects of the game since we are very much an RPG, so acquiring loot and gearing up your character is going to be a very big part of the game.”
Players won’t be choosing a “class” outright in The Division, but will instead define themselves by making certain decisions throughout a playthrough. Massive wants these choices to be “tough” but “fun” at the same time, according to the interview.
Karlson added that “finding your play style is going to be a big part of your journey through the game. Part of that is of course to find what tools are [your] favorites and are best for the way [you] want to play.” It will take a bit of work to find exactly what you really want, but Kalson explains that players won’t have to worry too much about conserving items like ammunition, despited the game’s heavy focus on survival.
Rydby also added that “there’s going to be a very active black market where players can trade their resources and the guns and the gear that they find in the world for other things to help them progress and to help them survive in the world. So yes, trading will very much be a part of the game.”
Because exploration in a co-operative, always-online world can be difficult when players want to move to different parts of the world, “being able to communicate within your group is very important, so you will be able to see where everyone is and then give hints and direction to points of interest,” says Karlson, though specifics are still being worked out in the studio.
Whether or not you’ll be able to use vehicles to explore the world is also still up for debate, though Karlson did mention that “the way you navigate and move through the city or a game that is open in nature, it’s very core to how you experience the world.”
As was made clear in the recent Snowdrop Engine showcase trailer, Rydby says “the immersion and fidelity of the world is very core to our philosophy, so with weather changing and day/night changing dynamically, those are going to be very big parts to the game.” He went on to say that the game world and the way it’s designed will feature a number contrasting environments that “stay true to the spirit of New York.”
Lastly, though Karlson didn’t want to spoil too much when it comes to AI, he did reveal that “being an open-world game, we’re in New York City and it’s not the apocalypse we’re mid-crisis, so you’re not going to be alone in the city, that’s for sure.”
Ubisoft Massive is looking forward to launching The Division during the Winter of 2014 on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.