Tom Clancy’s The Division Open Beta Coming Feb 19th

Ubisoft’s open-world shooter RPG Tom Clancy’s The Division is due to launch in a month, but we’ll all get to play it a little before then. Ubi have run closed beta tests for gits with keys for a while, but now they’ve announced an open beta for everyone. Here on PC, we’ll get to play from Friday, February 19th until the end of Sunday the 21st. After reading Adam’s recent preview I’m more interested in its snowy deserted New York City than the RPG-y shootyshoots but sure, I’ll give it a go.

In the post announcing this, Ubi say:

“Added to the content already seen in the Closed Beta, the Open Beta will include an all new story mission for players to explore in their pursuit to take back New York. As a thank you, everyone who participates will be rewarded with a special in-game reward which will unlock for players when the full game is released.”

We’ll be able to download the beta client from the 16th so we’re nice and ready in time.

Oh, and here’s a new trailer introducing the game’s factions and what they’re up to. I’ll sum them up for those who can’t or won’t watch it right now: rioters who like doing murders, escaped inmates who like doing murders, folks who believe in the cleansing power of murderfire, militia who believe they can establish order with a few little murders, and The Good Guys (that’s us!) who broadly agree with the militia but differ on who exactly should be murdered. Call me old-fashioned, but I’d probably call in a blimp full of kindly teachers who gently reassure everyone below that it’s not too late, to make them feel bad for joining in with this foolishness.


  1. Morte66 says:

    I am disappointed if I can’t play a Riker.

  2. vahnn says:

    Anyone thinking of buying this on pc, be sure to try the beta. Might save yourself some money.

    • Xzi says:

      Probably* will save you some money. This game is garb. If you want a shooter, there are a million better ones out there, and if you want an MMO, there are a million better ones out there.

      The one positive might have been its graphical fidelity if they hadn’t lied about it entirely.

      • Asurmen says:

        And if you want an MMO that’s a shooter, you have one choice and it’s not even the same style of game, so I’m not sure how your argument works.

        • anHorse says:

          What are you fucking talking about

          There’s loads of fps or tps mmos

          • Asurmen says:

            TPS aren’t really shooters.

            Please list this supposed loads of MMOFPSs. Extra points if you can list ones with more than 10 players.

            The genre as a whole barely exists and is more or less a non starter. The biggest has always been Planetside 1 and 2 and they can’t be said to be all that big.

  3. Rindan says:

    I am already pretty sure that The Division is going to easily claim the trophy for my top disappointment in 2016. I saw The Division and though, “Stalker with no anomalies in NYC!” or “Planetside 2 with more RPG elements!” It turns out that it is going to be closer to Wild Star in NYC. Instead of meaty and dangerous combat, they are going for the traditional MMORPG damage sponges with piles of HP and the traditional healer/tank/DPS roles. Blah.

    Hell, the very fact that it is using hit points and DPS terminology, easily the dumbest and most worthless abstractions ever to curse gaming, pretty much kills it for me. If I put a pistol to a guy’s head and pull the trigger, they should drop dead; end of story.

    I think a lot of people are going to be severely disappointed. They should have said they are making a traditional MMORPG but using guns instead of swords from the front. I am not the only person to be deluded by their trailers into thinking that they were making a game with meaty and lethal combat, rather than MMORPG damage sponge combat.

    Color me disappointed. I probably won’t even bother with the open beta. I know that anything with the taste of shitty MMORPG HP based combat makes me instantly hurl.

    • iainl says:

      Unfortunately, we’ve seen with previous attempts to put large numbers of people on a single server that there are two possible ways to do meaty combat where only a couple of shots kill:

      1) If each enemy goes down quickly, pump in a whole load of the buggers. Which means your graphics engine has to handle a hell of a lot of people.
      2) Make you just as vulnerable, and you only need a few enemies at once. Which can be great, as Ubisoft should remember from GRAW (I am -so- disappointed this isn’t effectively a big, open-world version of the original GRAW multiplayer). But you need rock-solid hit-tracking when even a single hit on your character can ruin your day.

      If you can’t do either of those, then you get The Division, where you try to make the first, realise you can’t handle all those NPCs, cut it down and then get complaints from your testers that it’s unfair.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        They just went the quick route to avoid the Day-Z scenario in which a hidden player can easily snipe you without you being able to do much.

        The idea might even work, but the execution is hamfisted.

    • Lethe says:

      Pretty sure all FPS games are hitpoint-based under the skin, even if the head is only assigned one hipoint.

      Or rather, I would’ve expected an FPS that modelled human anatomy and homeostatic processes in any detail and calculated on the fly the effect of a bullet-shaped object with a, b, c material properties passing through a given part of the body at such and such velocity and angle with x, y, z instantaneous, short- and medium-term effects to have attracted enough press coverage that I would’ve noticed it.

      • The Great Wayne says:

        Don’t forget the PTSD from all that shooting and stress inducing scenes, the fact that in real life, while hurt you don’t magically heal with a kiss from a friend (even a good friend), that you can’t get a shocktroop shield out from your pocket, etc.

        It’s a game. It’s making some sacrifices on the realism in favor of the gameplay. I’ll guess most people around these parts are used to the concept, they just like to pretend otherwise because it’s the next AAA title by Ubisoft and every reason is good as long as it allows to bash the big guy.

        Hell, I ain’t even a supporter of this game, but this nonsense has to stop, I’m sure there are far better points upon which to criticize The Division. The contrary would mean it’s the best game of that decade.

        • Rindan says:

          I never said anything about realism. If is just boring and shitty game play to spend a pile of time plunking away at an enemy with a mountain of hit points. It isn’t fun. It isn’t satisfying.

          You don’t have to agree. Lots of people love Borderlands with its hit point centric game play. Lots of people find it perfectly fun to have to match levels with NPCs and players to be able to fight them without it being a one sided slaughter, I’m just not one of them.

          If MMORPG style combat where a DPS stat is meaningful gets you off, rejoice, The Division is going to rock your world. If MMORPG style combat puts you to sleep, The Division is going to suck. I am firmly in the “this sucks” camp. I wanted Planetside with cooperative and RPG elements. What we are getting is WoW with third person shooter elements.

          • The Great Wayne says:

            If I put a pistol to a guy’s head and pull the trigger, they should drop dead; end of story.

            While I may agree on your point on mmorpg tropes, this is clearly related to realism…

            Now, concerning The Division, I don’t see it as a WoW-alike as much as a Destiny/Warframe kind of game, with cover replacing twitch gameplay and evasion.

            As for bullet sponging or whatever impressions people might be under at that point, I may advise to judge once the game is released and on cruise speed – if only from gameplay videos.
            There’s a hell of difference between what a game looks like, how it feels, and how it fares in the long run (and how well it is supported).

            Finally, if you’re coming up with “Borderlands is like WoW” well I’ll have to disagree. Borderlands isn’t WoW, and if The Division is half as fun as Borderlands multiplayer, I’m predicting it’s going to be a blockbuster.

          • The Great Wayne says:

            Blimey, only the first paragraph was meant to be quoting :(

      • Rindan says:

        If you find no functional difference between WoW’s hit point system and say Call of Duty, I can’t help you. I don’t care if the code tracks stuff with integers under the hood or not. In fact, I don’t even really care if it shows you health out of 100. The difference is between a system that is about slowly draining away hit points from a large pool, and so stats like DPS mean something, and systems where other factors matter more. Namely, systems where aim, cover, and position matter because bullets quickly make you and enemies dead.

        I don’t need a detailed anatomy simulation. I just need someone to die when I put a pistol to their head and pull the trigger. If you like grindy MMORPG combat, good for you, you are not alone. I personally am bored to death with it and really don’t look forward to another game where a level 50 is literally unkillable, even when AFK. I want meaty gun combat and where levels don’t exist, or at least just offer options, not near invulnerability.

  4. OmNomNom says:

    I was so hyped for this but it is such a snore fest. Those looking for actual gameplay look elsewhere.

  5. Rizlar says:

    This looks terrible. Can’t wait to try it out!

  6. Mr.Snowy says:

    Well having played the beta a week or two back, allow me to be the dissenting voice and say that I am really looking forward to the game.

    I thoroughly enjoyed myself – a co-op shooter with a hitpoint system doesn’t have to be a bad thing, the Borderlands series made that clear, and the enemies in what I played of The Division were anything but bullet sponges. The only time that criticism could be levelled was in the final boss of the sole SP/Co-op mission included in the beta, and that made sense as he provided support to the other lesser baddies who attacked you in the rooftop finale. Even then, he could be fairly quickly despatched.

    As a player, you die very quickly in either PvP or PvE combat, and most enemies also go down just as fast. The ‘heroic’ ones in the Dark Zone are an exception but even then, they still die pretty fast. Bring a decent marksman rifle to the party and a single headshot takes them down.

    Initially hearing the actual direction I was disappointed that the game was not a pure co-op shooter in the vein of the Clancy games of old (something I would still love to see), but actually having tried what they have made, I think it will be a lot of fun and look forward to the full release.

    • citrusninja says:

      I gave the closed beta a try on a whim. 35 hours later (30 on XB1, 5 on PC), I emerged from the weekend with a newfound respect and hype for the game. I have not experienced a pvp rush like this since Eve or DayZ / Rust. The Dark Zone is really something special and I strongly encourage anyone to try out the Open Beta for themselves.

  7. racccoon says:

    I actually think this is a good game! :)