The next season of The Division 2 is coming soon. After a long dormant period, Ubisoft has announced that the PTS for the upcoming season of the military MMO game is now available for pre-load, and will be playable tomorrow, April 1 (we’re pretty sure this isn’t a prank).
While the new season won’t hit the live servers for a few days, we do have some patch notes for the PTS. The new season will feature a new game mode called Countdown, which has eight players take on various PvE objectives in a timed mission on a “new unique map.” You’ll be able to join a team through matchmaking, and the mode has new gear and weapon drops associated with it.
There’s also a new system called expertise, which allows characters to gain experience with specific weapons, gear sets, and skill variants. The idea is that you’ll gain proficiency ranks in any eligible item type by using that item (or skill), and when you’ve maxed out your proficiency rank on that item, you’ll be able to increase the grade of individual items of that type. You agent’s overall expertise level goes up as you gain proficiency ranks across items.
The update also includes some new gear and exotic weapons. There’s Dread Edict, an exotic version of the SVD sniper rifle that adds up to 20 stacks of increased weapon and headshot damage on enemies you hit. Reloading clears the stacks and grants you 5% of your total max armour value for each stack cleared. You can keep stacking by hitting headshots, since these refill Dread Edict’s magazine.
There’s also Bluescreen, the exotic version of the Stoner LMG, which allows you to shoot marked enemies to add pulse effects to your combat skills.
Division creative director Yannick Banchereau cautions players not to expect some huge, game-changing update with the new season. “The year we’ve spent working on the game in silence was not spent making one gigantic comeback update,” he says on Twitter. “It was spent organising and preparing for continuous support of the game.”
The importance of this update is not in its size, but in it heralding a return to normal with more to come after that. If this update doesn’t contain the changes or content you were hoping for, just remember that there are more updates coming throughout the year. 2/3
— Yannick B (@yannickbch) March 31, 2022
Banchereau says, however, that the patch does signal a ‘return to normal’ for The Division 2.
“For now, I hope we can all share a happy moment and rejoice that support for the game is resuming,” he says. “We’re live again!”
We’re still waiting, of course, for more news on the follow-up, The Division Heartland.