At midnight the Ubi servers struggled a bit. Folks were getting random connection errors trying to get in, but a tad of persistence would see you through. At worst I had to try 3 times to log in. By Tuesday instead of getting an error I was being put into a short queue, so they either implemented that or fixed something to help with the initial rush of players.
A bigger problem was that they never beta-tested the intro and so didn’t notice an easy griefing technique. Early on you have to go into a small office and when you come out you’re in a social space. Grief issue #1 is that people would stand in front of the door out of that office, preventing you from getting out (avatars are solid in the social spaces). The solution to that problem was sprinting…eventually you’ll pass through another character if you’re in a sprint. The next step is to sign into a laptop on a desk. Again, it’s easy to disrupt everyone’s fun by standing right in front of that laptop. You need to be in front of it to use it so 1 or 2 people can cause this:
— Peter Smith (@pasmith) March 8, 2016
The solution here is to log out and log back in and hope you log back into an asshat-free instance. Hopefully this issue will be patched very soon. If the intro area had been in the beta I’m sure this would’ve been caught.
For me at least, those were the only two issues. I jumped back and forth between playing on the Xbox One and the PS4. I prefer the game on PS4; it just feels crisper somehow. I’m not sure if the framerate is a little higher or that the controller is tighter or what, but I feel like I play better on PS4 (another example of how The Division isn’t a shooter…I’m better at shooters on Xbox). I also like the gimmick of having radio chatter coming from the PS4’s controller (you can disable that if you don’t like it).
All that said, many more of my friends are playing on Xbox One and Microsoft has purchased a 30 day exclusivity window for the first two DLC packs, so for now I’ll probably focus on the Xbox One version.
Over the course of the day I played solo, which is pretty easy aside from a few bosses, and a lot of time as a team of two, which isn’t much harder. You can tweak the difficulty of “story missions” to make them harder but the various “encounters” are what they are and at least in the low-ish level stuff (I got to level 8 of 30 on day 1) it’s really easy unless you wander into higher level areas. The game is supposed to scale content in response to team size but that wasn’t really apparent to me in a team of two.
Then late last night we added a 3rd player to our team and that’s when things went crazy. We were doing a side mission (I think) and we were just swarmed with baddies. I was quickly over-whelmed and killed, but luckily my team-mates were much better players than I am and we carried the day. But that was a hell of a lot of fun. I can’t imagine what the game is like with a team of 4!
Overall it was a really good first day. No real surprises since much of what I was doing I’ve already done several times in the beta tests. The intro area, as expected, is Brooklyn and it was a tad disappointing just because there’s not much to do there. It’s a fairly large area but you do a few quests and move on. Maybe we’ll return at some point and have more of a reason to explore.
My biggest challenge now is deciding what to do with surplus loot. Do I sell it so I have $$ to buy better gear, or do I break it down into components for crafting? Decisions, decisions!