The Division 2 players on consoles were hoping that the developer Massive Entertainment would apply some form of balance changes to make the recently-released raid content easier, but this week the studio was firm in its decision not to change anything. Instead, improvements are on the way in the form of bug fixes, though it is unclear exactly how much those will impact the ability of console players to complete the content.
The news was released during the weekly State of the Game stream where the developers congratulated at length those players who have completed the Operation Dark Hours raid. Those who were part of the World’s First teams on each platform will be memorialized in a White House portrait, complete with a team photo and the names displayed for all the see. When asked if there were any plans to adjust the difficulty of the console version, the idea was dismissed without further elaboration on the matter.
The response has some players scratching their heads in confusion, as the difficulty between the two platforms is apparent in many ways. While the World First completion on PC took only five hours after the launch of the raid, and is now being routinely farmed in under half an hour, the same World First feat took three days on console, taking over 36 hours to complete on the PS4 and 17 on the Xbox One. Since that time, 7,000 PC players are breezing through the completion of the new content, while a scant 150 console players have managed to do the same.
The bug fixes mentioned by the developers on console may help in this matter, but it is unclear how much. Currently, there is an issue where some enemy AI are not acting as intended, rushing players and ignoring damage. With this change, Massive appears to believe that more console players will complete the content.
While that seems like a lackluster plan to account for the discrepancy in completion between PC and consoles, it is important to remember that this new raid content was touted by management as the solution to address the game not meeting its sales expectations.
The plan may be to gate the progression of console users in an effort to keep them playing for longer. This is not an uncommon practice, and is an explicit part of some MMORPGs like World of Warcraft, where content is gated by splitting it into wings and then typically spreading the release of each over five to ten weeks for casual players that use the Looking For Raid matchmaking system.
While timed gatekeeping of new content is commonly done in those types of games, the purpose is often laid out clearly. Here however, Division 2 players on console may feel as though they are being ignored in favor of PC players, as it is hard to justify such a discrepancy in the numbers.