The Division: Building a Better Agent

If you haven’t been keeping up with The Division its time to head over to the official site and dig into all of the behind the scenes and community videos they have been releasing. In addition to screenshots they have been dolling out new footage and podcasts.

Everyone over here at Game Nexus are very excited to get our hands on the game in March ( remember the Beta starts in December) 2016 but for now we can only just nibble on these tid bits.

As a Online RPG game; The Division is putting a great emphasis on character development over simply just twitch shooting skills. The developers want you to invest in your character and really feel like you are a part of the ” post economic crash” game world they have created.

The article below comes from the Official Site and outlines how experience and skills will shape your experience in The Division.

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11/25/2015 02:25 PM

Hello, agents!

Last episode we took a look at the base level of Tom Clancy’s The Division by exploring the world. Now it’s time to build on that and delve into the life of the agents and learn how they’re able to adapt into a variety of different roles, scenarios, and playstyles.

To tackle this enormous topic, we called upon a bunch of talented developers including Game Designer Drew Rechner, Lead Economic Designer Andrada Greciuc, Senior Game Designer Marcus Rosengren, Senior Game Designer Matthieu Delisle, and Lead Character Artist Oskar Lundqvist to take some time off from their busy schedules and answer a few questions. We explored everything from what the experience systems provide for players, how our skill choices provide unique functionalities, the talents and perks system, and everything between. So relax, get comfortable, and keep reading!


Returning to the enemies who previously posed a barrier and easily disposing of them thanks to your higher level, new skills, and talents is the pinnacle of character advancement within The Division. Marcus explains the experience system perfectly, “It helps contextualize a player’s progression. Our brain uses contrasts all the time, so having levels gives you something to compare with.” Every adversary we encounter in The Division is tied to a level, just as our agents are, so naturally those who are of a higher level are more difficult and pose a much greater threat. However, with every level up your agent becomes more powerful and gains access to more advanced technology,  unlocking skill modifications along with talents to assist them with even greater challenges. If you aren’t prepared, your agent is revived upon death at a distant safe point, and regardless of where that is the path back to your encounter may be filled with new dangers. Choose your fights wisely as you can return at a later point with better equipment and skills!

Within the Dark Zone, players will collect an entirely new form of experience. Detached from the regular level experience, players gain Dark Zone experience more as a rank system rather than a level. Matthieu explains that with a higher rank you will gain access to superior equipment and crafting recipes at specific vendors, but it will also be a requirement to access the high value crates the agents will stumble upon throughout the Dark Zone. Unique to this experience type as well, you can also decrease in rank if you end up dying enough within the Dark Zone. Going rogue certainly has its risks: you will lose even more Dark Zone experience based on your rogue status, but is the potential loot reward from other agents worth the risk?


Do you like explosions, a more tactical and controlled approach, or do you prefer charging at an enemy with a riot shield? “Skills are one of the aspects of the game that help define the player’s role the most,” says Drew. Each one creates a unique strategic approach to encounters, tailored to your preferred playstyle. However, not all skills are available immediately. As agents travel through the world and complete missions, they become more diverse and gain access to more choices. Each skill can then equip an array of modifications. Whether it’s as simple as doing more damage or increasing the scan range, these modifications alter functions to fit a variety of situations. Similar to how you unlock skills, Andrada explains that modifications are made available through your mission progress. While some may take more time to gain access to than others, the two main skills you select will come down to personal preference and tactical advantages. When you have access to multiple choices, they can be swapped around as you see fit, so be sure to plan your approach!

Each skill also carries its own distinctive look. If you look closely at an agent, “you can visibly see the different skills that are selected,” says Oskar. Not only do the skills have a unique look when deployed, but they also impact the passive look of the agents through various visible gadgets. The choice is yours – a skill based on looks, or on functionality?


Whether you like to play solo, support a group of friends, or sit back and dish out damage with the biggest gun possible, each talent allows you to take that extra step needed toward specializing your playstyle. Similar to skill modifications, talents are unlocked through  your mission progress. They actively affect your prowess in situations to further adapt your agent based on your playstyle preference. Each talent provides a unique combat enhancement triggered through defined activities that assist you in overcoming a challenge. When you have unlocked every one of them, you can select and freely swap between them to explore a variety of options.


Andrada describes the function of perks as convenience enhancers. We, as agents, will feel ourselves progressing further as we complete more missions and unlock more perks. Once unlocked, perks are active and do not need to be triggered in any way. From increasing the number of items you can carry to additional crafting materials, each perk brings its own convenience that presents a sense of your agent’s progression within the world of The Division. However, unlocking all the perks is directly tied to your mission progress as well, so get to work!

We hope you enjoyed our look into the diverse and exciting progression of the agents as much as we did, and look forward to getting your hands on the upcoming beta! As always we love hearing from you guys so please stop by our Facebook,Twitter, Google+, our official forums, or join the conversation on Reddit and let us know what you think. Keep your eyes peeled for any future content!

Until next time!

—The Division Dev Team

@yannickbch – Community Developer


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