Another round of maintenance is scheduled for The Division’s servers on March 22, for 3 hours so don’t plan on playing for the first part of today. With this being said I want to discuss the important issue of why this is bigger than just a quick patch or update.
The divide between completed games, dedicated working servers and getting your money’s worth should be question and concern. “The Division” is the newest release from Ubisoft and is a prime example of how an experience can be broken by connection. This generation’s games rely heavily on enhanced graphics, advanced lighting, advertising, and intricate story lines. Game developers often pour hundreds of hours into making games look the part. My question is what about the internet back bone of games? Why in 2016, is this still happening?
Dedicated servers and Internet connection seem to be stuck in the past. The need for constant updating is unavoidable and having reliable connectivity to the internet is a must. When is the last time you bought a game and couple simply play it? Gamers are constantly bombarded with updates, patches, DLC, and in-game micro transactions. All this is dependent on having good connectivity to the Internet and dedicated working servers. This brings me to The Division which on the box says “internet required”.
Normally I tend to shy away from theses type of games as I enjoy games with deep campaigns and an easy to follow story where you get to know the characters. Playing this game for a couple of days I am really impressed with the graphics, weapon/ability upgrade system, controls, enemy AI, and the amount of detail Ubisoft put into the game. For such a large game the level of detail they put into designing the different stages is pretty remarkable. Another part of the game is matchmaking. When it works the experience of defeating an entire base is exhilarating. Defeating the enemy and mission take sometimes a well thought out strategy. Part of this stategy involves often needing backup from other players. In my time trying to find and add other players to your group can almost be as impossible as connecting to the servers!
But then in the heat of battling to defeat the last boss, the game kicks me out reading a Mike, Delta, or Bravo error. This in common terms means cannot connect to the server losing everything I just spent hours on. I have experienced these errors on more than one occasion 15 hours into the game. These kind errors the having a good time to throwing your Mountain Dew at your flat screen. The focus then turns from strategy to fear and frustration of will my game work today? My main point is if your a major company and intentionally list on the box “internet required” then as a company you have an obligation to make sure this well tested/beta in advance of releasing the game. All the detailed painstaking work of making a replica of New York mean nothing without connectivity.
It seems this has become the norm for gaming companies and it happens so frequently that gamers have just started to expect this. Why are we still getting incomplete games and spending sometimes more time on other things besides playing the actual game?
Overall I am really enjoying The Division and believe it still has huge potential, but enough with the weekly maintanence already! Gamers desesere better. The focus should be on gaming and less on waiting for unfinished games to be gradually improved to where they should have been day 1.
What are your thoughts on the inconsistent servers for The Division? Let us know in thecomments below.