This week, Division 2 players were disappointed to learn that the new Operation Dark Hours raid would not support matchmaking, despite developer Massive’s claims that every activity would offer the feature. Given that raids in Division 2 are meant for 8 players, the hope was that Division agents could group up in-game and tackle the activity but that isn’t the case. However, Massive might be looking into a solution in the near future.
After a strong outcry from The Division 2 community, Massive Entertainment’s Community Developer Chris Gansler wrote a blog post detailing why the team decided not to include matchmaking. As expected, the Operation Dark Hours raid was built to be a very challenging experience where player builds and communication are essential, and as such the developers didn’t want to thrust players into the randomness of matchmade teams.
Gansler also clarified that the intent was to offer matchmaking for every Division 2 activity at launch, but post-launch content may not offer it even beyond raids. That was a major sticking point for fans that complained; they expected the raid to have matchmaking and were only given two days notice.
With the upcoming release for Operation Dark Hours, we wanted to discuss matchmaking for the Raid.
Operation Dark Hours will be the most challenging content we have ever created for the franchise. While Incursions are compared to the raid they are not the same, and the level of difficulty and requirements to work as a team are much higher. Operation Dark Hours requires players to align on their unified goals and strategies, from defining each agent’s build and coordinated efforts on the fly to overcome the unmatched challenge awaiting them at the Washington National Airport. The raid will require very good communication between agents, adjusting to situations on the fly and fire power alone will not be the decisive factor to get through the National Airport. Therefore, our decision was to not include matchmaking, as the difficulty level is designed for coordinated groups and clans, that will prepare, plan and execute their strategies.
While all activities at launch had matchmaking as stated previously, technical constraints or gameplay purposes can bring us to not implement matchmaking on some post-launch activities. We hear your feedback, we read all your comments, and we’ll keep discussing it internally and with you. To be clear: We don’t have a simple switch to turn on matchmaking for 8 random players. We still think that might not be the best solution in the end.
We really appreciate your feedback and we’re excited to see how passionate you are about the first raid in The Division 2 before anybody has even entered it. It makes us happy that this completely new experience is something a lot of agents want to tackle. If you’re looking for like-minded people we’ll have special Looking For Group channels on our official Discord server and you can also start looking for other agents on Twitter by using the hashtag #LFGDarkHours.
Thank you,/The Division Team
Shortly after that, though, Massive Entertainment held a Special Report stream before the Operation Dark Hours raid released. And during the stream, the developers revealed that they are working on an in-game grouping option for players but it won’t be as simple as matchmaking.
They explained that players would need a way to gauge whether potential teammates have microphones, speak the same language, and have a well-optimized Division build. It’s a type of grouping that The Division 2 has yet to offer so far, which likely means that it won’t release any time soon.
For now, players can use their clans, friends, or an LFG website to group up for The Division 2 raid. Based on early streams of the raid, it seems like the need for highly optimized builds is essential, as is proper communication. But those players who want to try to group up in-game have created a workaround by meeting at the helicopter in the White House.
The Division 2 is out now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.