As promised, Ubisoft finally revealed The Division 2 to the public at E3 2018, showing off a seven-month time jump as well as a shift in location from New York City to Washington, D.C. One of the biggest announcements comes to the end game which Ubisoft confirmed to include free DLC, further progression, and specialization systems as well as 8 player raids. While Ubisoft will continue to support The Division as long as people are playing it, the developer has begun to try and bridge the gap between the two games as evidenced by the latest and last official update which adds in a new reward system for The Division 2.
Known as update 1.8.2 for The Division, the biggest addition to the game is a new feature introduced as Shields. The new account-wide feature adds twelve new challenges into the game, though only four will become available at first and a new one being added each month after until March 15, 2019, when The Division 2 actually launches. Completing a Shield rewards anything from currency, narrative content, to collectibles as well.
In June, the first four unlocked Shields are:
- Deadeye - Complete all of the Weekly HVTs before the weekly reset.
- Avenger - Kill 10 named enemies in the Open World, Dark Zone, or West Side Piers.
- Shepherd - Unlock the Base of Operations.
- Hazard - Completely clear 25 Landmarks of enemies in the Dark Zone.
The Division Update 1.8.2 is now live! Today we're introducing Shields, a new set of challenges that let you earn rewards in The Division 1 and The Division 2. pic.twitter.com/PJSd89YQPA— The Division 2 (@TheDivisionGame) June 14, 2018
One of the more exciting elements to Shields is that fact that completing them also unlock rewards in The Division 2. The more shields players own, the more rewards they will earn once the sequel launches. Shield challenges and rewards are broken into four tiers with the lower tiers offering small vanity items like weapon skins, patches, or outfits while the highest and most challenging tiers offer more unique items like backpack trophies. Without a way to transfer characters over to The Division 2, likely due to the class specializations and skill changes, this Shields feature is at least a way players can feel like they're able to customize their character in the upcoming game.
The move strikes a similar chord to what Bungie put together for the first Destiny with Age of Triumph prior to the launch of Destiny 2 a few months later. In addition to plenty of new loot and ornaments to collect, Age of Triumph added a 13-page record book for players to complete. Part of the appeal for the limit time event was the possibility of unlocking rewards which would then transfer over to Destiny 2. Bungie wanted a way to honor players who intended to join them in the sequel, a move which Massive appears to be attempting as well.
The Division 2 launches on March 15, 2019 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Source: The Division Patch Notes