I couldn’t be more excited last Tuesday, when they released the first update for Tom Clancy’s The Division.
I had been coasting on patrolling the city, trying to clear the unclearable streets of New York of bad elements, after hitting the game’s ceiling. Going to the Dark Zone was too much effort; I often get creamed within yards of entering, and trying to kill the near unkillable NPCs really requires too much effort for higher-level gear and weapons (that you have to extract from the Zone to even use—and they weren’t really that high-end to begin with; that good stuff is really hard to come by) wasn’t really my thing.
They introduced a new scoring mechanic in the update, a new way of leveling up: a Gear Score. Each item on your person has an equivalent Gear value, and taken all together detemines your score. Then, that score determines your eligibility to enter the new mission, or Incursion, they put in with the update, Falcon Lost, which requires a minimum Gear Score of 140, preferably a comfortable 160.
I looked at my score, which I thought would certainly be enough given all the work I’ve expended patrolling the streets and getting, or rather buying, high-end gear and weapons with my credits. It was a measly 122.
Dammit. I can’t even get in on Falcon Lost.
That entire Wednesday I spent trying to find out how to get my Gear Score up, but I couldn’t figure it out. I already had Superior gear and one High End item, and I had crafted a High End pistol and bought a High End primary weapon, and I couldn’t for the life of me find out how to get better stuff.
Until I thought to buy a High End secondary weapon too. There was a nice exotic and powerful shotgun the guy was selling at HQ, but my credits were barely enough; it cost nearly a half-million credits, and I had a little over 400,000. So I acquired and sold more stuff, crafted new things and sold those, and when I had enough, I bought the weapon, which I equipped immediately.
New Gear Score? 142!
I immediately teamed up with three other players and jumped into Falcon Lost, and equally immediately got very frustrated; it was fucking hard!
It involves fighting off 15 (15!) waves of 32-level and higher NPCs in an enormous, cluttered, multi-level hall. I have enough trouble dealing with level 31 enemies in the Hard and Challenging Modes in the regular game. These guys, you expend entire clips into them and they’re not even fazed.
Plus, they’ve introduced a new kind of enemy to the game: drones. They’re a bit hard to kill, but not impossible, but they’re also a big nuisance. The drone pop in every now and then, and having to deal with them while fighting off aggressive, hard-to-kill NPCs is really a big pain.
I went online and researched how to solve the new level, and what I found was really difficult. It required players to get to a trench in the center of the big hall and dig in, while 15 waves of high-level NPCs and drones try to kill you, all the while being rained upon with a mortar from the APC you’re trying to ultimately kill.
And killing the APC itself is another extremely difficult job: you have to bomb it four times, from bombs that you have to steal from four different and specific enemies, equally distributed among the 15 waves, and requires different combinations of weapons, talents and skills in the right order. Falcon Lost is really a bitch. When Ubisoft released it, even the developers said they haven’t gotten through it yet.
So I haven’t finished the Incursion yet, and it looks like it’s gonna take a while and require a lot of patience and persistence. In the meantime, I’m trying to finish the Daily and Weekly missions to get my Gear Score up. It’s now up to 144, and my target is that elusive 160. Which seems difficult to obtain now, but I’m more afraid for the future: I saw the minimum Gear Score requirement for the next forthcoming free Incursion: 220.