The Division 2 players are prematurely mad over seasonal characters, but I'm more concerned by something else

The Division 2 Year 6 teaser image
(Image credit: Ubisoft)

I play a lot of The Division 2, but not nearly as much as many members of its community. It's those members that are shouting the loudest right now, firmly in the direction of its developer, Massive Entertainment, around the newly revealed Seasons 2.0 due later this year. Why? 

The Division 2 will be introducing seasonal characters, very similar to the approach the Diablo franchise takes towards its seasons. The idea at its core is that every season you'll start a new character at level 1, play through the new seasonal story and content, and at the end all your hard-earned rewards will merge back to your main character. The fact you won't be using your main characters to play each new season is what's got people irate. 

I'm not one of those, in part because this update is four months away. It won't drop until Year 6 Season 2, and we've only just started Year 6 Season 1 First Rogue as I write this. We don't know all the details, exactly how progress will be "accelerated," how the new story progression mechanics will work, we know very little. 

What I have more concern with right now is the newly added microtransactions, which are very Ubisoft. They might be optional, but the fact they exist means that it's hoped we're going to end up paying for them. In a game I've previously praised for doing live service right, I'm starting to get worried that the overlords are starting to put the squeeze on before we get The Division 3

I'll try and break down both topics. 

Players are mad over Seasons 2.0, but I think it's premature 

The Division 2 - Year 6 Deep Dive | Ubisoft Forward - YouTube The Division 2 - Year 6 Deep Dive | Ubisoft Forward - YouTube
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For one, Seasons 2.0 and its big change is months away at this point. Getting so mad over something nobody has actually seen is very much premature. But I also feel that the reasons behind these angry outbursts are selfish, and don't see the bigger picture of trying to create a fresh, engaging experience for all players. I'm not saying they're going to do it right, and I'll outline how I think they could strike a happy medium below. But it makes zero sense to throw all the toys out of the pram this early. 

It looks like most of the outrage is because players won't be able to use their main characters to play the seasonal content. Put another way, players won't be able to use their meticulously crafted god tier builds to steam roll through the seasonal content and finish the season pass in a matter of hours. I'm hardly one of the top tier players, but I am guilty certainly of using a few powerful builds to get through content as quickly as possible. But I'm also not against the idea of a new challenge every season, starting with a base level character. 

Is a new challenge really that bad? I get it, we've been putting these characters and builds together across five years of game time. But those characters aren't going anywhere. Presumably, the existing endgame content will still exist outside of the seasons to use them in. Personally, I like the idea of trying something new, and I'm definitely in favor of the story being progressed weekly rather than every four weeks as it currently is. But that's because I like following the story, I respect that some players probably don't care and are all about the loot. Part of it is probably a little apprehension over completing the new "Master" difficulty tier (which will be optional anyway) without said meticulously prepared builds. 

The 100 level season pass doesn't take much effort to complete in the course of a four month season.  (Image credit: Windows Central)

The season pass currently has 100 tiers, and unless that goes up, which I don't see, we have four months to complete it and get all the rewards. Even for the most casual players, that's easily achievable. Last night I knocked off 15 levels in 90 minutes, even with some (hopefully just bugged) weirdness with XP rewards from projects, and getting 0XP having completed some activities. I'm not the hardest of hardcore players, and every season I complete the season pass within the first week. But I also enjoy just playing the game, I think a lot of people have forgotten about that part.

What I would do, if I were in charge, would be to make it so that when you unlock rewards on your seasonal character, they become available immediately on your main character. The initial wording suggests that we'd have to wait until the end of the season for XP and rewards to merge, and I wouldn't be so happy about that. If I had to wait months to use a new exotic on my main character, I'd be annoyed. XP gains mean little to most of the vocal players right now, since the increased benefits to your character end at (I believe) SHD level 2,000. But I would want new gear and cosmetics on my main character to run Incursions or Countdown with, for example, pretty much straight away. 

We're promised a streamlined and accelerated route to level 40, though admittedly we don't know what that looks like yet.  (Image credit: Ubisoft)

Hopefully, in working out the details, Massive can implement a system that can create a happy medium for all players. It's impossible that they'll be able to please everyone, no game developer ever has done that. But there's plenty of time left before it kicks in, so how about we put down the pitchforks for a while? I'm excited to see a change to what has become a stale endgame loop, and I can't wait to jump in and give it a try. Now is the time to try something completely new, it'll help the team figure out what direction to take The Division 3 in when it launches.

Would it be nice to just get some new game modes instead, similar to how Bungie handles Destiny 2? Yes, it would. But The Division 2 isn't set up in the same way. It's a game that has already long outlived its originally planned life. Everything we get now is tagged onto a game that was never meant to have it.

The money people are creeping back in, and I'm nervous for the future

I'm not really sure this is what you'd call value.  (Image credit: Windows Central)

What I'm immediately frustrated by is the new microtransaction bundle which has quietly slipped into the in-game store. They have been ramping up of late, with more and more exclusive cosmetics that are only attainable by handing over real money. But it's starting to get more aggressive. 

To be clear, I'm not against it, the game needs continued funding to keep it alive. I buy the premium battle pass every season, and if a cosmetics bundle really catches my eye, I'll stump up and buy that. But the latest "value bundle" doesn't sit right with me. In my location it's priced at £23.74, gives premium credits to spend on said cosmetics in the game, but it also bundles in yet more "exclusive" cosmetic items and a number of level skips for the season pass. Premium credits don't go as far as you'd think, either. 

As I've already discussed, the season pass in The Division 2 is easy to complete quickly for even casual players. We're now seeing impatience, as well as FOMO, being exploited for money. Offering level skips towards the end of the season wouldn't be so bad, since it would allow everyone to catch up in the dying days. But in the first week of a new season, this is clearly trying to cash in on folks who simply have to have everything right now. If you pay for it, then good for you, I won't belittle you. 

But it's another Ubisoft game with increasingly aggressive pushes on microtransactions. And just when they did such a great thing by rolling the expansion into the new standard edition of the game. I guess we can't have it all. 

There's been a lot to unpack for The Division 2 players this week, but honestly, cries of "I'm quitting the game if Seasons 2.0 happens" seem a little ridiculous, definitely premature, and unlikely to happen. We've been playing the same old game for five years now, is it so bad to try and change it up a bit?

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at