There were kids in the house again Yesterday. I didn’t get to finish my incomplete thing (which still needs editing). Moreover, I’m going to San Francisco today, so I won’t have a chance to resume my work until tomorrow. Schedule conflicts!
Still, kids and sweetheart went to a party in the afternoon and I got an opportunity to play The Division with buddies, including 😻. Playing with buddies is pretty much why I play Division at all. (If there weren’t buddies already playing The Division, I wouldn’t have purchased it in the first place.)
Today’s Division rant isn’t so much a rant but a thing I’ve discovered that could have been awesome if The Division wasn’t so stingy about sharing loot. The Division only allows loot to be shared with those buddies who were there when you picked it up, and then for only a limited time (like an hour). The minute you use or modify a thing, sharing privileges are revoked.
Contrast this policy to, say Borderlands in which sharing is a significant part of the game, and anyone can share anything with anyone else.
The sharing restriction in The Division feels, to me, super creepy. Along with the game’s mandated online connection it puts an oppressive pall over the entire game, as if I was using the community lounge of an apartment building maintained by a spiteful apartment manager who feels obligated to allow tenants to use the lounge, but hates it when they do. He would really rather tenants just pay their rent and stay quiet in their respective rooms all month. Ubisoft is that spiteful apartment manager. Ubi is thankful I bought their game, and would like me to buy all the accessories, but would really rather if I didn’t actually play the thing, let alone have opinions about it other than how perfect it is, and worth the money I paid.
In this case, I specifically wish that I could share with other players those things I crafted in the game. The agent gathers the materials (fabric, electronics, tools, weapon parts) and crafts the item at a crafting station.
As an agent completes missions she (or he) gets new recipes by which to craft new weapons or gear. New recipes are for some random thing at the player’s current level, and rarely are they actually useful, since by the time the agent gathers the necessary components, he’s leveled up and the craftable item is already getting obsolete. Then again, crafting a good way to get preferred weapon customization pieces (e.g. a good laser or a certain scope) when the item is too dear or simply unavailable from the merchants. These add-ons are ideally at the level of the gun itself, but don’t suffer from being slightly lower.
Each agent gets different recipes from all the other agents. And as the game is now they’re mostly good for twinking gear to lower-level characters. My loner-character (who I generally play without other agents) got a recipe for a level-5 Specialized SCAR-H sniper rifle, which is not only a well-liked model, but Specialized items are difficult to come by at fifth level, so getting a blue SCAR at level 5 is especially nice.
Which is why I want to give one to all my friends. Here. For your young characters. When they hit level five, they can have some easy-mode for a while.
I did a lot of (somewhat unofficial) crafting in Borderlands TPS, and when running with buddies, it was great to, every once in a while, just drop some sweet guns and gear to start off the run well.
But allowing for sharing crafted stuff in The Division would encourage communities to form, where if an agent really wants a certain kind of sight for his rifle, then it’s just a matter of finding a friend who knows a friend who knows a friend who can make one.
And also, it’s a good feeling to craft a thing for a comrade-at-arms. Making something special for my bud is a heartfelt expression of
longing affection fraternal camaraderie.
This is a game element that, I think would improve any game that involves crafting and sharing, especially if each character ends up with a different catalog of crafting recipes.
Ubisoft should allow the exchange of crafted items between players, and perhaps by the grace of like-minded fandom and willing developers, this is a thing Ubi will implement in a future patch.