New The Division details – an always online, classless RPG with resource management

A whole load of new info has appeared on PS4‘s The Division detailing its classes RPG structure, always online co-op gameplay and tight resource management economy that sees food and water as valuable trading currency.

New The Division details appear

The new information comes from lead designer Mathias Karlson and director Axel Rydby. First up survival: “When it comes to having to drink water and eat food to be able to survive, that’s not really what we want” says Rydby. “Food and water will be a very important part of the game, but players will not need to eat and drink to stay alive. Our game is a lot about the fall of society, and things that we take for granted in our everyday life such as clean water and food – they suddenly become scarce resources in the game”. Because of this scarcity, while you don’t need to eat to live, food and water becomes something players need to prioritise as they “become very valuable and rare resources that can be used to trade”.

You do at least get a helping hand early doors. “When we start the game, the player’s character only has his go-bag with him, right?” explains Rydby. “When it becomes activated, that’s the only thing he can really bring with him. In that go-bag he roughly has 72 hours of supplies, he’s got his weapons and his gear, and that’s what he starts with”.

“When we start the game the player only
has his go-bag with. Roughly 72 hours
of supplies, his weapons and his gear,
and that’s what he starts with”

From that point what you do is up to you with your character developing through doing rather than picking abilities or skills. “It’s a classless structure, you don’t pick one class upfront” explains Karlson. “It’s something you grow into as you make decisions throughout the game. As you see what is available to you, you make some tough but fun choices.”

the_division_promo_610“When moving throughout the world, it’s going to be a lot about looting and acquiring new gear as you progress” continues Rydby. “We’re focusing a lot on the RPG aspects of the game since we are very much an RPG, so acquiring loot and gearing up your character is going to be a very big part of the game” he concludes.

This is being designed as a co-op game and according to Rydby, “We’re pushing online quite hard in the game, we’re going to be an always online game”.  Because of that communication is crucial. “It’s one of those things where exploration in co-op can be inherently difficult because you might want to go in different directions, so it’s really important that you can be clear with where you can go and what you want to see.” Gadgets that help here include the holo-map projecting watch and contact lenses that overly a UI on the players’ world. This info, which can include important environmental details is described as “personal” with only the player using it able to see it.

Karlson adds, “communication between group members is of course at the very core of our game. We’re designing the game from the bottom up to be an online experience together with friends in co-op. Being able to communicate within your group is very important, so you will be able to see where everyone is and then give hints and direction to points of interest”. A lot of this is still being tested.  Driving, for example is still under consideration. Fuel is mentioned as a resource with possible uses including powering a generator or car but when it comes to navigation the team are “currently investigating what is the best for our game”.