3. Dark Zone hints and tips
The Dark Zone is The Division's PvP area. There are six different areas in the Dark Zone with enemies growing tougher in difficulty the higher the area is. With your agent being Level 14 (ideal level to first come into the DZ), the level bracket for players will be 1-14. The brackets then go to 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, then 30-30+ but at the 30 mark, Gear Score comes in to play for the brackets instead. The NPC's (AI/Non Playable Characters) will be much tougher than they are outside of the Dark Zone. 99% of the time they will always be veterans or elites and there will be the occasional named enemies hanging around too. The risk of death is higher when inside the DZ but the rewards can be worth it through loot and Dark Zone credits that allow you to purchase mostly better gear than what's available outside the Dark Zone.
Obviously, we'll be focusing primarily on the achievements you'll be working towards so this means you wont need to worry about DZ rank, DZ credits, going Rogue or extracting more items than necessary. Let's look at some of the things you do need to worry about:
Enemies and Other Agents
The enemies you've faced so far have been pretty easy really besides the bosses of certain missions and occasional Veterans and Elites you will have bumped into. In the Dark Zone, there's nothing but Veterans and Elites all over! It only takes one mistake or one wrong move to be taken down by some of the enemies. Take your time when fighting enemies and keep yourself covered as best you can from all angles. Once enemies die, they may drop items such as ammo, grenades, consumables, gear, weapons, Dark Zone credits and/or Dark Zone keys. You'll also gain Dark Zone XP for killing enemies or if an enemy dies that you did damage to before someone else kills them.
With the Dark Zone being PvP, you will see other players either riding solo or in groups of up to four. When you see another agents, aiming at them will show you that they are not hostile although obviously you won't know what their intentions are. If they are Rogue, they will have a red skull above their character with a timer next to it showcasing how long they have left of being rogue. Don't worry about killing other agents unless they are Rogue. There's nothing to gain in terms of achievements so don't bother.
The only information you can see for other agents is there level, Dark Zone rank, Gear Score (after you reach Level 30) and health. You won't know what their statistics are in terms of firearms, stamina, electronics, etc. Agents may help you or you can help them clear out enemies. If you're not in a group with other agents but they are being friendly during firefights, make sure you don't hit them by mistake! You can get away with two or three accidental hits but if you hit them too many times you will go Rogue and be forced to fight them or run. Make sure you're getting at least one bullet into each of the enemies you are fighting also as the xp gains and/or dropped items won't be shared unless you successfully damaged the enemy.
If you're playing with friends or randoms invite you to a group, XP and items will drop for all group members in the immediate vicinity during fights. Friendly fire will also be disabled and shooting your own group members wont have any effect. However, if a member of your group goes rogue, and you're in close range to them, you will too!
Agents can go Rogue in the Dark Zone by doing enough damage and/or killing other agents, or attempting to hijack an extraction. There's no achievements to be gained from going Rogue but you will come across players going Rogue when they want to steal other players loot and/or reap the rewards for surviving a Rogue countdown. Once Rogue, the agent must survive for a specific amount of time and upon doing so successfully, they will be awarded with bounty that will have been on their heads as well as Dark Zone XP. The awards offer much more than just killing regular enemies but if a Rogue agent dies, their respawn timer will be longer and they will lose much more XP and credits than normal.
There are five stages for Rogue agents with the final stage being Manhunt. The first stages leading up to Manhunt, the agent/s will have red skulls above their characters and they will appear on the big map periodically. They will also appear on your radar as well but you won't be able to tell how far away they are via this. Once at the Manhunt stage, the Rogue will be markable by waypoint and will constantly appear on the map until they either survive the manhunt or are killed.
Rogue agents naturally get a lot of attention so to be successful with the kills, you'll need to be quick and confident as many other agents if close by will also want the Rogue kills for themselves.
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This is a tough one to nail legitimately. It can be easy to take on Rogues if you are in a group or happen to be fighting alongside other agents also in pursuit of Rogues. The thing is, you need to be credited with the kill for it to count towards the 20 required for the achievement. After the ridiculous amount of hours I've put into the game, I'm still not 100% sure on what actually gives you the credit. I do believe it's who ever put the agent down although I have been the one to put an agent down and not get the credit. Sometimes I've done the most damage and not got the kill, sometimes I've been the one to finish the agent off with the killing blow and still not got the credit. All in all, in group situation, just do your best to do the most damage and finish off the agent with a swift melee.
The best tips for hunting rogues starts with your build. Anything under level 30 isn't as important when it comes to builds because most agents will be restricted to the same level of items and won't be that much superior in one of the main stats. However, once you hit Level 30, agents can then go above and beyond if you will and really take their characters to the next level with crazy stats. In short, not many people will go Rogue unless they are in a well-equipped group or they are packing enough firearms and toughness to hold their own. To compete, you need to be packing major stats in at least two of the main three categories. Health and DPS will be your best bet if you're riding solo but a sizeable amount of Electronics (120K+ would be really nice) in a team setting can be very helpful for healing and the use of Smart Cover or Support Stations. Weapon-wise, anything that's heavy hitting will do. Marksman Rifles can be hit and miss against other agents as the fights are normally scrappy with both sides bouncing, running and moving all over the place. If you land shots with Rifles or Shotguns, then use either of the two as the hits will deal great damage. A really good SMG, AR or LMG will be your go-to weapon though as these will deal damage fast.
If you're not interested in investing the huge amount of time to handle Rogue hunting solo, then your best bet would be to matchmake or go into the DZ with friends. Or, you can lurk in the DZ around extractions but at a safe enough distance to not be spotted and wait for agents to potentially go Rogue on others when they are extracting. This way, you can get the drop on the agents who may not have known you were watching from a distance. Even then, I'd still recommend only pursuing said agent if they are alone or maybe with one other player. You may surprise them with a few bullets but if they are powerful enough, they could take you down in a split-second.
Other ways of potentially getting Rogue kills can be to bait people into it, by hitting them once or twice with your weapon, causing them to turn around and fire to many bullets back at you and consequently turning them Rogue. This would be a bit of a rarity though as people will either run away, happily go Rogue, or know exactly what you were trying to do.
You could also take the extreme method of in-game trash talk. Agents not in your group can hear and speak to you via proxy chat. Their voice will come through your TV speakers. I've played in many groups where my team loves to talk smack to random agents and the opposing agents actually get so annoyed and believe they have such a strong build, they open fire on us and turn Rogue. This can turn into a messy royal rumble sometimes right next to a checkpoint too! Even though we win some and lose some, so long as the other guys are the ones going Rogue, it didn't matter. If you get into a situation like this and you're not constantly dying each time, keep fighting and getting as many Rogue kills as you can! If the situation is the other way round, and it's your team who are the rogues, I'd seriously just consider abandoning the group.
Lastly, if an agent who may be being friendly goes Rogue near you or on you by mistake, unless you really like the guy, turn around and hammer them! They'll only have 20 seconds of being a Rogue so long as they didn't accidentally kill anyone, but unless they hide and survive, someone else will just come along and more than likely kill them. Grab the kill for yourself instead!
If you want to boost this achievement instead, it should be easy enough to do so and to be honest, it would be completely understandable. There's a boosting method in the solutions for the achievement to follow and is very straight-forward to do so. Boosting the achievement would save a massive amount of time over doing it legitimately. I've poured over 1000 hours into the game and even though I don't go into the Dark Zone anywhere near as much as I did, I'm Rank 83 and only have around 50 Rogue kills.
Dark Zone Boxes, Chests, Items and Extracting
There will be a variety of different boxes and chests you can loot for items in the Dark Zone. The boxes are the same as the ones outside of the DZ but will require a certain Dark Zone rank to open:
Rank 05 - Small boxes
Rank 10 - Medium boxes
Rank 15 - Large boxes
Rank not required - Dark Zone chest (requires Dark Zone Key to unlock)
When ever you loot or find an item, you will be equipped with yellow contamination bag on your back that's visible to other agents. You can carry between 1-9 items at a time (upgrades must be purchased before being able to carry up to 9 items at once) but once at the maximum amount you can carry, you'll need to extract the items to be able to use them. There are eight extraction areas in the Dark Zone. When you arrive at an extraction, you will have the option to call for extraction. Your agent will shoot a flare up into the sky and a helicopter will be inbound to extract your items. However, you will have to hold out for a minute and 30 seconds before the chopper arrives. During this time, the extraction area will flash on the map, visible to all agents, and other agents may come to either extract their items or screw you over and try to take yours.
Once the chopper arrives and drops its rope for your items to be connected too, you'll have 60 seconds to attach your gear. You'll need to hold next to the rope to attach your items. While doing so, you're left vulnerable to enemies! If you feel like you need to stop attaching your gear, you will have to wait for the progress bar to go back down before you can defend yourself. This is why it's vital to try and clear out the area before attaching your gear. Once attached you will still need to defend the area and your loot as other agents will have the option to cut the rope and steal your gear! Any achievements tied to extracting will NOT COUNT until the bag is lifted into the chopper. This means you need to guard your loot for the full 60 seconds in order to stop other agents stealing your goods!
Other Details - Skills, Health, Skull Level Enemies
The skills work exactly the same in the Dark Zone but there's one slight change with the Pulse. If you've been Pulsed by another agent, you will see a faint-white graphic on your agent. It's hard to actually spot this unless you know what you are looking for but be alert if you have been pulsed as this obviously means other agents know where you are. Ballistic Shield, Smart Cover and Mobile Cover are worthless in the DZ. Opposing agents can easily work their way around your Shield, Smart Cover works best when you are in cover and fighting against other agents can be very scrappy and full of evasive rolls, sprinting to different covers, etc, and Mobile Cover is just a poor skill overall anyway.
Seeker Mine's are another skill I wouldn't favour although I have seen other agents use them. In my opinion, they don't do enough damage. Maybe if you've favoured Electronics then they could be worth using but even then, I'd much rather use the Turret or Sticky Bomb over the Mines. The Turret with the Stun mod is used quite a bit by agents, especially those purposely going Rogue. The stun Shocks you and you can't do anything for a few seconds (time varies dependant on enemies Skill Power and your Shock Resistance), leaving you wide open to be taken down. Sticky Bombs with either the BFB or Flashbang Mod are also used commonly too. The damage from the BFB version can be massive again dependant on Skill Power and the Flashbang affect can be very disorientating when on the receiving end.
The Medic skills are all a MUST. I personally always use Pulse and First Aid. Support Station is a good skill but I find this to be more beneficial when with a team or if I'm holding out on a rooftop for example where I may be shooting down at enemies. When you get the chance too, you can quickly change your skills so long as they are not active or cooling down.
If you dare to venture into the higher DZ zones early on, you will encounter enemies with skull icons next to their names instead of number. This means they are too high-levelled for you to take on. Of course, you can still try to take them on if you want, but in most cases, the battle will be over quickly.
Losing all of your health will result in you going DBNO (Down But Not Out). Your agent wont be able to do anything but crawl around until you either bleed out and die or another agent revives you. You can actually revive yourself with the Support Station by holding next to it but if you've placed the Station in a poor position, the enemies will destroy it and then finish you off quickly. If you have the revival mod for the Station, it will automatically revive you so long as you are in its healing radius.
You can heal and buff other agents regardless of whether they are in your group or not. This can be used as a friendly gesture to show you're not going to cause trouble.
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