Back in September, Massive Entertainment began a series of blog posts known as the Intelligence Annex, where they provide in-depth details on some of the gameplay features in Tom Clancy's The Division 2
. We've seen some of the game's weapons
, and then that was followed up by a look at one of the game's enemy factions — the True Sons
. This month we get a look at five of the skill categories available in the game.
Skills are abilities that are able to change the way you can approach different situations. Some provide boosts to your combat abilities, while others allow for better defensive capabilities. Each of those skills also comes with several variants that can allow for very different outcomes. We met four of the five skills below when the game took to the stage at E3
, but we now have more details on each of them.
The Chem Launcher is a new skill for The Division 2
, and is a weapon inspired by the grenade launcher. Instead of grenades, though, players fire ampules of chemicals that break on impact and create a chemical cloud. The effects that cloud has on anyone in the nearby vicinity depends on which of the four chemical charges you've decided to use:
- Firestarter - The Firestarter canister sends out flammable, near-invisible gas. These gas clouds can be ignited with any spark—bullet impacts, enemies firing their weapons inside the cloud, explosions or even enemies running into them while on fire. If you combine multiple clouds over a large area, you can create devastating chain reactions.
- Riot Foam - This skill fires a canister with riot control foam that disperses on impact. This is the same riot foam as you have seen the True Sons use in the E3 demo. The foam is sticky, heavy, and it expands rapidly. Anyone affected by the foam is stuck in place for a period of time, but the hardened foam can be destroyed to break them free.
- Oxidizer - The Oxidizer fires a canister that emits a cloud of corrosive chemicals. The chemical cloud lingers for a long time and efficiently eats away at enemy armor or any enemy mechanical items.
- Reinforcer - The Reinforcer fires a projectile that detonates and disperses an armor repairing cloud. If this powder hits you or your teammates, it restores an amount of your armor. Powder that sticks on the ground grants armor restoration over time. You have the ability to heal your friends very fast, or even yourself over time.
The Drone is another new skill for this game. When players deploy it, it will hover near to them and follow them around. There are five different types of drones, some of which will wait for orders from the player and some of which will automatically attack suitable targets, whether they're friends or foe:
- Striker - As suggested by the name, this is an offensive version of the Drone. Built for combat, the Striker possesses a turret that inflicts continuous damage upon its target. This drone can receive remote orders from its controller to attack specific targets.
- Defender - The Defender is a defensive drone that protects its owner by utilizing an experimental directed emitter. It deflects incoming bullets with microwave bursts, creating an invisible barrier. However, each bullet deflected greatly drains the battery, and it is incapable of defending itself from enemy fire. It can, however, be ordered to guard friends or other friendly skill items.
- Tactician - Built for intel, this utility drone flies to maximum elevation at a location of your choosing and spots all hostiles it can see, effectively highlighting their location. While deployed, it gives you and your party continuous information about the position of the enemies within your area. This is the Specialist skill for the Sharpshooter Specialization.
- Bombardier - This drone can perform a bombing run across a long area. The drone flies to an area designated by the player and drops a barrage of explosives as it strafes from one end of the zone to the other.
- Fixer - This defensive drone repairs armor over time. You can choose whether you want it to fly next to you and passively repair your armor, or choose a friendly target whose armor needs repairing, including other damaged skills.
The final new skill of the day is a "group of advanced micro-drones" that can be placed or thrown, and affect all nearby targets. There are four types of Hive, most of which have defensive purposes, although there are offensive options for those who prefer it:
- Stinger - Micro-drones swarm hostile targets that enter their range, inflicting damage and targeting weak spots, destroying them efficiently.
- Restorer - When the Restorer detects missing armor on a friendly agent in its range, it deploys micro-repair drones towards the agent. On impact, an amount of armor is repaired.
- Booster - The Booster sends out one micro-drone per friendly player that administers stimulants to increase combat efficiency—boosting weapon handling, movement and other physical capabilities of the agent.
- Reviver - When deployed, the Reviver Hive can revive allies within a specific radius on the ground. If any of your downed allies are within the range of your Reviver Hive, you can manually order a set of micro-drones to revive them. However, you can also press and hold the button to charge up the micro-drones. The longer you hold the button, the more health and armor your ally revives with.
One of the returning skills from The Division
is the Seeker Mines that can target enemies or friendly targets depending on what players need to do. Whether you choose to drop them or throw them in the right direction, they now have a variety of abilities, some of which will be new to returning Agents:
- Explosiver - This classic seeker mine chases the target, designated by the owner, and detonates with a staggering explosion. However, it can be avoided as there is a slight arming time before it explodes.
- Airburst - This mine rolls to your designated area and then launches an explosive burst into the air at head height of the enemy when reaching proximity.
- Mender - Similar to the Reinforcer Chem Launcher, this friendly little seeker mine releases repair chemicals. These chemicals form a cloud that repairs your armor or that of an ally. If you have not chosen a specific target for the Mender Seeker Mine, allies that lose all their armor are automatically targeted by the mine. This is the Specialist skill for the Survivalist Specialization.
- Cluster - The Cluster contains a number of smaller charges in one package, each capable of propelling itself. When deployed, each of the smaller mines picks a target and sets off towards it. However, these smaller mines are easier to avoid as they do not have room for advanced tracking equipment and cannot adjust their destination if their target moves.
This is a skill we hadn't previously known would be returning to The Division 2
, but like the previous skill, players can still throw or drop the device where they please. Once it is deployed, it will target and shoot enemy targets with a range of different effects:
- Assault - Similar to the Striker Drone, this skill is designed with offensive players in mind. Equipped with a machine gun turret with 360-degree rotational capabilities, this skill attacks the closest target while you are in combat. Outside of combat, you designate your turret's targets.
- Incinerator - If you enjoy crowd control, this skill is for you! Equipped with an incendiary tank, the Incinerator ignites fuel and fires it in a cone to deal area-of-effect damage. This turret can be toggled on and off when deployed.
- Artillery - The Artillery is a specialized deployable that launches exploding ordinances at locations of your choice. Firing once per press, shells are launched in an arc at a target position. This is the Specialist skill for the Demolitionist.
- Sniper - This long range, semi-automatic turret targets the same enemy you are engaging. While there is a slight delay on target acquisition, the Sniper can adjust its aim to match your own aim on the target.
As someone who made constant use of the Turret, it's great to see it return, although some of the new possibilities are equally as enticing. While there are only five skills in the list below, there will be more available in the game when it's released on March 15th, 2019, so don't think your options are limited to the above.
We don't have them yet, but we'll publish a story as soon as we pick up the Tom Clancy's The Division 2 achievements.