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The Division's PvP "Dark Zones" Detailed

"It's another one of the great ways that we're really changing up what's been done previously in this genre."

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As part of the first-ever The Division podcast on Soundcloud, developers from Ubisoft Massive revealed new details about the multiplayer game's PvP areas, called Dark Zones.

These zones, which are separate from The Division's main campaign, allow players to fight head-to-head with the possibility of losing items if they're killed. Game director Ryan Barnard said The Division's PvP mode will be different enough from its competitors' to stand out.

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"It's another one of the great ways that we're really changing up what's been done previously in this genre," he said. "We want PvP to be important. A lot of times it's hard in a mainstream game it's hard to get people...people are a little averse to it, it can be a little freaky; it's generally very competitive."

Some multiplayer communities can be hostile and unwelcoming, he said, but The Division's Dark Zones have been purposefully designed so that players are encouraged to come back.

"There's this added layer of, potentially, you can be engaged at any time from another player," Barnard said. "So what we really want to do is bring the fun components of PvP in other games in this genre and others; try to make the mechanics more positive so you never really are punished."

There will be an element of risk, however, to entering a Dark Zone in The Division. When you discover items in a Dark Zone, you'll need to take them through a process called "Extraction," after which they become permanently bound to your character. If you're killed before this process is complete, you'll lose the item permanently.

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Barnard said it was essential that some level of risk be apparent in Dark Zones. Otherwise, it's like playing poker with no money, he said. The items you find will take the form of something you won't want to lose, but not so incredibly important that the threat alone of losing them will keep you from playing, Barnard explained.

In addition to Dark Zones, The Division will have a non-combat Social Hub, similar to Destiny's Tower. The game's campaign is also playable in co-op. However, unlike Destiny, only the players you specifically invite will show up in your game while playing co-op.

Also during the podcast, Barnard talked about the inception of The Division. He revealed that, originally, the game started off as something completely different. It came down from Ubisoft higher-ups that Ubisoft Massive needed to make a role-playing Tom Clancy game. But after some development, this vision for the game didn't work out and its direction was changed.

"We had a game of a different type that was basically going in a direction that Ubisoft and us internally were not quite 100 percent happy with," Barnard said.

So Barnard and other key creative Ubisoft developers got together for a "brain summit" to determine how they could take the strengths of that game and apply them to something new. What they came up with was the concept for The Division, a game that follows a squad of tactical agents sent into a post-apocalyptic United States.

The Division launches this year for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, though a specific release date has not been announced. For more, check out some of our favorite images in the gallery below.

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