When the gaming industry first heard of Tom Clancy's The Division, the promise of what could be seemed and sounded so incredible. As things change in game development though, the landscape of this title has shifted drastically and one of the game's features that was advertised as one thing in 2013 is now different in 2016.
Matchmaking is something that's a big part of every online multiplayer game, and each developer has their own way of deciding how it will work. When Tom Clancy's The Division's matchmaking was discussed in 2013, however, the concept of it was compelling, to say the least.
Getting matched up with people who resided in a similar demographic or time of life, that's brilliant. How many of us would enjoy playing an online multiplayer game and each time getting matched up with people of a similar maturity? Back in 2013, the then Creative Director Nicklas Cederstrom described to the now defunct Rev3Games how that sort of matchmaking was going to be in the game.
"We want to do something revolutionary...The game is best when you play with friends. Obviously some people will want to play on their own, they can go ahead and do that, it's perfectly fine. As soon as you group up with other people, the game's difficulty becomes harder and you get more rewards, better XP, more loot [and] all of those kind of things. We want to make sure that people who don't have friends to play the game [with] can get a good party going.
"What we've done is we're making sure we've matched up players with the right skill set for you. Maybe you have a young baby or whatever at home and you want to play with people who are respectful of that and that will hook you up with those kind of people. You can say 'oh wait I need two minutes the baby is crying' and everyone has the same situation at the same time, 'okay no problem,'" Cederstrom said.
This was the inspiration behind the Demographic Matchmaking that Massive Entertainment was advertising for the game in 2013, however, as Examiner.com recently learned during an exclusive interview with Tom Clancy's The Division current Creative Director Magnus Jansen, Demographic Matchmaking won't make it into the game.
"It’s important for us that you notice matchmaking as little as possible. We don’t want people filling in a form or talking too much. We try to not show you the matchmaking so that when you walk into the DarkZone it’s completely seamless, there’s no wait, there’s no lobby, all of that is handled as you get close to the DarkZone. For the matchmaking, what we’ve ended up focusing on is the ping, experience, connection and focusing on as close to you as possible.
"We try to sort out [players] being close to your language and time zone. [If you put people together] in different time zones, then they’re going to go to bed at different points. Really, it’s all about the ping and the proximity that is giving us the best results.
"Then there are some behavioral [factors], like what type of a player are you? But we are going to wait and see with that, I’ll be purposefully vague on that in terms of the details that you mentioned because I think initially, we are going to try and find you a good and close player," Jansen told Examiner.com.
Another element of Tom Clancy's The Division that was said to be in the game was that players would have 72 hours of supplies that could be used to "[trade] on the black market, or be used for temporary buffs." This "go-bag" also doesn't seem to be a part of the game anymore or at least it wasn't mentioned during our recent hands-on demo of the beginning of the game. In the Rev3 interview around this point, Cederstrom mentioned the 72 hours supply bag. Here is another interview from November 2013 where the same thing is discussed.
The deeper you dig and re-read the things that were stated about Tom Clancy's The Division in 2013 and even 2014, the more you find out how much this game has changed. It's unfortunate that so many things have apparently been cut from The Division, and it's something that happens with every game, really. The difference is this game probably was revealed a year too early and as a result, we heard a lot about early ideas and ambitions that shouldn't have been made for public consumption.
Hopefully this will all serve as a valuable, tho painful, lesson for publishers who reveal games before they are even ready to be talked about publicly. Tom Clancy's The Division will be released this coming March 8 for the PS4, Xbox One and PC. Its closed beta will commence on Jan. 29 for Xbox One and Jan. 30 for PS4 and PC. Check out more of our recent coverage of The Division in the links below.