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The Division's latest update is kind of a disaster

It may be best just to wait this one out

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Tom Clancy's The Division launched its second high-profile update just yesterday, unleashing a plague of game breaking bugs across multiple platforms. Some users are even reporting missing characters.

The big release — called update 1.2 or Conflict — contains new player-versus-player and player-versus-environment content, as well as a second centerpiece raid called Clear Sky. Many users, including Polygon staff, are experiencing persistent issues with stability and matchmaking in multiple game modes.

One of the PvE systems, called High Value Targets, relies on a new currency called Intel. But when some players turn in their hard-won Intel, HVT missions refuse to unlock. When they do unlock, named bosses often fail to materialize, leaving players empty-handed. The only solution seems to be attempting the mission again and again.

We started, and completed, our first HVT mission three times yesterday afternoon before the named enemy actually showed up at the mission's end.

More frustrating are the new raid's matchmaking woes. Many users are reporting that when they attempt to start Clear Sky the raid simply resets itself endlessly. Sometimes players are returned to the start of the mission, other times all the way back to the nearest safehouse. After these resets, the user interface appears to brighten or double and the game itself slows to a crawl.

We spent an hour last night trying to get into the Clear Sky raid only to be turned back again and again by these glitches.

Most troubling are reports that some players are missing one or more of their characters, and that daily missions are failing to refresh. Similar issues cropped up after the last updateVG24/7 reports that Ubisoft is aware of this specific issue and is currently working on a fix.

The good news is that the time we have spent with the update so far is promising. Search and destroy and HVT missions, when they function correctly, add a much needed solo option for players looking to gather end-game items, including matching gear sets. They also give players a good reason to explore the nooks and crannies of the map. Clear Sky — what little we've been able to play — seems to be more dynamic than Falcon Lost's uninspiring, 15-wave endurance test. But after wrestling with the broken matchmaking system we've decided to wait it out until stability improves.

The team behind The Division has already tried to make amends for previous technical issues by giving every player a fixed number of Phoenix Credits, the game's most valuable currency. No word yet if a similar gift is in the pipeline for dedicated players upset with the 1.2 update so far.

The Division was a huge sales success for publisher Ubisoft, which claimed the title broke all previous sales records in its first 24 hours. The game's reception gave much needed momentum to Ubisoft, which earlier this year was the target of a hostile takeover attempt by media giant Vivendi.

While no official player numbers are available for consoles, Steam Charts — a service that tracks player populations using Valve Software's publicly available Steam Web API — seems to indicate a nearly 60 percent decline in The Division's player base on Windows PC over the last 30 days.

We'll have more on Tom Clancy's The Division and any hot fixes when they're announced.

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