How Tom Clancy's The Division lacks classes

By John Keefer, Jun 12, 2013 12:00pm PDT

Yesterday's demo of Tom Clancy's The Division painted yet another apocalyptic picture of the future, with a virus destroying much of America. Described as a "persistent open world RPG," the game appeared more shooter than RPG. Ubisoft Massive producer Fredrik Rundqvist explained that progression and loot are core to the game, but that the game does not confine itself to the traditional class-based roles of an MMO.

"We have no set classes in the game," he said, "but what defines your character is the background you choose. What profession were you before this catastrophic event? We offer backgrounds such as intelligence, engineer, law enforcement, and others to help define your character, but you evolve it in any direction you want."

He said that players will have skill trees and they can define their play style as they go based on the skills they choose, although he said it is too early to divulge what exactly those skills will be. He said players will be able to create multiple skill builds, so they can essentially switch "class" on the fly if the situation calls for it. "The key is to have a lot of variations in skill trees, and we plan on having that," Rundqvist said.

The game may be more an RPG in the way Mass Effect 3 was marketed as one: more cover-based squad shooter than a real RPG. But, that is not necessarily a bad thing.

Rundqvist didn't reveal whether the game would be free-to-play or be subscription-based, saying only "We still have decided on the business model yet. We are discussing a few options."

The game is announced for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but that could change. "Since the game was revealed, we have had a lot of requests for PC, so we aren't ruling it out."

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