The Division 2‘s first raid is set to arrive this week and everyone kind of assumed it would feature matchmaking (since Ubisoft previously stated “every activity” would), until it didn’t. A number of players expressed their disappointment with the last-minute announcement, and many others requested answers.
Well it took Ubisoft over 24 hours to respond, but here’s what they came up with. In short, they have no immediate plans to support matchmaking for raids, and even possibly “some [other] post-launch activities” (get that expectation out there early in case you do it again!). Community developer ChrisGansler clarifies on the official forums that “Operation Dark Hours [the first raid] will be the most challenging content we have ever created for the franchise. While Incursions are compared to the raid they are not the same, and the level of difficulty and requirements to work as a team are much higher.”
Noting that the content is “too difficult,” they made the conscious decision to not include matchmaking, but they also pin it on “technical constraints or gameplay purposes.” Ubisoft says that outcry will not work on them, as they “don’t have a simple switch to turn on matchmaking” for raids. They follow this up by stating that they “still think that might not be the best solution in the end,” and tell people to look for parties on Discord and various LFG tools.
Okay so there’s a lot to unpack there. The “can’t flip a switch” statement is a bit odd and reminds me of the whole PS4 cross-play debacle. It seems like the decision is weighted heavily on design, and if that’s what they’re going with they should own it. It’s also unfortunate that they didn’t clarify their “everything has matchmaking” statement until months after the fact. A lot of people were looking forward to automatically matching up for endgame content, as several other looter shooters do not support that option.
The other thing that stands out to me is that Ubisoft would encourage others to use third party tools to play with others and not provide an LFG system in-game. If they really don’t want automatic matchmaking, at least offer a system that lets people search for others with similar gear levels (or predefined stats by the party leader) and manually add each other. Many other loot-based games use this concept to aplomb as a stop-gap in lieu of matchmaking, or alongside of it.
It’s a strange situation for sure, and given that Ubisoft set up certain expectations before launch, no one wins. Get ready to find seven other people for endgame raids today: you have no other choice.
Operation Dark Hours matchmaking [Ubisoft]
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Ubisoft: Division 2 raid matchmaking not coming anytime soon, promotes LFG and Discord use to find teams