A datamining fan has found and shared what seems to be the possible next few months of story updates for The Division 2 buried in the new Public Test Server build of the game.
On May 22nd The Division 2 got a Public Test Server and players could download and play this new version of the game. The idea is Ubisoft will update and change the PTS and get feedback from players before bringing those changes to the main game. Reddit user definitelyanalt16 decided to comb through the new files in this PTS build of the game and found what appears to be hundreds of new audio files detailing upcoming story events and narrative beats.
Kotaku was able to verify many of the audio files and narrative moments that are shared in the Reddit post. Though it should also be noted that Reddit user definitelyanalt16 breaks out their findings into different seasons, we don’t know how this user figured this out or if they are just speculating. It is possible that all of this audio is for only one season, as each audio log is broken down into multiple connected audio files, making it harder to know just how much data is here compared to the current season. But based on the narrative beats included in the files and how little story has been featured in the current season, it seems like this is more than one season’s worth of narrative.
Kotaku has reached out to Ubisoft about these files and how they might factor into future content.
Update: May 26, 2:40 pm: Added a non-spoiler comment from Ubisoft at the end of this story.
The audio files that the user found are a mix of what sounds like new audio logs and radio conversations, as well as some enemy barks. (Stuff like “He’s over there! Get ‘em!”) Some audio lines are voiced by real people and actors, other lines are being read by what sounds like a text-to-speech program. This is very likely placeholder audio that is used for testing purposes.
Some possible minor spoilers below. If you want to read all the possible story spoilers, the Reddit post is long and filled with great detail and information.
According to these leaked audio files, it sounds like Hornet, a character from the first game, will be returning and will be featured in a new manhunt. Manhunts, which exist in the current season of Division 2, are large checklists of things players must do before they can take out a specific enemy target. Hornet seems to have been laying low since the events of the first game, but after the end of The Division 2's last expansion, Warlords of New York, he’s come out of hiding and has a new crew of rogue agents working with him.
END OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS
What has some Division 2 fans excited are audio files that seem to reference a possible new game mode. In the audio files, you can hear what sounds like Agent Kelso talking about taking over a skyscraper. She mentions checkpoints, safe rooms, and congratulates players for reaching the top. What’s really interesting is an audio file that seems to imply this content will be replayable. In the file Kelso says “Think you can clear that skyscraper faster if you do it again?” Players have longed wanted infinitely playable modes in The Division 2, like The Underground in the first game. So many are latching on to these new audio files as confirmation of such a mode coming. But remember that unused and scrapped files can be found in almost every modern video game.
Still, if these audio files end up being a look into the future of The Division 2 I’m not sure how to feel. On the one hand, some of the story beats sound genuinely interesting and big. But it sounds like future seasons will continue to force players to grind through manhunts to move the story forward. That’s disappointing. I was hoping seasons would allow the game to expand in different and new ways, not follow the same pattern.
Of course all of this could be wrong. These files could be leftovers from an earlier and now scrapped plan. Unless Ubisoft confirms these files are true, which seems unlikely, we will have to just wait and see how accurate these leaks end up being.
Update: May 26, 2:40 pm: Over at the game’s subreddit, Division 2 community developer Chris Gansler addressed the leaks (no spoilers):
The team wanted to chime in on this to clarify a couple of things. When we do Public Test Servers, the build used for these tests often times contain elements that are not part of the next Title Update. Unfortunately, this time it included a lot more than we would have liked and we understand that the spoilers to the narrative have an impact on players who were looking forward to learning about the lore while playing. While nothing is finalized in terms of upcoming content, please stay mindful of these players and keep using spoiler tags to discuss these topics.
We also wanted to confirm that we are indeed working on more content outside of upcoming Seasons and that one of the current ideas is to add a PVE mode that is meant to scratch the replayability itch. This is still in the early stages of development and is not set for release soon. In addition, while we understand the comparisons that are being made to Underground, we want to clarify that we don’t intent to simply copy game modes from the first game, and that this new mode will not be “Underground 2.0” and will have a unique and new take on the topic.