The Division 2 received its second post-game raid, Operation Iron Horse, yesterday, setting off a mad dash by players and content creators to be the first in the world to finish the difficult mission. It took the eventual winners over eight hours to complete the raid, but what should have been a moment of celebration for both the developers and fanbase has become a contentious discussion about cheating.
Controversy arose when a player on the second-place squad, a content creator named MarcoStyle, admitted during his Twitch stream that his team had been using an apparently leaked document with details on what to expect in the raid. This information was soon corroborated by a teammate on Twitter. The document, which Marco says he received through a private Discord and has since been made available on Imgur, appears to be an internal breakdown of the raid’s mechanics, information that would be vital for anyone looking to beat it as fast as possible. Marco was also part of the team that first completed The Division 2’s previous raid, Operation Dark Hours, last year.
Kotaku contacted Marco for more information on how he received the raid document but has yet to hear back.
Later on, Marco also confessed on Twitter to having used an old damage exploit to improve his character at some point in the past, which likely contributed to his relatively quick completion of the raid as well. The exploit gave players the ability to stack damage on a weapon and blow through high-level areas of the game to rack up experience, stats, and rare gear. The Division 2 developer Massive Entertainment fixed the glitch back in April, punishing many of the players who used it and erasing their ill-gotten gains, but Marco apparently saw no consequences for his actions.
“We’re disappointed like everyone else,” associate creative director Yannick Banchereau said while addressing the situation during an Ubisoft stream earlier today. “What came out after the raids yesterday was that there was a document that includes some information about the raid. The first thing I want to say is that this doesn’t come from Massive, it does not come from Massive as an entity. We take that very seriously though, so we want to find out what happened and see if it came from the inside or something that was put together from datamining. We want to take that seriously and get to the bottom of it.”
The community has also cast suspicion on the winners of the world’s first race, which included Team SoloMid streamer and former PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds pro Alexandru “SOLIDFPS” Cotiga. That said, the developers don’t believe it was a widespread issue.. “There is no evidence that other teams have received the document and have been using it,” Banchereau said. “Until we can find evidence, we still want to celebrate the achievement. We don’t want to accuse anyone of being guilty until they are actually proven guilty. We will see what the investigation surfaces.”
Kotaku has contacted Contiga about the controversy but did not hear back from him before publication.
These sorts of accomplishments are big deals, not only in The Division 2 but in other multiplayer games like World of Warcraft. Raids often represent the biggest challenge in these games, with unique mechanics that require a heightened level of strategy and teamwork. Sure, the first people to complete Operation Iron Horse will be commemorated with in-game paintings, but the bragging rights are just as important for those who have put a ton of time into the game. It’s easy to understand why folks would be upset with someone taking a shortcut to victory.