The first free episode for The Division 2, entitled DC Outskirts: Expeditions, will go live on July 23 for Year 1 Pass holders, Ubisoft announced today, and one week later—July 30—for everyone else. The update will take players beyond the boundaries of Washington DC in two missions and a new multi-part "Expeditions" mode built around a search for a lost military supply convoy.
The first new mission, Camp White Oak, will be a "well-planned attack" on the presidential compound, as Division agents attempt to bring President Andrew Ellis, who is apparently a traitor—sorry, minor spoiler there—to justice. After that, the gang is off to the Manning National Zoo to hunt down Emeline Shaw, the leader of the Outcasts, and "eliminate" her (because that's how we roll in the never-ending struggle for freedom and democracy) before she can reestablish her faction.
In the new Expeditions mode, agents will troop off to Kenly College to locate surviving members of a military convoy that's been lost for reasons unknown. Three different "wings" of the expedition, each with a unique theme and tone, will be released weekly; completing all three will get you into "an exclusive treasure room full of rewards."
Players will be able to acquire the new Diamondback Rifle exotic weapon, the BTSU Datagloves exotic gear, and the Stoner LMG and Carbine 7 weapons following the update, and Year 1 Pass holders will also have access to two new classified assignments in Washington's Central Aquarium and the NSA's B13 site.
The update will also add a new "Discovery" difficulty setting for the Operation Dark Hours Raid, which "will allow more players to experience the first-ever Division raid," enable gear crafting up to Gear Score 500, make blueprints shareable across characters, and make various balance changes and buffs to weapons and skills. Ubisoft said when the update rolled onto The Division 2 PTS at the start of the month that it wants to increase the overall power of skills so that skills-based character builds are more viable.
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Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.