“ Survive the cold. Survive the hunger and the thirst. Survive the disease. Survive the night. Survive the hunt.- Tom Clancy's The Division: Survival DLC Update - Expansion II Trailer ”
Survival is the second paid content expansion of Tom Clancy's The Division, added into the game with patch 1.5. It provides a new game mode of the same name that offers both Player VS Environment (PvE) and Player VS Player (PvP) action.
Taking a page from other survival simulation games like DayZ, Survival sees the player stranded in the middle of Manhattan during a terrible snowstorm after their helicopter crashes, with no gear or supplies to their name except a pistol, no comms, and an infection in their system (Sepsis) that threatens to kill them within the hour. Despite this, they must still complete their mission to enter the Dark Zone, recover a set of experimental anti-virals, and extract via helicopter. Up to 24 agents will have to scavenge for supplies, warm clothes and equipment as they do battle against the cold, the disease, thirst and hunger, roaming enemy NPCs, and - in the PvP mode - potentially other agents; even extracting from the Dark Zone safely is not a guarantee, as someone is out there on the hunt.
Survival introduces 4 new mechanics to the game in addition to existing systems. These mechanics are cold, hunger, thirst, and disease.
“ WARNING: Core body temperature has dipped below optimal levels.- ISAC, when an agent moves away from a heat source. ”
Cold (or Temperature) is the condition that the player will have to battle the most, as the snowstorm has dropped to temperatures well below freezing, and without proper clothing, the player will freeze and, if not remedied in time, eventually die from hypothermia. Players can keep track of their heat level by checking the warmth bar at the top right corner of the screen. The warmth bar turns red when the player is getting cold and turns white when the player is warming up. The rate at which the warmth bar decreases depends on the amount of cold resistance the player's clothing has.
Vanity items in Survival now have a new "cold resist" stat on them, decreasing the temperature in which the player can be without freezing. The higher the stats, the slower the warmth bar will deplete, allowing players to roam the streets longer without having to warm back up. Having high enough cold resistance stats can even let the player roam the streets without having to seek warmth at all.
If the warmth bar depletes completely, the agent will start to freeze, causing the player's health bar to slowly drain and the outskirts of the screen to become covered in ice, hindering the player's vision. Players cannot regenerate health until they warm back up from the freezing state, even if their hunger stat is under control.
There are hundreds of fire barrels scattered throughout the map, along with shelters, hideouts, and burning wreckage, that will allow the player to warm up regardless of their cold resistance. Being next to any form of fire, including being on fire, warms players up as well, but only as long as the player stays extremely close, and doing so makes the player risk catching on fire.
Clothing can be crafted using fabric, and can also be found by killed enemies, opened suitcases, closets in apartments, or loot containers at fabric locations. The closer the player gets to the Dark Zone, the higher the stats on looted clothing will have.
Hunger is linked to health regeneration. When hunger is satisfied, health will regenerate. However, if the player gets hungry, health will not regenerate past the current bar, i.e. since players health is split between 3 portions, if the player is damaged past a certain portion, health will only regen that portion of health. Players can tell how hungry they are by noticing if their health regenerates completely, if it stops at one or two portions of health, or by the red icon under the standard hud that appears when the player's hunger levels are at it's highest.
While remaining in a hungry state will not result in players dying solely from hunger, it will severely hamper the players ability to survive since medkits in Survival are much rarer than in the base game. Hunger is decreased by eating energy bars or canned food. Food can be used while in battle, as well, and will allow the player to start regenerating health even in the midst of a firefight, so long as they aren't being damaged.
Food items can be found by looting refrigerators, ice chests, and backpacks.
Thirst is linked to awareness and locating containers in the game world. In Survival, the minimap is disabled and replaced with a basic compass, leaving players relying on the ISAC Systems highlighting containers in orange. This occurs when thirst is under control. However, once the player gets thirsty, the agent will have a harder time noticing loot, as the highlighting gets dimmer and harder to see in the snowstorm, and if not treated, will make the highlighting disappear altogether. Like hunger, players will not die from thirst solely, however, containers often hold vital items, like clothing, food, and water.
Thirst is decreased by drinking water or soda. When a player tops off their thirst right after drinking water or soda, the loot detection becomes much stronger for a limited amount of time, letting players see loot highlights much clearer at longer distances, including items behind walls and inside buildings. It is recommended for players to drink something when entering areas where the player knows there is a high amount of loot, so that they don't miss anything. As time passes after a drink, the detection range and effectiveness decreases until another drink is taken.
Water and Soda can be found by looting refrigerators, ice chests, and soda machines.
“ Warning, infection has reached critical mass.- ISAC, when the player reaches Septic Shock ”
Once the timer hits 0, the player succumbs to Sepsis and dies without the ability to be revived. Players can use medicine and painkillers to temporarily halt the progress of the disease, but the player also gains resistance to the drugs the more they are used, making each subsequent use slightly less effective. For their first uses, Pain Killers last roughly 2 minutes, while Medicine injected via syringe last about 5 minutes.
Medicine and Painkillers can be found by looting large red medical bags, usually found at Landmarks, CERA Stations, and Ambulances.
Each player starts out the game with Standard gear, a Standard pistol, a medkit, and torn hazmat suits as clothing. Players do not start with a primary weapon. The goal of the Survival mode is to craft a virus filter mask to enter the Dark Zone, find the "cure" to Green Poison, craft a Flare Gun, and then extract, all while trying to get better equipment and clothing, and before succumbing to disease, the cold, or the numerous enemies scattered throughout the map.
Players, when choosing Survival from the Terminal, have the option of choosing a PvP or PvE match, along with choosing to solo-queue or matchmake to play with others on a team. The differences between the modes is that, in PvP, player combat is enabled, and the player may damage and kill other players (with no penalty, as the Rogue system doesn't exist in this mode, even inside the Dark Zone). PvE disables combat between players, but it still is a race to get extracted first.
Enemies in this game mode range from standard level 28 enemies in the outer edges of the map, and progresses to level 30 enemies of varying strength and factions inside the Dark Zone.
Players do not start with any skills. Skills must be crafted using the crafting tables located in Survival Hideouts (which act like Safe Houses in the base game). Crafting materials can be dropped by dead enemies and found in containers scattered throughout the map. All skills require differing amounts of differing materials. In addition, First Aid and Support Station require 1 medkit each to craft. Additionally, players are unable to craft First Aid or Support Station unless the Hideout they are using is close enough to the Dark Zone.
The map in Survival contains many new icons, including Hideout locations, Helicopter crashes and Landmarks (which contain some of the better gear in Survival), locations of downed or unconscious players, and Fire Barrels, which will let players stay warm and regenerate their lost body heat, which is displayed on the upper right corner of the players HUD.
Loot in this mode is NOT shared, even among party members. This means that each drop appears to every player, but only one person may pick it up. Once the item is picked up, it no longer is available to any other player. This includes crafting materials from containers, as well as items and gear pickups. The only items that can be picked up by multiple players is when the agent is in a group, inside a hideout with lootables, like painkillers and fabrics, which will duplicate to give each player one of them.
In Survival, Medkits are much more rare than in the base game, and thus are much more valuable. Also, in Survival mode, medkits have the ability to revive oneself from a downed state, as well as the standard ability to be used while alive to restore health. Players can also revive other downed players using a medkit, as well.
If the player stays in a downed state for too long, they do not die immediately. Instead, they get rendered "Unconscious" and stay in the same position on the map. Unconscious players have 5 minutes until they die and cannot be revived. The map in game shows locations of Unconscious players. Players then have the option of reviving the unconscious player, at the cost of a Medkit, or to loot and kill the player, ending that player's Survival session (in PvP mode). In case the player is downed by a Hunter, the Hunter will proceed to close the distance and, if they succeed, will execute the player and immediately kill them, ending the players run in Survival.
Once inside the Dark Zone, players will need to fight their way to the cure for Green Poison located somewhere in the Dark Zone, and build a Flare Gun to call in extraction. Once extraction is called in, the player must survive 3 minutes as the helicopter comes to pick the player up. However, standing between the players and extraction are a new type of enemy, the Hunter. Hunters are strong, elite level enemies that act like other players, using skills and cover much like other players. The amount of Hunters that spawn depends on the size of the group calling the extraction, i.e. 1 player spawns 1 hunter, 2 players spawn 2 hunters, and so on. The players can not extract until the hunters are killed. It should be noted that if new players arrive to an extraction, even after all hunters have been eliminated, more hunters (equal to the number of new players arriving) will appear and delay the extraction until it is killed.
Once the player extracts, the player "wins" and is extracted back to the Base of Operations. There are only four seats in the helicopter, so up to four players can extract at once. It should be noted that the helicopter is first-come-first-served, so other players may "hijack" the extraction by getting in the helicopter before the player, and leaving the original player who called in the extraction stranded, and needing to craft another flare gun and calling in another extract and needing to face Hunters again.
Once the player extracts or dies, the Survival score screen appears, rating the player based on several factors, like surviving, NPCs killed, etc. Players are then awarded bonus caches for reaching certain score thresholds. There is a score multiplier on PvP games of Survival to reward the additional risk the player takes by being in PvP. If the player survived and won by extracting, any caches the player picks up in the Dark Zone is kept and transferred to the inventory of the player in the Base. Any equipment or items from Survival, except the caches, are NOT kept after the Survival game finishes.
The rewards gained from Survival vary based on whether or not the player extracted, and the score the player receives when the session ends. A rank is assigned to the player after each Survival session. As previously stated, playing in the PvP mode adds an additional multiplier to the players final score, regardless if the player actually had contact with other players. Level 0 gives no rewards, while level 5 gives 4 caches, in addition to the rewards the player gains from extracting, along with XP for the players' character. Levels 1-4 give out caches and XP, with higher levels giving more rewards. Further information regarding scoring and rewards can be found in this article.
Caches can be found in the Dark Zone by fallen enemies, Landmarks, and loot containers. There are different type of Caches, and they drop different gear depending on their type.
- Weapons Cache
- Gear Cache
- Mods Cache
- Survival Cache
Weapons, Gear, and Mods cache are common in the Dark Zone, while Survival Caches can only be obtained from Named Enemies at Landmarks and, very rarely, from slain Hunters.
- The map used in Survival mode is the same map layout as the Manhattan map used Patch 1.5, meaning certain areas that may have been added after said patch aren't in Survival mode. Examples are West Side Pier and the rooftop shortcut between DZ02-DZ03 (The original rooftop shortcut was a simple, straight path across the buildings that lead to the next street, the current layout is the same, but with an extra path leading to the alleyway nearby).
- Players can find deceased Division agents scattered throughout the Dark Zone. Some in the streets, others near extraction zones with axes still embedded in them from a lost fight with the hunters. All of them have their right hands cut off and their watches removed, taken as trophies by the hunters that have killed them.
- Depending on who and where the player is fighting them, Elite enemies have flashlight attachments rather than the usual laser pointer attachment.
- This flashlight attachment is exclusive to Survival, and not available or seen in the main game.