A to Z 2016 : ROGUE STATUS

Over the course of this A to Z Challenge there has been mention of Player Vs Player (PvP), a system — currently only available in The Dark Zone (DZ) — that allows agents to engage one another, whether friend or foe. When one agent intentionally betrays another while out in the field, it's called going Rogue, in which case that agent and anyone they happen to be partied with gain Rogue Status. This is indicated by a red skull by your name with a dashed circle around it to indicate your Rogue Rank. You'll also notice a timer, a length of time that you'll be marked as Rogue for.

The more agents you injure and kill while Rogue, the higher your Rogue Rank and timer will raise, to a max of Rank 5. Upon hitting Rogue Rank 5, you will be marked with a Manhunt (changing your skull emblem from red to yellow — at least on the map I believe — if not just the Rogue Rank dashes), and everyone in the vicinity will be notified.

Whenever a player kills a Rogue agent, they will receive bonus DZ Rank XP and Funds while the Rogue loses DZ Rank XP and Funds, the amount of which depends on what Rogue Rank the agent was at the time of their death. In addition, if a player survives the entire timer of their Rogue Status, they will also receive a similar bonus. Be aware, however, that while in Rogue Status, that during combat your timer can either raise and/or stall, making it very challenging to survive, especially when going Rogue marks you on the map. And again, when hitting Rogue Rank 5 and initiating a Manhunt, everyone is notified, making you a lucrative target, so be prepared to be hunted down!

In past updates The Division has had certain tweaks made to the Rogue system to make it more appealing. The biggest of these changes made was how much DZ Rank XP and Funds were lost while dying in the DZ (for both Rogue and non-Rogue agents) and how much was gained if surviving Rogue Status. You used to be hit with a huge penalty for dying as a Rogue, so much so that it was pointless to even bother utilizing the PvP system, because the reward of surviving Rogue Status was so small Vs the risk of losing so much.

Once the penalties were lowered and rewards raised, however, more players have been roaming the DZ and are more enticed than ever to go Rogue. This is also because of further changes made to Loot and High-End drops. The Dark Zone is meant to be the gaming arena where players can hunt for some of the strongest items available, whether fighting NPCs or other players. I think these changes have brought back the tension that's meant to be felt while running around the zone. The uncertainty if another agent is going to be friendly, or suddenly launch an assault on you.

Then again, others would argue that too many Rogue players makes it hard to explore and enjoy the DZ, especially when playing solo. I can understand that, but the developers have been fairly active in making the proper tweak to make the game more balanced, so over time I'm sure they'll make even more changes. All that have been made so far have been steps in the right direction, I can't see that not being the case in the foreseeable future.

And also, sometimes the old adage rings true: if you can't beat 'em, join 'em...

Have you ever gone Rogue in The Dark Zone? If so, did you survive the timer or get hunted down? Have you ever initiated and survived a Manhunt? Do you think the Risk Vs Reward systems for both going Rogue and surviving and killing a Rogue are balanced? What changes would you like to see made to the PvP/Rogue system?