‘The Division 2’ Restarts Its ‘PvE Dark Zone’ Debate With The Arrival Of 515 Gear

The Division 2

I thought we would be having this conversation again at some point after The Division 2’s launch, but I didn’t think it would be this soon, or for this reason.

Massive recently introduced 515 Gearscore gear, over the current cap of 500, to drop in the Dark Zone. While 515 gear will join it when the raid arrives, many players are upset that they are being forced to travel to the DZ as the only place to farm this gear as it’s something that doesn’t interest them, at least not in its current form.

This has resparked a very old debate, one from the early days of The Division 1, where there’s an idea that there should be a PvE version of the Dark Zone free from Rogues and gank squads, so people can explore and farm these areas without being bothered by other players when they have no interest in PvP.

The counterpoint to this is that removing PvP and Rogue would destroy the entire concept of the mode, and people just need to “get good” if they want to survive in what is supposed to be the most harrowing zone on the map. This is roughly the position that Massive has taken as well, as despite all the requests for a PvE Dark Zone in The Division 1, that never happened.

The Division 2

The Division 2

MASSIVE

Instead, what we saw was kind of alternative for PvP-focused players rather than the thing PvE players wanted. That’s how we have Conflict, a dedicated PvP experience which improves PvP play for those who were tired of trying to kill enemies in the Dark Zone who didn’t want to fight at all and just wanted to run and be left alone. But the PvPvE element of the Dark Zone remains, and now some people are getting annoyed by it once more.

It may not surprise you to learn that I am on the side of “yes, the Dark Zone would benefit from a PvE option.” I don’t think you need to remove the PvPvE mode that currently exists for the game. Those that like that aspect can still play it, but offering a PvE version has too many upsides to ignore. I know plenty of players that have not even done so much as the intro quest for the Dark Zone because they remembered how much they disliked it in The Division 1. I did the intro quest and got up to level 10 or 15 or so in the DZ, but I haven’t been back since for the same reasons. I have no real interest in fighting other players, be it well-geared adversaries or easily killable noobs. I have no interest in farming for loot only to end up losing it because of ganks or other mishaps. And so I farm activities that are more reliable, won’t pit me against other players and don’t have the risk of losing anything. But I would love to explore an additional 25-30% of the map in the Dark Zone areas with a PvE version of the DZ, because otherwise it’s just wasted space to me. This was also true of the first game where the DZ was even larger and kept getting larger with future updates.

There is always a hardcore contingent of Dark Zone players who push back on all this, but I am genuinely unsure of what they’d lose if PvE was just an option for the Dark Zone. Players who like the current Dark Zone could still queue up for that version. To me, this is more about denying players zones and loot they haven’t “earned” because they can’t stand the heat of the “real” Dark Zone which is stupid gatekeeping I don’t respect or appreciate.

The Division 2

The Division 2

MASSIVE

I have no way of checking this, so far as I can tell, but I am willing to bet that as vocal as the hardcore Dark Zone community is, the DZ has a fraction of the players of the larger PvE world, and probably only a fraction of those actively want to be there and would care if there was a PvP option. I think there’s a reason that Massive put 515 gear in the Dark Zone, because they’re trying to lure people to actually play it. Right now, tons and tons of people are avoiding it completely because it’s much easier to queue up for missions or bounties or strongholds with a more straightforward path to loot, working with other players rather than against them. And if they do want to fight other people? That’s what Conflict is for, and that too comes with no risk of surprise attacks and lost loot.

The Dark Zone has always been Massive’s pet project, the concept that was supposed to make The Division stand out compared to its competition. And yet it has always remained my least favorite aspect of the game, and that has not changed in the sequel. If we didn’t see a PvE Dark Zone in all the years of The Division 1 doubt we’ll see one now, but I think it’s a bad path forward for Massive to try and simply bribe people to play the DZ when clearly something is gone wrong if they have to do that in the first place.

[“source=forbes”]

In Pakistan too, a debate about sexual harassment in the workplace

In Pakistan too, a debate about sexual harassment in the workplace
Photo Credit: Aamir Quereshi/AFP
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In the eyes of many, the offices of Pakistan are filled with lecherous bosses. All too often, working women have tales of their perversions: the lesser ones include gaze and glance, the occasional grope, the unwanted text message, the innuendo; the bigger ones include invitations to meet outside the office, over lunch or dinner – with plum assignments, promotions, job security and professional reputations hanging in the balance.

Resignation is no guarantee of reprieve; there are reference letters to be obtained, future employment to be worried about. In an expensive, inflation-wracked and increasingly competitive Pakistani workplace, there are many women who continue to be targets for men with power.

The arithmetic of want and need is in display; divorced women, single mothers, the older and the unmarried are particularly vulnerable to harassment. In the words of one single mother who endured 10 years of harassment, the pursuit is constant, and any attempt to escape is punished further with denials of promotions and humiliation before colleagues. Co-workers, often witnesses, say nothing, eager to avoid a situation that could result in retaliation, a loss of their own positions. Sexual harassment from superiors is hence often coupled with isolation by colleagues who watch, witness and withdraw. The harassed are not only the persecuted but also the pariah.

Legal protections

There is a law against all this in Pakistan. The Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act 2010, which will be six years old, is a thorough document. The code of conduct included in it defines harassment as “any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favours or other verbal or written communication or physical conduct of a sexual nature, or sexually demeaning attitudes, causing interference with work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, or the attempt to punish the complainant for refusal to comply with such a request or is made a condition for employment”.

It goes on to add that “the above is unacceptable behaviour in the organisation and at the workplace, including in any interaction or situation that is linked to official work or official activity outside the office”.

The abuse of authority, creating a hostile work environment, and retaliation are the three categories that mandate action against a harasser. Detailed stipulations are set out for the establishment of investigative committees, ombudspersons, etc, who are charged with resolving the issues raised. A range of penalties from censure to outright dismissal are postulated. All employers are required to display the code of conduct prominently on their premises.

When the law was passed in 2010, it was feted as a success. It would take time for its provisions to change the culture of the workplace, the more circumspect said. Change comes slowly but a law is a first step; a legislative commitment supported by elected representatives’ signals that the path ahead will be a different one, in this case one where the harassment of women in the workplace would not be permitted.

Not much has happened since then. Harassment is still rampant in the workplace (the majority of workplaces have little idea as to what the code of conduct is, let alone of the requirement to display it visibly in employee areas).

Women still regularly report being verbally harassed and even physically assaulted by their superiors who, making calculations regarding their need for a job, their desire to get ahead, their inability to refuse, unabashedly continue with such acts. In the face of unwanted advances, Pakistan’s women continue to find themselves alone, unsure of where to take their complaints and how to protect themselves.

Even in the development sector, where the very agenda of many organisations is to empower women, similar problems persist. In one, a co-founder of an organisation faced so much harassment by a male colleague that she was ultimately forced out. New, more pliant women hired to take her position have since complained of similar problems. The man in question, however, remains untouched, undoubtedly displaying similarly harassing behaviour to new prey. Other men have come to his defence – perhaps recognising their own behaviour in those of others and eager to ensure that no one gets punished.

Misogyny is manufactured in two major flavours in Pakistan. The first is on the premises of religious obscurantists whose hankering for the reinstatement of a strictly segregated society sees the harassment-filled workplace as a grim substantiation of their warnings. Women should not be in the workplace at all, the male conscience is unable to police itself.

Daily doses of misogyny

The second, one that wrongly labels itself as liberal and progressive, imagines it to mean a licence to harass and harangue. A woman’s willingness to put up and shut up is, in its mind, the product of this progressivism, its illogical mindset equating women in the public sphere with women sexually available to all men who may want them. The two flavours compete, their poisons infecting the working lives of women – doctors, lawyers, shopkeepers, bankers, teachers, professors and countless others – who are daily force-fed these bitter morsels of misogyny.

Laws alone cannot change society; the sexual harassment of women (and nearly everyone who reads this article either knows someone or is someone who has faced harassment) continues because it is considered permissible, something women ask for when they leave their homes.

This belief is reflected all the time and everywhere in Pakistan, in soap operas that vilify working women as predators out to seduce innocent men, to workplace conversations in which men dissect the desirability of their female colleagues, their participation often a measure of a masculinity that fears competition from women. In the matter of sexual harassment in Pakistan’s workplaces, there are the guilty and the very guilty, they are far too many men complicit, quiet, eager to embrace or enforce their right to harass.

[“source-Scroll”]