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Pay to win coming to The Division? Concerns over "Phoenix Credits" in Uplay shop

Will The Division have a pay to win aspect? There's certainly concern regarding that possibility due to the existence of the cryptic "Phoenix Credits" at the UPlay shop

Like most RPGs, The Division has a currency system that lets you get progressively better gear from vendors, offering an alternative to human sacrifices for the Random Number Generator god in hopes of good loot. On paper, that sounds fine and dandy in that it guarantees that those who are dedicated to playing the game will be rewarded, even if they are spectacularly unlucky. 

Unfortunately, like most modern games, there is also a concern over whether or not The Division will let you buy good loot with real money and essentially become a pay-to-win game. According to an update to The Division's Ubisoft Club rewards page, there is a "Phoenix Credit Pack" that gives you 30 Phoenix Credits so that you can buy "high level equipment." 

While the existence of such a pack in itself is not an issue -- given that it is a one time (and free) offer for those who play Ubisoft games -- the potential implications that such a currency has can be devastating. 

As of one month ago, it was revealed that Phoenix Credits exist in the game to let you buy cosmetic items with real money, a fairly standard practice nowadays. However, the fact that the Ubisoft Club page specifically says "high level equipment" rather than cosmetic items leads to some concerns that the purpose of Phoenix Credits has changed to let you essentially buy good equipment faster than anyone can obtain it through a reasonable amount of normal gameplay.

Of course, all these fears can be alleviated if it were simply attributed to a poor choice of words. After all, the same Ubisoft Club rewards page offers a pack of three Dark Zone keys that let you "explore the Dark Zone further", which is grossly overstating their use as simple keys to open loot crates (or glorified boxes) in the Dark Zone.

Only time will tell whether this is just a badly worded press release, or if The Division is marching towards pay-to-win status. 

Published Feb. 26th 2016

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