The Division 2 (opens in new tab)'s first eight-player raid, Operation Dark Hours, was originally scheduled to release this Thursday (opens in new tab), April 25. However, as Ubisoft and Massive announced today, the update containing the raid has been delayed to sometime in May "in order to fine-tune the balance of our game and to ensure the best possible player experience for everyone." Ubisoft didn't nail down an exact release date, but the delay will be at least a full week.
"Operation Dark Hours will be your biggest challenge to date," The Division team wrote (opens in new tab), "and we want to make sure that we've properly tested the large amount of balance changes that are coming to both PvE and PvP and listen to your feedback about the changes before introducing the raid."
The delay comes on the heels of The Division 2's new public test server (opens in new tab), which will be instrumental in tweaking PvE and PvP going forward. The Division 2 PTS opened today, April 17, and though Operation Dark Hours is inaccessible, PTS players can sample everything else in the coming update, including balance changes. The hope, Massive says, is to gather feedback via "surveys and dedicated forum threads (together with our traditional general and technical issues forums)" ahead of the official release in order to improve game balance and spot bugs.
It's good to see Massive moving quickly to get on top of technical and balance issues; despite having the best launch of any looter shooter (opens in new tab) in recent memory, The Division 2 has recently been bogged down by bugs and balance bugbears. In a matter of days, the game saw broken enemies which made high-level content a nightmare (opens in new tab), glitched projects which had to be temporarily disabled (opens in new tab), imbalanced equipment which makes low-level gear abnormally powerful (opens in new tab), and plenty of underwhelming weapons. It's disappointing to see the long-awaited raid delayed, but if that little bit of breathing room leads to a better game overall, I don't think players will complain.
Here are all the most important changes in the latest Division 2 patch notes (opens in new tab).