Tom Clancy’s The Division 2

I recently picked up Tom Clancy’s Division 2 and have spent more than a few hours plugging away at the game. Admittedly, I never played The Division so I’m not really able to compare it to its predecessor, however, I’ve got more than enough experience playing MMO type games and this game, in my opinion, very much falls into that category. There are obviously some things I absolutely love and some things which serve as an annoyance, though not so much that it has prevented me from continuing to play.

I’m not going to go into too much detail about the game, there are plenty of posts out there that exist for that reason only. Instead I’m just going to give you a list of pros and cons and you can choose to use it as a basis for whether or not the game is something you’d like to pick up. Again, I’d suggest you research for more thorough reviews if you want something a little more in depth.

Pros

Let’s start with the good.

  • The graphics are AMAZING. I have to especially point out the rendering done with the weather because it’s probably one of the best I’ve ever seen.
  • Leveling isn’t tiresome or repetitive which tends to be the case with a lot of games that have a leveling system. I can honestly say I haven’t felt the need to stare at my XP bar, wondering when I’ll level next. It happens naturally as you play the game which is definitely a huge bonus for me.
  • Characters are not restricted to a specific weapon type which means you can change guns on the fly without worry that you’ve been pigeon-holed into one weapon type.
  • Haven’t run out of content so far, it seems there are a lot of “extras” you can do beyond the main missions.
  • Building up the settlements and seeing the improvements is satisfying rather than tiresome and redundant.
  • Enemies encounters aren’t predictable, there were instances where I’d turn a corner and run into a group and just as I finished that group off, more would come. In short, it doesn’t feel routine as is the case with so many other games in the same category.
  • Fast travel is available to you once you’ve unlocked/visited a site because fuck running everywhere.

Now on to the most glaring annoyances for me.

Cons

  • Unless you’ve done some research, you’ll be confused as to how the Skill system works, particularly as to what Skill Power is, and how you acquire it.
  •  The inability to cap out your inventory until level 30 is shit. But why? How does having more inventory space at a lower level impact gameplay? Yeah, I’m still trying to figure that out too.
  • Controls can be somewhat unresponsive. For instance, if I press space to take cover and then press space almost immediately after to move out from cover, more often than not, the game won’t register it.
  • The game gives you all of the skills but, you’re regulated to 2 skills and one signature skill. Presumably, this is with the expectation that most players will play in groups, but I am not most players and dislike that I’m being penalized because I like to play alone.
  • Paying for a pass to unlock additional content. The standard edition of the game is $60, and now we’re expected to fork over even more money, precisely $40 for more content? HARD PASS.
  • Parts of the UI are clunky. Having to click into multiple menus to add a modification to a weapon or skill is counter-intuitive, especially when there’s a good chance an enemy will happen upon you while you’re in the character menus and not in a safe house/control point.
  • Inability to share resources– this is stupid. I can share loot like weapons, armor, etc., but not resources? That makes total sense. NOT.
  • No replayability, unless you’re cool making a new character and doing the exact same missions, side missions, etc. all over again.

I am quite positive there are other pros and cons I have missed, but these are the ones that stuck out the most to me. I do enjoy the game, and I’m willing to tolerate the annoyances, but I suspect that once I’ve reached the level cap and complete the main missions, the game will sit on a shelf because I’m not willing to pay for DLC. There’s always a chance I could be wrong. I have yet to reach the level cap, so maybe, maybe it’ll surprise me, but to be honest?

I’m not holding my breath.

How I Toilet Trained My Kids in 3 Days

Like every parent who finds themselves approaching this milestone, I was absolutely terrified. I wasn’t sure how the training would go and admittedly I put it off for a few months despite knowing my kids were ready. They were very interested in sitting on the toilet, flushing and had even gone a few times without much prompting on my part. They were ready far sooner than I was.

The first thing I did was search for resources. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t really put that much thought into it. At the time I had a Kindle Unlimited subscription so I just looked up toilet training books and stumbled upon “Potty Training in 3 Days: The Step-by-Step Plan for a Clean Break from Dirty Diapers” by Brandi Bucks. Admittedly, it took me more than a few months to dive into it but when I finally did, a lot of suggestions were practical and understandable. I think the most important take away I had from the book is that you should never place toilet training toilets  (should you choose to use them) in any area other than the bathroom. The reason is simple, it teaches children that they can use the bathroom anywhere instead of instilling that the bathroom is the only place they should go.

After reading the book, I took an extra day off work so I could spend a full 3 days toilet training my kids. I wasn’t sure how it would go but I was prepared. I purchased activities we could do since we were confined inside with no TV in a small area of the house where the bathroom was easily accessible. I also made sure that we had a chart, stickers, and treats for when they successfully used the bathroom. On the first morning of training, the first thing I did was get the kids from their bedroom, remove their diapers, and had them watch me as I grabbed all the diapers in the house and said they were going bye bye. After that was done, I put the kids in underwear (just underwear), and had them drink a lot of fluid– admittedly this is the only time I’ve really bent on my no juice rule, simply because I needed them to fill their bladder so we could start with the training.

The first few tries we had accidents. The first day was obviously much worse but after a couple of hours we managed to make it to the bathroom and the kids got a sticker and treats. The second day was much the same with fewer accidents and by the end of the day, I’d stopped the treats completely. I didn’t want to reinforce their behavior by using treats consistently. It would, in my opinion, set a bad precedent. The 3rd day rolled around and by that point, I was not only comfortable enough to fully dress them but I also let them go outside for 15 minutes at a time. We had one accident that day with my daughter but otherwise, everything else was smooth sailing.

I got lucky.

The best thing to remember is you can’t half ass it. You can’t decide to work on toilet training one day and then the next give up. Consistency is KEY with this milestone.

My kids were toilet trained at 2.8 years and it was a bittersweet moment for me. I was obviously ecstatic because, “Yay! No more diapers!” but also sad, because it means they are growing up and aren’t stopping anytime soon.

For those of you who are struggling with toilet training or are dreading this milestone, my best advice is to be patient and to ensure that your children are very familiar AND very comfortable with the bathroom and how the toilet functions. We were pretty lucky that ours were so fascinated with the toilet and so eager to try it on their own so toilet training was very easy. I’ve spoken to other moms and dads where that just simply isn’t the case with them. Whatever you decide to do or however you decide to attempt this milestone, just remember, you’re not alone, and we1 Parents have ALL been down this road, in one form or other.