New missions, new guns, new kneepads, and an improved new player experience.

“Episode 2” of The Division 2 is now live for Season Pass holders. Existing players should look out for two new missions: Pentagon and DARPA Research Labs. For everyone else, feel free to download The Division 2 and enjoy a free weekend of bandit-hunting in post-apocalyptic Washington DC.

While you can preload the game for free right now via Uplay or the Epic Games Store, the servers themselves won’t be open to free players until October 17. The trial period will run until October 21. 

Ubisoft has published the extensive patch notes for Episode 2, detailing the big new features. Highlights include the aforementioned new missions, and a new specialisation: The Technician. He comes with an Unreal style rocket launcher that fires six missiles at once.

According to Ubi: “The Technician also wields a Maxim 9 as their sidearm and has access to the Artificer Hive Skill Variant and EMP Grenades. It is a support Agent, which can boost both its own and others’ skills with its variant of the Hive, Artificer.”

There’s also a new PvP map called The Wharf, and a new Conflict PvP mode called Team Elimination. Permadeath is activated and the mode spans seven quick rounds.

There’s new loot and weapons too, including the very fancy ‘Sawyer’s Kneepads’, which boosts your protection by 50 percent while moving from cover to cover. It’s fun to see more arcane gear designs come into The Division’s gritty tactical military world.

Lots of effort has gone into the new player experience. New players thankfully automatically get a second weapon slot, the difficulty of intro missions has been tweaked favourably, and upgrades have been reorganised to offer a smoother pace of progression during your first 10-20 levels—sensible updates for the free weekend.

This looks like a strong update with plenty of rebalancing for long-term players. That makes up for the fact the next raid has been delayed. We’ll be jumping back into the game soon to see how The Division 2 has evolved.