According to the official Ubisoft website, the Dark Zone is coming back for The Division 2. In this title, there will be three different, but distinct Dark Zones. They look to work much better than they did in the first installment of the series.
You and a team of players will start the zone in PvE, hunting down enemy factions. Players can go rouge and betray their teammates to get some amazing loot if they make it out alive. You become rouge by stealing a whole drop, or going into a locked chest. If you are classified as a rouge, you are at risk of being killed by player characters.
There is sort of a bounty system, as there are many different rouge levels. If you take out a player you will become a Disavowed Rouge. This makes your icon more visible to other players. If you continue on your killing spree, you will eventually become a Manhunt Rouge. This alerts everyone in the Dark Zone to your location. There will be a very high bounty on you, and you can score some crazy loot going after Manhunt Rouges.
When you are a rogue, most of the loot that you steal will not be eligible to use or sell immediately. To be able to use this loot, you have to make it to an extraction helicopter, and protect it until a timer runs out. While you are guarding the helicopter, there will be an alert that the chopper is leaving, and enemy players could possibly try and take you out while you are boarding. Rarely, loot will be able to be used straight out of the gate.
If you would want to clear your status as a rogue, you can let a timer expire by not acting like a rouge, hack a terminal, or unlock the Thieves’ Den. The Thieves’ Den is a hidden area where you can access a special vendor. This area is only for people who have proven they are a top rouge.
Dark Zones are going to be normalized. People in a zone will be brought down to the average player level, so people who are just beginning can compete with veterans of the game. Once you reach endgame, you can enter an Occupied Dark Zone, which has level scaling similar to the original Division. Good gear will really count, and most of the hardcore community will be found in here.
We are cautiously optimistic for The Division 2. We are hearing some great things about the Dark Zone changes. The folks at GameZap will be sure to keep you updated at all of the happenings leading up to release!