Rainbow Six Siege: What Can We Expect from Year Two?
The Rainbow Six Siege Invitational last week felt like a celebration. After a shaky start at launch in December 2015 and long running complaints about — delete as applicable — servers/hackers/matchmaking/game balance/nitro cells/everything, the game is now cresting at over 10m worldwide players. Rainbow Six Siege is an undisputed success and a stellar example of games as a service while still being kind to your core players.
Before the event, bit-tech was invited to get to grips with the new update, Velvet Shell — which was great — and also hear what was planned for the second year of Rainbow Six Siege. Game director Alexandre Remy said that while Year One of Rainbow Six Siege was about retention, Year Two is all about health.
But what does that actually mean?
Health means working out the kinks
Rainbow Six Siege has already shown it's a popular game, but now it wants to show that, for the players already invested, Ubisoft Montreal is committed to taking care of these smaller issues.
Chief among these is an overhaul behind the scenes to improve matchmaking and server stability, much of which means moving secondary services which are currently using a peer-to-peer system — like voice chat — onto dedicated servers like the main game to improve stability. Currently, the peer-to-peer services working together means that if one has an issue, everything can collapse around it, which can dump a player unceremoniously back to the menu screen or cause issues with matchmaking.
It's not sexy, but it is important. After all, it's hard to enjoy any game if you get dumped out of it due to server instability.
Hitting the right marks
Hit registration is also on the list for a fix. This has been a constant worry for the team, but they're determined to make it a priority for Year Two.
All multiplayer shooters have had their own struggles with hit registration, but because Rainbow Six Siege's combat is often decided with a single bullet and combat is so immediately violent, issues with hit registration have been much more clearly felt here.
No new modes
There are three game modes in Rainbow Six Siege: You can rescue hostages, you can defuse bombs, and you can capture a big yellow cannister. Since launch, players have been asking for new modes for the game, but it seems that for Year Two, at least, this isn't on the cards.
'It's something we do not want to do,' says Xavier Marquis, Siege's creative director. 'The map can be different, the operators can be different, but we need something static and that is Siege mode. Siege is the centre of everything.'
This fits with Siege's MOBA DNA; focussing on new content but keeping the core experience the same has served titles like League of Legends and DOTA 2 well, but it's unknown how this'll sit with Siege's audience, which is predominantly shooter fans.