A YEAR IN REVIEW
One of the top complaints of PvP shooter players across the entire genre is cheating and toxic behavior. In the space of a single session, one cheater can ruin the experience for hundreds if not thousands of players. Over the last 12 months, Rainbow Six Siege and its Player Protection team have reoriented the way we think and develop features to address this challenge. This has led to the development of two industry-first systems, which we call MouseTrap and QB. These two systems have already had an enormous positive impact on the health of our game. Research and development undertaken has resulted in a suite of current and planned initiatives that are bringing creative and sometimes counter-intuitive solutions to problems that have plagued PvP shooter fans for years.
This isn't the end of the journey, but the start. Player protection is a never-ending battle and arms race, but our belief on the Siege development team is that this is one of the most important places to innovate --- both as a game, and as an industry.
Below we will share some of our learnings from these two systems, as well as updates in our Reputation System, and give some insight into how our players are driving our choices and about some of the new initiatives we are working on for the coming year.
The Player Protection team on Rainbow Six Siege has worked diligently to address the feedback from our community and ensure transparency along the way.
MouseTrap has been live for close to 3 months now. This feature launched mid-season with Operation Commanding Force (Y8S1.2 update) on April 11, 2023. We wanted to give you a brief update on how it's going and what we have learned.
MouseTrap is a new detection system which penalizes the use of Mouse and Keyboard on console by adding extra input latency (or lag) to players detected, encouraging them to switch back to using their controller. Our objective is to restore a true balance between competition and skill to improve fair play in Rainbow Six Siege.
We are very satisfied with MouseTrap's detection capabilities so far. We expected to see a moderate reduction in the number of spoofers at launch with preliminary results estimated at 30% to 50%. However, the data we've gathered has surpassed these expectations and has shown a major reduction in the amount of Mouse and Keyboard users on consoles.
There has been a 78% reduction in the total spoofers (Mouse and Keyboard users) detected in Rainbow Six Siege. If we look at Ranked on its own, the reduction is similar; 73% fewer spoofers than before.
When first we announced this feature, many were wondering why we chose to penalize Mouse and Keyboard users instead of banning them. We wanted to give these players the chance to change their behavior and play fairly. Today, we are able to confirm that this approach and new system has indeed contributed to a behavioral change: once detected by MouseTrap, many users are returning to their controllers or switching to PC. Our data shows that after a first penalty, 43% of penalized players will continue to play the game without ever getting any further penalties.
If you've been hesitant to play Ranked on console before or if you're thinking of returning to the game after some time away, now is the perfect time to give it a try as this means there are fewer Mouse and Keyboard players on console now than at any time in the last few years.
We are dedicated to ensuring fairness in Rainbow Six Siege and are aware of current community concerns with MouseTrap. We are currently working to deploy a fix for the reported issue as soon as possible.
Released on November 8, 2022, QB is one of our latest PC anti-cheat features which aims to make cheat development more tedious. We've seen great results from this system which has already contributed to the ban of over 10 000 cheaters, and we are only getting started! We've also been made aware that several cheat vendors have stopped creating cheats for Siege following this update and have been getting a lot of positive feedback from our community regarding their in-game experience since the deployment of this feature. We are, however, continuously monitoring this system to identify opportunities for improvement.
Reducing in-game toxicity has been a major focus for our Player Protection team this year, both in terms of abuse around friendly fire and unwanted communications. Since March 8, 2023, players who engage in voice chat abuse after two warnings receive a penalty and have their voice chat muted to others by default for the next 30 matches. This penalty is complementary to the written chat penalty introduced in the game in Year 7 on October 2022.
Both penalties aim to reduce unwanted communication and the impact of offenders by informing these players, via a set of in-game warnings and feedback, of how they are perceived by others for them to change and adapt their behavior before they get sanctioned by the game. The data gathered so far on this feature indicate that the addition of those penalties has indeed contributed to reducing toxicity in Rainbow Six Siege: half of the players who received a first warning for Voice or Written chat abuse have been dissuaded from continuing to abusing it.
This is also reflected in our first Reputation Penalty around reverse friendly fire, which aims to reduce cases associated with recidivists who injure too many teammates by abusing certain mechanism across several matches.
Looking to Year 9, the Reputation System will continue to evolve. We'll be working to add further sources that we can use to help increase the coverage of the system and ultimately safeguard player safety and enjoyment.
COMING UP IN YEAR 8
We are committed to ensuring a safe environment and fair experience for all players, many features are currently being developed to reinforce players' protection and will be released throughout Year 8.
[New] Player Commendation System - The Player Commendation System is a new appreciative system that will be made available in Y8S3 (Autumn 2023). With this feature, we want to reinforce and encourage positivity in our community by allowing players to recognize others at the end of a match based on their experience.
[Update] Reputation System - The Reputation System will get several updates this year. Y8S2 has already brought Reputation Penalty UI improvements and we will continue to support the system with ongoing rebalancing. In both Y8S3 & Y8S4, we will be introducing new features which will help players to better understand their Reputation Standing and while also bringing additional opportunities to interact with this system.
[New] Privacy Mode on Console - Privacy Mode, a feature to help protect streamers and players who are looking for additional privacy in-game was made available on PC last year with Y7S2 Operation Vector Glare and will be coming to console before the end of Year 8.
[Update] Ranked Requirements - Phone number validation has seen a successful implementation, though our work protecting Ranked continues. During Year 8 & 9, we will be taking the first steps to start a new foundation in safeguarding the competitive integrity of the game. As part of this, we will be bringing multiple new measures which will also aim to address smurfing. Crucially, we'll be reinforcing these foundations with new initiatives throughout Year 9. Not only will this support our current Anti-Cheat efforts, but it will also encourage returning players to rediscover Siege before jumping into competition, therefore improving the ranked experience for all players. More information about this update will be revealed later this year.