The Siege community has a lot of questions about the current state of the game and its future, which is why we brought together members of the dev team for a Reddit AMA on July 22nd. You can find a recap of the most important questions and answers below, the full Reddit thread can be found here.
MOUSE & KEYBOARD ON CONSOLE
Have you made any significant progress to detect MnK and have a reasonable timeframe for banning people who abuse it?
Our MnK work currently is still very much a R&D subject. We have dedicated people in the Rainbow Six Siege team who are actively working on MnK to not become an unfair advantage, but an additional input that we support to make everyone's experience fairer without impacting our players with disabilities. We plan to run tests in the coming months to validate our approach, once properly validated we can move forward.
What are your plans to fix the cheater issue?
A large portion of what we do unfortunately can't be shared here, as security is a huge part of anti-cheat and we need to guarantee we're not giving any hints to cheat makers. While we know this is frustrating, know that we have ongoing initiatives already live and in development that we can't explicitly share.
We'll be sharing a data-focused update to this Anti-Cheat article in August, but today, we're going to break down some of our most recent actions and plans for dealing with cheaters.
Will you guys ever consider manual bans of players doing new glitches in ranked that are found and exploited?
When someone finds a glitch, our stance is to fix it as quickly as possible. For that reason, we don't want to penalize someone who has found it in the first 24 hours - especially if this helps to identify the issue.
Are there any specific plans to add new level requirements or other/more forms of verification to Ranked?
In the future, we aim to add some access restriction to Ranked for players who have not relaunched and played the game for a while or any new account that has reached the Clearance Level allowing access to Ranked and has not made sufficient matches in PVP Public Matchmaking to validate its eligibility.
We are also actively looking with our partners inside Ubisoft at reinforcing the account security to make sure it gets harder and harder for hackers to get their hands on accounts.
If we report a cheater in-game via the overlay, does an actual human look into the report? If not, how is it done?
We have a team dedicated to going through these reports and identifying cases that involve cheating. But, considering the high number of reports we receive each day, we have to prioritize which reports are reviewed immediately.
What do Developers plan to do in order to curb rampant cheating for Siege aside from automated bans? When will Devs look into the possibility of hardware-based bans?
Hardware bans are indeed a sanction used by us and across the industry, however, it's not a silver bullet since advanced hardware ID spoofers can disrupt the detection.
In a time where it feels like every game has a cheater in it, wouldn't you agree that manual bans would improve relations with the community?
Manual bans are not our long term strategy as it would not be scalable, but that doesn't mean that we don't do manual bans - they're still very valuable to the team.
Is the overabundance of operators and its resulting unpredictability seen as a design challenge that needs to be addressed?
We had introduced the Pick and Ban and the Sixth Pick to help on this. The current system encourages to pick operators who do a bit of everything or perform specific basic functions and for us it's something we would like to address. The Attacker Repick will answer to this.
I am curious to know how you conceive a new character, and which are the main factors you focus on during the creation; the aesthetic, or the gadgets first?
Sometimes the Gameplay will come first and drive the whole development of the operator. That was the case of Wamai for example, or Hibana as we wanted to give alternative pick choice for teams to fulfill one core function.
On the other hand, sometimes the Lore or the history of a CTU is very strong and attractive and drive the process of making the operator, such as Nokk from the Jager Corps.
However, we will never reach a point when we "sacrifice" the gameplay for the lore.
I know people working with R6 have said in the future they hope for around 100 operators, but do you genuinely feel that is realistic with the current trajectory of the game?
This statement of reaching 100 operators was a strong symbol of us, the Siege dev team, claiming and saying to our community that we were HERE TO STAY.
How does the balancing team incorporate less tangible factors into their process when balancing operators?
We have different processes:
The Balancing Matrix helps us to have an overview / data of the performance of the Operators.
Regular pro workshops to collect feedback from them.
We also have calls with the pro players to present them various ideas / balancing changes. Those are also an important source of information.
We have all the week some internal Playsessions to test each change/rework -- with different player levels.
Finally of course, the community's feedback is another of our core inputs, which comes to us regularly from our community team.
Why does Twitch's gadget completely prevent her from having two regular drones like every other attacker?
We are agreed! News coming (very) soon for Twitch.
Are there any plans to change something about IQ's kit, whether that be her loadout, gadget etc.?
There is a plan for IQ to improve the intel sharing, so stay tuned!
Will there be any LGBTQIA+ representation?
Representation is incredibly important to us as a team. This year, in fact, the team has taken great strides to really level up how we are authentically representing our Operators, for example with the partnership of Nakoda consultants for the creation of Thunderbird. This is an approach we'll be taking moving forward as well, to ensure the future LGBT operators we bring to the game feel like honest, real people.
What are your thoughts on Kali's balance at this current time?
She has a very good secondary weapon and to be honest, for now, we are not looking to give her another primary. For us, if we do that, nobody will use her sniper anymore and that's a shame.
So we need to look at the sniper itself how to buff it. We still believe in a bolt action sniper rifle in Siege.
Siege's lore has made a shift from it being a realistic counter terrorist game, to more of an Olympic style game. What is the reason for this?
It's no secret that our obsession since the beginning has been competition rather than making a realistic and immersive game. So the more the game evolved, the more we felt the need to explore gameplay areas that were no longer compatible with the "realism" and the original settings.
When you think about how the game has evolved from the beta to now, are there any gadgets you feel didn't keep up in viability or purpose?
We cannot imagine releasing some of our Legacy operators today, this is why we have established some guidelines to help the creation of the operators:
Define the player skills needed to manage each operator such as knowledge skill, communicate skill, resource management skill, ...
We need to have some balancing levers
Play around soft counter instead of Hard Counter -- Soft counter creates more gameplay and implies more skill.
Is there a plan to incorporate new maps instead of just reworking old ones?
Now that the competitive map pool is more solid, we will be switching to hybrid mode. This means that we will continue to maintain and improve the released maps with reworks but we will also start to make brand new ones again.
What kind of maps will we see changed in Y6S3?
For Y6S3, we're doing Buffs in 3 competitive maps: Clubhouse, Coastline and Bank. The 3 maps received a complete tech overhaul (transparent to players) and some gameplay changes (balancing, quality of life). The total amount of changes in those 3 maps are about equal to the number of changes of a single rework. We wanted to be more surgical but tweak more maps.
Any plans on reworking Bartlett U. into an actual PvP map, or is it destined to be excluded forever?
It will come back in some form. We are currently trying some things from minor changes to a complete overhaul.
What aspects of a map make it 'competitive'?
The top one is overall balancing. Each team must have equal opportunities to win at high skill level of play. There must never be a point where one team can't do anything due to the layout or setups. It is also a question of trade-off. When a map has certain aspect that favors one side, we try to counterbalance by having something else that favors the other side.
When is the rank rework taking place?
We're still in the early phases so we don't have dates to share, but we are planning an update to Ranked. Among the changes that we have planned one of the core changes is to split the MMR from your ranking. MMR will be kept hidden. Your ranking will be a value that is slowly progresses towards your MMR. It will ensure better matchmaking from the start of the season without the stress of good/bad placement matches. It will also reward dedication on top of pure skill.
As a solo queue ranked player, what are your plans to improve the experience?
We're looking at two possible solutions.
Solo & squad queues: While this would address many concerns, it has a drawback. This option runs the risk of increasing queue times and decreasing matchmaking quality.
A single Ranked queue: Rather than just using MMR, it would also factor in the advantage of playing in a squad vs. playing solo. This would ideally offer fairer matches without splitting the community between queues.
Will the 700 MMR gap be changed? It's difficult to play with my friends with the current restrictions.
We're looking at a couple different solutions:
The most promising one is to allow players to play with nearly anybody (some extreme limitation might apply) and then take into account the squad skill disparity into the MMR update. The goal is dampened the unbalance that teams with a big skill spread can create.
Do you guys ever plan to rework the MMR/ELO system for ranked to make it more dynamic instead of just being "you get MMR if you win a game" and "you lose MMR if lost a game."?
We want to improve our skill rating system so it computes your skill with better accuracy and more importantly: faster.
In R6S it's a bit tricky. We tried using kills and in fact our system was less accurate by taking that into account, which means that the game is strategic and not just about who got the better aim.
We also have to be careful about those stats, they could be datamined and people could try to adapt their playstyle to 'min-max' the stats instead of thinking about winning the game.
Will attack repick be coming soon?
The ATK repick is planned to be pushed on the Test Server in Y6S4 (but will not ship immediately).
Do you plan to do something about the growing number of smurfs in the ranked ladder?
We have already committed ourselves and are currently working on this topic within our team and with our partners to get an accurate understanding of the smurfing ecosystem via data collection and analysis. Currently what we want to do is:
We are looking at account rules modification to establish stronger controls at the account level.
Also, on the game side we will explore various possibilities including the identification of the main account (in terms of performance) to automatically adjust certain values so that alt accounts meet this rank / performance.
Is there a plan to fix the rollback system to rework it?
As mentioned in our last Top Issues & Community Concerns article, we are currently working on a major update of our MMR Rollback system. This new version aims to bring changes that will restrict the time window for rollbacks and addressing rollback that occurs when you win against a cheater.
** Will North Africa get its own servers?**
At this time, we have no short terms plans to open a North African location but as we said previously, we are open to looking at the options in the future.
Can you add the option for picking your server on console?
It's a direction we want to go in, but unfortunately we don't have it in our timelines right now.
What exactly is the reason you guys decided against the AWS/gamelift gameservers?
We have indeed added Gamelift to the roster. The idea behind is 3-fold and pushes to improve the overall server quality of service:
Improve our resiliency, offering a service backup in case of outage of our other providers.
Mid-term we plan on putting Gamelift in the Siege server pool more frequently in order to improve connectivity.
Why doesn't Siege have a form of bracket tournament similar to the ones in Rocket League or Fortnite?
We are working on a competitive playlist that will be activated only during weekends. We call it the R6 Cup as a code name. 5v5 pre-made squad only. However, new features like the R6 Cup have to be delayed because it's counter productive to make this feature in the old online environment, and then have to redo it again when the transition it's over.
Will we be getting a gun range and is that idea even being considered?
I am happy to say that we currently working on some prototype where the focus would be to learn & practice weapon recoil control and also visualize the effect of different weapon attachments.
Any thoughts on removing friendly fire from casual? That game mode is supposed to be relaxing and fun.
There is no plan to remove friendly fire in casual. The problem there is not about being relaxed, it's about toxicity.
However, you are right to say that this game is a very sweaty one and we acknowledge that sometimes you might want to enjoy Siege without necessarily having the whole pressure of a 5vs5 bomb match.
That's why we are working on a prototype of a TDM mode that we call Warmup. The main goal is to have something easy going, easy opt in and opt out where you can practice your aim and try different weapons.
Will there be any more work or updates for Terrorist Hunt?
To be dead honest, we have wanted to remove TH from the game for a while now. It has a lot of flaws, costs a lot to maintain, and doesn't really fit anymore the direction we are taking with Siege.
However, it still has some interest and some purpose for some people. So, we said to ourselves that before touching the TH we need to deliver some features that answer the needs I mentioned above.
We need to ship a Warmup game mode first. And we also need to have a way to play with bots in a safe environment for people that want to learn or play coop with their friend without playing against human.
What is the ideology that is used to determine the 4 bomb sites on a map?
These days the bomb site areas are decided upfront, and we build around them once we have the building skeleton. We noticed that it is faster to converge toward something solid this way. But there is a drawback, it tends to make all bomb site more similar to each other's so we must keep this in mind.
When we decide for the general location of the 4 bomb sites, we try to cover most of the footprint of the building so that every part of the map will be used at one point.
Is there a plan to make a better Tutorial mode for beginners?
We are actively working on a brand-new Onboarding experience for new players which will take them through the Basics of Siege, such as destruction, verticality, and intel. We also want to have a more Siege-like preparation for players where the essence of Attack and Defend are introduced and how Operators play an important role in this experience.
Will there be a permanent Arcade playlist?
It's been in discussions on the team for some time, but we've lacked a large enough variety of modes to support a permanent playlist that players would actively use. Our intention is to release on a more regular basis arcades like Golden gun and headshot, until we build a large enough bank, to keep the quality of the matchmaking on par with the rest of the game.
Will you guys plan on rotating Arcade modes more often?
We are looking at how we can increase the frequency of Arcades while still having enough diversity so that it doesn't become redundant for players.
When Game After Death was first brought to TS many asked to cancel the feature entirely. However, Seb Francois (UX Designer) put out a tweet saying "Gameplay After Death is not a 'take it or leave it' situation at all" is this correct?
The community's feedback to Gameplay After Death was super useful after its appearance on the Test Server. It didn't feel balanced, so we're continuing to experiment with it. It's a feature we plan to release some day, but ONLY when it truly feels like it fits within the Siege experience.
Can we please get cross-save?
It's coming in 2022 :) You'll be able to transfer all your cosmetics to PC once it launches.
Are you guys going to enable cross play between PC and console, with an option to disable it?
We believe in developing and deploying features in an iterative fashion. This is how we're proceeding for cross-play. So far, console generations (e.g. PS4 & PS5) can play together. Stadia, Luna and PC players can play together as well. Coming up next is crossplay between all consoles.
Crossplay between PC and consoles is a more complicated subject, and we want to make sure we can provide a good experience before activating it. It's not a technical restriction, but more a matter of making sure we have better control over cheating, toxicity and type of controllers.
Will we see changes to the Battlepass at all, and will we ever see the return of the year pass?
We are looking to re-introduce the benefits that were previously given to Year Pass owners in the short term, including Boosts to Battle Points earned from Premium Battle Pass players.
Additionally, we are still not satisfied with our Battle Pass solution overall. We are actively working on a new type of Battle Pass that won't be found anywhere else. We're also looking to tweak challenges and make them more engaging in the upcoming seasons.
Will we ever see something like a shop rotation, where older skins from previous seasons return in the store which switches up every week?
We've started to bring back skins from past events or seasons lately. We do want to give back chances to new members of the community to get some of these fan favorite skins while acknowledging that for some players it's a way to showcase their past involvement.
Is there any plan to overhaul or make changes to the cosmetic/alpha pack system?
We're looking to improve the alpha pack system in Year 7 by removing some of the less valuable content like uncommon cosmetics, and to add more epic and legendaries that should make it more exciting for players.
What was the idea behind bringing back Outbreak items but not the event itself? And why are certain items brought back, but not more popular ones?
For Outbreak skins, we wanted to do a wink to the origin of the Extraction game coming up, but unfortunately, we couldn't bring back the event itself for technical reason, but we have something else coming up related to Extraction.
Can we look forward to projects like the Ikumi Nakamura collaboration and and Prime Gaming content creator bundles for the foreseeable future into Y7?
We were so happy with this collaboration that we are looking to others. But this is typically the kind of stuff that we can't really talk about until it is signed and revealed so stay tuned.
You guys teased us about customizable elites at the start of year 6. It's about halfway through season 2, any updates on a release?
We're looking to release the first iteration of this feature next season where you'll be able to mix and match Elite customization with other type of customization.
Why has the siege content been a bit dry for as long as it has been? I know people are or were working at home, but with the covid vaccine shouldn't we be able to receive more content?
I think it's a matter of perspective, because we do not feel at all that the content has been dry.
Even though it's true that WFH had an impact and we had to delay and postpone some feature, when we look back, we still managed to ship a lot of stuff, more than we were able to do in the past. However, we do get often this comment, so clearly there is at least a perception issue we need to discuss.
Why does it take so long for things to be added?
Building and coding a NEW feature as the R6 cup in the old online system is very counterproductive. That's why we had no choices but to delay and wait until this tech change is fully finished, which will take a bit more time as it is complex and deep. This is one of the reason of features being sometimes postponed for more than a year.
Is there any chance that we will be getting any new weapons in the future, rather than recycling previous ones?
It's true we haven't added new guns for some time, because we have already a huge pool of weapons - we have 100+ weapons (23 Assault Rifles, 20 SMG, 18 shotguns for instance). The weapon variety is in a center of our work. We focus on the balancing of the existing weapons -- sights, recoils, magazine, attachments.
Will duplicates in E-Sports packs remain?
We understand the frustration around the duplicates, so we'll make some exciting changes later this year! Stay tuned!
Why did you change the scoreboard and the weapon loadout screens?
For the scoreboard we listened to the feedback of the community, and we are going to do some improvements for Y6S3. The colors are going to stay the same, but we still want it to be to be clearer and less overwhelming.
Regarding R6Fix, how invaluable is this tool to you guys as a team, and do you think the community uses it enough at present?
R6Fix remains a very powerful tool for our dev team to capture issues. It helps get detailed and critical bug reports that help us fix issues quickly. We're working on a plan to implement some incentives and quality of life improvements to R6Fix in the future.
THE FUTURE OF SIEGE
What's the viability of creating a Rainbow Six Siege 2 on a new engine?
The choice of engine is not at all a limiting factor for us. Today, we cannot think of any problem or bug in the game which is due to using the Anvil engine. In fact, using Anvil allows us to share improvements with other projects based on the same engine.
Is it hard to add new stuff without breaking something?
When we first shipped, we realized it was tricky adding new gadgets, because parts of the code were shared, and every time we added a new one we risked breaking existing ones. This was not scaling well - the more gadgets we added, the trickier this was becoming.
So therefore, we created a gadget v2 framework, to isolate gadgets and make sure that new ones don't risk breaking existing ones. Today, I'm happy to report that over 90% of our gadgets have been migrated to the new framework, and of course all new ones are as well.
Will R6 Siege still be supported after the launch of R6 Extraction?
Siege will absolutely keep being supported after the launch of Extraction! These games are developed by two separate teams, so you'll keep seeing all the support on Siege you'd expect from our team.
Is there any update on the timeline for implementing the Reputation System?
Currently, the Reputation System is deployed and running in the background and other shadow deployments are be planned during the year. We want it to bring as much value to you as possible when it launches.
Why do you hide the level and rank of the opposing team?
When players look at this data they make assumptions on their teammates or opponents.
We want the players to do their best in an environment that is as fair but friendly as possible and we feel that removing such information is a step in the right direction.
What are your plans for sound development in the game?
We've put in place a strike team to identify and fix these issues. They're currently adding the code to help us better pinpoint when and where sound issues occur and help us fix them.
We also know that our sound propagation system needs some refactoring in order to improve the quality. This is a complex system, because of the interaction with our destructible environments. Any refactor needs to respect the performance budgets, since we still must support the minimum specs that date from the game launch in 2015.
How has COVID impacted your development on Siege?
We're proud of how it all came together and the incredible work of everyone on the team who adapted to working remotely and managing all the constrains of working from home. Making a move like this involves a ton of trust, and that really shined through.
Do you consider doing more AMAs in the future maybe even regularly? For example, at the beginning / end of a season or Year?
We absolutely plan to do more AMAs in the future. While we don't have timing to share right now, know that we WILL be back!
The amount of support and interest you have showed for this AMA was highly appreciated. Thank you all for sharing your questions with us, and stay tuned for future AMA's!