Different people come to the Test Server for different reasons. While some want to try out new operators ahead of their release, we know that some of you want to try out features that are still in development. You want to help shape the future of Siege and provide meaningful feedback. You came to the right place.
The Lab Test Server is the latest addition to Siege's seasonal roadmap and will offer up opportunities to try out features that we're still working on and get a sneak peek at things that are early in development. Sometimes, these features will still be months or seasons away from release and sometimes, these features will be experimental features we want to put through their paces with the community before deciding whether they'd be a good fit for the Live servers. Basically, it's a place for you to get an even earlier look at what you can expect from Siege in the future.
Before we dive into the two features we're testing this season, do you have a hankering for more info about all the updates, changes and content that are new to High Calibre? Check out the seasonal patch notes here and the Designer's Notes here. Ready? Let's go!
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW?
It's no secret that the Siege community's been asking for a Team Deathmatch mode, and we're happy to say it's not far off. Say hello to the Warm-Up playlist and it's new, permanent, Team Deathmatch game mode. In it, you'll face off in fast-paced 5v5 Team Deathmatch-style matches featuring infinite respawns and a single 5-minute round (or until one team reaches the score limit).
Regardless of which side you're assigned to, you'll be able to pick almost any of your owned operators, with the exceptions being dedicated shield operators: Blitz, Montagne, and Clash. The reason for this is because operators won't have access to their abilities or main gadgets in Team Deathmatch - this includes shields. On the topic of operators with gadgets attached to their primary weapons, they will keep their primary weapons, but lose that gadget with the sole exception of Glaz who will keep his scope. This goes for any operators who have weapons that would normally have launcher attachments as the focus here will be on honing your gunplay. To spice things up, though, you'll also be able to bring one secondary gadget (frag, flash, or impact grenades) per life.
Not happy with your chosen operator and loadout? No problem! You'll be able to switch mid-match any time you're fragged, letting you quickly and easily test different combinations of attachments or weapons.
We've selected three different maps to kick things off on the Warm-Up playlist: Favela, Villa, and Theme Park. Of course, just like our other playlists, we'll be introducing different maps in the future.
On top of the basics, we know you likely have some questions, so we wanted to answer some of the things that are likely on your mind:
Why did you choose Team Deathmatch instead of Free For All?
We explored the option of a Free For All game mode, but found it would require significantly more dev time and would delay the release of a warm-up-focused game mode. The reason for this ties into the core of Siege - it was built around two opposing teams facing off against each other, so while altering this "two team" DNA is possible, it's something that requires time, as it touches upon more than just this mode.
This is part of the reason we decided to go for a Team Deathmatch mode - we wanted to make sure we prioritized getting something meaningful into your hands sooner. Of course, after testing it, we realized that TDM could still provide the fast-paced, action-packed vibe we were looking for.
Most importantly, though, the possibility of adding FFA in the future is not lost. The work and effort that was put into this TDM game mode opens the door to a lot of other possible game modes and events, so while we're not sitting here today saying more game modes are coming, the groundwork is there and we're looking at potential options. For the time being, we want to focus on iterating on TDM so that we can make sure it's a solid permanent game mode before considering work on another mode.
Why can't I use comms to chat with my team or the other team?
From the beginning, we've seen Warm-Up as a more relaxed way of enjoying Siege. It's a place where players can unwind or get themselves into the zone before hopping into other playlists. Since Team Deathmatch has a run and gun style of gameplay with no team-based objectives aside from frags, we felt that having comms available left a door open for potential toxicity. For that reason, we made the decision to remove comms in order to keep the mode focused as a friction-free and low-stress way to relax and get a handle on Siege's gunplay - either for the first time in your life or the first time in your night.
Why did you choose these three maps? Why not add a new map just for this mode?
We wanted to offer up a mix of different scenarios with the first iteration of Warm-Up and Team Deathmatch, so we decided on starting with a small map (Favela), a medium-sized map (Theme Park), and a large map (Villa). This way, you can prepare yourself for actual encounters you'll face in other playlists. This is also the reason we decided to focus on existing maps - as a mode focused on helping players warm up before hopping into other playlists, we want that gameplay experience to be as directly transferable as possible, especially for newer players learning the ropes. As we've already mentioned, though, we plan to add more maps to this playlist over time, so keep an eye out!
Why did you include grenades in loadouts but not C4 and claymores?
The more we played Warm-Up's Team Deathmatch, the more we wanted a little something extra to add some more strategic complexity. We found grenades fit the pace of the mode during testing and kept camping to a minimum, but we'd love to hear from you if there are specific gadgets you'd like to see.
What about shields?
As a game mode focused on gunplay, we felt that shields weren't a great fit. Shields absolutely do factor into regular Siege gunfights and are important to the flow of matches there, but since this mode is specifically intended to help players warm up with guns, we felt they weren't as strong a fit here.
We found that they tended to slow the action down, which didn't fit with the general mood of the mode. We also wanted to limit the number of exceptions made when it comes to operator abilities since that's where shields fit into the loadout system.
We're incredibly happy with where the Warm-Up Playlist is at quality-wise and feel it's just about ready for a wide release.
We'll be tracking your feedback throughout the Lab Test Server period to see if there's anything we can tweak to further improve this mode, and expect to provide more info on the release date close to the Six Invitational 2022. That's not far off!
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
First and foremost, you'll notice a survey link on the Lab Test Server. If you have feedback that you'd like to share with us, this is the best place to submit it! Outside of wanting to hear your general thoughts, we also have some more specific questions we're interested in hearing your thoughts on as you put in time with this new mode:
- Does the Warm-Up Playlist feel like something you will use to warm up?
- Does the vibe of the mode feel relaxed or competitive?
- How do you feel about the initial group of maps?
- Do you think it's easy enough to distinguish between opponents and teammates?
- Does the operator repick flow feel easy to use?
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW?
It's no surprise that Defenders already have quite a large advantage in many situations in Siege, thanks to their control over the objective and ability to build a team that's tailored to that specific situation. There's a lot left up to guesswork for Attackers and we want to even that playing field a little with the Attacker Repick feature.
With this, Attackers will be able to - as it says on the tin - repick their operator, loadout and spawn location as many times as they like during the Prep Phase. Since time is of the essence during Prep, we've improved the team header to show more info at a glance, making it clear to your team exactly what operators, loadouts and spawn locations have been selected. This should make it easier to make strategic calls on the fly based on your intel.
Coming to all playlists once it officially launches on the Live servers, our intention with Attacker Repick is to make sure the Prep Phase is equally engaging and meaningful to both sides. Sure, Defenders typically get to set the groundwork of a given round's strategy, but we want to encourage a similar level of creative expression among Attackers. If you decide to risk your drones to identify the enemy team's operator picks, you should be able to do something meaningful with that intel. We're also interested to see how this affects "jack-of-all-trades" operators, as we expect this new feature to open the door to more specialized operators who previously weren't considered worth the risk without clear intel.
Our intention with this feature is to ensure it's easy to grasp, comfortable to use, and allows teams to be more dynamic with evolving their strategies. Of course, we know balance is a huge concern when it comes to Attacker Repick, so we'll be looking to your feedback to gauge how it's going. In particular, we're interested to hear how feel about the added time management pressure this will bring to the Prep Phase. On paper, being able to counter Defenders may seem powerful, but considering the limited time available, necessity of intel and inherent team synergy required, effective use of Attacker Repick will require strong communication.
We also wanted to address a change that will affect the Pro League. With the introduction of Attacker Repick, we will be removing 6th Pick and the Reveal Phase. It also didn't make sense to make 6th Pick exclusive to Defenders, as we feel there are still plenty of advantages to setting the pace and strategic landscape of a round that make up for this slight reduction in pre-match intel. Not only this, but revealing Attackers ahead of the Prep Phase when they have the ability to completely change their lineup would not be a reliable source of intel.
If there's one advantage to viewers and players alike that we feel will come out of this removal, it's the streamlining of match flow. Now, you should encounter less downtime between rounds and as mentioned above, encourage a wider array of operators in play - especially on the Attacker side.
Similar to the Warm-Up Playlist, we think Attacker Repick is in a great place and feel it's just about ready for the big leagues. Currently, we're considering a Y7S1 release for this feature. Once we've had time to dig into your feedback, we'll make the official call, but would expect it to come quite soon.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
As with above, look out for a survey in the Lab Test Server menus, as this is the best place to share your feedback with us. We feel this should cover the most important bases - specifically your feelings about balance - so don't hesitate to let us know how you feel once you've had a chance to try it out.
Available from today until December 14, try out these upcoming features out on the Lab Test Server and let us know what you think! Have questions about how the Test Server works? Check out the Test Server FAQ here. If you run into any bugs or issues, don't hesitate to report them on the new and improved R6Fix 2.0.