Archives for October 2016

Rainbow Six: Siege October 2016 Update Preview & Season 4 Wishlist

With the next major update coming for Rainbow 6 Siege tomorrow (Thursday, October 27th 2016, to be exact), many are still speculating what the future operators will be. Ubisoft has been very good about avoiding leaks.  We’ve tried to get coerce some comments or find some reliable sources but we got very little. Of course, you can always leave it to Reddit to feature know-it-alls and trolls who claim they have privileged information. Word on the street is that there will be more fire, perhaps a napalm grenade, white phosphorous explosive, or some sort of flamethrower. The latter would be quite OP in a game that is so heavy on CQC (Close Quarters Combat).

https://www.reddit.com/r/Rainbow6/comments/3wt3ab/leaked_dlc_operator/

Rainbow Six Siege Japanese Operators Leaked

For us folks in the GeekyAntics Xbox community, we’re more thinking about the stuff that really matters (though the hot newness is always fun to talk about):

  • How can we make a great game even better?
  • What will keep this game fresh and fun?
  • Can we please fix multiplayer?

To tackle these questions, we have to look at things from the perspective of a game designer, not just avid gamers. It’s easy to fall into the trap a lot of jaded gamers have fallen into. On the Ubisoft support page, the entitlement and trolling is out of control. Players assume that Ubisoft abandons their online games yet the proof points to quite the opposite. Just look at the major update to Tom Clancy’s The Division patch 1.4, which addresses everything the community outcry has been highlighting: character balancing, abandoned groups, bullet sponge enemies (time to kill too long), incursions (time to complete too long), and damage scaling, making for a far more enjoyable experience for all, particularly in PvE.

We’ve identified several questions and challenges to be considered as Ubisoft continues to iterate upon an already fantastic game. Many of these questions are common concerns we hear from our fellow Tom Clancy shooter fans:

  • Do you want to cut down on players going outside?

  • What about “exploits” in Bomb mode (i.e. guarding the bomb from outside the objective)?

  • Should the glare from sunlight be reduced? What about gadgets to mitigate the effects of darkness and bright lights? Would this impact the game negatively?

  • How do you get players to play objectives and roam less? Should you?

  • How do you avoid splitting the player base while keeping serious players together and trolls separated?

  • More daily/weekly challenges, unlockables, and other sticky features

  • Acknowledge and reward players who display good sportsmanship, don’t leave matches often, and put in many hours a day/week.

  • Should you display how many players are on which modes or at least the total online players?

With those design tenants in mind, the following wishlist comes to mind. The first few are what we consider critical to the continued growth and success of the game and the rest are more “for funsies”. Let’s look at some of the items line by line, then we’ll discuss!

Critical Wishlist

  • Stabilize net code and session management – disconnections during ranked and unknown

  • Improve accuracy and reduce “magic shot” and “lean glitching”

  • More utility options for operator kits, particularly with explosives.

  • More breaching options so you’re not “stuck” when Thermite dies

  • Maps that allow for more sniping, stealth, and long-range combat, improving the gameplay variety beyond the usual CQC

More Game Modes

  • Blitz – Lightning round matchups in smaller areas of the maps. Variants for Hostage and Secure Area.

  • Tactical Supremacy – Two rounds of gameplay in the standard formats with a special rule: you get style points. The team with the highest score in the end wins.

  • Scavenge – Sweep hot zones for cargo shipments.

  • Mics only?

Player Incentives & Good Behavior Reinforcement

  • Communication – Reknown bonus for mic players?

  • Sportsmanship – Reknown bonus for good sportsmanship when playing down two or more players (not if they are voted out or TKed, though)

  • Patience – Stay in queue reknown bonus and bonus multiplayer for staying within a reasonable radius of objectives

  • Kudos – Give bonuses to players who are friendly, good team players, and/or communicate effectively

Fixes For Troll Kicks & Griefing

  • No or limited vote kick option for ranked

  • Show who started the kick vote?

  • Surrender option?  (NO!)

  • Segregation of griefers

  • Bonuses for playing drug-free

Operation: Dust Line... Rainbow Six: Siege, now with more cocaine??

Miscellaneous Wishes

  • Make situations co-op and bump up rewards, perhaps?

  • Buzzsaw device for breaching (an alternative to Sledge and Thermite)

  • A device that cuts ropes when they cross window thresholds (may chop a head off if a player tries to peak)

  • Give IQ a gun with EMP charges?

  • OICW (Objective Individual Combat Weapon) options with corner-rounding camera for tactical insertions

  • Snake camera (a’la Splinter Cell)

What about the Japanese operators everyone is clamoring for? I know many are hoping for katanas and shurikens, which would be cool.. But I don’t see that as being very realistic because it’s kind of racist. I must admit, though: it would be cool to have a melee option that was more reliable than the tiny little knife. It’s embarrassing when you fall short of a melee kill. On the flip side, it’d be cool to have an operator that can’t be easily shanked. Maybe he can catch the blade with his hands and counter. Oooooh – no we’re talking!

I think the Japanese operators will be more on the side of realism than fan service. With the Japanese being world leaders in tech, maybe we’ll see some really cool high-tech gadgets. Perhaps a robotic aide or virtually indestructible recon device? I’d personally love to have more diversionary gadgets like a persistent noisemaker machine. Smoke and explosives can do this well but it always feels like a waste when you use them so frivolously and have such a limited supply to work with.

We may finally see a quartermaster type operator or addition of new gadgets with the season 4 expansion. It’d be nice to have field refills because it sucks when your main weapon runs dry. Even better, maybe one of the Japanese operators will have “quick draw” options so you’re never caught with your pants down during a fire fight. I’ve tried to ask enemies to allow me to refill before continuing our duels but it rarely works, sadly. Anywho, lots of potential with the Japanese operators so we’ll have to wait and see!

Putting It All Together

First and foremost, people are tired of the issues with the net code. Mismatches on rank, random team disconnections, and strange issues with fluctuating latency have the community begging Ubisoft to “stop making online games” or “sell to a better company”. With the latest incremental update (not the official season update), matchmaking has become far slower, creating more civil unrest of the entitled geek variety… [Read more…]

Extra Life & Twitch Stream Teams: How They [Should] Work & Why They Fail

With around four weeks left until our Extra Life 2016 Twitch marathon, we’ve been thinking a lot more about online teams, communities, and tribes.  You see, we know they work and that they’re the only way to cut through the noise and unfair advantages huge brands have..  Yet the comfort people find in anonymity and lurking has become a major barrier.

Every week, we receive hundreds, if not thousands, of solicitations from folks that want to advertise with us, hire us, sell us a product, or join our stream team.  The latter has become particularly prominent, which is great, but folks think all it takes to join a team is a quick tweet or comment.  On Twitch, stream teams are essentially the following:

  • People join to siphon viewers from others.
  • They name drop when it’s convenient for them and makes them look good.
  • Individual team members rarely interact or acknowledge each other.
  • The people at the top get richer while the folks at the bottom continue to struggle.
  • You wouldn’t know they were a team if it weren’t for the “playing as” text.
  • Everyone is too busy promoting their own stuff to share and play nice.
  • The rich get richer, the poor get poorer (hmmm, that seems to be a recurring theme).

The Rich Get Richer

This is a terrible model and we are setting out to fix it, whether we’re partnered with Twitch or not.  The first phase is education.  We’re growing awareness about the abuse and ignorance that keeps us little people struggling.  Meanwhile, we’re identifying the best practices to make us as efficient as possible – so we have more free time to nurture relationships and do the little things you can’t automate!

Of course, we can create tools, systems, and SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) but it still falls upon the individuals to live out those values and do the work.  I know I’ve been on the soap box a lot lately but I hope that I impress upon everyone just how important what we are doing really is.  It’s a long road ahead, certainly, but we’ve had big wins and will continue to push forward.  Let’s briefly look at what we hope to accomplish as we head into 2017 and beyond!

[Read more…]