Rainbow 6 Siege “Operation Red Crow” (Season 4) Update Impressions, Operator Analysis & New Gameplay Meta

Operation: Red Crow has been out for around a week now so now may be a good time to share some early impressions and discuss how Siege is evolving. Red Crow has been a massive and super satisfying update for Rainbow Six Siege. Many of the content farm sites have focused on the bug fixes and new Japanese operators but they’ve missed out on some key details and insights.

Yes, there’s tons new skins, victory animations, and visual tweaks. Kapkan, Sledge, and Thermite are amongst the first to receive ELITE skins.. If you got the coin, these skins are pretty damn impressive! There’s also complete uniforms, new headgear, and more cosmetic goodness. That’s all nifty and encouraging because it shows commitment to keep the game fresh and give us all ways to stand out (and support a fantastic game).

Sledge is the King Of Scottland??

…Cool story, bro!  What about the Season 4 impacts to gameplay, particularly ranked?

Rainbow Six Siege: Casual Vs. Ranked Competitive Multiplayer (PvP)

While I love Terrorist Hunt and Situations are a nice challenge, the competitive multiplayer is my bread and butter on Rainbow Six Siege. Heck, I don’t really play anything outside of ranked, though custom games can be good for funsies and lulz. I’d like to discuss what I’ve noticed so far since the update.

First off, Casual is surprisingly less competitive than it used to be, yet matchmaking is much faster and reliable there. This shouldn’t be a huge surprise. At the start of every new season, we competitive gamers flock to the ranked queue. Even the casual folks seem to gravitate towards ranked, which is good and bad (don’t get me started on the habitual leavers and AFKers). Once people hit gold or platinum in the last few days or weeks of the season, they’ll stay in casual to maintain their precious ranks. Siege Season 4 looks like it will be no different but I have to say: the tryhards are really out in full force! I ended last season around Gold IV and now I’m struggling to get back to Silver, mostly because people dick around too much in ranked.

It’s this dynamic that has created a frustrating experience in Rainbow Six Siege and other competitive shooters. Eventually, high-ranked players won’t see any incentive in risking their MMR and they certainly won’t play with their friends, if they consider them less skilled. Players will leave matches just to avoid losing a rank, even if there’s still a good chance it could be won. These issues are compounded further by the fact that ranked matches seem to have a higher rate of disconnection and split squads. Without the slot backfill you get in casual, it leaves teams crippled.  Rage quitters and rank preservers are really ruining the game and ending friendships.  It’s silly.

Mr. Rage Quit | Is this you? If so, STOP IT!

I believe Ubisoft will address these issues well before Year Two content is announced or leaked. They have already committed to at least one more year of steady content so they’ll do what they can to have the platform succeed.. And we, the players, want it to succeed! In spite of the glaring issues with ranked play and how brutal the first few weeks of the season are with all the tryhards, competitive play is where it’s at for me so I’ll stick through it. Ubisoft has also hinted that they don’t think they’ll keep pushing out new operators in the long run so, eventually, we’ll see the game stabilize a lot more.

Now, the change with the biggest impact this season is the shorter rounds. Ranked round timers are now a minute shorter. Ubisoft says this is just a test and the goal is to get people more coordinated and efficient with their decision making. The actual effect is that it makes pick-up groups even less fun and even people whom regularly play together find themselves running out of time. Every match I’ve played in seems to come down to the last 30 seconds or so.

MEME: Never seen war war before? Oh, it's just like Call Of Duty. (NOT!)

I appreciate the design logic behind the faster rounds but the unintended results suck. People are droning far less so, when your team gets wiped, you have no cams. As such, instead of getting players to embrace the intended gameplay experience, what we’re seeing is more Call Of Duty style gameplay: lone wolf players running-and-gunning, not communicating or working together. While blitzing is a perfectly viable strategy, I don’t want to see this game devolve from tactical shooter to pew-pew-pew-WHEEEEE clusterfuck.

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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…]