On the time of its 2018 proclamation, Siege was already a sophisticated, nuanced sport. Now, the mixture of the large dimension and sheer variety of maps, in comparison with different tactical shooters, alongside a cadre of 59 distinctive operators, every with their very own specified class and devices, make it a frightening activity to leap into as a brand new participant. And it seems it should solely develop into extra so.
The sport is continually rising, increasing, basically altering, every new layer making it tougher for brand spanking new gamers to study. With every addition comes new method to fulfill the sport’s dueling missions of attacking or defending an goal website. Now in its sixth 12 months of content material infusions, even basic play of “Rainbow Six Siege” requires dozens of hours of self training, whether or not via taking part in the sport, watching YouTube movies, Twitch streams, or consuming operator guides and any studying manuals gamers can get their arms on.
“[Acclaimed first-person shooter streamer] Summit1G mentioned you could study six CS [Counter-Strike] sport maps within the time that it takes to study one Siege map,” mentioned Dillon “Get_Flanked” Clark, a YouTuber who focuses on offering R6 training. “And I believe that’s that’s an understatement, personally.”
The sport is as vast because the Pacific Ocean originally of a rookie’s R6 tenure. There’s all the time a brand new operator to study, a brand new gadget interplay to check, a brand new technique to strive, and the horizon is continually increasing. Put bluntly, gamers should do plenty of homework and endure tens, if not tons of of hours price of hard-learned classes earlier than they really feel they’ll contribute competently. On one hand, the sport’s complexity is its greatest attraction, on the opposite, it’s a major barrier to increasing its participant base. Whereas that quantity is very large, numbering 70 as of this 12 months, may this ongoing expanse and evolution ultimately case that participant base to stagnate?
“I believe, simply usually, new participant onboarding is an space that Siege has failed in,” Clark mentioned. “That sounds harsh, however I believe that [Ubisoft] would most likely admit that as properly.”
Simplifying the sport from a technical or gameplay primarily based standpoint is a non-starter for gamers and builders alike. With out necessary, map-knowledge and gadget information options like “vertical play” (using the sport’s “delicate flooring” to create vertical angles of assault or protection) or “affect tricking” (utilizing affect grenades to destroy attackers’ exhausting breaching devices from a secure distance), the sport may as properly be one other generic shooter.
“I believe that the complexity of the sport comes from all of those comparatively easy mechanics, all occurring on the identical time,” mentioned Spencer “splek” Glenn, CEO, Co-Proprietor and head statistician of R6 esports web site Siege.GG. “You recognize, destruction, and reinforcement and devices and group play and whatnot.”
The price of the complexity impacts the sport on two fronts. For aggressive gamers, this generally means dying to gamers who’re in considerably random positions that gamers in different tactical shooters couldn’t dream of feasibly reaching, resulting in emotions of being “out-stupided.” For informal gamers, it means coping with tons of of distinctive interactions between operators, angles to clear, and downright complicated quantities of devices. With that form of depth it could actually take hours and hours simply to succeed in surface-level information and keep afloat.
“There’s plenty of nuance to the sport that [veteran players] don’t actually notice,” Clark mentioned, alluding to how they now take their base information as a right. “Like strolling down a hallway, after which rapidly, there’s a inexperienced flash in your display screen and also you hear a sound and also you’ve bought a needle in your foot [from Lesion’s Gu Mines]. What simply occurred? The primary time that occurs, there’s actually nothing to organize you for that or to know why that occurred”
There’s a tutorial of kinds within the sport — specialised missions of the traditional Tom Clancy sport “Terrrorist Hunt,” referred to as “Conditions.” Nevertheless, they’re woefully outdated and will confuse new gamers slightly than assist them. The mode doesn’t resemble the primary multiplayer matches. Moreover, the tutorial missions are performed on maps which have since been reworked for the common matchmaking mode. Whereas they educate some primary capabilities, finishing them doesn’t give new gamers the faintest clue what to do in a standard multiplayer match. The Conditions have barely been up to date for the reason that sport’s launch in 2015.
At the same time as Ubisoft continues to launch (and cost for) new sport content material, the developer is just not blind to the difficulty its steep studying curve creates. A part of the plan for the way forward for Siege is to assault their new participant onboarding downside, in response to Emilien Lomet, one in every of Siege’s sport designers.
“It’s twofold,” Lomet mentioned of the problem the builders face. “A part of the difficulty is that the sport is large. The second side is that the playerbase is made from plenty of veterans. It’s even troublesome for me to know [a new player’s] expertise as a result of I began taking part in the sport earlier than launch.”
A part of the push to resolve newcomers’ points is an overhaul of the Newcomer playlist, which is able to obtain quality-of-life updates in Crimson Heist. Extra options and playlists to help new gamers will come from a group referred to by Ubisoft Enterprise Technique and Stay Efficiency Director Mohammed Benhenneda as an “onboarding cell.” Benhenneda mentioned no concrete plans have been made, however the group will concentrate on the experiences of latest and returning gamers, and getting them on top of things in a secure setting.
Gamers don’t look like opposed to at the very least making an attempt their hand at R6. The pandemic was huge for gaming as an entire, and as a part of that surge, Siege added 15 million new players, in response to Ubisoft’s most up-to-date monetary report in February, thanks partly to the sport’s presence on Xbox Recreation Go, which was added in 2020. In the meantime, decrease barrier to entry video games like “Fall Guys” and afterward, “Amongst Us,” dominated the market. New free-to-play battle royale shooter “Name of Obligation: Warzone” had 80 million gamers in October 2020 after debuting in March of that 12 months.
With the method working, each veterans and newcomers will now adapt to the introduction of the sport’s latest operator, Flores, whose gadget (the RCE-Ratero) is a small, detonating radio-controlled drone. The gadget causes severe injury, and figures to principally be utilized in high-ELO ranked and aggressive play to destroy devices. Flores may even wield the AR-33.
The replace additionally introduces the Gonne-6, a secondary gun that shoots one explosive spherical, which ought to assist fight the bloat of bulletproof utilities within the sport. It’s a stark change from the loathed “20-second meta,” so referred to as as a result of there have been so many defensive, bulletproof devices that attackers needed to overcome that there was no method to arrange for conventional bomb website executes till there have been round 20 seconds left within the spherical. Based on the builders, the adjustments are explicitly to offer attackers extra company and even the scales given the present state of the sport, which favors defenders.
In all, the replace offers simply one other evolution and acclimation course of for an already advanced and nuanced sport.
Hunter is a veteran freelance journalist from Texas. He has an emphasis in Rainbow Six Siege, Valorant and Halo. You’ll be able to comply with him on Twitter at @DiamondbackGG.