On Thursday, a number of Ubisoft Rainbow Six: Siege developers engaged in a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) which gave the community a chance to get answers to their most pressing concerns.
The AMA can be read in full here and included nine total developers across a number of departments:
- Leroy Athanassoff - Creative Director
- Benjamin Azoulay - Technical Director for Live Operations
- Paul Vlasie - Technology Director
- Emmanuel Larive - Player Behaviour Product Owner
- Aurélie Débant - Game Director
- Aurélien Chiron - Associate Game Director
- Mohammed Benhenneda - Business Strategy and Live Performance Director
- Christopher Budgen - Associate Game Director
- Yann Sylvestre - Level Design Director
While we couldn't include every response, we've summarised some of the most interesting bits together into a quick summary:
- New Maps -- "For Y6S3, we're doing Buffs in Clubhouse, Coastline, and Bank"
- Operator Balancing -- "We need to look at Kali's sniper itself how to buff it"
- New Game Modes -- "We are actively working on a new Shooting Range"
- In-Game Fixes -- "We’ve banned a total of 69,139 cheaters in 2021"
- Siege 2.0 -- "We do not want to move to a new game"
- Esports -- "R6 Cups is the end-game, the raid of R6"
The quotes listed below are extracts of the full responses, a full answer can be found linked with the question.
New Maps: Three Map Buffs, Bartlett Rework & New Maps in the Future
Starting off with new content, the map reworks for next season have been confirmed to be on Club House, Coastline, and Bank.
u/Aplombyy: Season 3 of Year 6 is kind of vague, “Map buffs/reworks”. What kind of maps will we see be changed, Casual, ranked, and competitive maps?
Yann: 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. Club House has the least change while Coastline and bank have the most.
Considering two of these are in the pro-circuit map pool, this has pretty major ramifications for the esports scene. This will also be Club House's second rework after its initial change in June 2018.
Additionally, it has been confirmed that new maps will come to the game in the future, following the much-needed map buffs that have been releasing during Years 5 and 6.
u/Knights07: Is there a plan to incorporate new maps instead of just reworking old ones?
Yann: Now that the competitive map pool is more solid, we will be switching to hybrid mode. This means that we will still continue to maintain and improve the released maps with reworks but we will also start to make brand new ones again.
Finally, the long-forgotten map of Bartlett University was brought up, as it may see a return in the future.
u/W0lf619: Any plans on reworking Barlett U into an actual PvP map, or is it destined to be excluded forever?
Yann: It will come back in some form. We currently are trying some things like minor changes to complete overhaul. The map was done a very long time ago, and it is technically outdated so even with little gameplay changes we would have to redo everything so it allows us good flexibility on the scale of the changes.
For those unaware, after initially being released as a PvE Situations map, fan demand led Bartlett to be revamped into a PvP map for the game's first anniversary.
Unfortunately, the map was so widely disliked that it was removed from all game modes as of March 2018.
Operator Balancing: IQ/Twitch Changes Incoming
Most of note concerning operator changes was a rundown on the process the developers go through to decide which operators get changed.
This can be read in full here, with the main criteria they look at listed below:
- The balancing matrix
- The responses from the pro workshops as well as calls to pros
- Internal play sessions to test each change/rework
- Community’s feedback
As for operators themselves, Kali was brought up.
u/brodiebradley51: What are your thoughts on Kali’s balance at this current time?
Aurelie: ...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...
Furthermore, a potential rework/gadget balance was teased for both Twitch and IQ:
Aurelie: News coming (very) soon for Twitch wink-wink ^^
Aurelie: There is a plan for IQ to improve the intel sharing, so stay tuned!
New Game Modes: Warmup & Shooting Range Incoming, T-Hunt Possibly Outgoing
The biggest announcement of the day was likely the confirmation of a long-awaited shooting range being added to the game.
u/Brushh2: Will we be getting a gun range and is that idea even being considered?
Christopher: ...we are actively working on a new Shooting Range that will allow players to test the Damage & Recoil from multiple distances and weapon setups. We really see the importance here to allow players to see the impact of weapon balancing more directly and concretely compare the changes from one update to another.
...Our plan is to continue supporting players with new Learning Tools for all types of Siege players.
In a similar vein, Leroy also stated there was a more casual game mode coming to help players practice with new weapons in a casual setting.
Leroy: 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. Something more "relaxing" as you mention.
This mode may be needed considering the potential removal of Terrorist Hunt (TH).
Leroy: To be dead honest, we have wanted to remove the 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.
[Before touching the TH] we need first to ship a Warmup gamemode. 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.
While not a definite, that would be a major change as Terrorist Hunt (recently renamed to Training Grounds) has been in the game since Day 1 with minimal changes.
In-Game Fixes: Cheaters, Gameplay After Death & the Reputation System
Asked about more than any operators or game changes were questions regarding cheaters.
In response, Emmanuel Larive gave a deep rundown on Ubisoft's anti-cheat actions and plans which can be read in full here.
As a part of this, he stated that 69,139 cheaters have been banned in 2021 alone, showing the scale of the issue.
Parallel to this, to counter toxicity, Emmanuel also gave an update on the long-awaited reputation system:
u/Lewtheblue92: Is there any update on the timeline for implementing the reputation system?
Emmanuel: Currently, the Reputation System is deployed and running in the background...
Over the next year, we plan to launch the first visible part of the Reputation System – the Reputation Score Bracket. This will let players know where they stand in the system and give them opportunities to shift behavior, grow, and ask questions before the system fully activates.
Finally, after a community outcry surrounding the "Gameplay after Death" feature, an update surrounding this was also made:
u/Chill084: Seb Francois put out a tweet saying "Gameplay After Death is not a 'take it or leave it' situation at all" is this correct?
Aurelie: ...It’s a feature we plan to release someday, but ONLY when it truly feels like it fits within the Siege experience. We’re planning another experiment on the Test Server during Year 7...
Siege 2.0? No Need For It
Another fairly popular question was surrounding a possible 'Siege 2.0', with the game being remade with a new engine to help it run smoother.
Across a number of responses, the developers explained exactly why this isn't needed.
u/geet_kenway: Will there ever be a Siege 2? And if not, is the current engine capable of handling new updates?
Leroy: [...] Siege 2 would mean a new game, a new environment, probably a new inventory and maybe a new dev team. We do not feel that this is what is needed for the community. We care about your investment in the game, we do not want to move to a new one. Instead, we want to protect your investment and increase its value it by making your current “home” (which is SIEGE) even better. It’s like renovations to your old house to make it up to date, shiny and appealing.
In a separate response about the need for Siege 2 due to the antiquated engine, another developer echoed the same sentiments.
Paul: 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 actually allows us to share improvements with other projects based on the same engine.
Effectively the engine doesn't need updating meaning a 'Siege 2' would not be too helpful fixing core game issues.
Finally, the only thing related to the esports scene was a question about in-game tournaments:
u/Eyesmelly: Why doesn't Seige (sic) have a form of bracket tournament similar to the ones in rocket league or Fortnite?
Aurelien: We are working on a competitive playlist that will be activated only during the weekend. We call it the R6 Cup as a code name. 5v5 pre-made squad only. We announced it at SI 2020. Since then we realized that we need to improve our online tech.
That being said we still really want to do that and we are very excited about the idea. For us, it's the end-game, the raid of R6. The thing that is the closest to the official tournaments.
We didn't get any more esports-related responses, but developers seemed open to having another with the esports team instead.
Eric: This AMA isn't focused on esports today, but if there's interest here on the sub, we'd love to do one in the near future with the esports team.
And so that's a quick summary on the R6 developer AMA, which you can find in full here.
Be sure to check back for further updates as we approach the reveal of the new season in just four weeks.