Doctor’s Orders: Is Siege Due for Operation Health Part 2?

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It's been a while since the operation-turned-development fix period, but are we in need of another prescription?

Last year, a highly anticipated release of Operation Blood Orchid was pushed back for a three-month dedication period known as Operation Health. Ubisoft took initiative with fixing issues and ‘investing in better technology’ to optimize the game and thus increase the longevity of Siege. These involved three core pillars: technical improvement by raising the tickrate and dedicated chat/party mechanics, a new deployment system that allows an easier rollback in case of ‘emergencies’, and bug fix sprints to efficiently fix issues found by the community. Many of the known issues included connectivity problems with BattlEye, decreased performance, map exploits, weapon sight misalignments, destruction bugs, and the standout problem- hit registration. Title Update 2.1 rolled out a monolithic patch for Siege, that including 1-Step Matchmaking, changes to the maps to prevent spawnkills, a plethora of bug fixes and patches to operators, and redesigned operator hitboxes to not include baggy clothing or non-bodily parts. Operation Health definitely did provide what the doctor prescribed, but when is Siege due for another checkup?

As of recent, we’ve seen many issues to come out of the recent Wind Bastion patch. From the continued concern of game crashes to the ‘reworked’ throwable curves that can send Valkyrie cameras flying across the skybox. Prior to the beginning of Pro League Season 9, a sound bug that caused users not to hear the detonation of Thermite’s Brimstone charges or Hibana’s X-Kairos pellets would delay the beginning of Season 9 by a week. On December 12th, the first-ever LATAM playday would be cursed with several notable bugs such as a thermite charge destroying only a wall’s reinforcement and an Ash breaching charge quite literally bouncing off of one of Maestro’s Evil Eyes. Turns out, the patch had included a number of additional problems from silent plants/defuses to client sided drones- and on December 13th, an impending EU playday was delayed one hour prior to it’s start, and Season 9 was put back on hold.

 

Many Pros agree with the decision to place the upcoming Season on hold again to fix these bugs- but is it time to consider another long dedication period to fix a number of outstanding issues with Year 4 on the horizon?

I believe as if it’s about that time for another dedicated period of patching. Year 4 is likely going to include a number of new mechanics and features to continue broadening the variety and flavor of Siege, and while we have time prior to the release of Y4S1, maybe the halfway point of Wind Bastion should be our mini-Operation Health. Siege is in dire need of more dedicated game health periods to prioritize the longevity of its players, and especially time to get these updates out faster and faster to the populace. Increasing the developer-user transparency would also benefit here, so we have a general idea of where the game is going and how we can understand why certain features are receiving patches and why others aren’t.

Rainbow Six Siege's record of concurrent players via steamcharts.com

Prior to Operation Health’s release in June of 2017, we can see that the game was suffering in concurrent players, dropping some ~6,000 players. After the patch, and not to say that the patch is a direct beneficiary to the performance numbers, but we see a boost in the average players prior to the release of Blood Orchid in September. And even then, the growth was steady all the way through until post-Chimera and some dropped figures in October. Another Operation Health, or some dedicated period to help build and fix the game’s outstanding issues heading into the next iteration of operators, maps, and abilities will definitely assist the player growth of the game tenfold.

It’s no surprise that sooner or later, Siege will experience a likewise explosion in popularity to the extent that CS:GO esports did, and we’ll be seeing more Siege events sell out arenas much like other events do, so before this explosion happens, the game’s health should be appropriately prioritized to make sure these outstanding problems are fixed. What do you think? Is Siege due for another checkup, or are we fine without another long dedicated period of fixes? If you're experiencing bugs or issues, report them to R6Fix.com.