Rainbow Six Siege is a fantastically addictive cocktail of tenseness, destructibility, tactical gameplay and lethal gunplay. As soon as it was released, it replaced my passion for Star Wars Battlefront and I’ve spent scores of hours playing online. The problem is it’s a love/hate relationship.
At launch, the hit registry was botched to the point that you had to develop tactics for not falling prey to an unhealthy dose of BS. Several patches later, the server tick rate has been doubled (thankfully), but I’ve still managed to make a lengthy list of issues that should be addressed sooner rather than later. Siege’s greatest strength is also its greatest weakness when it comes to bugs: because of the high lethality and emphasis on tactical play, making the player feel they unfairly died is detrimental to the game experience.
Improve the hit registry
Yes, it’s better than it was at launch, but it’s still not perfect. Moving players still seem to have an advantage over stationary shooters, and because of the way the server updates animations on the client side of things, fast and accurate peekers can sometime shoot you before they’re even visible on the targeted player’s screen. On the topic of animations, there are sporadic issues where it appears that an enemy player isn’t facing you, but they clearly are judging from the bullets spewing out of their back and into my face. Check out the video below for an example of other visibility woes in Siege (it has some NSFW language). Oh, and it’d be great to see the netcode not give an obvious shooting edge to players with higher pings (which would also deter a recent trend of players VPNing in from other regions to exploit this fact).
Operator reselection and loadout customisation
There’s absolutely no reason why players shouldn’t be able to tweak their operator loadouts from any number of loading screens. Instead of forcing players to remember to customise their attachments prior to connecting, some of that waiting time could be made more bearable by letting us tweak our operators. On top of this, especially in casual, it boggles the mind as to why we can’t change operators during the preparation phase. It’s more useful for attackers, but realising too late that you don’t have a Thermite or a Thatcher, or that you’ve picked Fuze on hostage mode makes your attacking team all the more useless. On top of this, at the operator-selection screen, team chat shows up for both sides, which defeats the purpose of trying to text strategise between rounds.
Map rotation and mode notification
Google tells me that there are 11 maps available at launch for Siege, but I consistently seem to play the same handful of maps over and over again. I don’t mind that there’s only currently three modes on offer, but surely matchmaking should take into account how recently the majority of connected players have played particular maps and prioritise the other ones instead. Speaking of modes, there seems to be a recurring phenomenon where my teammates and I only notice what map and mode we’re playing half the time. We’re used to blocking out the visual noise of the loading screen, and that includes the essential map and mode descriptor. It’d be nice to have a constant reminder at the operator-selection screen of what map and mode you’re currently playing, if only in the first round.
Against well-coordinated defenders, successful use of drones during preparation and action phases is crucial to success. That said, drones seem to sporadically lose their ability to tag enemies, even if they’re clearly in view. There are also several spots on maps where drones can defy physics and sit inside objects, tagging operators without any fear of being spotted or shot. Even if you don’t intend to glitch drones inside of objects, there are sporadic instances where deployed drones during the action phase get stuck in objects, rendering them useless. Oh, if you could also add the ability to ping from drones, that’d be great, too.
The killcam is a liar
In fairness, it’s not like Siege is the only game where the killcam is a mixture of frustration and misinformation, but I’m harsher with it in Rainbow Six because of how useful it can be as a learning tool. If, however, the killcam shows that an enemy was shooting nowhere near my body (let alone head) and yet they killed me, all I’m learning is that either a) spraying is rewarded in Siege (which it isn’t in my experience) or b) the killcam is showing incorrect information. Knowing where you got killed from is only half the battle: it’s imperative that deaths in such a tactical shooter feel fair as often as possible.
Gas versus solids
Smoke is a great offensively specced defender whose gas grenades are deadly in the right hands. The problem is, in my experience, they’re also deadly to teammates… who aren’t even in the same room as where the gas grenade has been detonated. I accidentally killed a teammate through the floor with a gas grenade, when I was trying to use the smoke to deter a shield rush. That’s not fair on my teammate, and it certainly wasn’t fair on my score. Hell, it made me think twice about where I could use the gas grenades and, again, opens up the possibility of unfair gas kills on enemies through solid objects. Similarly, C4 detonated on a level below me by a friendly player has incapacitated me. Both of these examples seem to point towards some issues with how explosions and gas are handled in relation to destructible surfaces (that are intact).
Fix resilient bugs
Prior to patching, there was a bug that could quite literally leave an entire server of players staring at a boring, smoke-filled loading screen, with no option but to alt-F4 out of Siege. While I haven’t experienced that in recent times, I’ve had an excruciatingly long wait for a round to start after a player left and then a new one connected. Like you’ve done with the ETA notifications for finding a match, it’d be nice to have some transparency about what we’re all waiting for, lest player get impatient and drop.
Overtime is a great idea for allowing a bold player to win the round after the clock has hit zero. The problem in Siege is that it prioritises attackers and not defenders. It makes no sense that an attacker can push a round of bomb into overtime by planting the bomb as the timer hits zero, but a defender who’s cleared the area can’t defuse it if they didn’t start the process with adequate time on the clock. Overtime should be universal to both attackers and defenders, across modes, or it shouldn’t be in the game.
Even in casual, it’s amazing how different the game is when playing with those who use microphones to communicate, and those who don’t. Certain operators, such as Pulse, are incredibly reliant on the ability to let your team know where enemy players are, and anyone who’s operating cameras should be chatting up a storm with their teammates. While it’s certainly not Montreal’s fault if players don’t use VOIP, it’d be great to have a small experience booster to acknowledge those players who have a microphone or, better still, use them. Sure, some people might abuse that, but at least it’ll encourage more people to communicate. While I’m feature fantasising, can you also please add proximity VOIP (even if it’s only on ranked matches)? The prospect of making players think twice about talking in a game that rewards team communication would add to the tension.
Keeping the squad together
I almost exclusively play Siege with a rotating squad of familiar players. The ability to team up before matchmaking is a fantastic feature for playing together, but when it comes time to leave, Siege likes to break up the squad. It doesn’t happen if you back out at the matchmaking stage, but if you try to pull out your squad at the post-match rewards screen, it disbands it and gives everyone an error. Considering backing out at the end of a match is a regular thing that we do, usually to add more players, it’d be nice if we didn’t have to reform the squad every time.
The sound in Siege is fantastic, for the most part. With a decent set of cans, you can take advantage of plenty of advanced audio cues that let you get the drop on an enemy who didn’t even know you were there. The problem, I’ve found, is that the sound only operates on a two-dimensional plane. In Battlefield games, I can tell if an enemy is above, below or on the same level as me with sound cues, but in Siege, I struggle to differentiate between whether a noisy enemy is moving in from above, below or on the same level. Given how essential it is to be unexpected in Siege to preserve one’s digital life, the ability to easily discern between sounds on at different heights would be awesome.
Well, that’s the list of things I’ve noted most recently. If you have anything else to add, or feel that I’m incorrect on my understanding of any of the above, let me know in the comments below.