I cannot think of a recent game I have dumped more hours into than Rainbow Six Siege. Across PS4, my old preferred platform, and PC, my scene of choice for the past year, have combined to approximately 1,000 hours. Since I got a squad of friends to play with almost every night, we tend to play on Ranked to scratch that competitive itch that we don’t normally get from anything else. That said, we like to play for fun. That balance will not be there for every player, so I think it’s time to talk about how Rainbow Six Siege needs to be open for casual players.
Before we dive right in, I do want to say this. I don’t think the game will die without these implementations at all. It has over 60 million players, so that it will be fine. I am writing this for people I know and have talked to within the video game community who think Ubisoft’s hardcore shooter looks fun but are daunted by the competitive scene, which takes up a majority of the game and puts it in a chokehold, making it difficult for people wanting to sit back and have some fun without the added stress of deranking.
A look at the competitive scene
A mix of decisions made by Ubisoft, like its major updates that come with each season, plus the community tends to lean on playing in Ranked or Unranked, a mode that works like the former without any stakes. It is geared toward the players who may not go pro but want something more intense than the average online shooter.
So, new players who level up high enough to break through the level cap may think about trying out Ranked. If you have a team, I encourage you, but there are a few things you need to know beforehand.
For one, you are up against Smurfs; otherwise, players who purposely play in the lower ranks between Bronze and Copper to crush people who aren’t as good as them. If you are on a bad streak, then you may run into these people. It has happened to my team because we are in a rut then get pushed further down by these kinds of people who are taking advantage of these systems in place.
Secondly, you need to take a look at the Ranked distribution. As of writing, the distribution across all platforms looks like this. 0.8 percent of players in Copper, 3.7 place in Bronze, 18.5 percent in Silver, 43.5 percent in Gold, 32.6 in Platinum, and finally getting to the top one percent in Diamond. Do note that for Platinum, most of those in that area, Platinum 3, while the other divisions of it go down less and less. Now imagine those Smurfs crawling around all over the competitive scene’s lowly populated districts.
I will also mention there is a Champion rank, but that’s currently at a fat doughnut for its population and much newer than the rest.
Terrorist Hunt is not the way, as of now
Terrorist Hunt has its uses. You can practice your gunplay and gadgets of operators while taking down NPCs in a fairly challenging environment, which you can make harder depending on the difficulty setting. The problem that it runs into is that it’s not built to prepare you for actual players.
The AI doesn’t operate like a player. That may seem obvious, but we have seen some pretty smart AI across games so that Ubisoft could develop something more strategic. Siege is all about strategy and game knowledge. Gunplay could make a difference, but knowing maps and operators are the most substantial game changer.
While some changes like taking out the suicide bombers have made it a better experience, somethings need to be taken in a direction that can improve the experience. For one, let’s take out the random Nitro Cells placed to kill you. I rarely die by getting shot. It usually happens from an explosive that is awkwardly hidden.
Terrorist Hunt can be an answer. If a bigger focus comes into play for the iconic mode, it can open up the accessibility of Rainbow Six Siege for casual players.
Fun, Casual Modes
My main answer stems from the temporary, seasonal game modes we have gotten in the past. Sure, it’s not for everyone, but it doesn’t have to be as more options let people decide what they want to do when booting up the explosive shooter.
Having the Halloween event, for example, could be a normal mode. For those of you who missed it, back in October, we had Sugar Fright. If you have played a recent Call of Duty, then you would know Kill Confirmed. Think of that as I describe this Muppet-filled shooting gallery. When you or a teammate get a kill, the enemy drops a bag of candy that you pick up for a point. If your friend dies or you get killed, then an ally can pick it up to prevent the enemy from scoring. You get unlimited respawns and must collect all of the sweets you can snag before time runs out or the score limit is met. Also, it is a bonus that there is no friendly fire, a plague if you are playing alone, especially on Quick Play, Siege‘s actual casual mode that is incredibly toxic.
Do we need Kill Confirmed in Siege? Not at all. But across this or the alien Left 4 Dead twist with Outbreak, we have ideas jumping out from the developers that could have people coming into the community with more options, or if someone is burnt out of trying to reach Gold 1, then they can hop into something more relaxing.
If you are playing alone, this is a brutal game to get into. If all of your friends are not into it, then playing with random will lead to plenty of toxicity like team killers. I have had plenty of those by having one random on my team when one buddy is not available.
Is this the definitive alternative to open the door for casual players into the Rainbow Six Siege community? Not exactly. I am a passionate player who wants to see the best for one of my favorite games. I want to see Ubisoft take the necessary steps for its gamers, whether they are hardcore, casual, or like me, someone who sits in the middle as a lower-tiered Gold player.