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DDOS, DOS AND OUR NEXT STEPSSep 20, 2019 - Community Announcements{STEAM_CLAN_IMAGE}/8328525/b0830fbc451821b79ce3a82e30bd69be94be54de.jpg DDOS, DOS, AND OUR NEXT STEPS We have monitored an increase in the amount of DDoS and DoS attacks against our servers following the release of Operation Ember Rise. Below you will find our next steps for how we plan to address the situation and move forward. NEXT STEPS BAN WAVES We have identified the worst offenders perpetuating these DDoS/DoS attacks, and will be initiating a ban wave. This will apply to both PC and Console players. Impact: Players that have been found to be initiating DDoS/DoS attacks will be banned. Target: Next Week, will continue as needed REDUCING MATCHES PER SERVER We currently host 3 matches per server. When a server crashes, or when a DDoS/DoS attack occurs, this results in 3 matches being impacted and taken offline. We are splitting this to have each server host a single match to reduce the impact Impact: 66% reduction in the impact of DDoS/DoS attacks. Target: End of this week REMOVE ESCALATING ABANDON SANCTION We have noted the unintended consequences of the escalating abandon sanction on players impacted by DDoS/DoS attacks. We are disabling this feature to reduce the longer term impact that is felt by legitimate players. Impact: Reduce impact felt by legitimate players after a match has been ended via DDoS/DoS/Soft Booting. Target: End of this week NETWORK TRAFFIC MONITORING/MANAGEMENT We are making adjustments to how we manage and monitor network data, and how we accept packets sent to our servers. We cannot provide details on this topic, as it will expose information that can be used to circumvent the work we are doing. This will have a substantial impact on DDoS, DoS, Soft Booting, and server stressing. Impact: This will have a substantial impact on DDoS, DoS, Soft Booting, and server stressing. Target: Early October LEGAL OPTIONS We have discussed the current situation with our legal team, and assessed our options. We will be issuing cease and desists to websites and people hosting these services. Legal action against prominent DDoS/DoS attackers is in progress. Impact: Reduce the availability of DDoS/DoS service providers Target: Ongoing WORKING WITH MICROSOFT PARTNERS Development is ongoing with our partners on the Microsoft Azure team, and we are working closely with them to develop both short and long term solutions. Impact: This will have a substantial impact on DDoS, DoS, Soft Booting, and server stressing. Target: Ongoing LIST OF TERMS These terms will be used regularly throughout this article: DDoS – An attack on the server, or network, from multiple PCs/devices that overloads the network. This results in all players being disconnected and the match ending. DoS – An attack on the server, or network, from a single PC/device that overloads the connection. This sometimes results in all players being disconnected. “Soft Booting” – A DDoS/DoS attack that degrades the network/server to the point that some players are dropped from the matc...Y4S3.1 PATCH NOTESSep 19, 2019 - Community Announcements{STEAM_CLAN_IMAGE}/8328525/8008987db03fe8c748a47d75c5663cb4884ebf1a.jpg Highlights of the Y4S3.1 patch includes an update to the Reverse Friendly Fire system with RFF Squad Management, and a change to how Goyo (and Capitao’s) fire interacts with Hostage under the RFF system. The 3.1 patch is typically smaller as it focuses on addressing immediate issues and some lingering ones from season release as we prepare for the next patch. The Y4S3.1 patch will be deployed Thursday Sep. 19th for PC, we will update you on the dates for consoles as soon as possible. GAMEPLAY BALANCING GOYO Hostage has evolved. Hostage is now immune to fire (both Goyo’s Volcan and Capitao) To prevent incidences of team griefing towards Goyo under the RFF system, we’ve decided to make hostage immune to fire. RFF SQUAD MANAGEMENT We have now expanded the RFF system to squads. If players of the same squad damage or TK other team members, RFF will be activated for all members of that squad. BUG FIXES FIXED – Crashing issues on PS4 We are also in the midst of investigating crashing issues reported for PC and XBONE as well, and will update when we have more. GAMEPLAY FIXED – Player exploit to vote on themselves when a Vote Kick is triggered and they are the ones being kicked FIXED – If player crouches or goes prone and then falls, their upwards view can be obstructed by their character model. LEVEL DESIGN BORDER FIXED - Operator's shield clips through the wall at 2F Offices on Border COASTLINE FIXED – Inconsistent wall destruction in 2F hallway on Coastline FORTRESS FIXED – Players can barricade a door behind the boxes in 1F Hannam Hallway of Fortress FIXED – Flickering wall texture in EXT Garden Path of Fortress FIXED – Small texture gap on Central Stairs of Fortress FIXED – Players can clip through the ceiling domes in Fortress FIXED – Misaligned wall in 2F Bathroom on Fortress KAFE FIXED – Missing visual texture on walls in 3F Cigar Lounge on Kafe. PLANE FIXED – Mira’s black mirror can clip through an unbreakable surface if deployed at the West wall of 2F Staff Section on Plane. USER EXPERIENCE FIXED – Level skybox sometimes visible when loading in on the first boot FIXED – Stat tracking issues when using Twitch drones to destroy gadgets FIXED – Various minor visual cosmetic fixes on headgears and uniforms. FIXED – Phone reset animation plays on the wrong side when getting a call from Dokkaebi. FIXED – Operators are detected on the basement level instead of the first floor in spectator mode. DEV BLOG: PLAYLIST IMPROVEMENTSSep 16, 2019 - Community Announcements{STEAM_CLAN_IMAGE}/8328525/1d12ace1a97dec8b6314e0d30044bc650fec985d.jpg When we announced our Y4 roadmap, we revealed several major playlist changes with the addition of the Newcomer Playlist, updates to Ranked Playlists and Casual, and more. For this purpose, we created the Playlist cell, a multidisciplinary team dedicated to working on the Playlists. With the playlist changes, our goals were to provide more guidance in the onboarding experience for new players, foster a healthier competitive scene at the higher ranks of play, while also finding better ways to disseminate information to ease the leap between casual and Ranked. This dev blog aims to provide insight on the changes and improvements that have been made to Playlists throughout Y4, and will shed some light on the decision process that goes into helping us look for ways that we can improve the player experience for all types of players in our community. GUIDING NEW PLAYERS {STEAM_CLAN_IMAGE}/8328525/343b62596478aca2c1efa703f982c19df096976c.jpg Rainbow Six Siege is a complex game to pick up. Even for experienced FPS players, Siege requires more than just shooting, as there is an expanse of game knowledge that can and should be learned as you grow as a player. As the game continues to grow, we realized that we had to begin developing initiatives to ease the learning curve and better guide our players. Entering a casual PvP game as your first Rainbow Six experience is daunting and can easily turn into a frustrating experience for new players. The creation of the Newcomer playlist aimed to offer a compact experience for new players. So with only three bomb-only maps, and a maximum Clearance Level of 50, we sought to create a space for newer players to learn among themselves in a more controlled environment. {STEAM_CLAN_IMAGE}/8328525/91cd9705805e088b2766b9ebb7d992a3be37895a.jpg The Newcomer playlist is just one step in our plans for improving the onboarding process, and we are continuing to search for more ways to inform, guide, and educate players. The Operator selection screen now contains difficulty ratings and full loadouts. We also added in default loadouts for new players as well. Furthermore, we have been monitoring feedback and understand that the Clearance Level cap prevents new players from playing with their friends. Part of the solution to this is the upcoming Unranked Playlist (read for more on this below), but we are continuing to look into ways we can improve the Newcomer playlist further while keeping our core purpose of the playlist intact. FOSTERING COMPETITION {STEAM_CLAN_IMAGE}/8328525/62cfd24961240e591b909810ffb2673b781388ce.jpg At the other end of the spectrum, we also wanted to focus more on creating a better Ranked experience for our highly dedicated competitive players. We wanted to provide an experience that more closely mirrored Pro League, improve Ranked competitive balance in all aspects, and develop long-term engagement with players and Ranked. It was time the...Thanks, Goyo: Rainbow Six Siege's new gadget keeps killing friendliesSep 13, 2019 - PC GamerRainbow Six Siege’s new operators, Amaru and Goyo, are officially out in the wild. I’ve spent the last few days (and weeks on the test server) wrapping my head around them. It’s been a rough road. The Amaru's Garra grapple hook and Goyo's Volcan shield are cool gadgets, but they both feel uneven in completely different ways. Defending has never felt more dangerous. I’m constantly a little worried that I’ll be burned alive thanks to Goyo, because his Volcan deployable shields hide an explosive charge that spreads fire around it. Ideally, the Volcan shield is a powerful tool for defenders to deny a crucial door or hallway during a defuser plant or the last seconds of a round. But so far, it’s been difficult to use Goyo in that way. What sets the Volcan shield apart from other traps is that anyone can activate it (even attackers) by shooting it or tossing an explosive grenade, so it’s incredibly important for Goyo to place them carefully. If it’s too out in the open, an attacker can flank from the opposite direction and easily shoot the red box. If it’s too close to where defenders are anchoring, a frag can blow it up from far away and burn the defenders it was supposed to help. No matter how well Goyo places them, he’s still at risk of hurting the team. I’ve already been roasted a few times because I was standing too close as Zofia suddenly blew up the shield. If it were any other gadget, bad placement wouldn’t be a big deal. Randomly placed Mute jammers are a waste, but they don’t directly hinder teammates. The Volcan shield, on the other hand, is incredibly lethal. In the wrong spot, it’s a huge liability. Gif by dtv20 on Reddit. That’s not to say his shields go poorly every time. If they’re placed reasonably well, they work as advertised. Just this week, Tyler used my Volcan to get a double kill by combining it with Kapkan’s EDD trap. Ember Rise adds more attackers with frag grenades than ever before in Siege, so it’s no surprise that one or two Volcans are usually destroyed before they can be useful. But even that is fine, because they still force attackers to waste explosives on shields instead of more important targets. Grappling with Amaru Whereas Goyo can sometimes get his teammates killed, I’m struggling to not get myself killed as Amaru. Part of the problem is Amaru’s loadout: her LMG or shotgun combos don't really work for me. With an angle grip and ACOG sight, the G8A1 starts to feel somewhat like an assault rifle, but its high recoil gives me trouble. Alternatively, I could go with the Supernova shotgun and use the SMG-11 as my main weapon, but I feel naked without anything that works at long range. The other problem is combining her awkward loadout with the Garra Hook. Despite Amaru being billed as an effective rusher (with weapons that support that role), her hook makes that job ex...Everything we know about the Rainbow Six Siege Battle PassSep 12, 2019 - PC GamerIt seems like you can’t be a service game in 2019 without some sort of battle pass. Ubisoft has become aware of this and is correcting it by introducing the Rainbow Six Siege Battle Pass. The pass is a new progression track for players that unlocks cosmetic and lore rewards just for playing the game. That is after the initial buy-in, of course. The pass isn’t coming out all at once, though. Ubi is dropping it in phases and it is slightly confusing. Here’s everything we know about the Rainbow Six Siege Battle Pass so far. What is the Rainbow Six Siege Battle Pass? Battle passes are the new-ish popular way for service games to make more money while giving players new progression paths for the game. Ubisoft hasn’t shared many details about Siege’s upcoming battle pass, but we know that players will earn “Battle Points” for completing matches that unlock rewards. The Rainbow Six Siege battle pass has two tiers Siege’s battle pass is releasing in two phases. The first phase is a free pass titled Call Me Harry. The free pass sounds more like a test than a proper release. It’s only seven days long and appears to only have one tier of rewards. Rainbow Six Siege Battle Pass release date There is no exact release date for the battle pass, but we know that the free Call Me Harry pass is releasing sometime during Operation Ember Rise. The full pass will release sometime during Year 4 Season 4, which will begin around December. What rewards are unlocked in the battle pass? From the brief battle pass trailer, we can glean three types of rewards players can earn: cosmetics, Renown boosters, and concept art (which will also come with lore about Siege’s operators). Cosmetics in Siege range from headgears, uniforms, weapon skins, and weapon charms. Ubi already gives away weapon charms by completing weekly challenges, so it’s safe to assume charms will be a common reward in the battle pass. If you don’t have every operator, renown boosters are handy for quickly grinding the hefty pile of currency needed to unlock them. The star of this collection will likely be the concept art and lore. Siege doesn’t currently have many avenues to tell stories with its operators, so this is a good chance to do that without impeding its multiplayer focus. Much of the existing lore comes from the in-game bios for operators. It’s often a little cheesy, but it’s fun to read about an op’s personality and interactions with other characters. Did you know that Mira helped Nøkk develop her stealthy gadget? Or that Finka got her face scar in a knife sparring match with Kapkan? What’s the price of the Rainbow Six Siege Battle Pass? Siege’s battle pass is following the lead of other popular games in many ways, so it’s not crazy to assume the same will go for its pricing model. The full-fledged Rainbow Six Siege Battle Pass coming later in the year will likel...MIRA 'INSPIRACIÓN': REMEMBRANCESep 12, 2019 - Community Announcements{STEAM_CLAN_IMAGE}/8328525/4d7146df4b8bbb2e2a66d028e14b07a5975aa4a7.jpg "I was two years old when Papá first took me to the museum. I asked to visit my ‘yaya’ so often that we went every Friday, rain or shine. I think it helped him to get me out of the garage! But as I grew up, those visits became less and less important." {STEAM_CLAN_IMAGE}/8328525/8922921b7e2ca9fcc4555126da7ddf4b16df456d.jpg “They say time heals all wounds. What does it do for those that never began to close in the first place?” "Now, looking back on her life, I realise I know so little. My earliest memory is of her smile, but her dreams, her desires – her fears – those are all missing. What I love most is the light her memory brings to my father’s eyes. She is still very much alive in his heart. Now, whenever I visit, I spend hours listening to him talk about her, trying to capture that light for my own. The death toll of a war never tells the whole story. It says nothing of the casualties that occur after the treaties are signed. Bad habits, old wounds, memories – these kill so much more slowly. We can never understand, but we can remember and maybe, God willing, we can keep such a tragedy from ever happening again." -- SPECIALIST ELENA “MIRA” MARÍA ÁLVAREZ {STEAM_CLAN_IMAGE}/8328525/f1d6722dcd86c6f83cdc68a062163e75f104757f.jpg “The past gives us a lens through which to view our future. Inspiration and opportunity come from introspection and observation.” CCS Women s League hopes to fix Rainbow 6 Siege s lack of female prosSep 12, 2019 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun Esports has experienced staggering growth over the past few years, cementing itself as a billion-dollar industry as of 2019. But this rapid increase in popularity and earnings has left some players behind. The Cyberathlete Championship Series (CCS) is attempting to address the imbalance with its recently announced Women s League for Rainbow Six Siege. Women have been a part of R6 esports for some time, with Laurie “Lyloun” Lagier coaching Team Vitality since 2017, but it wasn t until the following year that Lauren Goddess Williams became the first woman to compete in the Pro League. Alongside Team Sinister s “Loona”, and former coach of PENTA Sports Jess Bolden, these women have become role models, but the difficulties they ve faced on their journey continue to prevent others from stepping up. (more…) Rainbow Six Siege launches Operation Ember RiseSep 12, 2019 - Rock, Paper, ShotgunThe booted-up lady doing a high-kick with a grappling gun in the picture above is one of the two latest Operators added to Rainbow Six Siege this week. Ubisoft have rolled out its next major expansion, Operation Ember Rise – a hefty update which combines a reworked Kanal map with some nice new chaos-engendering gadgets and playable adrenaline junkies. (more…) PRE-SEASON DESIGNER'S NOTES Y4S3Sep 11, 2019 - Community Announcements{STEAM_CLAN_IMAGE}/8328525/e9404f992b26255a6f3f05c3d2aee45ebd606ca7.jpg With Ember Rise release, comes the latest balancing changes. Our goal is to offer you a list of what has been adjusted for the new season and to share our thoughts on these tweaks. GENERAL CONTENT SOFT WALL DESTRUCTION Shotgun destruction We are continuing to improve the reliability of soft wall destruction with shotguns. Our goal is to make sure that any wooden beam preventing the creation of rotation hole is consistently destroyed. By doing so, we hope to make site preparation easier for defenders. Keratos .357 and LFP 586. The Italian and the French revolvers destruction output will be on par with the D-50. We expect this minor improvement to offer more viable loadouts and increase their attractiveness. WEAPON BALANCING G8A1 LMG Added 100 extra bullet to the G8A1 LMG. IQ’s LMG, which will also be Amaru’s is receiving more ammo to be on par with other weapons of the same class as this LMG had even less ammo than most of our assault rifles. 417 DMR Expanded magazine capacity by 10 rounds. To try and make the 417 a more appealing option, we have decided to increase the number of bullets per magazine. Twitch and Lion will be able to rely on 10 extra bullets per mag with this DMR upgrade. PDW9 Base damage: 34. Damage at 18m: 34. Damage at 28m: 26. The SMG will now boast regular damage drop-off, like any other weapon of its class. It will still remain a completely viable option for the Spanish Operator. AUGA3 AugA3 damage increased from 33 to 36. The TCSG12 continues to be Kaid’s weapon of choice, but we would like the Aug A3 to be a viable alternative. Now that the Moroccan defender has received a C4 and impacts, he is able to remodel any site to his convenience, even without a shotgun. Increasing the AugA3 damage should bring the SMG on par with the TCSG12. OPERATOR BALANCING WARDEN Penalty on posture change: 30% Penalty on movement: 20% per meter Time before penalty removal is set to 0.1s Full recovery is changed from 1s to 0.5s Penalty on rotation is removed Penalty on lean: 20% Following last season changes brought to Glaz, we are looking to implement a similar system to Warden’s ability. The system used for the Russian sniper enables us to have more options to tweak Warden’s vision. This modification is also a good opportunity to reduce his movement penalty. The greatest mustache in Siege should now be more comfortable to play with, have more mobility and be a bit more powerful. CAPITÃO Improved visual and sound effects for Capitão’s Fire Bolts. Fire bolts will now have the same visual and sound effects as Goyo. This change is primarily made for consistency but will also increase the visual feedback of his ability. It should now become easier to figure out if you are going to roast your toes. FUZE Changed fuze deploy speed from 2 seconds to 1.6 seconds. Fuze’s ability is very risky to use, especially on windows. With an improved deployment speed, his gadget should be safer...Is KFC about to announce a Rainbow Six Siege competition?Sep 10, 2019 - PC GamerKFC's weird attempt to corner the gamer market continues. Recently the company ran a "World Cup of Games" competition on social media, asking people to vote for their favorite games. With almost 100,000 votes the winner was Rainbow Six Siege, beating out Minecraft in the final round. As the KFC Gaming Twitter account said at the time, "The turnout from the community was huge… guess we'll have to put together a reward for the R6 Siege family". Now we've got a hint what that reward might be, with a video that shows competitive Rainbow Six players fragging each other to a soundtrack of loud guitar and growling, accompanied by the words, "Cash and chicken to be won", "See you there #KFCR6", and "September 23". Sure sounds like there's going to be an esports event sponsored by KFC announced on September 23. How will Colonel Sanders find time for this and starring in his own dating sim? What an odd turn of events. I do feel like some fried chicken now, but admittedly that's my default state and I'd rather have Korean fried chicken, which is the best kind and would also make way more sense as an esports sponsor. Steam Charts: Paternal Doubt EditionSep 2, 2019 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun URGENT: Disparaging words have been said about the game you like by people who like the other game you don’t like. (more…) DEV BLOG: CASUAL PLAYLIST ROTATIONAug 28, 2019 - Community Announcements With Operation Ember Rise coming to the live servers, we wanted to shed some light on the Casual Playlist changes coming at the launch of Year 4 Season 3, and around the 3.3 patch. We currently have a total of 22 maps; 14 in the Ranked Playlist and 20 playable in Casual. As announced on the Seasonal Patch Notes, we will implement a new Casual map pool rotation. This Playlist will now have 14 maps instead of the current 20. Moving forward we will rotate 4 maps in and out of the playlist with each rotation. With the release of Operation Ember Rise, this is what the Casual map pool will look like: In a mid-season patch, we will replace Skyscraper, Hereford, Fortress, and Chalet, with House, Plane, Favela, and Tower. We will post updates on social media channels before it reaches the live servers. Bartlett University and Theme Park will not be playable during Season 3. The latter will be receiving a rework with the release of Y4S4 and won’t be available throughout this season. Our goal is to give players the ability to familiarize themselves with a more curated selection of maps. We are also aiming to make the playlist more dynamic and enjoyable. Remember to follow us and share your feedback on Twitter, Reddit, Facebook and on our forums. Rainbow Six Siege will be free for a week starting tomorrowAug 26, 2019 - PC GamerRainbow Six Siege will be free to try for an entire week starting from August 28 and ending September 9. During that period, you'll have access to 20 legacy operators, and all progress won during the period will carry over if you choose to purchase the game. According to Ubisoft, it'll be a 70 percent discount off the Deluxe, Gold and Ultimate versions.  The free weekend will likely finish up just before the next expansion, Operation Ember Rise, hits some time in September. That's live on test servers at the moment, but Morgan has a good rundown of its new operators and the new Kanal map rework (which looks sweet).  The game is also getting with the times and introducing Battle Passes some time during the Operation Ember Rise season. Cheerfully, the first one will be free. How Rainbow Six Siege: Ember Rise's less flashy changes will shake up the metaAug 26, 2019 - PC GamerThere’s a lot of cool stuff coming in Rainbow Six Siege’s Operation Ember Rise. There’s grapple hooks, fire shields, a slick new Kanal, and some smaller quality-of-life additions. There’s so much, that it’s easy to overlook the less flashy stuff that will have a big impact on the meta. Here are the most important changes flying under the radar in Ember Rise, and what they mean for Siege. Loadout updates: more deployable shields and frags With the introduction of Siege’s new and improved deployable shields with small bulletproof windows, Ubisoft has moved around operator loadouts to reflect their higher power. Overall, there are now nine defenders that can carry a deployable shield, or a little over one third. That’s including new defender Goyo, who carries three fire-infused shields as his primary gadgets. Here’s the full breakdown of everyone losing and gaining a deployable shield: * Smoke: Impacts replaced with a Deployable Shield; * Frost: Barbed Wire replaced with Deployable Shield; * Warden: Impact Grenade replaced with Deployable Shield; * Rook: Deployable Shield replaced with Barbed Wire; * Jäger: Deployable Shield replaced with Bulletproof Camera; * Mira: Deployable Shield replaced with Barbed Wire; * Lesion: Deployable Shield replaced with Bulletproof Camera; * Maestro: Deployable Shield replaced with Impact Grenades; Technically, the overall number of operators that can use deployable shields has dropped by one, but Goyo’s existence means that you can have more shields on the map at once than ever before (all the way up to seven, if you want). Possibly to help attackers deal with all of the new deployable shields, Ubisoft has made the extremely rare move of adding more frag grenades to the attacker pool without taking any way: * Dokkaebi: Stun Grenades replaced with Frag Grenades; * Glaz: Claymore replaced with Frag Grenades; That brings the total count of attackers with frags to five: Sledge, Buck, Finka, Dokkaebi, and Glaz. If you bring them all on the same round, that’s 10 frag grenades for defenders to worry about. Even if Jäger’s ADS devices zapped away every frag they could, the attackers would have four more. That doesn’t mean this team composition will become dominant, but expect a general increase in frag use. Defuser timer In Ranked and Unranked, the time to plant and disable the defuser has been raised to 7 seconds (down from 5). You might recognize this as the same timer used under the Pro League ruleset. Ubisoft briefly experimented with the longer timer during the Road to S.I. event earlier this year, but now it’s coming for real. Two seconds might not seem like a huge difference, but it could change a lot about attack and defense strategies. For instance, the new timer means that Smoke's canisters can now kill the planter more often. At the same time, disabling the defuser post-plant has never been more dangerous. Shi...Rainbow Six Siege's Halloween skins appear to have leakedAug 21, 2019 - PC GamerRainbow Six Siege's character artists seem to be getting ready for Halloween early, as a new leak appears to show off a new round of horror-themed operator skins likely coming with this year's holiday event. The leak, which comes via obutu3_, shows Halloween skins for Doc, Kaplan, Bandit, Ela, Vigil, Smoke, and Frost. There are also new skins for Caviera and Gridlock, although these aren't obviously Halloween-related. Each of the new epic skins looks pretty great, although for my money, Frost's is the most upsetting. Her face is split into a monstrous, sharp-toothed grin, and the horns poking out of her scalp are just icing on the cake. Smoke's skin turns him into an alien sewer monster of some kind, and Ela's is called "skin suit"—and the reason why becomes obvious when you give it a second look. Ed Gein called; he says he wants his jogging outfit back. Last year, Siege ran a special haunted house-style event for Halloween, and offered up themed skins for 10 operators, while making the previous year's spooky skins available as well. Hopefully that'll be the case again this year, and we'll have the chance to collect any we missed. Thanks, PCGamesN. You can now report Rainbow Six Siege players with a 'negative attitude' (update)Aug 19, 2019 - PC GamerUpdate: Today, Ubisoft removed two reporting options from the Ember Rise test server. The buttons to report players for a "negative attitude" and abusive voice chat are now gone. Ubisoft has yet to comment on their brief presence. Original story: Rainbow Six Siege has a big toxicity problem. Matches are regularly littered with harassment and verbal abuse, made worse by players not having good in-game tools to punish offenders. Thankfully, Ubisoft is at least trying to clean up Siege's culture. Players signing on to the Technical Test Server today for the new Ember Rise season were surprised to find a new suite of options for reporting players that go beyond its simple "report toxic behavior" button. Now, you can report players for cheating, hacking, abusive text chat, and voice abuse. That's music to my ears, but there's one more option that's less straightforward: report negative attitude. What...does that mean? There's no in-game definition behind Ubi's use of "negative attitude." If a teammate has given up hope for victory and is sharing their dread with the team, is that now a reportable offense? If so, what's the appropriate punishment? Or perhaps it's meant for sore winners, like the downright hilarious folk who type "ez" in the chat after killing you. I'd consider that more unsportsmanlike than negative, so maybe Ubi is going for something different altogether. We've reached out to Ubisoft for clarification and will update the story if we hear anything back. Every Google Stadia game announced so farAug 19, 2019 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun Google held another one of their Stadia Connect conferences today, and this one was meant to be all about what games you’ll be playing in the “scary” cloud come November. Sure enough, there were new Stadia games aplenty announced this evening, with the biggest addition being Cyberpunk 2077. To help keep track of them all, here’s a list of every Google Stadia game confirmed so far, as well as which games are coming at launch, which ones will be arriving a little bit later, and which games you’ll only be able to play by subscribing to one of the special Stadia publisher subscriptions. (more…) OPERATION EMBER RISEAug 19, 2019 - Community Announcements Something new is on the horizon, and Operation Ember Rise will shed light on it. Two operators, Amaru and Goyo, were recruited from Peru and Mexico, bringing with them innovation and change to Rainbow Six, along with a thrilling rework to Kanal. Besides that, numerous changes and new features are on their way. As you scroll through the Patch Notes below, you’ll find more information on our plans for a Battle Pass, the new Champions rank and Unranked playlist, our new Operators menu, changes to the Shop interface and Player VS AI, and which Operators are getting a price decrease. View Patch Notes Rainbow Six Siege gets a chuffing grappling hook gun in Operation Ember RiseAug 19, 2019 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun After almost four years of being a game-shaped digital object, Rainbow Six Siege will soon qualify for ‘actual certified video game’ status when its next update adds a new character with a grappling hook. This gadget, a featured mandated by the video game certification board, will let Amaru whoosh up buildings and through windows. Proper video game stuff. She’ll be joined in Operation Ember Rise by Goyo, whose magic trick is to strap honking great petrol bombs to his deployable shields so they go up in a burst of flames. Come watch some grappling in this here new video. (more…) Rainbow Six Siege is getting a battle passAug 18, 2019 - PC GamerIn a move that seemed almost inevitable in 2019, Rainbow Six Siege is finally jumping on the battle pass train. The battle pass will give players a new progression track to unlock cosmetics, renown boosters, and new operator lore. Siege's battle pass is rolling out in two phases, starting with a free, 7-day pass in Ember Rise named "Call Me Harry." It sounds like a testing ground for Ubisoft as it prepares for its "full-fledged" battle pass premiering in Season 4 later this year. "Our intentions behind it is to reward players more than ever playing our game, and also to provide a progression they can work through whenever they're playing." said presentation director Alexander Karpazis in an announcement video. Unlike existing battle passes that require players to complete specific challenges to proceed, it seems like Siege's pass will only judge progression by how much you play. Every match, you build up "Battle Points" that get you closer to the next tier. Cosmetics are fine, I guess, but I'm excited by the potential to tell new in-lore stories with Siege's operators. "The Battle Pass is a great opportunity for us to develop our universe," said Siege narrative director Emmanuel Bajolle in the video. Siege lore can be pretty cheesy, but operators are cool and I like reading about their out-of-game interactions in bios. Karpazis promised that they'd have much more to share at the next season reveal, and "much much" more to say at the Six Invitational 2020. Today, Ubi also blew the lid on Operation Ember Rise, which brings two new operators and a beautiful rework of Kanal. Rainbow Six: Siege Hits New All-Time High Player Count, Up 51% After Operation Chimera UpdateMar 7, 2018 - GitHypRainbow Six: Siege was last year’s biggest comeback story on Steam. Launching with a peak of only 12k players back in 2015, Ubisoft’s tactical shooter saw its player base break 100k players for the first time ever in 2017. Now in its third year on Steam, Rainbow Six: Siege is bigger than ever. Today, R6S saw its player base rise by 51% from yesterday, hitting a new all-time peak of 176k concurrent players after releasing its biggest content update yet. [caption id="attachment_334858" align="aligncenter" width="770"] Rainbow Six: Siege's Peak Concurrent Players on Steam via GitHyp[/caption] The Operation Chimera content update that was responsible for the explosive growth brings two new operator characters, a co-op zombie mode called Outbreak, and has also unlocked features such as weapon attachments and all 20 of the original operators for those who purchased prior versions of the game. 2018 was already a great year for R6S with the player base increasing by 10k players in both January and February. And with interest among gamers now stronger than ever for the competitive shooter, Rainbow Six: Siege is likely to continue its growth this year and remain in Steam’s top 5 most played games right behind PUBG, Dota 2, and CS:GO.Gaming's Biggest Bombs and Best Comebacks on Steam in 2017Jan 10, 2018 - GitHyp2017 was an odd year for gaming. After most of the overhyped games that didn’t deliver in 2016, gamers weren’t as quick to jump on the hype train of new titles in 2017. As a result, only one game in 2017 broke into Steam’s top 10 most played, compared to five in 2016. That one game? If you couldn’t guess, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which had a record-breaking year and toppled Valve's own top games, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2, to become Steam's new #1 game. The next closest new game was Divinity: Original Sin II, which despite very positive reviews and winning multiple Game of the Year awards, only debuted at #12 with 93k players. So, what exactly happened in 2017? Conan Exiles was the hottest new game at the start of the year. The game's open world combined with nude character models caused it to explode in popularity on Twitch, which in turn helped the player base skyrocket to a peak of 53k players back in February 2017. But Conan quickly lost momentum and saw 93% of his player base exit the game just a couple months later due to bugs, limited content, and other early access issues. With Ubisoft’s poor track record and some of the previous year’s biggest bombs, many still had hope that their new melee brawler, For Honor, was unique enough to break the cycle. And it seemed possible after a successful beta. Sadly, For Honor went on to become 2017’s biggest flop with an even quicker player base drop-off than The Division -- falling from a peak of 71k players all the way down to an average of 1.9k players to end the year. GitHyp predicted LawBreakers would flop based on early beta player counts and we compared it to 2016’s Battleborn. But LawBreakers ended up much worse than Battleborn’s disappointing peak of 12k players at launch. The new shooter from CliffyB peaked at 7.5k players and since has lost 99% of its player base, now struggling to break 50 concurrent players each day and often dropping down into the single digits. Publisher Nexon recently wrote the entire game off, blaming PUBG for their shooter not clicking with audiences, while most games have placed the blame on the marketing and developers at Boss Key. Speaking of Battleborn, it too was in the news in 2017 despite its failed launched in 2016. The dying class-based shooter switched to the free-to-play model in 2017 to try and salvage the title. And sure enough, the f2p switch helped spike the player base back up to over one thousand players… but, that number quickly dropped back down to under one hundred. And just like LawBreakers, it too has since lost 99% of its player base. Although, switching to the free-to-play model wasn’t enough to save most struggling games, there were also many success stories in 2017. The MOBA-inspired, Battlerite, started with a peak of 13k players towards the end of 2016. One year later it was struggling to break 1k players. After switching to f2p, the peak spiked at 45k players, and the arena brawler is still managing to maintain an average of over 10k concurrent players. Ubisoft might have been responsible for 2017's biggest bomb, but they were also responsible for 2017's biggest comeback. Their competitive squad shooter, Rainbow Six: Siege, had a rough start when it was overshadowed by Ubisoft's other upcoming title, The Division, back in 2015. But after numerous tweaks, balances, and updates to the gameplay and pricing format, Siege has seen its player base continue to rise each month. In November 2015, Siege launched with a average of 7.6k players per hour. In December 2017, that number grew to an average of 69k players per hour. Siege even broke 100k players at its peak last month and is now almost always in Steam's top 5 most played games. Payday 2 was the year's other biggest success story. The four-player co-op shooter originally launched on Steam all the way back in 2013, but the game exploded in popularity over the summer hitting a new all-time peak of 245k concurrent players after the developers gave away five million free copies. That number has since dropped, but Payday 2 has remained in Steam’s top 20 games each day pulling in an impressive average of 36k players per hour. Other popular f2p games also set new all-time peaks in 2017. Warframe’s 'Plains of Eildon' expansion helped double its player base with 122k players. While Path of Exile saw its player base peak just short of 100k players for the first time ever after launching its most popular content update in over five years. Even some of the previous year’s biggest bombs showed signs of life in 2017. No Man’s Sky released multiple big content updates throughout the year with its latest bringing in the most players since launch and breaking back into Steam’s top 20 most played games. Ubisoft’s The Division also came back from the dead, hitting its highest peak since December 2016 with 33k concurrent players over a free-to-play weekend in December 2017. So, what's going to happen in 2018? With PUBG continuing to dominate at the start of the year, 2018 could already be in the same situation as 2017. Dragon Ball FighterZ will likely be the biggest fighting game launch ever on Steam, but most fighting games see their player bases decline shortly after launch, so its hype might not last outside of the FGC. And it’s not helping that some of the year’s other most anticipated games have been delayed on Steam way after their console launches (or not even confirmed to be coming to PC yet), such as in the case with Monster Hunter: World and Red Dead Redemption 2. Looks like it’s all up to you to make 2018 a great year for new PC games on Steam, Untitled Goose Game!Rainbow Six: Siege Breaks 100k Concurrent Players on Steam for the First TimeDec 9, 2017 - GitHypAfter only managing to bring in a peak of 12k concurrent players during its first weekend, Rainbow Six: Siege's launch on Steam back in December 2015 was underwhelming to say the least. With the player counts dropping after its first week, things didn’t look good for the squad-based shooter. And to make matters worse, Ubisoft’s own upcoming launch of The Division shifted most of the publisher's marketing focus to promoting the more highly anticipated of the two Tom Clancy shooters. But while The Division's player base started with over 100k players and overshadowed Rainbow Six, it quickly lost 93% of them 3 months after launch. Now, two years later, Siege has become Ubisoft's flagship shooter and is on the heels of surpassing The Division's all-time peak after hitting 100,048 concurrent players this weekend on Steam. [caption id="attachment_309285" align="aligncenter" width="786"] Rainbow Six: Siege's Peak Player Counts on Steam via GitHyp[/caption] Siege's success is due to a combination of factors, many of which Ubisoft hasn't been able to successfully pull off in any of their other recent multiplayer games. Free-to-play weekends have enticed new players, while constant waves of new updates and characters such as this weekend's 'Operation White Noise' have been enough to keep players around. Although Rainbow Six: Siege started as a full priced $60 game, Ubisoft made the clever decision to adopt a free-to-play model with a hybrid season pass system to reduce the game's barrier to entry. Siege still costs $14.99 for the base game (which doesn't include all of the Operator characters), but Ubisoft's handling of the tiered systems has been embraced by the community with Very Positive recent and overall reviews on Steam. The increase in Siege's player base has even been enough to help it surpass Team Fortress 2 and become the #4 most played game on Steam. But Rainbow Siege: Siege still has a long way to go before it topples Steam's current top squad shooter, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which pulls in peaks of 400-500k concurrent players at #3 on Steam.Rainbow Six: Siege’s Playerbase Has More Than Tripled Since LaunchJun 5, 2017 - GitHypOver the past year, Ubisoft has seen drastic drop-offs in the playerbases for almost all of their popular new releases. As we first reported last June, the most shocking of these declines was their best-selling game ever, The Division, losing 93% of its players in just the first 3 months. And since then, we’ve seen Watch Dogs 2, For Honor, and Ghost Recon: Wildlands all follow the same trend. However, the same cannot be said about Ubisoft’s competitive shooter, Rainbow Six: Siege, which has seen its playerbase triple (even quintuple at one point) in size since its launch back in December 2015. Unlike Ubisoft’s more recent top 2016 and 2017 titles, Siege didn’t have the strongest debut when it peaked at 12k players over its first weekend. This lead to Ubisoft being quick to announce a 40% spike in players right after releasing the “Skull Rain” DLC last August… a number which quickly fell back down as the game struggled in its early days to build a fanbase. [caption id="attachment_268641" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Rainbow Six: Siege's Average Player Count per Hour via GitHyp[/caption] But Ubisoft’s continued support of Siege with new content, balance updates, price reductions, and free weekend promotions have all contributed to the game’s growth. The developer’s big Year 2 “Operation: Velvet Shell” update combined with a free-to-play weekend back in February brought in a new record high of 65k concurrent players – a number large enough to also help Siege break into Steam’s top 5 most played games for the first time. Since that record-setting weekend, Siege’s numbers have slightly declined, but Rainbow Six’s future still looks bright for both Ubisoft and fans. Recent player counts are on average higher than they ever were before the Velvet Shell update. And Siege is constantly in Steam’s top 10 most played games with peaks around 40k concurrent players and averages around 30k players per hour each weekend. With an upcoming Steam Summer Sale, where the game is surely to be discounted even further, and plenty of new content on the way (as Ubisoft has shared with the Year Two Roadmap) Rainbow Six: Siege’s playerbase is expected to show even more growth in the near future.Ubisoft Reports a 40% Spike in Rainbow Six: Siege Players After New Content ReleasesAug 17, 2016 - GitHypBack in June, we reported that The Division had lost a shocking 93% of its playerbase since launching on Steam. We even compared The Division's plummeting player counts to Ubisoft's other Tom Clancy-inspired online shooter, Rainbow Six: Siege, and mentioned that Ubisoft’s underdog was actually outperforming their “fastest selling game ever” and was even showing signs of growth. While our story made headlines on the eve of E3, Ubisoft stayed silent and spent gaming’s biggest week of the year focusing on hyping up their other upcoming titles. But now, two months later, Ubisoft is boasting about Rainbow Six's numbers and how more people are currently playing than at launch.   [caption id="attachment_193038" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Rainbow-Six-Siege-IGN-Graph Ubisoft's Rainbow Six: Siege Player Count Data[/caption] Ubisoft recently shared the above graph of Siege’s player activity since launch with IGN and we can confirm that based on GitHyp's own hourly player data that the Operation: Skull Rain DLC and free-to-play weekend did in fact combine to double the game’s original daily peaks of PC players on Steam recorded back in January. Unfortunately, while it's good to see Ubisoft taking a step in the right direction and reporting player counts, their quick report didn't give actual player count numbers and only focused on the launch hype... and now two weeks later, the player counts on Steam have already dropped back down significantly. It's been so much of a decrease that the 40% increase they originally reported to IGN is now almost back down to 0% with an average player count that has returned to close to what it was in January of around 13k players per hour. [caption id="attachment_193039" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Rainbow-Six-Siege-GitHyp-Graph GitHyp's Rainbow Six: Siege Player Count per Hour Data[/caption] Still, the new content and changes being made to the game by the devs certainly proves that there’s a strong interest among both new and old players that’s keeping Rainbow Six: Siege in Steam’s daily top 20 games with no signs of it falling off drastically any time soon. Meanwhile, The Division is on the verge of falling out of Steam's top 100 games with only about 1/6 of the average players per hour that Siege has now.