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Rainbow Six Siege puts a team-killer s fate in the hands of their victimsMar 19, 2019 - Rock, Paper, ShotgunUbisoft are changing how team-killing affects players in Rainbow Six Siege, with a new “reverse friendly fire” system rolling out on the test servers soon, described in this dev-blog post. If you manage to murder one of your friends in the twitchy tactical shooter (easy to do accidentally), the player you whacked will get a kill-cam showing them exactly what happened. At this point, it would be prudent to apologise, as your victim will get to decide whether to let you off the hook, or whether you’ll spend the rest of the match with cursed bullets that bounce off buddies and back into your own face. (more…) Ubisoft is finally letting Rainbow Six Siege players forgive teamkillsMar 19, 2019 - PC GamerUbisoft is taking a new approach to deal with Rainbow Six Siege's teamkilling problem. In a new blog post , Ubi detailed the new rules going into testing. Instead of kicking players after two teamkills, all damage dealt to the offender after the first teamkill will be reversed onto them. If the teamkill was truly an accident, the victim is able to "forgive" and not activate a penalty. "The goal of this system is to contain the impact of players abusing the friendly fire mechanic, while maintaining a degree of flexibility for accidents," reads the post. When the reverse damage mechanic was first tested in the last test server, some players worried it was too harsh a punishment for a truly accidental teamkill. The piece of the puzzle that seemed to be missing was the forgive option. Players have been asking for a forgive option for years, but Ubi has been strangely silent on the subject until recently. For the pure of heart who don't teamkill on purpose, the changes shouldn't have much of an impact for you. With the status quo, a griefer could get away with two TKs before being booted from the match. Now, the griefer will get one kill in, assumedly be unforgiven, and no longer be able to cause harm to anyone but themselves. This also goes for gadget damage, apparently. If reverse damage is active and you shoot a teammate with a shock drone, the damage is reversed onto the drone, not the user. I'd really like to see a shock drone suddenly self destruct. The new system leaves a significant loophole for griefing still open: Caveira. With her Luison pistol that sends players into DBNO, she can down all of her teammates before leaving the match and losing the round. Because of this exploit, some think reverse damage should activate after a certain amount of friendly damage is inflicted, not complete teamkills. I'm a little mixed on the new rules. It's great that griefers can't do as much damage anymore, but it also feels like their behavior is going unpunished in the long term. I'd rather kick a griefer and be down one player than be distracted by their shenanigans. Ubi's plan for penalties is a bit wishy washy under the new rules. "We will continue to track team kills, and we may issue appropriate sanctions after multiple offenses." The "may" does a lot of work there. Without a clear-cut ban for multiple TKs, Ubi is possibly obfuscating what a real griefer looks like in their data. Unless someone looks very closely, it might be hard to properly punish someone that is griefing in every match. I guess the devs are hoping reverse damage ruins the fun of being a jerk, but I wouldn't count on that. Ubi will be testing the new teamkill system on the test server and iterate based on feedback before releasing on the live servers. The devs seem pretty confident in what they've got here, so I don't foresee many changes before it's live. DEV BLOG: REVERSE FRIENDLY FIREMar 19, 2019 - Community Announcementshttps://steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net/steamcommunity/public/images/clans/8328525/2165535f82e1b51290092d7ba859dde0889fe973.png The goal of this system is to contain the impact of players abusing the friendly fire mechanic, while maintaining a degree of flexibility for accidents. We will collect data and feedback from both ranked and casual playlists on the Test Server, and iterate before releasing it live. IMPACT ON OFFENDING PLAYERS With Reverse Friendly Fire, when a player shoots an ally or the hostage, a warning message will appear on the offending player’s screen. The same will occur if a player uses their unique operator gadget to hurt a teammate (i.e. Maestro's Evil Eye or Twitch's drone). https://steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net/steamcommunity/public/images/clans/8328525/fc4535995d59d52e584b7c9490697638df438bfb.png After a player’s first validated team kill, all further damage inflicted upon teammates or the hostage is reflected back to the player. When a player uses a unique operator gadget to deal this damage, reflected damage will impact the gadget itself. A message will pop up for the offending player to notify them when Reverse Friendly Fire has been activated. All players in the match will be notified of this change to the offending player's status through the kill feed. https://steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net/steamcommunity/public/images/clans/8328525/1fb08e1f48424a8e2b1e17f980793de2d49de33b.png TEAM-VALIDATED TEAM KILL During the kill cam, a team kill victim is able to validate whether they were intentionally team killed. If the player confirms that the kill was intentional, Reverse Friendly Fire will stay active for the offender. If the player believes it was unintentional, Reverse Friendly Fire will be deactivated. Should the victim not make a decision, Reverse Friendly Fire is activated by default. https://steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net/steamcommunity/public/images/clans/8328525/3e13f9f97ebb0635475ac4c862310cb191d2ff2a.png PENALTIES After an intentional team kill is validated, Reverse Friendly Fire will stay active for the match instead of kicking that player. We will continue to track team kills, and we may issue appropriate sanctions after multiple offenses. We will continue to address toxicity as we proceed into Year 4 and beyond. We look forward to hearing your feedback and findings on the Reverse Friendly Fire system through the forums and on the official subreddit! Steam Charts: Devil May Die TwiceMar 18, 2019 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun Oh hello! John is away in San Francisco gobbling up gum left on the underside of chairs at the Game Developers Conference, so I’m filling in for our regular rundown of last week’s top-selling games on Steam. As is customary for weeks where I need to take over, the charts are full of the surprises he grumbles they never have. What can I say, John – video games must make more of an effort for me. And for goodness’ sake, leave that gum. I don’t care if Sid Meier himself stuck it there. (more…) Y4S1.1 PATCH NOTESMar 18, 2019 - Community Announcementshttps://steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net/steamcommunity/public/images/clans/8328525/0a49a3a16884633ae2b845dfc60699f98940df34.jpg Our 1.1 patches are primarily geared towards fixing any last minute issues that were reported on the Test Server, with larger updates coming as X.2 and X.4 patches. GAMEPLAY Fixed - When Operators are prone on their back, the weapon switch animation is faster than intended. Fixed - All operators have animation issue transition who make them slide when they sprint just after prone position. LEVEL DESIGN OREGON Fixed - Operators break collision when vaulting into the broken shelf in Laundry room. OUTBACK Fixed - Problematic run out/spawn kills via the catwalk in the Motel Parking Lot. Fixed - Players can rappel through a blocked window on Outback. OPERATORS MOZZIE Fixed - With the right timing a player can enter and see through a drone that Mozzie just captured. Fixed - The drone outline for a hijacked drone is not visible behind a Black Mirror or from a Maestro camera view. Fixed - Hacked drones will sometimes lose signal on various maps. These need to be fixed on an individual basis, and we have not fixed every location as of this update. GRIDLOCK Fixed - Barricades can not be deployed near deployed trax stingers. USER EXPERIENCE Fixed - Game will show a black screen for a few second after moving windows up or alt-tabbing. Fixed - Onkochishin elite skin has a gap between the holster and the secondary weapon. Fixed - The letter "V" is censored in the in-game text chat.Rabbids easter egg found in Rainbow Six SiegeMar 16, 2019 - PC GamerUbisoft love to sneak references to their games into their other games. Far Cry New Dawn, to pick a recent example, contains nods to Splinter Cell, Assassin's Creed, and the rabbids who have gone from enemies in Rayman to somehow become Ubisoft's weird mascots. And now, players have found a reference to them in the new Rainbow Six Siege map as well. Over on Reddit you can see a demonstration of how to find it. They're painted on the inside of a log in the Outback map. As an Australian I'm not sure how to feel about this. Yes, we do have a lot of strange animals in this country. No, lapins crétins are not among them. (That's their French name, it means "idiotic rabbits".) I do have fond memories of that Wii minigame where zombie rabbids in scuba gear come out of the ocean and you have to fill their masks with carrot juice to drown them. If they invade Siege more fully, that's the tactic I recommend. Steam Charts: Weeping Sore EditionMar 11, 2019 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun Hahaha, I can’t believe you think the game you like is good! The game you like ISN’T good! Your liking the game you like makes you look just SO silly. Find out which games everyone else likes, and then start liking those games instead, with our handy Steam Charts guide. (more…) Rainbow Six Siege's next operator will be invisible to cameras, leak suggestsMar 9, 2019 - PC GamerThe next season of Rainbow Six Siege will add two new operators: one Danish, one from the United States Secret Service. We don't know much about them yet but a new leak, from a seemingly reputable source, might have revealed some of their abilities.  According to the leak, first posted on Resetera, the Danish attacker will be "invisible to cameras" and will have a "sort of silent step similar to Cav"—a reference to Caveira's ability to make her movements near-silent for a period of time. The US defender, meanwhile, will have a "special eyesight that bypasses flashes and smokes". Nothing has been confirmed, but the information comes from Resetera user Kormora, who last year correctly predicted the names and gadgets of the two Australian operators added to the game this week—Mozzie and Gridlock—based on conversation with an "industry friend". She doesn't say where she got the intel this time around. The description of the Danish operator certainly fits with hints from Ubisoft: in a tease last month, the developer revealed the attacker would be an "expert in covert reconnaissance and stealth tactics". The first season of Year 4, called Operation Burnt Horizon, is now live, and you can read about it here. Thanks, PCGamesN. Rainbow Six Siege: Operation Burnt Horizon rappels down under todayMar 6, 2019 - Rock, Paper, ShotgunQuite why anyone would do anything in the outback but stay in the shade and drink beer is beyond me, but it’s today’s new battlefield in Ubisoft squad shooter Rainbow Six Siege. Burnt Horizon adds a new map set out in a dusty desert service station, plus two role-reversing Australian gadgeteers added to the roster of playable operators. Attacker Gridlock can throw self-deploying patches of spikes, sealing off routes even when playing aggressively, while new defender Mozzie can control the other team’s scout drones with his Pest Launcher, and use them against their owners. See them in action in the launch trailer below. (more…) Y4S1 BURNT HORIZON PATCH NOTES ADDENDUMMar 6, 2019 - Community Announcementshttps://steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net/steamcommunity/public/images/clans/8328525/b45e1c9cade99153bcd2d64c642978c603150ed0.jpg We’ve made a number of changes and updates over the course of the Burnt Horizon Season Test Server. Below you will find a list of changes and updates. To help optimize player experience for future updates, we are also in the process of restructuring how our game data is stored – this will help consolidate and reduce the overall game size. This means that the Burnt Horizon Patch will be larger than normal. Patch sizes for each platform will be provided prior to maintenance. GAMEPLAY LEAN SPAM CAMERA PLACEMENT Previous camera placement at a full lean allowed players to fire without being completely exposed. As part of our fix to counteract lean spamming, we are shifting the camera to the center of the head instead of the far side of the head, even when at a “full lean”. https://steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net/steamcommunity/public/images/clans/8328525/05520ca7e6b4ee0f3fa24db2b5ce87d675a1e871.jpg OPERATOR MOVEMENT AND RUNNING ANIMATIONS. With Y4S1, we have cleaned up the animations in the back end, and streamlined them. This will allow us more freedom to implement new features and unique aspects of the game in the future, as the overall animation development pipeline has been streamlined. We have also updated the new running animations based on the player feedback we received so that the head lean is less aggressive to make the sprint animation look more natural. Running animation comparisson Minimum Clearance Level for Ranked Playlist increased from 20 to 30. Reduction in HP after being revived from a DBNO state: PvP = 20 (down from 50), THunt = 15. Holosight color is now determined by the base skin of the weapon it is equipped on. BALANCING CAPITAO Back to Wind Bastion version. We're reverting Capitao back to his Wind Bastion version while we take a look at and evaluate the data and feedback we've gathered. DOKKAEBI Auto – hangup timer of Dokkaebi calls reduced to 12 seconds (down from 18). We're cutting down the amount of time it takes to auto–hangup a call based on feedback, so mom will go to voicemail faster now. BUG FIXES Fixed – When prone, moving/turning the camera even slightly will cause the Operator to make noise. This problem is tied to the shield operator rotation fix for Y4S1, so we're reverting back to the old rotation system for the time being. What that means for the Shield Rotation Desync fix: While we have reverted the new rotation system for now to address the rotational noise issues, we're going to work on improvements to the rotation system and the shield desync fix so neither is an issue. Unfortunately, this means that the shield rotation desync issue will be present again for the time being. We are still targeting some time during Y4S1 for the shield rotation fix to be implemented, and will update players when we have more info. Fixed – Incorrect kill feed Death Icon. Fixed – Attacker's still receive electric damage...Rainbow Six Siege guide: Y4S1 update, tips and tricks to win matchesMar 6, 2019 - Rock, Paper, ShotgunTom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege’s fourth year has been officially announced, with the first part dropping in the next month or so. We’ll be getting our first glance at the new operators soon, but we figured we’d add everything we know about the new year to our guide. For those new to our coverage, there’s also some important things to know when first starting out, as well as specifics for playing as the attacking team or defending team, and more in-depth stuff on each operator and the specific maps being added as the game continues its long run. (more…) Rainbow Six Siege Outback map tips and tricks, camera and objective locationsMar 6, 2019 - Rock, Paper, ShotgunRoaming defenders have largely gone unpunished in Rainbow Six Siege, but all that’s about to change. With the introduction of Gridlock in Year 4 Season 1, the attacking team can now leave a little present for any would-be roamers in the form of Trak Stingers. Gridlock does have more to offer however, so we’ll be going over all the weapons, stats, and gear she has on her. (more…) Rainbow Six Siege operators: Y4S1 Update, best operators for beginners, best attackers, best defendersMar 6, 2019 - Rock, Paper, ShotgunRainbow Six Siege’s got a couple of new operators coming within the next few weeks, kick starting Year 4 of updates. So before then it’s probably best to learn what each of the other operators does in the game as of the most recent update. They all have unique abilities, as well as their own gadgets and weapons. In this guide hub, we’ll be looking at all the various operators to see how they stack up today; making recommendations about who to use if you’re new, as well as detailing which operators they have advantages over, and the latest updates within the affected operators. (more…) Vivendi finish selling Ubisoft shares from failed takeoverMar 6, 2019 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun It's the end of another long day at Fags & Mags & Rab(bid)s, a wee family-owned shop and video game company on the corner of a sleepy street in the Parisian suburb of Montreuil. Michel Guillemot is down on his hands and knees, fishing under the pick 'n' mix display for loose sweets he then dusts on the lapel of his brown cotton shopcoat before popping them back into their correct box. A yelp rises from the back room. Yves Guillemot rushes out, a dusty bottle of prosecco in his hand and a wide smile across his face. "Brother!" Yves cries. "They did it! We're safe! We did it!" Michel slips a gummy egg between his lips and waits for Yves to calm down. "Vivendi! Finally! They said they would! They have!" he gasps while tearing at the foil on the bottle. Yves notices his brother's bemused look (and pretends not to notice he's eating the stock again) and pauses to catch his breath. "Vivendi finally sold their remaining Ubisoft shares. That's the very end of their takeover attempt. Our family business is safe." Michel swallows and reaches for a pack of plastic picnic champagne flutes. (more…) How to win more one-on-one fights in Rainbow Six SiegeMar 6, 2019 - PC GamerWinning duels in Rainbow Six isn’t just about aim. Being able to flick to headshots with your mouse is only one part of the equation. The other part involves fine-tuned restraint, awareness, and appreciation for tactics.  Running headlong into firefights is a recipe for disaster. Know when to push, but also know when to hold back and wait for your opponent.   Being good at Siege is a real test of your ability to be patient. These are some ways to develop that tactical patience and excel at one on one battles. Reduce visibility Rainbow Six is not a death-match game that rewards brazen and open conflict. We’ve written that Rainbow Six is Counterstrike’s sexier cousin . In many ways, Rainbow does inherit some of the same tactics from its meta. Crouching and leaning, and reducing your visibility to an enemy is essential.   Pros hold corners tightly. Observe the movement of pixels rather than entire character models that cross your field of view. Expose your operator as little as possible. Gain information on your opponent through ambient sound, cameras, and other special abilities that Rainbow Six’s operators provide (e.g. Pulse’s heartbeat monitor, Lion’s EE-ONE-D, or Dokkaebi’s Logic Bomb). Tactically, Rainbow Six is a game of information. Seeking that information by rushing into open areas without prior knowledge cedes initiative to your opponent.   Anticipate, anticipate, anticipate Initiative, or the ability to engage first before your opponent can, is key to winning firefights.   Once engaged, battles last only seconds. If you’re good, fights are over before the enemy has a chance to even return fire. Anticipation is everything in Rainbow Six. Use the small clues the game drops to anticipate movements. Even shadows generated by the environment can tip you off to an opponent’s location. Being a quick aimer is different from being smart aimer.   If you know the direction and general area your opponent is in, you can pre-fire down corridors or around corners. Reduce your own footprint Keep that last lesson in mind — you also do not want to give your opponents the kind of information that allows them to anticipate you.   Sound reveals a great deal of information. Sprinting is one of the noisiest behaviours in Rainbow Six. Avoid it when you have the luxury of doing so.   Keep discipline with your weapons. Unless you’re pre-firing with solid information, gunfire can let your enemies know your location more so than footsteps. Yet, keep moving Stationary targets make for easy headshots.   Although Ubisoft has committed to reducing crouch and lean spam , you will want to always keep moving, crouching, and strafing in engagements. Practice how to track targets while also pressing your movement keys. If caught in a direct firefight, strafing left and right while laying down fire on a target is imperative. Use natural cover in the map...Rainbow Six Siege's Operation Burnt Horizon deploying this weekMar 4, 2019 - PC GamerAfter two weeks on the Technical Test Server, Rainbow Six Siege Operation Burnt Horizon is officially releasing Wednesday March 6. As always, new operators Mozzie and Gridlock will only be available to Year 4 pass holders for the first week. Outback, Siege’s excellent new map, will be available to all. Ubisoft aggregated the weeks of testing in an addendum to the original Burnt Horizon patch notes. Dokkaebi * Auto-hang up timer of Dokkaebi calls reduced to 12 seconds (down from 18). Ubi is intensifying the original nerf introduced to the Logic Bomb at the beginning of the test server. In my experience, 18 seconds was still long enough that I always felt the need to stop and hang up the call myself. Bumping it down to 12 sounds like a good middle ground where you can easily let it ring without much annoyance. Capitão * Back to Wind Bastion version. Ubi is completely reversing the changes to Capitão’s fire bolts. The new bolts did feel a bit overpowered. The effective radius was march larger and had huge potential for denying areas from defenders. The devs are going to “take a look at and evaluate the data and feedback we've gathered.” For now, we’re back to the wimpy fire bolts of old. Gameplay tweaks Some small, previously unlisted changes were noticed early on by players on the test server, but Ubi took this opportunity to make them official. * Minimum Clearance Level for Ranked Playlist increased from 20 to 30. * Reduction in HP after being revived from a DBNO state: PvP = 20 (down from 50), Terrorist Hunt = 15. * Holosight color is now determined by the base skin of the weapon it is equipped on. Most notably, “resetting” (in which you intentionally shoot a near-death teammate into the DBNO state and revive them back to 50 health) is effectively going away. Instead of being revived back up to 50 health, you’re now revived to 20. With so much less health after a revive, resetting will almost never be worth the risk. Despite its inherent ridiculousness as a mechanic, resetting has always been treated as a normal part of Siege’s meta. It was always treated as a sort of workaround to the fact that attackers have no reliable way to regain health. Finka can save a life in a pinch, but her healing is temporary. A proper medic on attack could help fill the hole left by resetting, but I’m not holding my breath. Ubi has also fixed an issue with head alignment following the lean spam fixes coming to Burnt Horizon. “Previous camera placement at a full lean allowed players to fire without being completely exposed. As part of our fix to counteract lean spamming, we are shifting the camera to the center of the head instead of the far side of the head, even when at a ‘full lean,’” the post reads. The devs are also using this patch to consolidate the file size of Siege from its whopping 81GB (!) to a more reasonable, yet unspecified size. Unfortuna...Steam Charts: Historical EditionFeb 25, 2019 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun Of course the original editions of the Steam Charts focused on those maps used by the early pioneers of steam-based exploration, so this week we take a historical look back at the origins of your favourite game series. For just one week, put aside your modern electricity-based computing, and come on a journey through time. (more…) Rainbow Six Siege devs tease stealthy Danish operator and proximity alarm gadgetFeb 23, 2019 - PC GamerUbisoft's latest Rainbow Six Siege teaser reveals that the upcoming Danish operator, arriving in Season 2 of Year 4, will be an “expert in covert reconnaissance and stealth tactics"—and also suggests that a proximity alarm gadget will come to the shooter soon. The image is taken from a trailer Ubisoft released last week, but this version is much higher quality, allowing players to zoom in and pick out small details. Towards the bottom left is a map of Denmark, over which is a post-it note hinting at stealth skills and the ability to "blend and adapt" to the environment. Could that mean some kind of cloaking device? We'll have to wait and see. The info also appears on the attacking side of the board, which means the Danish operator is likely to be an attacker. The other tease is at the far left of the image: it's a piece of blue paper that lists the game's gadgets, and on there is a "proximity alarm", with a red arrow pointing to it. No such item is in the game at the moment, but it's not hard to guess how it'd work. Place it down to watch your back and it'll tell you if an enemy gets near, is what I'd imagine. For more details on Siege's upcoming Australian operators and their gadgets, click here. Thanks, PCGamesN. BURNT HORIZON - PATCH NOTESFeb 19, 2019 - Community Announcementshttps://steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net/steamcommunity/public/images/clans/8328525/7867b65bb6593450925b33757e20ef1c42c9ea0a.png Rainbow Six goes to the land Down Under for Operation Burnt Horizon. Protection specialists with the SASR Mobility Platoon, Gridlock and Mozzie are assigned protection detail for a high-value convoy across sunburnt country. An unscheduled pit stop at a lonely petrol station turns into a standoff when their convoy is unexpectedly pinned down. Discover the new Outback service station map, where the red desert brings plenty of heat. Find more details in the full Patch Notes below, as well as many gameplay fixes implemented this Season. 2 NEW OPERATORS https://steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net/steamcommunity/public/images/clans/8328525/89d5e4ee44149c37b0b53ca8c264ddf1677ecc4c.png GRIDLOCK The Australian Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) Mobility Platoon recognized Gridlock’s leadership qualities and mechanical prowess right away. With an airplane mechanic father and raised on a cattle farm where something always needed fixing, Gridlock found her calling in repairing engines. She’s a get things done person, who doesn’t shy away from hard work. Her skills don’t end there. She has expertise in a range of weapons and close protection duties, and has the ability to adapt to unexpected situations. Thanks to her engineering expertise, she received the National Emergency Medal for saving firefighters during the Esperance bushfires. When the stakes are high, she’s calm and collected. Her dry wit and patience makes her about the only one able to handle her Aussie cohort, Mozzie. UNIQUE ABILITY GADGET: TRAX STINGERS Working in the SASR’s Mobility Troop Gridlock devised the Trax Stingers. A variation of road spikes, they aren’t just about stopping vehicles. Trax's design is a portable version that when activated, deploys a hexagonal cluster of spikes. These Trax Stingers cover uneven ground better than a straight mat. Once deployed they can replicate and spread out over a large area. This feature, unique for an Attacker, enables them to use the Trax as an obstacle to reshape the map and control an area. Effects on the enemy include slowing them down and causing damage when stepped on. Trax Stingers will be destroyed when shot or dealt impact or thermal damage. https://steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net/steamcommunity/public/images/clans/8328525/52a7a4d0d75a877cd4ed70fb1fb43aef49717e8d.png MOZZIE Mozzie is a daredevil and fearless member of the Australian Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) Mobility Platoon. He excels in protection detail and reconnaissance operations, specializing in off-road driving and quick thinking. From an early age, he’s been racing bikes and building robots. Mozzie catches many people off-guard with his charm. He is clever and unconventional, and this can attract both the praise and wrath of his superiors. He and Gridlock have been friends and partners for many years. This partnership was put to the test when they were deployed together du...Rainbow Six Siege's revamped Ranked mode doesn't address its worst problemsFeb 18, 2019 - PC GamerFor Rainbow Six Siege fans, Christmas comes every February at the Six Invitational. It’s the special time when Ubisoft takes the stage and gives a “State of the Siege Address” that sets the tone for the year to come. This year, among many other great announcements , Ubi revealed that Siege’s Ranked mode would finally be coming out of beta in Season 2. The new and improved Ranked will receive the much loved pick/ban feature as well as an in-game stats hub. It was an exciting announcement that made a lot of people very happy, myself included. What they didn’t address are the biggest problems that still plague the mode:  * Inadequate punishment for abandoning a match; * Uneven matchmaking that allows high-level players to stomp the less skilled (you know, me) ; * MMR penalties that don’t account for abandons, griefers, or uneven matchmaking ; It’s hard to feel great about Siege’s revamped Ranked when it still has so many pitfalls that keep it from feeling competitive. If two teammates abandon the match, a loss is a loss. If your opponent brought their Diamond friend to a Copper-level match, a loss is a loss. Your rank decreases because of factors completely out of your control. The MMR hit for losing is way more than you get for winning, so you can only ever take one step forward and two steps back. When the credits roll on most matches, it s commonplace to peruse the enemy s ranks and find at least one high-level player that shouldn t have been allowed in. In about half of my Ranked matches, somebody leaves at some point. They can return if they were disconnected by lag or a crash, but that feature only works about half the time. In most cases, players are leaving because they don’t like how the match is going and they don’t fear the consequences of the abandon. Sure, you get locked out of joining another Ranked match for 30 minutes, but that doesn’t matter if you were closing the game anyway or just want to play Casual. Matchmaking is hard to get right. Every game has its share of issues, but it’s frustrating to see templates for solutions in other games go unexplored in Siege for years. In Overwatch, an early abandon from a teammate triggers a window for a surrender to be called without anyone losing MMR. That feature alone, tweaked to Siege’s ecosystem, would improve the Ranked experience for everyone overnight. Dota 2 has Low Priority Matchmaking , a temporary account status that automatically groups together players who often abandon matches or have several reports against their account. Players who make the game worse for everyone else are banished to their own matchmaking hell and everyone else has a smoother experience. Siege needs low priority matchmaking yesterday. When the credits roll on most matches, it’s commonplace to peruse the enemy’s ranks and find at least one high-level player that shouldn’t have b...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.