Rainbow Six Siege Creative Director on Cross-Gen Play and Major Operator Reworks
The recent release of Operation Void Edge has kicked off Year 5 of regular updates and innovations for Rainbow Six Siege. But the coming year is shaping up to be more than business as usual, as creative director Leroy Athanassoff and his team revealed at the Six Invitational 2020. We spoke with Athanassoff about the team’s ambitions for this year, including creating new gameplay for the different Phases of a round, rewarding players for positive behavior, and reworking an Operator that few played, but many adored.
Can you give us an idea about your philosophy for Year 5 of Rainbow Six Siege?
Leroy Athanassoff: What makes Year 5 special is that it's a year of change. It's a year when we transform the game in preparation for Year 6. Year 5 is the year that leads us to Year 6, not only in terms of business model, but in terms of reinventing, reinvesting, and starting a full enhancement of this game.
Year 5 will also see the launch of new consoles from Microsoft and Sony. How is the Siege team approaching the next generation?
For example, PlayStation 5 players can play with PlayStation 4 players, and Xbox Series X players can play with Xbox One players. The game will be backwards compatible, meaning that you can take your disc of Rainbow Six Siege on PS4 and put it in your PS5, or take your Xbox One disc and put it in your Xbox Series X. What we know for sure is that we don't want to break our community, to split our community, and we don't want to make you buy another Rainbow Six Siege at full price.
Let’s circle back to the changes you have planned for Year 5 and beyond. Can you talk about what you mean by “reoccupying some gameplay areas that (you) haven’t really touched since launch”?
For me, I am interested in the kind of feature that really changes the way you approach things and develop new skills, and that allows for maybe a new type of player, a new mindset to rise in this game.
I think it will be super beneficial for our players, and it should be more appealing and more interesting for a larger population. All the things we are talking about are things that can be leveraged by a population that is not necessarily the best at playing first-person shooters in terms of “putting my mouse on your head as fast as possible.”
Have you prototyped any of these features yet?
LA: We recently tested some of the features we want to introduce in Year 5 and Year 6 in a workshop with pro players, and they were unhappy, to say the least. They are the people that make their living from being good at this game, so they are the people in our population of players that most want to have control of the game. The more they are in control, the better they are at their profession. So, if they are not happy (with our proposed features), then to me that means we are going in the right direction.
So whatever features you are adding, it's a challenge for me to understand them faster than my opponent and leverage them better than my opponent. In addition to new gameplay features, Year 5 will also bring the first Operator rework. What was the team’s focus when reimagining Tachanka? LA: When you play an Operator rework, you will have the feeling that you are playing a new Operator. That's really what we want for reworks. What we want with a rework is for you to have new gameplay. You're going to have a new way of playing them.
You will see Tachanka; he is going to be played as a new Operator—especially because he was never played anyway—so it's hard to say there was really a "playstyle of Tachanka." (A reworked Operator) is something that you are not using that we recreate and add new value to, and we make it as interesting, as (relevant to the) meta, as meaningful as a new Operator, even in terms of power level and stuff like that.
You are also planning to improve and expand anti-toxicity measures in the coming year. Can you explain the upcoming player reputation system and give some insight into your general approach towards improving player behavior?
LA: What is interesting with this new player reputation system is that we are going to build a kind of memory, because right now, you can kill someone, activate the Reverse Friendly Fire sanction, finish your game, start another game, kill someone, activate the RFF, and so on. And at the end of the day, you will have killed 20 teammates, but because you were waiting to finish your games and starting new ones, we lost memory of your action. So what is important is to build a memory, a kind of persona of who you are, and be able to put you in control of that.
We also want to be better at saying, “This is bad behavior. You should not do that.” We will give you warnings, give you notifications so you know.
Mar 17, 2020 at 03:06