I play a lot of Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six: Siege online. I queue up with buddies sometimes, and other times I solo-queue. Sometimes I play Ranked, and other times I play Casual. Recently, there’s been a bad outbreak of cheating in Siege, and it’s hitting both Ranked and Casual. A lot of Siege Twitch streamers and YouTubers have openly and vocally complained about Ubi’s lack of response to these cheaters. Until Friday last week, Ubisoft seems to have ignored the pleas for help.
They weren’t. On Friday, they released this blog post, which outlines some of the steps they plan to take, and a few they’re considering. I’m not going to summarize what they’ve written; you’re free to read the entire post yourself. Instead, I’m going to discuss certain aspects of it. But first and foremost: I’m glad they’re doing something. And I can’t wait to see the results of the planned ban wave on the folks that have paid for boosting services. It’s going to be… epic.
Two-Factor: For Everyone
“Moving forward, our primary focus is on requiring all PC players to enable Two Factor Authentication in order to play Ranked.”
I like that. But I don’t think it’s enough. As I noted above, I play both Casual and Ranked. Dealing with cheaters is no more or less fun in Casual than it is in Ranked. I understand that Ranked is “more serious” and where all the “pro players” go, but it seems like Ubi is basically saying, “Look, if you want to work around our 2-Factor rule, just play Casual.”
Let’s not do that. Instead, let’s force it on every Siege player for both Ranked and Casual. I know why the cheaters cheat in Ranked: they’re after higher ranking, of course. But they cheat like mad in Casual to test the cheats out to see if they’ll get caught. So stop them at the door versus letting them into the lobby and stopping them there.
I realize my idea is Draconian, and it will shrink the overall player base a bit. Not everyone has access to a mobile device that can run the 2-Factor Auth app. But: such is life. Cheaters suck and should all die in a fire. Because we can’t make them all die in a fire, we have to come up with Draconian-style responses sometimes.
Skill Gap Difference: Don’t Do It
“Another option is putting a restriction on skill gap in parties when queuing into Ranked, meaning high ranked players will not be able to queue with low rank players.”
I’m not a fan of this consideration in the least, and I think it needs to be dumped as an idea. I don’t believe it should be “done carefully,” but just tossed out as a bad idea. Let me flesh this out. I’m bad at Siege. Really bad. I’m not ever going to “get better” at it. I’m past the point of learning how to improve in the game. That’s just the way it goes when you get older. Siege is very much a young man’s game, and I’m not that.
I do have the great honor and privilege to team up with YouTuber and Twitch streamer Matimi0 on a fairly regular basis. Usually weekly. He plays Siege with his Twitch subs as a way to say, “Thank you for supporting me.” And he’s not the only streamer to do that, too. Mat does not like playing Casual; it’s Ranked or bust with very few exceptions. Mat’s also very good at Siege, usually circling around the high Platinum or Diamond ranking.
Depending on how strict Ubi is with this idea, there may become a time when I can’t team up with Mat any longer. That’s not good. In fact it’s an awful idea. I get why Ubi is considering it: prevent very low ranked players from being carried to a higher rank. But there are better ways to handle this.
Suggestion: Get Rid of Visible Ranks
It’s simple and it’s not something people will like much at all: get rid of visible ranking. Completely. Literally just delete it entirely from the game. I’m not the first person that’s thought of this idea; plenty of popular Siege YouTubers have already discussed it. In essence: get rid of the Bronze, Copper, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond ranks entirely. Gone. Deleted. No more. It will literally, overnight, obliterate the boosting services. No one will need to pay for service to boost them into a higher rank because there won’t be a higher rank to boost up to.
We’ll still need a system to try and match-make folks properly. I’m all for that. Make it 100% hidden from prying eyes. Something that no one can EVER see. They can NEVER query it from some database somewhere. The only people that have access to it is Ubisoft. Some number, or indicator, or something like that, of your overall gaming skill. Attach that to your player, and be done with it.
This number or “rank” has to be calculated carefully. I despise focusing on Kill-to-Death ratios in most games, but in Siege it actually does have a high correlation with skill. Boosted players are terrible at the game for the most part. I can beat most of them in a fire fight, and that’s saying a lot! Ranks can’t be based on won or lost games. You can win a game based purely on the skill of another player on your team. You can also lose a game based on the complete idiocy of another player on your team. I don’t think it’s fair that players who contribute little be carried to higher ranks (that includes me, by the way…) Nor do I think it’s fair that an imbecile ruin the match-making rank of a very good player. So the W:L ratio has to be looked at and down-played a lot. Maybe even completely removed from the calculations.
But that has to be done with some care, because the results could be: we have players jumping in, focusing on their K:D, and not trying to actually win the game. I get that. I understand that that’s a big risk.
I also understand that people want to show off their rank. Tough. Simply put: tough. I don’t care. I don’t care that you want to show off that you’re a Diamond. Or that you’re some super-high-skilled player. I don’t care. And no one else should care, either. Just play the fucking game and try to win. Period.