During multiplayer matches in 2015’s Rainbow Six Siege, you will have one life. If you die, you won’t get to play again until the next round. Now, developer Ubisoft Montreal has explained through an in-depth blog post why it decided on this approach for the game.
“When designing the game, we found that above all else, the No Respawn rule touched the three main pillars of what we want in this game: teamwork, tactics, and tension,” the developer said. “Not only are these three pillars at the heart of Tom Clancy’s video game series, but they’re arguably absent from the FPS market today. Even when playing on a team, run and gun titles emphasize twitch reflexes while neglecting other skill sets, and you may feel disconnected from the action and all alone in your plight. With Siege, that’s not the case.”
Ubisoft did experiment with allowing players to respawn in an earlier build of the game, but the developer moved away from this concept because it allowed very strong solo players to carry their teams. When the No Respawn rule was implemented, this changed, and the game became more balanced as a result, Ubisoft said.
“When you’re not allowed to respawn during a match, twitch reflexes aren’t the only skills that keep you alive,” the developer added. “Teamwork, map awareness, planning, adaptability, communication, and leadership become just as important to win. To be completely straightforward, the game became a lot more stressful… It went from everyone leaning back in their chairs trash-talking, to being on the edge of their seats carefully coordinating tactics.”
Game designer Chris Lee said that Ubisoft did not think at first that the No Respawn rule would work, adding that he thought it would only appeal to “the most hardcore players.”
However, the opposite turned out to be true. “It turned out that it really opened up the game to many different types of players,” he said. “The developers who were longtime FPS players initially found it difficult because they were only good at reaction time. They weren’t communicating, playing tactically, or thinking about the consequences. Their K/D ratio was high before, but after introducing One Life, they stopped thinking about K/D ratios and more about how each player could work together for the win.”
On the other side of the coin, Lee said: “Developers who weren’t as good before played slower, thought carefully about the situation, and ended up doing better on the leaderboard. Because One Life rewards this kind of behavior, it puts well-rounded players at an advantage over pure run and gunners, which is what the Tom Clancy’s franchise is all about. They utilize a complete skill set and the rest of the development team really liked that, since going back to its roots is what we wanted to do and the rule stuck. It wasn’t something we predicted, and we were really happy with how it turned out.”
When you die in Siege, you’ll enter what Ubisoft calls Support mode. From here, you can use visibility tools such as drones and security cameras, or even a helicopter, to help keep your team informed about where the enemies are.
And you don’t need to worry about being away from the boots-on-the-ground action for too long, as Ubisoft says Siege matches are “short.” So even if you die right at the beginning of a match, you’ll be back into the mix in around three mnutes.