Following extension after extension, the Rainbow Six Siege Beta finally came to an end. Over the 14 days I spent immersed in multiplayer gameplay with clanmates and old tactical shooter friends, I felt a mixture of emotions, met a bunch of new players, and was reminded of what team-based shooter gaming is all about. The following are my thoughts after playing the Rainbow Six Siege closed/open beta.
CON: My only real gripe during the Beta was its matchmaking freezes and disconnects. Though this was incredibly frustrating, it's to be expected during Beta phase. I'm confident this will be a non factor come full release on Dec. 1st. The issues that were brought up concerning the cameras were quickly quelled by learning where they were and dispatching of the tattle tale lenses.
This aside, let's move to the pros.
My first observations was that there were a lot of people from my friends list, which is pretty diverse, that played and enjoyed the R6 Beta. These are people that I've met across many games, some tactical, some not. I found this united interest empowering.
I watched my diverse network of friends quickly shine in the tactical teamwork and coordination spotlight of Siege. In contrast, we've played many other tactical games since SOCOM and none have created the level of "activation" I witnessed during the Siege Beta. It was pretty awesome to watch the R6 Beta community come alive through the game's tactical teamwork requirements.
My second observation was the general conversation and camaraderie that took place among players and in between gameplay sessions. This reminded me a lot of SOCOM's "dead room," where players waiting to re-engage in gameplay actually took time to learn about their fellow gamers. It gave me hope that amid the overwhelmingly self-centered cultures found in many shooter gaming communities, there are still those with prosocial and proactive tendencies.
My third observation was actual gameplay. Overall, I found the quality of play exceptional. The Dev. team's focus on strategy, planning, and coordination was refreshing. There was relatively no lag, great hit detection, intuitive controls, and fluid communication systems. The unlocking system was easy to understand and provided varied gameplay based on your personal preference. I also found the dedicated operator roles increased the Beta's tactical depth and replay value. When the game functioned as it was supposed to, R6 gameplay held our attention very well.
The general consensus of my clanmates, friends, and the gamers we met during the R6 Beta is that most will be purchasing and playing this game to once again compete within a true tactical shooter universe. Considering the current trajectory of this IP, I envision Rainbow Six Siege becoming a rather popular haven for the tactical minded. I also see the R6 universe becoming a durable home for our 12-year tactical shooter gaming community for years to come.
I can't wait wait for December 1st.
LT Mystic out!
R6 Universe Commander
The Division IGR is a scientifically recognized online gaming community established in 2003. If you think you have what it takes to become a member/leader within our storied community, we welcome you.
Prior to last week's annual reunion, I hadn't played SOCOM 2 in years, let alone at a ten man LAN. The most people I've ever played SOCOM with in the same room was ages ago when Mr. Yellow, Orange, Green, and myself used to hook up our TV's and PS2's at each others homes for clan wars.
Our goal this year was to connect our ten man LAN to XLINK and play SOCOM online with old friends. Unfortunately, the LAN to XLINK connect eluded us. Hats off to Mr. Cobalt, Dande, Mystic, and Grey, who troubleshot their hearts out. In the end, it was time to play.
Once we drew teams and fired up our PS2's to battle, nothing else mattered. From the moment the first lobby greened up to the last, we transported back to that place of tactical adrenaline, nail biting gun fights, sarcastic humor, clutch victories, high-fives, and endless gameplay. It was amazing to me how much fun SOCOM 2 still is all these years later.
Reliving the game that birthed us 12 years ago and playing through all of those timeless maps and strategies in person with clan members goes down as my greatest gaming experience of all-time. The flood of nostalgia and forgotten memories was something like magic. I think we averaged 5 hours of sleep between our marathon gaming sessions.
During the reunion we also held Dan's graduation ceremony. He chose the color, Dandelion, or "Mr. Dande," representative of "Dan the Lion." Fitting. We also surprised Mr. Mystic with a promotion to Lt. and welcomed him to Commissioned rank. He never saw it coming.
Next year, we're planning a week-long mega surprise for the community. Details shall be kept secret until all invitees arrive at our designated bullpen and travel together to the reveal. As soon as we arrive at our LAN destination, I suspect the fellas are going to go bananas. Look for our social media profiles to explode. Oh, and this time, we'll definitely be connected to XLINK.
Developed through the efforts of thousands of gamers, our community's storied recruiting process has been around for more than a decade. This year, we introduced a new phase to our process that requires our recruits to develop ideas into practice. The first recruit to attempt this challenge is Bikendi Shark (@GregSchneidr).
This phase of our recruiting process requires each recruit to announce, develop, and implement an idea of their choosing. Any idea, so long as it's designed to better our online gaming community. This "idea development" challenge demands of our recruits six essential disciplines:
To activate this phase, a recruit must first announce their idea to our community. Below is Bikendi Shark's idea announcement, explained through a 19-point Q&A with Mr. Mystic.
How long have you been a part of the IGR community?
I have been a citizen of the IGR for about 7-8 months now
What made you want to be a part of the IGR community?
Respect for the members of the Division IGR. No matter what, when I played against them they would always fight it out to the end, and would never stoop to low tactics. True men of honor, with a respect for the opposition, whom also seek to uphold a positive experience for all. For those traits, I wanted to be a member of the Division IGR, to help further the movement for a positive online gaming experience.
What made you want to take the extra step to become a member of the Division IGR?
The more I played with members of the Division IGR, the more I realized that this community wasn’t just a clan, they were a family. I had been debating it the more inactive my previous clan became, and once it was official that it had disbanded, it was only natural for me to move to where I felt most at home, with the Division IGR.
What games do you play with the clan?
I play Battlefield 4, Warframe, Plants verses Zombies: Garden Warfare, and Call of Duty Advanced Warfare.
So, what's your idea?
Two nights a week (Friday and Saturday) a chat party (on PS4) will be created, and will contain, at any given time, no more than 4 Colors. The other 4 party slots will be for people whom we do not know, and by agreement of the party members, could benefit from some helpful advice and refining of their gaming skills.
These parties will carry a special communication level designation (similar to the Alpha coms, Bravo coms, etc.) so that it is known the chat is for tutoring other players only. These training teams will be created for 3-4 hour periods of time, allowing for flexibility of people's schedules, and so that their entire evening is not completely taken up by helping members of the community.
Tutors will actively search out players in game. Examples of this are: looking for people who are low ranked, doing poorly, or complaining about their own game play quality; etc. The 4 colors will dedicate an hour or two to help better these players. Help engage them, show them how to position themselves, how to move effectively to use cover while allowing them to engage the enemy, among other tactics.
During the course of the party, constructive criticism and compliments are to be given, to better the student's skills and attitude, and give them hope at becoming better, thus resulting in a drive to better their selves.
At the end of the instruction, the colors are to education the players about the IGR, to help reinforce the positive gaming ideal, and spread it to more members of the online gaming community.
It is desired that the tutors attempt to form new friendships with the players, as this will allow a monitoring of the progression of these players.
How did you come up with this idea?
Between the ages of 16-19, I instructed young men in Space Exploration and Aviation merit badges, and I greatly enjoyed instructing, and seeing somebody who had no idea of something, understand a new concept, and potentially fuel a passion to pursue a career.
What was your thought process when coming up with your idea?
I’ve always been told, that if you enjoy doing something, you’ll do it well. I got the idea to do something I enjoy doing, which is teaching, and apply it to benefit the community.
Why is this a valid idea?
This idea is valid because it is one of the core values of the Division IGR to further prosocial community in the world of online gaming. One aspect of that is to help ensure that others are having an enjoyable time while gaming. Even just a bit of friendly banter can help make somebody’s evening better.
How will the IGR community benefit from your idea?
I believe the IGR community will benefit through the addition of new members, a growth of overall camaraderie, and a strengthening of existing bonds. Ultimately resulting in the furtherance of our prosocial gaming values.
How will the general gaming community benefit?
In bettering a player, the gaming community can further develop better players, in addition to having the idea of a positive, rather than a negative, which improves the online gaming experience for all.
Besides gaming community who also benefits from this idea?
Anyone who wishes for the games industry to thrive and the parents and loved ones of those who play games.
Can this be implemented across multiple universes and consoles?
Yes! This idea was designed to be able to be implemented over multiple games and consoles, as there is always room for improvement.
How long will the idea take to implement?
To start the idea, i.e. setting up the roster of tutors and refining the process, it will take approximately three weeks.
What is the longevity of the idea?
The idea, for practical purposes, has a longevity of a month or two, however, the tutoring evenings I believe should be continued indefinitely.
How long before the benefits of your idea are noticeable?
A few hours for each individual, but long-term improvement will be noticeable approximately two weeks in, assuming that the players actively seeks to better his or her self.
How set on the idea are you?
Fairly set on the core of the idea, as I believe it to be a strong idea that will benefit the online gaming community greatly.
How open are you to modification of the idea?
I am open to modifications of details, such as the days actively used, tutor to player ratio, etc.
Do you have anything to say directly to Division IGR leadership on behalf of you idea and why they should consider it?
Everybody has to start somewhere with gaming, and if somebody is there to help refine the skills of a player in a game, then said player will only have a more enjoyable gaming experience. Through the use of this idea, the IGR can further its impact on gamers through a wider sphere of influence.
Do you think this year's "Idea Development" addition to our recruiting process is important?
I do. The Idea Development challenge is important because it tests a recruit on multiple disciplines and establishes whether the recruit has a genuine desire to be a dedicated member of the Division IGR. By having to plan and carry out a community improvement project, much can be learned about a recruit and much can be revealed to the recruit about the Division IGR.
We would like to take a moment to acknowledge those in The Division IGR and our Brothers in Arms who have and continue to support the SOCOM gaming community wherever and whenever possible.
THE DIVISION IGR
Justin Bastian (AKA, Mr. Blue), is co-founder of both The Division IGR and SOF Studios. In 2011 and after playing the SOCOM 4 private beta (writing on the wall), Mr. Blue dedicated himself to his vision of creating a game development studio to produce a SOCOM spiritual successor to save the SOCOM gaming community. Raising venture capital, producing both a record setting Kickstarter campaign and the fastest voted-up STEAM Greenlight campaign at the time, Mr. Blue lead daily startup production, recruited organized gaming communities (Brothers in Arms below), special operations veterans such as Tom, and the original Creative Director of the SOCOM games franchise David Sears to his mission at SOF Studios.
Dan Moenkhaus (AKA, Mr.Dande) was an original SOF Studios startup team member. Dan would invest hundreds of man-hours, pro bono, to develop SOF Studios website from concept, assist Mr. Blue in the development of venture due diligence, develop the H-Hour gaming community, directed a record setting 90-day Kickstarter campaign, and managed all campaign logistics.
Brady Rozens (AKA, Mr. Cobalt) was SOF Studios IT Consultant and Systems Engineer. Mr. Cobalt would invest hundreds of man-hours, pro bono, creating SOF Studios Perforce game development server, managing all SOF Studios front-end and back-end servers, facilitating critical troubleshooting support, and spearheading the SOF Studios international marketing initiative noted below. Saving H-Hour from total oblivion, Brady also once recovered the game prototype from accidental Dev. deletion.
Matthew Mondero (AKA, Mr. Silver) is a "Sergeant Major" Kickstarter backer and life-long SOCOM community member. Mr. Silver would invest hundreds of man-hours, pro bono, into H-Hour community support, developing H-Hour-based relations with other gaming communities, and marketing H-Hour.
Troy Mills (AKA, Mr. Mystic) is a Kickstarter backer and life-long SOCOM community member. Mr. Mystic's submission to SOF Studios map naming contest was selected by David Sears and "SISMIS" became the title of H-Hour's first map. Mr. Mystic is also an "H-Hour Alpha Team" playtester and would invest hundred of hours, pro bono, into H-Hour community support.
Daniel Christensen (AKA, Mr. Grey) is an "H-Hour Alpha Team" playtester and life-long SOCOM community member. Mr. Grey would invest hundreds of man-hours, pro bono, into H-Hour community support and forum moderation.
OUR BROTHERS IN ARMS
TheRealSOCOM.com: Founded in 2008, TheRealSOCOM.com was created by a passionate SOCOMer committed to keeping the community connected and communicating. Five years forward and our friends at TRS have developed their .com into the world's largest SOCOM fansite. From epic articles, to decade-old forum personalities, to "Friday Night Fights," to leading a SOCOM 2 remake initiative straight to the top of the Playstation community polls, TRS is a pioneer from the SOCOM community.
SUKMYTURBAN: Publishing his first video in 2009, SUKMYTURBAN quickly emerged as the SOCOM community's go-to YouTube personality. With a fist full of passion, SUKMYTURBAN set out to confront the slow demise of the SOCOM series, to challenge publishers and developers, and to echo the plight of the SOCOM community. SUKMYTURBAN would go on to generate over 3.2 million views and counting, more than thirteen thousand subscribers, and countless debates throughout the community. SUKMYTURBAN is a pioneer from the SOCOM community.
Urgent Fury: Founded in 2003, Urgent Fury was created by two SOCOMers and 10 clans to honor the competitive credo, "Win with Honor, Lose with Dignity." Over a decade later, our friends at UrgentFury have developed a long-standing, scenario based tournament community responsible for producing "Commander Claymore Fury" and years of battle memories. UrgentFury is a pioneer from the SOCOM community.
Sea Snipers: Established in October 2002, Sea Snipers was originally founded as a SOCOM clan. Shortly thereafter, the Sea Snipers seized an opportunity to create tactical tools for SOCOMers. There wasn't a competitive SOCOM clan alive who had not seen a SeaSnipers generated map. Today, our friends at Sea Snipers are one of the games industry's most professional clans. Having authored and illustrated 9 official strategy guides with Brady Games and Piggyback Interactive, the Sea Snipers are a pioneer from the SOCOM community.
HappyThumbsGaming: Founded in 2011, HTG was created by two SOCOMers who joined forces to make error free, HD walk through videos that would help other players unlock the full experience of their games. Over one thousand videos later and the HTG community is booming. Our friends at HappyThumbsGaming are pioneers from the SOCOM community.
FraggedNation: Founded in 2002, FraggedNation was created by a SOCOMer looking to socialize and compete with like-minded players. Twelve years forward and our friends at FraggedNation are industry leaders who facilitate a community where the gamers voice is heard. No matter who they are, where the play, or what they want to accomplish. Today, FraggedNation is one of the largest tournament communities in gaming and a pioneer from the SOCOM community.
A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE
Supported by Mr. Blue and led by Division IGR members, Mr. Cobalt and Mr. Emerald, the below links reflect the Division IGR's international marketing outcomes for SOF Studios Kickstarter campaign, "H-Hour: World's Elite."
POST KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN COVERAGE PRODUCED
30-DAY KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN COVERAGE PRODUCED