Rainbow Six Siege’s Reverse Friendly Fire Aims to Combat Toxicity

Rainbow Six Siege has a team killing problem.

It’s no secret that friendly fire is an issue in Siege, with complaints about toxic team killing dating back to the game’s launch in 2015, but a new patch introducing “reverse friendly fire” is Ubisoft’s first attempt at solving the team killing problem. If a player shoots their teammate, the damage will be reflected back at them. This even applies to gadgets like Twitch’s shock drone, which is frequently used by toxic players to harass their teammates. With the new update, any damage that would’ve been inflicted by the drone onto an ally will be reflected back to the drone itself.

Of course, team killing is a core aspect of Rainbow Six Siege. Being able to accidentally injure allies in the heat of the moment is a large part of what makes Siege’s gameplay so tense and rewarding, so Ubisoft is allowing for some flexibility with reverse friendly fire. The system only starts after the offending player’s first team kill in order to allow for some accidents. After a teammate is killed, the victim can choose to forgive their killer if they believe they were killed by accident. If the kill is deemed accidental, the killer is not punished, but if the kill isn’t forgiven, reverse friendly fire is activated.

Penalties are being reworked with this update as well. Prior to this patch, team killers would be kicked from the match after a certain number of team kills, accidental or not. Now, even if a team kill is deemed intentional, the offending player will stay in the match with reverse friendly fire activated. Ubisoft will continue to track team kills and issue appropriate punishments, usually timed bans, to repeat offenders. The patch is currently live on Siege’s test server. There is no word on when it will be added to the main game.

Reverse friendly fire is just the first step in dealing with Rainbow Six Siege’s rampant toxicity problems. Ubisoft detailed a bevy of changes when it laid out the content roadmap for the game’s fourth year, and while map reworks and new operators were at the forefront, Ubisoft made a point to highlight the adjustments being made to minimize toxicity. With a game as rapidly growing as Rainbow Six Siege, it’s imperative that Ubisoft make the game as friendly and welcoming to new players as possible. So many players are already turned off by Siege’s very steep learning curve, a curve which grows steeper and steeper with every new update, and the game’s well-documented toxicity only serves to scare away prospective players and sour the experience for existing ones. Reverse friendly fire is definitely a step in the right direction, and upcoming changes to the ranked matchmaking system alongside other quality of life improvements prove that Ubisoft is not planning on slowing down support or content updates for Rainbow Six Siege anytime soon.

Rainbow Six Siege is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Cuphead is Coming to Nintendo Switch in April

Microsoft’s first-party side-scroller Cuphead is coming to Nintendo Switch next month, Nintendo announced in today’s Nindies Showcase.

The game, developed by Studio MDHR, was originally released in 2017 as an Xbox One console exclusive. While it released simultaneously on PC as an Xbox Play Anywhere title, that was the full extent of its reach until now.

Microsoft has also stated that they are working with Studio MDHR to implement Xbox Live functionality into the Nintendo Switch version of Cuphead. Now you’ll finally be able to earn achievements on the go. Cuphead is the first non-Xbox game to receive Xbox Live achivement support, but more are likely on the way with Microsoft planning to bring the service to both Switch and mobile.

Cuphead will launch on Nintendo Switch on April 18. The game will be priced at $20, and it’s already available for pre-purchase on the eShop.

Google Stadia is Google’s Game Streaming Service

Google has officially unveiled its long-rumored game streaming service during a keynote at GDC earlier today.

The service, called Google Stadia, will allow users to play AAA video games on any device. At launch, Stadia will be available on any desktop computer, laptop, TV, phone, or tablet. Stadia is the full release of Project Stream, which allowed users to play Assassin’s Creed Odyssey in a Google Chrome browser window. While Project Stream only streamed up to 1080p at 60 frames per second, Stadia will support streams up to 4K at 60 frames per second with full HDR and surround sound support. In the future, Stadia will even support 8K streaming.

The Stadia controller was also unveiled alongside the service. It’s available in three different colors and will connect to Google’s data centers hosting the game through Wi-Fi to minimize latency. It has joysticks, a d-pad, and just about everything else you’d expect from a standard video game controller, but it also has a share button like the Dualshock 4 and Joy-Con controllers as well as a Google Assistant button which will allow you to ask for help with whatever game you’re playing using the controller’s built-in microphone. Stadia will also work with any controllers you already own, too.

Stadia will come with an array of features specific to the service. YouTube videos of certain games will have a “play now” button that will let you start playing the game through a Stadia stream. Stream Connect aims to bring back split-screen gaming, enabling multiple streams of the same game on one device. Crowd Play lets streamers open up their games to their audience, creating a lobby for viewers to wait in until they get to play with the streamer. State Share lets you create an exact copy of your game’s state down to the contents of your inventory and the amount of health you have left, which you can then share with others through a generated link. Other players can then go experience the exact moment you shared with them.

Google has partnered with Unreal and Unity, two of the most popular game engines in the industry, and both will fully support Stadia. Google revealed a number of other partners ranging from Havok to Cryengine, so there’s no shortage of initial support for the platform.

Because Stadia is a cloud-based platform, developers don’t have to neuter their visions for their games to meet certain hardware requirements. A single Stadia instance is more powerful than the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X combined according to Google, and developers will no longer be held back by hardware restrictions.

While Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was primarily featured throughout the keynote, other games were shown as well. Doom Eternal, the follow up to 2016’s Doom reboot, will be playable on Stadia at a 4K resolution at 60 frames per second with HDR. Other unannounced titles were hinted at, but they haven’t been revealed yet.

Multiplayer was another key point of the presentation. Because every game will be hosted through Google’s data centers rather than the players’ internet connections, there will be minimal latency because the experience won’t be held back by the player with the slowest connection. Stadia will also support cross-platform play and cross-progression if developers allow it.

Google will be creating exclusive first-party content through Stadia Games and Entertainment, headed by former Ubisoft executive and industry veteran Jade Raymond.

Stadia is slated to launch this year in the United States, Canada, UK, and Europe. More information is set to come this summer, but whether or not that means news will come at E3 remains to be known.

Anthem Players Are Boycotting the Game to Protest Loot Changes

Anthem players are taking a week off from the game in order to voice their concerns about the game’s changes to loot.

A recent patch making multiple changes and adjustments went live two days ago on March 9. This patch changed respawn times for certain events. Other issues were fixed too, like the game crashing multiple PlayStation 4 systems as well as problems with the way the game scales weapon damage.

The other big change this patch made was the removal of common and uncommon drops from level 30 loot pools. While this sounds great in theory, in practice it’s a little more complicated. BioWare removed commons and uncommons but did not increase the rate at which rare, epic, masterwork, and legendary items drop, making Anthem’s endgame loot payout feel a lot less satisfying than before, and the playerbase is not happy.

What makes this worse is the so-called “11 Hour Bug”, which caused fantastic loot to drop in droves just prior to the most recent patch being released. Reddit user -Supp0rt- came out of a stronghold with a whopping 10 masterwork items, meanwhile players are struggling to find even one post-patch.

To combat the changes to the loot and call for more liberal payouts of cool gear, Reddit user Afinda made a post on the game’s subreddit asking players to boycott the game from March 11-March 15. “Time Invested Vs. Reward is a complete Joke at this point,” says Afinda. “You want to make a point once and for all? Well, what could hurt a game that has Real Money transactions for cosmetics (lol, yeah there are nearly none I know) or is a live service more than anything? Player Numbers.”

Afinda’s cause has quickly picked up steam, with the original post currently sitting at 11.1k upvotes. “Jokes on you. I stopped playing last week,” wrote a user who goes by Zomgrofll in the comments. They’re not alone, either. Several commenters have said they’ve already stopped playing Anthem, while others are still hoping for Anthem to improve. A number of people have said they’re switching to The Division 2, which launches this week.

Neither EA nor BioWare have issued a statement regarding the boycott, but BioWare’s head of live service Chad Roberston tweeted Saturday night acknowledging community feedback.

“We appreciate all the feedback from the community on the game. We love the passion and share it,” he tweeted. “We’re not yet fully happy with the game’s loot behavior either.”

A post on the Anthem subreddit sums up the players’ response to this perfectly. “Bioware, you don’t need to be happy with the loot. The players do.”

Apex Legends Was Leaked a Year Ago, Dismissed as Fake

Respawn’s wildly popular battle-royale Apex Legends was leaked an entire year ago, but nobody cared.

Reddit user hiticonic made a post on the Titanfall subreddit 11 months ago with an image that very closely resembles Apex Legends’s current map.

The comments were quick to express their disappointment and disbelief. “I really hope this doesn’t happen,” wrote one user. “They better not add battle royale in the next game,” wrote another. The thread only amassed 14 comments in total, and then, silence.

Nothing was heard about this supposed Titanfall battle royale until one month ago, when rumors began circulating about a Titanfall battle royale game called Apex Legends. Rumors said the game would be revealed and then launch shortly after on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. We all know how things went from there.

Now Apex Legends has recently hit 50 million players, and the leak from last year resurfaced on the game’s subreddit to much amusement. Respawn’s community manager even chimed in in the comments. “Haha I remember this!” he wrote. “It was a relief to see folks blow it off and I was thinking, ‘well, he’ll be able to say I was right when next year comes along.'”

In an interview with Eurogamer, Apex Legends Lead Producer Drew McCory spoke about the game’s surprise release. “We’re doing a free to play game, with essentially loot boxes, after we were bought by EA, and it’s not Titanfall 3. It’s the perfect recipe for a marketing plan to go awry, so why have that – let’s just ship the game and let players play.” A lot of Apex Legends’s success can be attributed to its surprise release. There was no marketing campaign, no build up, the game just dropped and people started playing it

Maybe its for the best last year’s leak never caught on.