Update February 19, 2018: Ubisoft provide an answer on why they aren’t providing many answers about addressing toxic behaviour.
Players behaving badly are a problem inherent to any online game, and every set of developers take their own steps in curbing it. The team behind Rainbow Six Siege has been discussing various options for ages, from talk of ditching friendly fire in casual play to recently implementing a toxic player report button, but Ubisoft have often been reticent to discuss their specific plans to address the issue.
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“Toxicity is not an easy one,” creative director Xavier Marquis tells us. He says internally “it is not called toxicity, it is called player behaviour, because it is more than toxicity - it is how to train players to be good players in the game. In terms of design it is way more complex than only toxicity.”
Marquis says “I do not want to communicate on what we are doing because we want to stay agile in this game. We do not want to put a specific date on anything. Yes we are working on it, but we do not want to put any time frame on that.” He adds “I have been team-killed, I have received bad treatment, so I know about it, but it needs a proper design.
“Also, one thing that is extremely important about this game: be patient. Never patch too quickly as you will pay the price if you are doing bullshit on this game. It is really important to be patient, to analyse, to check all of the situation, before patching anything.”
That’s pretty similar to the answers we’ve heard from the team in the past, though brand director Alexandre Remy did put a rough timetable of 2018 as the starting point for their plans to address toxicity. Answers have come in bits and pieces, and it seems we’ll continue waiting for a full answer to the question.
Update, December 15 2017: Ubisoft have detailed how Rainbow Six Siege's new 'report toxic behaviour' button will work.
Ubisoft have issued a new announcement on their plans for addressing toxicity reporting in Rainbow Six Siege, which is probably best summed up by a single quote: “If you use racist or harassing speech in our game, you will not be allowed to play our game.”
A ‘report toxic behaviour’ button was added on the Siege technical test server a few weeks ago, and now the developers have detailed exactly how those reports will work. “Racism, hate speech, and harassment are not tolerated in Rainbow Six Siege,” and Ubisoft plan to ban accounts guilty of that kind of behaviour.
When a player is reported for toxicity, their account will be flagged and an investigation will follow, resulting in “appropriate action” including bans for violations of the code of conduct. Ubisoft say no one will be banned solely because they were reported, but investigations “in the near future” will result in waves of bans for repeat offenders. They add that in “extreme” cases, toxic players will be banned without warning.
“We understand Siege is an intense game and can be emotional,” reads the announcement on Reddit, “so some mature language will be expressed. However, when a player uses our game to spread hate, racism, or bigotry, that player will not be able to play our game.”
While hate speech is certainly a big part of online toxicity, team killing is another issue that’s been plaguing Siege, and one Ubisoft have publicly spoken about addressing. But the new toxic behaviour button will not be used for team killing, as the developers are working a “more refined process” to address the issue, focused on addressing “extreme cases.” But they say they can’t offer details on how this will work just yet.
Original story, November 24 2017: Rainbow Six Siege players will be able to report teammates for toxic behaviour. The new option is currently available on the game’s technical test server.
Since Rainbow Six Siege launched two years ago, the only option report option was for cheating. That meant there was very little opportunity to moderate the community as a whole, something of a problem in a tactical competitive game.
Fortunately, according to a tweet from Justin Kruger, the game’s community developer, that’s about to change. He posted a picture last night documenting a “new reporting option on the TTS,” which would allow players to report toxic behaviour.
New reporting option on the TTS. pic.twitter.com/a5bEbaRHAL— Justin Kruger (@UbiJustin) November 23, 2017
Kruger goes on to say that “more info will come out later on how this works, but there will not be automatic ban sanctions. So no one will get trolled into a ban.” Currently, ‘suspicious behaviour’ can be reported to the automated BattlEye service, which is able to detect whether or not players are using cheats, but that service won’t really work for actual player behaviour.
Toxic behaviour as outlined by the Rainbow Six Siege code of conduct includes harassment or bullying, either verbal or via voice chat, and the use of any obscene or discriminatory language.