Following the implementation of a new ban system for teamkillers, fans of Rainbow Six Siege have been pleading to Ubisoft to let players “forgive” accidental teamkilling. The new system, deployed in a September 18 patch, inflicts a harsher penalty on players that teamkill twice in the same match, banning the player from all matchmaking for 30 minutes. Subsequent offenses ban the player for one hour, two hours, 24 hours, and then a whole week.
Any veteran Siege player is happy to see harsher punishments for teamkilling, a type of griefing that's particularly painful in an FPS where players don't respawn after dying. However, some worry that a zero-tolerance, automated system can introduce errors. These players suggest that anyone who's teamkilled should be given the opportunity to forgive their attacker.
It’s an idea that’s been kicked around the Siege community for years now, the first suggestion going all the way back to days after the game’s release in 2015. But with new harsher punishments for your mistakes, the demand has never been higher. Posts with thousands of upvotes circulated the Siege subreddit throughout September calling for change.
“There is no excuse for having to be banned because you're playing in a five-stack and a teammate accidentally moves in front of you while shooting or you try to stop an interrogation and accidentally clip your teammate as well,” said redditor winters_own. They’re definitely right about one thing: teamkilling in Siege is often an unavoidable accident. Between deadly sporadic gadgets like Fuze’s explosive hockey pucks, the lethality of a single headshot, and players’ extremely limited health pools, it’s an easy mistake to make. That said, it has only happened to me once or twice in my near-1,000 hours, and I rarely see it happen to others.
But why not add a feature that would theoretically improve the player experience? Finding an answer from Ubisoft has proved difficult. I haven’t been able to find any official statement about the proposed feature and any pleas from the community have gone without reply over the years. PC Gamer also reached out when writing this story, but has yet to receive anything back. This lack of communication is pretty uncommon for Siege. Ubi representatives, especially on the community side, are typically open to responding to interesting feature requests on the subreddit, sometimes going as far as sending fan ideas to the development team for further consideration. But this just hasn’t been the case for the forgive teamkill suggestion, as far as I can tell.
Teamkilling has been a problem with online shooters since the beginning of the genre, but nowadays most games have opted out of the problem altogether by disabling it. In some cases, like with Overwatch, combat is so hectic and unpredictable already that having to worry about shooting teammates would be too much. But there’s also something like Fortnite Battle Royale, where teamkilling was once in the game until developer Epic decided it was too much of a hassle and simply removed it.
The most unfortunate teamkill of the century, courtesy of redditor AlexanderTheAutist.
The few popular FPSes that include teamkilling all handle punishments differently. PUBG’s policies are the most lenient, requiring a victim to go out of their way to manually report offenders. Battlefield 1’s hardcore modes will simply kick a player from a match after too many offenses, but custom server owners can set their own ban rules if they want. Hardcore modes in Call of Duty: WWII have a strict limit of three offenses before you’re kicked, but also has no bans. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive combines both a limit on team kills and team damage to eventually kick offenders. The Halo series still uses a forgive system for teamkilling, and it has always worked well in my experience.
The proposed forgiveness feature wouldn’t be completely immune to exploitation. It could allow a few friends in a match to keep teamkilling each other every round without any eventual punishment. Sure, they’re not bothering other unwilling teammates, but they’re still potentially ruining a match with no promise that they’ll leave and let someone else join. But even still, it’s small gripe for what could otherwise change Siege for the better.
Team damage is a related issue. Slightly damaging teammates without killing them still carries no significant penalties other than a slight score decrease. Abandoners in both Casual and Ranked matches continue to be a source of frustration, with no known punishments for serial 'leavers' in Casual play. CS:GO’s matchmaking, as a comparison, remembers the frequency of leavers and begins to match them with other bad apples. There’s still no proper offline training mode to let players hone their skills.
Siege's current annoyances aren't deal breakers, but when other games already have proven solutions that could be applied, they beg questions of why something hasn’t already been done.