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Operation Health: Diagnosis – Hitbox Refactor

02/06/2017 12:00 PM

Title Update 2.2.1 is the first major effort to improve some longstanding issues in Rainbow Six: Siege, and the Hitbox Refactor is one of the stars of the TU 2.2.1 show.


First, it’s probably a good idea to explain how the hitboxes ended up the way they are now, because it goes back to a few game design concepts that exist at the heart of Siege. Chief among those game design concepts was “everything should react” (which you might notice applies beyond just the Operators). To provide clarity in the feedback that you receive as a player, it was decided that the entirety of an Operator’s character model would be included in the hitbox.


As time went on, however, our Designers began to see new issues emerge based on the structure of some of our Operator’s models, specifically:

  • Some Operators have accessories that cause issues because they intuitively make lousy targets (like Blitz’s earmuffs).
  • Subsequent Operator’s required unique visual customizations to differentiate them from other Operators (and we didn’t want to restrict our character artists from creating cool looking Operators). A good example of this is Frost’s collar, which we ended up removing from her hitbox because it made her too easy to hit.
  • The differences between hitbox behavior between newer Operators and older Operators became confusing for everyone, but especially new players – this lack of consistency was only going to grow over time as we introduce new Operators.

Consistency is essential for Siege to be considered competition-compatible, and so we have decided to take some time in Operation Health to focus on bringing hitboxes into complete alignment under a new game design concept: only human body parts count.


As a result, in Title Update 2.2.1, you will see a first phase of this change take effect. Highlighted below are visual examples of how these changes have been implemented (note: final changes may differ).


Pillars


We’ve reviewed every character to ensure that they’re in-line with our new mantra: only the human body counts in damage hitboxes. With these changes implemented, you should start to see damage occur in a more intuitive way as you’d expect.


This comprises Step 1 of our Hitbox Refactor and will go live in Title Update 2.2.1, but we have a Step 2 that we hope to work on that will revisit the initial Game Design philosophy: everything should react. In Step 2 we hope to include visual and audio cues for parts of the hitbox that don’t result in damage – so if you hit a metallic accessory (like IQ’s headset), you’ll see a spark visual effect and hear a ricochet sound. As you can imagine, adding another full layer of hit detection for reactions to non-damaging strikes will take quite a bit of work, which is why we don’t have a more precise ETA for the implementation of Step 2.

Please be sure to keep in touch with us as we continue with Operation Health to let us know what you think of the changes – you can be heard in our forums, on the Rainbow Six Siege subreddit or Twitter!

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