Czarnicks verified LV.21 S
Jun 9, 2020, 04:22 AM 208 read

Valorant Will NOT Be The Next Rainbow Six: Siege

Over a month ago, I wrote an article that asked the question: Will Valorant follow the same path as R6S? In that article I explored the possibility of Valorant, a potential CSGO competitor, being left by the wayside as somewhat of a disappointment in the same manner that R6S experienced.   In this article, as you might have gathered, I’ll be going over why I don’t think this will be the case for Valorant and why I think the game will have a healthier lifespan than its Rainbow Six counterpart.

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Let’s start with the obvious elephant in the room: Riot Games has the resources and talent to quickly update their Valorant to suit the player-base's needs in an incredible fashion while also employing their changes in a manner that uses their League of Legends client to advertise and hype up the changes en-masse. In short, they have the speed and advertising power that R6S just doesn’t. That’s not even a debatable point at this time. When was the last time a new Champion came out in League that you didn’t, in some way, hear about? Even if you don’t play the game, you probably see the Riot Games’ posts at some point or by word of mouth the news about a new champion or cinematic comes your way.   Can you say the same for Rainbow Six? Even I, who pop into the game every now and then for fun, can’t remember ever hearing about a new character in that game. New updates, new content in general, it's all run by only the most consistent of players. Riot Games have much more skill in the advertising category and they have a much bigger player base to keep interested in their FPS. It's that simple, even if it seems unfair to point out. It's a game changer, quite literally.   Another reason, albeit a smaller one, that I think Valorant will have a healthier life than R6S is that the game is very obviously its own FPS. To the untrained eye, R6S looks very similiar to Counter Strike, if slightly more realistic. They both have a very down-to-earth color pattern that reminds one a dry day. A dull backdrop without too much life to it. In the case of CSGO this is an advantage as it makes the opponent's pop out and provides its players with a very clear goal: You’re watching this angle on B-site, if you see an enemy, you’ll DEFINITELY see him and you can try and win the duel.

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But with R6S? The art style, by design, meshes everything together in a dark-washed over manner. The game itself employs very ‘cheeky’ means of holding angles; destroying walls to peek through, throwing out cover to hide behind, and straight up making fake copies of yourself to distract the enemy, so its likely the developers wanted to ensure characters looked a little more blended with their environment to keep up with that theme of exposing very little of yourself. You can argue that this design is more enjoyable and adds an extra layer of depth to the game, but you can’t argue that it isn’t a turn off to most new players who can handle only so many steep learning curves in a game.

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Valorant follows in the footsteps of CSGO here. When Pheonix pops around the corner, not only do you see an enemy without a single doubt in your mind of who you need to shoot, but you also know EXACTLY which agent just turned the corner. They pop out.   The same is true for the agent’s abilities. See a camera fly onto the wall in front of you? Cypher is around. A flash bang blind you from around a corner? You’re 100% about to get rekt by a Phoenix. Oh look, a big wall just appeared on the other side of the map. They have a Sage over there for sure.   You see the point I’m making? In a game that wants to retain players early and grow the base over time, giving new players as much information as possible while reducing the amount of ‘how was I supposed to know’ moments as much as a dev can is paramount. Valorant does this, R6S does not. In Valorant, it's mostly up to your skill with a weapon where abilities can be the difference between two players of equal skill otherwise, where in R6S the difference between winning and losing could simply be being lucky enough for an opponent to check one corner before checking another.   In summary, Valorant does all it can to not hide any information from its players while Rainbow Six is built to be a game of information. This isn’t a bad thing, but it's not good for player retention given the fact that they always feel like they aren’t playing the game for the first month or so, they are simply ‘studying’ until they can play.   This phenomena can be seen in a comparison between League of Legends and Dota2. Dota is obviously respected in the gaming world as an incredible piece of competition, but League retains the larger general playerbase simply because Riot Games designed it to have a simpler format that gives the players as much information starting out so that they have a better player retention rate. These might not seem that big of a deal, but it makes all the difference for first impressions when shown to the average player.   I know many of you will feel hard done by with this post, thinking that maybe I’m being too harsh on R6S without mentioning its strong points, and don’t get me wrong, what R6S does right it does brilliantly. It's a great game, but no one who plays it competitively can honestly say that it's going to retain the average player in the same way Valorant will. It's just a fact.   This isn’t to say that Valorant is going to be the success over the long-term that Riot wants it to be. It’s just to say that, even in a disappointing manner, Valorant is going to challenge CSGO in ways that R6S just couldn’t.   We’ll have to wait and see how the game develops over the long term, and only patience can reveal that to us.   Until that time comes, GLHF. -E

Comment 3

  • Gendor64 LV.20 Shadow Jun 10, 2020, 06:39 AM

    Are you trying to present us R6 as a csgo competitor? R6 in it's entirety was always it's own thing and wanted to do something that hasn't been done this way in a online fps before. a lot was giving from the beginning and just got refine/reworked over time. The thing that makes csgo as popular as it is is it's simplicity, no heroes none of that bs. just fast paced, tactical fps action. the only thing r6 and cs have in common is that they are objective based fps games. even some of the R6 advertisement showed what r6 is about. (for example the "every death is a lesson" add) even cs already has a decent learning curve due to map layout etc. valorant probably won't be too different in that regard, but throwing R6 into that feels like doing it just for the sake of doing it because R6 is popular. If you play R6 just a bit you'll notice that new seasons and their content usually gets announced in game in that little tab underneath the boosters and alpha packs might i add. on top that R6 doesn't even need advertisement because if someone has the slightest interest in R6 he'll probably stumble across news by just watching their favorite youtubers play the tts.

  • Czarnicks verified LV.21 S Jun 10, 2020, 07:09 AM

    R6 is an entirely different game from CS:GO, yes. That doesn't mean there wasn't a huge amount of speculation on the effect it would have on eSports FPS gaming as whole. A large part of that speculation came down to the fact that it took CS's 'defender vs. attacker' oriented game-play and changed it up completely.

    Entirely different games? Yes. Trying to directly win over each other's player base? Absolutely.

    That's the definition of a competitor. This article isn't about showing you why R6 rivals CSGO, its about showing you why it tried to rival it and failed and why Valorant stands to make a stronger spot for itself on the market: R6S currently runs about 10% of the average player count CSGO does at any given time and that isn't because there aren't any players in the market for a 'Defense vs. Offense' FPS game, its because CSGO continued to dominate that genre, even if it lacked the innovative mechanics that R6 introduced.

    Also, to say that 'x game doesn't need advertising because its players will play it' is like saying that a supply store couldn't benefit from advertising because its customers already know it exists. Riot absolutely benefits from their advertising campaigns and that's why they spend incredible resources directly on them. One look at their animation department will tell you all you need to know when it comes to how much they value creating adverts for champion releases, tournament trailers, and run-of-the-mill game commercials.

    R6 tried to create space for themselves in the eSport FPS market, and did a mediocre (or amazing, depending on how you look at it) job in the long run. Valorant will likely do a better job at that than R6 did even if its disappointing in the end. That's the point of this article, nothing more, nothing less.

  • Gendor64 LV.20 Shadow Jun 10, 2020, 07:26 AM

    to be fair at this point csgo also has the F2P advantage and generally is a legendary game since..... ages at that point. it's simple, easy to grab and nowadays for free too from the last time i heard about it (tho that's a while ago) if valorant will take over csgo will be interesting to see and it definitely sparked the interest in making cs clones (like warface breakout) but in the end the games still need enough to differentiate between each other, which valorant seems to do well managing to look like a modern csgo instead of either an lazy ripoff or an entirely different experience. it'll definitely be interesting to watch since hero shooters generally can struggle with balancing especially when they strive for a certain amount of different characters (something where R6 or overwatch really prove to be a decent examples to i for my part could only use r6 as an example tho that game has a whole set of other problems) on top of running a possible risk of ruining the simplicity some people love about csgo. it'll definitely find it's player base which will be hugely helped by having a lot of marketing budget (there's no doubt in that) and i'll definitely watch with curiosity how high valorant climbs and if/when it will fall (and why)