Just maybe mute the all the voice channels before you start your session…
I confess to never having played Siege up until two weeks ago. Something about it always struck me as egregiously…punishing. I mean, it’s a dense game, right? Most competitive multiplayer games have that barrier of entry, the gradual slope of in-game knowledge that’s either particularly steep or relatively shallow. Despite the negative connotations of the word, shallow isn’t bad for when you’re first getting into a competitive game. Something like Overwatch is really accessible for newcomers and increases in complexity the better you want to be.
Same goes for Rocket League, where rookies and professionals look like they’re playing a different game altogether. The thing with Siege is its learning curve…well, it’s more of a cliff than anything else. Dozens of unique operators, destructible maps with multiple points of entry and enemies that have likely been playing the game far longer than you have. So while Siege does have a wildly difficult beginning, I think something that turned many local players off of the game was the poor connectivity offered by having to use European servers. It’s precise, quick-paced gameplay that needs the lowest latency possible, especially in a gunfight. So while those ping issues have been a huge problem for many local players, I’m here to tell you that Siege feels like a different game on local servers.
Now, bear in mind that I’ve only been playing Siege seriously for two weeks, so to test the comparison I decided to conduct an experiment, although do remember that the word “experiment” is being used very loosely. I played Siege for one week exclusively on European servers and another week entirely on the local servers available through the Technical Test Server. While I say it was a comparative experiment, I must also specify that I can’t exactly provide you with solid numbers about why the local servers were that much better to play on. Beyond the obvious tactile representation of the ping being at less than 50ms in relation to the 200ms you’re used to seeing (and the false element of confidence that provides), Siege still plays exactly as you would expect it to. Yet something feels better. It feels snappier, more precise. Like you’re on equal footing with your opponents, not constantly trying to manoeuvre a second ahead of them.
You no longer feel like you’re the underdog wrestler covered in honey instead of oil.
Sounds are more perceptible, enemies respond when you shoot them and the number of times I was being downed by someone floating in the ether, invisible to human eyes, was reduced tenfold. While on European servers of Siege I felt like a baby duck surrounded by wolves with assault rifles and flak-vests, on local servers I felt exactly the same. Except I had a pistol and a knife hidden under my wing. Still just as shite at the game but at least competing at the same level. The local servers being tested right now are reason enough for anyone who dropped the game due to Internet issues to pick it up again. Seriously, give it a try. It feels like a different experience altogether, bar one or two red flags.
The first problem with the test servers is the wait time, something that I’m sure anyone who’s played a game on local servers has dealt with. The longest I queued for a game was 45 minutes, after which I promptly switched over to European servers. I get that these are only test servers so the player base will naturally be a great deal smaller than when they finally go live, so I’m reserving judgement until the final version goes live. For all I know, local servers will be swamped with South Africans looking for a game but at the moment those matches are few and far between despite how much more enjoyable they are. The second problem…well, it’s a little tougher to fix.
See, the other issue with local servers is that you have to play with local people. Which is the point, I know, but I think anyone that’s played a multiplayer game, especially a shooter, on local servers knows that South Africans can be a little…well, about as toxic as Chernobyl on a windy day. I admit I’m not the largest fan of shit-talking in games, usually reserving it for someone who deserves it or ignoring it altogether. Yet, while it’s easy to ignore someone telling you you’re bad at a game (Lord knows I have enough practice at that), it’s much harder to ignore three different people throwing the K-word around like it was a common adjective in a single weekend of playing Siege. Like, that’s just not good enough. We need to be better than that.
So I suppose that’s my recommendation for Siege now that it has local servers. It’s still a truly intense, heated game with soaring moments of pride and devastating, crippling defeats that has got my heart racing faster than any battle royale game I’ve played in a long time. A friend of mine described Siege as being “Counter Strike for the Big Boys” and I think that’s an incredibly apt way to describe the experience. My only caveat on recommending those local servers isn’t so much an issue with the game but the community that surrounds it. I want to just say mute the voice channels and block players, but really that’s like putting a plaster over a shark bite. Play Siege, revel in the wonderful connection and then promptly tell racists to jump off a cliff. Sounds like a good afternoon to me.
Last Updated: November 18, 2019