Rainbow Six Siege's most recent developer blog post, Rainbow Six Classified, gives a sneak peek into the thought process behind the Balancing Team's recent decisions as well as their plans for updates for the next year. You can learn more by reading the original develeoper blog. But for a quick summary, check out our findings below!
Rainbow Six Siege's Balancing Philosophy & Objectives
The Rainbow Six Classified begins by confronting the recent change to how versatile many of the recent operators have been saying that ideally, every operator should be “very strong in the right situations but with flaws in the wrong ones.” The balancing team looks to reduce the amount of ‘jack-of-all-trades' type of operators to emphasize the importance of a tactical playstyle and good decision-making.
This may also be directed toward the recent gun-heavy meta that Rainbow Six Siege has been going through in an effort to re-establish a slower-paced strategy-based meta back into the game.
Current Issues in Year 8 & Beyond
Attachments, ADS & Frags
Speaking openly about the changes made so far in Year 8, the Rainbow Six developers admit that they are aware of the concerns around the distribution of the 1.5x scope in recent updates. The development team recognizes how impactful both frag grenades and the 1.5x scope can be to the overall pick rate of an operator. Unfortunately, it seems like there have not been any concrete solutions to this issue but the team has committed to actively working on a solution for this complex issue within the game's meta.
Operator Balancing & Tactical Gameplay
Moving onto the operators themselves, The balancing team does recognize that there are issues regarding the places of Iana, Azami, Warden, Solis, and Blackbeard in the current meta. Again the blog post states that they are actively looking into solutions for this.
Players should also be expecting several short-term changes to help balance the pick rate of a few operators in the upcoming mid-season patch. All these changes are steps to a longer-term plan that will, in the words of the team themselves; “help to reinforce the tactical gameplay that Siege is known for, bringing the focus back to gadgets and utilities.”
Updates Coming Up in Year 8 and More
Y8S3 – Grim Buff (Part 2) – Kawan Hive Launcher
In the upcoming season of Rainbow Six Siege, Heavy Mettle will be bringing many new operator updates and balances along with it, one of which will be the new ability for Grim to be able to switch his firing mode from Sticky to Bouncy. For more information on all the changes coming to Year 8 Season 3, you can check out our summary article for Year 8 Season 3.
This change is designed to make Grim more versatile and give him safer opportunities to use his primary gadget. The development team has all but confirmed this will likely be the last buff made to Grim and will serve as the end to the year-long journey of making the Singaporean attacker viable.
Y8S3.3 – Frost's Welcome Mat Rework
After some time on the test servers, Frost's rework to her Welcome Mat primary gadget is also receiving some adjustments before the next season's final release on the Rainbow Six Siege live servers. These changes include:
- Increased self-revive time
- Extended and made the debuff more severe after self-reviving
- Allowing teammate revive, cancelling the debuff activation
These changes are intended to make the self-revive option on the Welcome Mat a much more risky and punishing option that players will not be willing to walk into. It also allows Frost players more time to react as well as open up more interesting counterplays with the enticing chance for a teammate revive coupled with the potent opportunity for a defender to secure a double kill.
The Rainbow Six Classified also tackles one of the biggest questions circulating the player base at the moment: Why does Frost even need a change? According to the Rainbow Six developers, the way Welcome Mats currently exist, if a player walks into one they are essentially left with no options and are essentially out of action, leaving the player feeling helpless. The team feels that this is not good for the player saying “an operator should always have options, even if they are limited. With this being the case, we feel that a change to the way that Welcome Mats work is needed”. Whether or not this is an overall positive change for Frost or even the game as a whole remains to be seen.
Y8S3 – Fuze's Cluster Charge
Fuze players can feel quite limited in the use of their gadget especially if there is a lack of breakable or reinforced walls and floors nearby. Fuze being given the ability to place his Cluster Charges on deployable shields and Osa's Talon shield are meant to be a way to give players another avenue to showcase their creativity and teamwork as well as come up with new synergies and ways to use this technique to their advantage.
Y8S3 – Shotguns
The overall game-wide buff of shotguns is meant to bring more consistency to each shotgun in Rainbow Six Siege, it also aims to make aiming down sights much more helpful and rewarding compared to hip-fire, at least during combat. For a full breakdown of the exact changes coming to shotguns, please refer to the Y8S3 Designer Notes.
Y8S4 – Shield Rework
Shield operators have always had an awkward space in the meta. The developers want shields to feel strong and rewarding to play without making it feel oppressive to play against. Coming to Year 8 Season 4, shield operators will no longer be able to shoot from the hip while their shield is active. This is meant to make operators like Blitz feel more beatable in one-on-one situations while reinforcing the idea that a shield operator can still be a true force of nature when they have a team around them.
Year 9 – Azami's Kiba Barrier
Then the season after that, The development team will be making changes to Azami for Year 9 Season 1 to reduce the Japanese defender's versatility. Ever since Azami's release, it was very obvious that her Kiba Barriers would change the meta of the game and so far the kunai have lived up to their potential. The balancing team aims to open up more opportunities for attackers to play aggressively on her as well as deal with the advantage her gadget brings. The Rainbow Six Classified makes another commitment to continue testing and evaluating these changes with community feedback that ensures that these future updates will be effective and balanced.
Key Takeaways from the Rainbow Six Classified
“Community concerns are our concerns: we are refactoring and making proactive changes behind the scenes to answer the feedback you are sharing with us to make siege this unique tactical shooter experience we all enjoy.”
On the one hand, the Rainbow Six Classified contains a lot of good news, especially in regard to actively acknowledging known problems and concerns throughout the community. On the other hand, it seems like the solutions to these problems could still be a ways away. Meanwhile, the Rainbow Six developers continue to focus on more current and future updates to Ubisoft's Tactical Shooter, while they have looked very promising, hopefully, the community's biggest concerns and issues will be resolved much sooner rather than later.
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