Rainbow Six Siege Y5S3.4 DESIGNER’S NOTES explains the removal of Zofia’s Withstand ability

With Rainbow Six Siege’s Patch Y5S3.4, Ubisoft decided to remove the “hidden” passive abilities of Zofia and Ela, which raised a lot of talk in the Siege community recently.

The dev team has now shared the Designer’s Notes to explain the motives behind the Test Server changes introduced yesterday. The changes include the ‘hot topic’ of Zofia’s Withstand getting removed, some nerfs & buffs to existing operators, and a slight rework to how Kali’s sniper rifle works.

OPERATOR BALANCING

ZOFIA

  • Removed resistance to Concussion effects
  • Removed Withstand
  • Reduced impact grenade explosive damage range to 2m (was 3m)

Population targeted by this change: Casual, Top Ranked and Pros.

“We are removing some of the “hidden” mechanics that are not explicitly explained in the game and instead stem from the character’s lore. For Zofia, this means removing her Concussion resistance and Withstand effect, which we do not see affecting her power or presence. We have also observed Zofia’s ability to destroy gadgets placed in the top floor ceiling with impact grenades. To balance her currently high presence, we are decreasing their explosive range, slightly reducing her versatility as a utility denier from below.”

ELA

  • Removed resistance to Concussion effects
  • Removed the “”extra”” mine while in DBNO

Population targeted by this change: Casual, Top Ranked and Pros.

“During the Tachanka tests on the TS, the community was very vocal about these kinds of mechanics. The work we did removing these exceptions on Echo last year (i.e. vulnerable to Dokkaebi’s Logic Bomb and hacking, allowing IQ to detect his cellphone with the scanner) was mentioned as a step in a positive direction.”

“We have decided to approach Ela in a similar manner, removing her Concussion resistance and “extra” mine. We do not believe these changes will affect her current viability and presence.”

“Additionally, we feel that removing these “hidden” mechanics helps make the game easier to understand and learn for new players while retaining the qualities players pick Ela for.”

KALI

  • CSRX 300 base damage set to 122
  • 100% damage until 25 meters and linearly falls to 80% (97.6) at 35 meters

Population targeted by this change: Casual, Top Ranked and Pros.

“We have noticed that the 1-shot-DBNO mechanic has been mentioned several times in balancing surveys as a frustration for players. We understand that the exceptions to this rule (i.e. headshot, limb hit, the target is extremely far away) can cause confusion.”

With this in mind, we will remove this rule and turn her sniper into a normal weapon, increasing its base damage in the process. This means that damage will function the same as any other weapon against the armor and health of the target (good news for Rook, as his armor is now useful against her):

  • 1 body shot will kill a 3-speed operator
  • 1 body shot will down a 2-speed operator
  • 1 body shot will damage a 1-speed operator

It is worth noting that we will keep one of the exceptions noted above—the damage to limbs—as we do not want to reward inaccurate shots now that the base damage is higher. We feel this fits with the logic of the weapon and is unlikely to generate the same confusion.

ASH

  • Reduced Breaching Round explosive damage range to 2m (from 3.5m)

Population targeted by this change: Casual, Top Ranked and Pros.

According to the Balancing Matrix, Ash continues to be the Attacker with the highest presence, owing to her strong versatility.

Specifically, the explosion range on her Breaching Round has made her an effective utility denier from below, destroying gadgets in the top floor ceiling, like Kaid’s Electroclaws. By reducing this range, this will bring her versatility more in line with other Attackers.

BUCK

  • Increased shotgun’s total ammo to 30+1 (from 26)
  • Added Hard Breach Charge (Removed Claymore)

Population targeted by this change: Pros.

“Further differentiating Buck from Sledge and highlighting his unique strategies as a master of destruction, we are increasing his utility with a Hard Breach Charge and additional shotgun ammo.”

Combined with his Stun Grenades, we expect the Hard Breach Charge to offer additional versatility and increase his presence in matches.

As his shotgun is less reliable than Sledge’s trusty hammer, the extra ammo will ensure Buck brings value to team compositions while accounting for the additional shots required (i.e. two shots required to destroy both layers of the floor).

ECHO

  • Reduced Yokai drone jump cooldown to 2s (from 3s)
  • Reduced animation time when Yokai fails to stick to the ceiling to 0.5s (from 2s)
  • Reduced Sonic Burst cooldown to 16s (from 20s)

Population targeted by this change: Casual, Top Ranked and Pros.

“With this patch, we wanted to improve the way Echo’s Yokai drone feels to use, focusing on quality of life changes.”

Compensating for the removal of invisibility, players will find that the Yokai is more reactive to their commands and has a snappier feel. This empowers Echo to be more aggressive with his drone use.

LESION

  • Removed 1.5x scope from the T-5

Population targeted by this change: Top Ranked.

“From a primary gadget that offers strong map control by slowing Attackers and providing intel, to an effective weapon, he has a great deal of utility without factoring in his scope. Since this was already the case before giving him the 1.5x, we have decided to remove this scope from his kit.”

Reducing his killing potential slightly, we want to make space for other Operators to find their footing in the roamer role, while also encouraging interesting roaming pairings to emerge.

LION

  • Added Claymore (Removed Hard Breach Charge)

Population targeted by this change: Casual and Top Ranked.

“Trading part of his gadget loadout with Buck, Lion is now the proud owner a Claymore. Given his role a roamer focused on control, this shift better fits with his playstyle.”

Given the option, players were less likely to choose the Hard Breach Charge. We feel this change will be a more appealing option to Lion players.

MELUSI

  • Removed Angled Grip from the MP5

Population targeted by this change: Ranked.

“By removing the Angled Grip, her presence is expected to see a reduction back to previous values. She is a valuable asset to teams, but the effectiveness of her MP5 made it possible to outpace roamers at their own game.”

We also intend to make adjustments to Melusi’s gadget in the future. As gadget changes require more iteration and testing, this will come later on. This Angled Grip change is more immediate, however, as we do want to have something in the short term to address Melusi’s current performance.

MIRA

  • Removed 1.5x scope from the Vector.45 ACP

Population targeted by this change: Top Ranked.

“As a result of her perceived ability to hold longer angles with the 1.5x sight, Mira’s ban rates have become disproportionately high.”

Removing this sight will reduce her killing potential back to previous values, while still maintaining her strong utility in matches. We hope to see a decrease in bans, giving her more chances to see active play.

WEAPON & GADGET BALANCING

BALLISTIC SHIELDS

  • Removed (set to 0) the camera penalization during the Guard Break animation

Population targeted by this change: Top Ranked and Pros.

“We introduced this mechanic to counter shield Operators’ quick rotation during the Guard Break animation. We initially viewed this quick rotation as a source of frustration and sought to reduce the feeling of putting yourself in danger to engage a shield Operator and not getting anything from it. We’ve all had that one run-in with a skilled Clash…”

But over time observing our community’s evolving strategies, this interaction feels more in line with how a skilled shield player uses them.

As a result, we have removed this aspect of ballistic shields, as it wasn’t our intention to remove a key component of shield play which created frustration for the player using the shield. Shields should now feel more comfortable to play.


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