The freshly-baked Y8S3 Operation Heavy Mettle Designer’s Notes are here, and we can finally see the reasonings behind the balancing changes coming with the new season.
With Y8S3 Operation Heavy Mettle, Rainbow Six Siege is getting some fresh new updates to the game. The seasonal content includes the new operator Ram, Quick Match and Unranked playlist overhaul, operator balancing, and more.
You might have not noticed some changes such as the massive Lesion buff during the reveal panel, but the detailed changes have been outlined by Ubisoft below.
We can clearly see Iana and Warden clearing everyone with their high pick rate. It is obvious that Iana has almost become a must-pick in most Attacking rounds, as she has one of the high fragging power in the game right now. On the other hand, Warden’s high presence can be boiled down to mostly the 1.5x scope on his zero recoil MPX.
Ubisoft has identified these two operators being as outliers and will bring changes accordingly in the mid-season patch.
Y8S3 DESIGNER’S NOTES
MESSAGE FROM THE TEAM
We’ve been observing both Iana and Warden’s continuous ascent to the top tiers of presence in matches. We are aware of the situation and the issues behind it.
Iana’s high presence is mainly driven by her access to Frag Grenades, while Warden’s high presence relates to the strength of 1.5x sights on Defender loadouts. The Community’s sentiments over this topic are in alignment with ours. These operators need changes, and we will take action in an upcoming mid-season patch to make sure they feel less like “must picks” and more like weighted choices within a squad’s lineup.
This mid-season patch adjustment is aimed at allowing more operator diversity in matches in the short term, but we are working in parallel on a bigger solution that will attend the balance situation of Frag Grenades and the 1.5x sight within Siege. Both elements are widespread through our lineup of operators, and we know that shuffling them around is not a sustainable solution, that is why we are taking the time to polish a more substantial set of changes that should open up more balancing options allowing us to make less “binary” changes in the future.
- Can be deployed on Deployable Shields and Talon Shields
Now that Fuze can deploy the Cluster Charge on reinforcements, we will also allow him to do it on Deployable shields and Talon Shields. It is a small change but will create a new synergy between Fuze and Osa, allowing the use of his charges in places that weren’t possible before. Though there is a cost. As with any other bulletproof glass, the Cluster Charge will shatter the shields when the drilling is successful.
- Can pierce through Deployable Shields and Talon Shields.
This change won’t have a huge impact on matches, but it will bring consistency to the rules of piercing, if the gadget can get through reinforcements, it should also be capable of piercing Deployable and Talon Shields. Since the piercing action of the Argus Camera cannot shatter Mira’s Black Mirror, then the same rule applies to shields, so they won’t shatter either.
KAWAN HIVE LAUNCHER
- Switch Ability Mode to Sticky (default) or Bouncy
One of the main weaknesses of Grim is the need to have a line of sight with the location you want to activate the Hive in. With this update, we are introducing a new firing mode to address this. From now on, Grim can select if the projectile will stick or bounce after touching a surface. This adds to all the changes done in the previous season and will help you to apply the effect on your target.
- Gadget refill timer Reduced to 20 seconds (from 30)
- Max resources Increased to 9 mines (from 8)
- Gadget type is now Mechanical (unaffected by EMPs)
- Initial damage Increased to 5hp (from 0)
- Poison damage Increased to 12hp (from 8)
- Poison timer Reduced to 2 seconds (from 2.5)
- Cloaking removed
- HUD Icon removed
- Stepping on a GU Mine while being affected by another will reset the Poison timer and deal the Poison damage instantly.
- Added Area of Effect feedback
- Added Super Shorty as a secondary weapon option
Dying because of something invisible is a source of frustration and is why we removed the initial damage from the GU mine at the beginning of Year 5. But this change also removed a situation we’ve been trying to recover for some time: the fear of stepping on multiple mines in a row.
We have reintroduced the initial damage and made stepping on multiple mines a bit spicier. If you are already poisoned by a GU mine and trigger another, you will receive the initial damage and an instant tick of poison damage from the one already on your foot, so you will need to be more careful. These 2 changes turn the mines into a threat again. We are also tweaking some extra values, like the poison damage and the timer, to make removing the nail more urgent.
Because of these changes we have decided to remove the cloaking completely, making GU mines always visible. This should eliminate the frustration and increase the skill ceiling, as you will need to look for good locations to place your mines. This also removes the only electronic part of the device, so IQ won’t be able to detect them, and Brava won’t be able to hack them.
- Bulletproof Glass: Hitting the shield with a melee will shatter the glass windows.
We have taken the opportunity to update the Shattered Glass System for Deployable Shields along with the changes to Fuze. If the shield receives a melee hit, the glass of the windows will be shattered.
- Every shotgun excluding the BOSG 12, TCSG12 and ACS12 have had the following changes.
- Ranges are normalized into 3 stages.
- 0-5 meters, each pellet deals 100% of the base damage
- 6-10 meters , each pellet deals 75% of the base damage
- 13 meters and above, each pellet deals 45% of the base damage
- Headshot modifier: A pellet getting the headshot modifier deals 1.5x the damage after its range modifier.
- Hip fire spread has been revisited and redistributed across the board.
- Shooting while aiming down sight results in a tighter spread across the board. Note that this effect is not new, just being increased to reward players when aiming down sights.
- Moving increases the spread.
This is a big pass on every classical shotgun in the game. With these changes we are adding consistency and something you can learn. Ranges are normalized and based on the average kill distance in the game as well as the m590A1, which we know is a favorite at this time. The goal here is to reward good practices such as aiming for the head or holding angles. These changes are aimed at making shotguns less spray and pray, and more worthy as an option without removing what is currently working.
PLAYLIST ECOSYSTEM UPDATE
As announced during the year 8 reveal, we started to look at how we could change Quick Match to make it much more… well “Quick.” We realized that we needed to make tweaks to other playlists for this new Quick Match to fit.
- Action phase reduced to 165s (from 180).
- Operator pick phase duration reduced to 20s (from 30). Additionally, if the round did not involve a role swap, the operator pick phase is reduced to 15s.
- Preparation phase reduced to 30s (from 45).
- Objective locations are automatically revealed for attackers at the start of the round.
- Clearance Level availability increased to CL 10
- We have made some tweaks to the matchmaking algorithm for Quick Match to find matches quicker.
- We will be applying a soft reset to the casual skill level algorithm to bring everyone closer together, which should result in finding matches even faster.
We are also taking this chance to implement 2 new concepts to the Quick Match playlist: Pre-Setups and the Attacker Safeguard
For every map in the map pool, we have designed 2 sets of pre-setups for every bombsite (this new feature is bomb exclusive) which include a number of pre-deployed reinforcements on the map as well as pre-placed rotations and holes.
These new pre-setups will allow defenders to jump into the action right away without having to worry about reinforcing the entire site.
Attackers in Quick Match will no longer have to worry about possible spawn peaks or runouts at the beginning of the round as we are implementing 10 seconds of invulnerability at the start of the Action Phase (for attackers only). An attacker will become vulnerable again after those 10 seconds or if that attacker enters the building. This way, attackers will be able to approach the building without having to check every window.
We are also extending the already known “Red Walls” for 10 additional seconds to keep defenders from exiting the building while the attackers are making their approach.
These changes are aimed at making Quick Match a place in Rainbow Six: Siege that allows you to jump straight into the action and jump out to another match. We want players to feel that they can have their R6 fix easier, without having to worry about the basic and repetitive actions of a normal Siege match.
Additionally, we wanted to address the fact that some of the more classic maps in the casual map pool will not be included in the new Quick Match. We know that losing access to these maps can be frustrating and we will actively work towards adding them back to the map pool as soon as they are ready with their own new pre-setups.
Part of this update includes changing what was previously Unranked and giving it a new identity inside Rainbow Six: Siege. With the Quick Match updates, we were losing a place in the game to experience a core Siege match outside of the Ranked environment, that’s why we decided to shift Unranked into what we now call the “Standard” playlist.
Standard will now also be the recommended playlist for new players coming into the game.
- Removal of Operator and Map ban phases.
- Overtime rounds changed to 1 (from 3).
- Clearance Level availability changed to CL 0.
- We are renaming the competitive cluster to “Tactical” in order to better inform players about the type of playlists that can be found inside.