Ubisoft today announced a raft of changes to its competitive tactical multiplayer game, Rainbow Six Siege. Year 8 Season 1 of Siege will be called Operation Commanding Force.
Alongside a new character (Operator), the long-running game will be reworking its onboarding experience for new players (much like Apex Legends did recently), and implemented a number of significant changes to the game – keyboard and mouse anti-cheat measures, auto-muting, and a big change to reload animations.
- New Operator: Brava
- ‘Mousetrap’ Anti-Cheat and auto-mute
- Changes to reload animation cancelling
- New Onboarding Features
- Battle Pass Changes
New Operator: Brava
A new attacker, Brava, leads the charge for Operation Commanding Force, with her signature specialty being the Kludge Drone, which can disable opposing electronic devices, and even turn them against their owners. In skilled hands, this has the potential to be a nightmare.
The Brazillian operator is a 3-speed, 1-health character, whose loadout features the following:
- PARA-308 Assault Rifle
- CAMRS DMR
- USP40 handgun
- Super Shorty shotgun
- Claymore mine
- Smoke grenade
‘Mousetrap’ Anti-Cheat and auto-mute
Rainbow Six Siege will also introduce a significant new anti-cheat feature that directly targets players who use a keyboard and mouse to play Siege on consoles.
Siege does not officially support mouse and keyboard functionality on its console versions, likely due to its highly competitive and esports-focussed nature (some other multiplayer games, such as Halo: Infinite readily support the feature). However, there are several third-party methods players can use to trick their consoles into registering keyboard and mouse inputs as controller inputs, and gain an inherently unfair advantage.
In a press briefing, Ubisoft stated that these keyboard and mouse players were particularly prevalent in the game’s highest brackets on console, hence the need for Mousetrap. Theoretically, Mousetrap will be able to detect when a player is sending inputs that can only be coming from a keyboard and mouse. But it won’t outright ban them from the match.
Instead, the game will add latency to the player’s inputs, meaning their actions will be delayed. This effect will grow more egregious as the match goes on, until the player begins to register regular controller inputs once more. They can also just deal with it, if they’re brave (or cocky) enough.
Rainbow Six Siege will also implement an auto-mute penalty for players who are abusive over voice chat, meaning no one in the match will be able to hear them unless they are specifically unmuted. This penalty will last for several matches.
Changes to reload animation cancelling
Rainbow Six Siege is also making some significant changes to how it handles reload animations, namely, altering the way that animation cancelling works.
Reload animation cancelling is a common technique in competitive multiplayer shooters, whereby a player initiates a reload sequence for their weapon – beginning the animation – and ‘cancels’ or interrupts the animation before it can finish, by performing an action like sprinting.
In most cases, the game will have already refilled the character’s firearm with ammunition before the animation has finished, so they can effectively reduce their reload time, and can get back to laying down fire, faster.
With the new changes in Siege Year 8, guns will not be completely reloaded until a reload animation is complete, meaning the reload animation cancelling technique is off the table. For a game so grounded in high-stakes tactical decisions, this feels like a necessary and needed change.
Beginning with Operation Commanding Force, if a player decides to cancel a reload animation, their gun will have either zero loaded bullets (if the magazine was empty) or a single loaded bullet in the chamber (if the magazine still had ammunition in it, mimicking the real-world behaviour of firearms).
Ubisoft noted that in Siege, sometimes one bullet is all you need to turn the tide.
New Onboarding Features
Like any live service game that has endured for several years, Rainbow Six Siege has suffered from being increasingly impenetrable for new players to get into. Ubisoft is attempting to change that in Year 8, with a common strategy: a series of new player onboarding challenges.
These challenges are organised into broader Beginner Challenges, which will help new players understand some of the more nuanced mechanics of the game, as well as Speciality challenges, which will help players understand how their Operator Class can best contribute to a match.
Completing these challenges will give players a variety of awards, and help them permanently unlock a desired Operator, or the equivalent renown. The challenges will be made available to all players.
Battle Pass Changes
On top of changes Siege had previously made to its battle pass – making it a non-linear progression system where players could choose multiple paths to go down, depending on the rewards they desired – Operation Commanding Force will introduce the Bravo Pack Ticket.
This will be made available for paid Battle Pass owners to earn, letting them pick and choose specific cosmetic items from the latest collection.
Rainbow Six Siege is available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
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