A new operator, a rework of the Border map, and two operator changes will come to Rainbow Six in the coming weeks as part of the free Crimson Heist update which kicks off Year 6. As such, here's a rundown of everything that was announced earlier.
- Year 6 Road Map — New Ops & Map Changes
- New Attacker — Flores
- Operator Balances — Goyo & Melusi
- Map Rework — Border
- Gameplay Changes — Attacker Repick & Activities after Death
- Cosmetics - Elite 2.0 & New Partnerships
Year 6 Road Map — New Ops & Map Changes
As we see every February, the yearly roadmap was released today, outlining the planned free content that will be coming out over the next year.
As announced last year, there will be just one new operator each season and the "new" maps will instead be refurbishments of old, less viable maps.
Going season-by-season here's what to expect during Year 6:
- Season 1 -- A new operator from Argentina (Flores) and a rework to Border
- Season 2 -- A new operator from Nakoda -- a group of indigenous people in Western Canada -- and a casual rework of Favela
- Season 3 -- A new operator from Croatia as well as smaller changes to a number of separate maps
- Season 4 -- A new operator from Ireland and a rework to Outback
As well as this the seasonal events (Grand Larceny, MUTE Protocol, etc.) and smaller arcade game modes (Golden Gun, Attrition, etc.) will continue as usual.
This year, the beginning of Year 6 also sees a new logo and new key art for R6S which includes operators new and old operators alike:
New Attacker — Flores
Starting with Santiago “Flores” Lucero, the new two-speed, two-armor Argentian attacker brings the unique RCE-Ratero gadget, which is effectively a drone with a grenade attached to it.
Flores has four of these Rateros on top of two normal drones. Once activated, these drones will move forward and cannot be reversed or stopped. After 10 seconds (or less, if Flores activates it beforehand) the drone "anchors" down, making it indestructible.
After another three seconds, it explodes in a radius and damage of a frag grenade and the explosion itself can destroy all bullet-proof gadgets such as Maestros and Shields.
The drone can also anchor onto an unreinforced wall, which then makes a breaching charge-sized hole, and can also be used for vertical destruction and opening unreinforced hatches.
Like a normal drone, it can jump and can be destroyed with a single bullet before it anchors down. It is also destroyed by Bandit or Kaid's electricity and the range of the Ratero's explosion is not far enough to destroy non-deactivated Mute Jammers, making them a clear counter.
Mozzie's Pest will also capture the Ratero, but the Ratero will instead just break apart as if shot and will not be able to be controlled and will not explode.
In practice, the Ratero can be used in the place of a grenade or Zofia charge to destroy a particularly annoying piece of defender utility such as a Banshee, be used in conjunction with hard breachers to destroy Bandit wires to open up a wall, or simply to force a defender to run out of an entrenched position.
In this way, it somewhat eclipses the utility of Twitch, as Flores has more drones, his drones can kill a wider range of gadgets, the drones are partially indestructible and they can be used directly against operators, while each Shock Drone can do a maximum of just five damage.
Concerning loadout, Flores comes with Thatcher's AR33 Assualt Rifle and Blackbeard's SR-25 Marksman Rifle as primary weapon options. To go with this, he has the lone secondary of the Spetsnaz GSh-18 Handgun and the choice between a Claymore and a Stun Grenade as a secondary gadget.
This operator can be unlocked by buying the premium tier of the Battle Pass when the new season kicks off with it available for renown two weeks later. This signals the end of the yearly Season Pass model which has supported Siege's free content for the last five years.
Operator Changes — Melusi, Goyo, Mozzie & New Secondary Gadget
While future operator reworks were announced for Mira, Maestro, Fuze, and Finka, this season will see just Melusi and Goyo undergo changes.
The Gonne-6 is a single-shot explosive secondary weapon that can easily destroy bulletproof gadgets such as Evil Eyes, Deployable Shields, and Banshees. The weapon has just one pellet, is not good for making holes in walls, and replaces your secondary weapon in a major tradeoff.
The weapon is available to Glaz, Dokkaebi, Lion, Finka, Gridlock, Amaru, Iana, and Zero.
Next up, one of the most annoying operators in the game of Melusi will see her Banshee-SDs now be able to be destroyed with a single shot once an operator is in its range. This makes them much easier to deal with by the attackers and frees up any utility this would have required to e used elsewhere.
The explosive pack that used to come on the back of Goyo's Volcán Shields now comes detached from the shield. They can be now attached to walls or floors instead. This makes it easier to clear by the attackers as the packs themselves can just be shot at while the Volcán Shields usually had to be destroyed to be cleared out.
For the defenders, meanwhile, this gives more options for the Goyo in where to place the gadget, but it does stop the ability for the defenders to cover the site with six shields to hide behind.
While a much smaller deal, it is now much easier to tell when your drone approaches one of Mozzie's pests.
Coming in future seasons are a number of other changes. Both Maestro and Miras can now be deactivated with a single melee while Finka will now be able to self revive herself with her nanotech ability. Fuze will also see further unspecified changes.
Map Rework — Border
Unlike last year's reworks of Skyscraper and Chalet which remodeled large parts of the map, these changes to Border are rather modest and will likely be received more favorably.
- The Bathroom has been extended so that the soft wall in Tellers now connects the two sites together
- Half of the soft wall from Passport Check into Customs Inspection is now indestructible
- The door into Supply Room has been moved behind the shelves and there is now an open wall between Supply and Customs
- In Armory Lockers there's now an extra locker in front of the "sandwich window" while the lockers on either side of the window have been moved to give a better sightline from the window
- There's an exterior stairway from Crash Scene to the East Balcony
- The doorway from East Balcony to East Stairs has been moved in front of the soft wall into Offices
- Archives has been extended to include a large part of Office
- There's an interior walkway between East Stairs and Break Room
- A number of spawn-peek sightlines have been blocked including on West Balcony by the Security Room doorway
This amounts to more of a map update akin to Kafe and Clubhouse, rather than a complete rework we've seen in maps such as Chalet or Hereford Base.
This focus on fixing the competitive issues rather than taking a complete sledgehammer to the design will be welcomed by many after the less than favorable response Hereford Base received compared to the successes of Kafe and Clubhouse.
Gameplay Changes — Attacker Repick & Activities after Death
In order to give players more things to do during the round and to address the growing defense favored meta seen in the game, a number of major changes will eventually be added:
During the prep phase, each attacker can choose to change their operator loadout before the start of the round. This gives them the ability to respond to what setup they see is being brought by the defenders and respond accordingly.
Activities after Death
When a player dies they will be able to take control of any active drones or gadgets of theirs they have on the map. This includes stunning with Echos, shooting with Maestros or Zero cams, and activating Dokkaebi calls, Lion scans or Finka boosts.
This is a major change that will both keep casual players engaged and massively change up the competitive roles and metas.
The ability to control your drones after death also means an early spawn peak for instance is a lot less painful than it previously was as long as drones are thrown out quickly. Now, a dead player can drone in teammates and assist in kills whereas before they'd be left on a teammate's static drone.
Also being introduced into the game is an activatable Streamer Mode which hides the player's region, ping, level, and profile picture to create anonymity and delays the queue launch visuals to avoid queue sniping. This mode will be updated throughout the year with abilities to limit stream sniping coming later in the year.
Notably, this will be able to be used by anyone and so safeguards have been made to ensure it can't be abused. For example, cheaters can still be identified and reported even while using the mode.
Cosmetics — Elite 2.0 & New Partnerships
As always, the panel ended with an announcement of an Elite which this season will be the Kali's Masterframe Prototype uniform as seen in the panel's animated short. The elite will go live tomorrow:
Much more interestingly was the announcement was Elite 2.0, as you'll now be able to equip the different sections of the Elite set -- the headgear, uniform, and animation -- separately. This means you could for example have a G2 Sledge Uniform and Headgear on but the Elite animation or have your uniform of choice but keep the elite's headgear on.
Finally, a partnership with Resident Evil was revealed, which includes an upcoming Zofia Elite skin in the style of Jill Valentine, one of the game series' primary protagonists. This is the second tie-in announcement following the Tomb Raider Ash Elite revealed at SI20.