Yesterday, the newest game changes being tested out for R6 were released on the test server following the newest edition of the Designer's Notes.
Here's a rundown on the notes said, what changes are coming, and how it may impact the game as a whole.
Presence vs Win Percentage
Firstly, we got another look at how each operator is fairing in Ranked games following the new season's release.
Starting with the attackers, the big change was Ash, as she fell from (quite literally) off the charts to a much more balanced level in line with Jackal. Replacing her is Zofia, who's almost where Ash was pre-nerf, as well as Iana, who's now the fourth most present operator.
The only other notable change was a jump in Glaz's win percentage by +3%, the biggest change of any operator. This is somewhat interesting, as Glaz saw no changes last patch, but with such a low presence, it probably isn't too remarkable overall.
Next up the defenders which saw three things of note:
- Melusi's presence dropped drastically following her changes
- Despite Mira and Maestro's nerf, they have hardly moved and their ban rates are unchanged
- Clash saw a similar win percentage rise as Glaz despite, once again, no actual changes to the character
The fact Mira and Maestro saw virtually no change likely implies that the player base as a whole does not view the changes significant enough. This will likely only encourage Ubisoft to balance them further with gun changes, as they did with Ash, rather than further gadget changes.
Here's what the upcoming test server is bringing:
- Zofia -- With Zofia now virtually replacing Ash, she's feeling the brunt of the nerfs with the M762's recoil increasing vertically, to the left, and in burst fire to decrease her pick rate.
- Tachanka -- Deployable Shield replaces the Proximity Alarm, Launcher's ammo increased from 10 to 14, and the DP-27's destruction has increased. This is all designed to increase his pick rate by making him stronger in basically every way.
- Alibi -- 2x scope replaces the 1.5x on the ACS12 and a 1.5x is added to the MX4 Storm with the intention of making her more frag-focused.
- Frost -- 1.5x scope removed from the 9mm C1 in order to decrease her very high K/D ratio.
- ACS12 -- Maestro and Alibi's shotgun has had a short-range damage buff to increase its pick rate.
- TCSG-12 -- Kaid and Goyo's shotgun has also had another short-range damage buff as its pick rate has plummeted since release.
These weapon changes are all aimed at getting some of the key deviants on the pick rate vs win delta graph back in line and encouraging the use of the often neglected shotguns.
What Effect Will This Have?
While this is only coming to the test server right now, should this come to the live build what will these updates change in the pro-level scene?
We have already seen a split between Europe and the rest of the world over who Ash's best replacement is, Zofia or Iana.
With teams still finding out who's the best fit this is likely to encourage fraggers to move to either Flores or Iana in the short-term as they both also have the ability to utility clear and excellent guns.
In the long-term, however, should a considerable number of players move from Zofia onwards, this will just cause her replacement to also be nerfed as Ubisoft has seemingly kicked off an unwinnable game of Whac-A-Mole.
Y6S2.2 patch: Zofia's recoil (TS)
Vertical shake and leftward horizontal shake have increased significantly.
It's almost as hard to recoil as Ash!
The issue with Tachanka since his rework has been that he's been just 'okay' at a number of roles, but excels at none, making him an awkward fit into any regular lineup.
We have already seen some interesting Tachanka plays come out from teams such as MIBR and TSM, showing he does have a use alongside Smoke, but that has only been with particular strategies.
While the increased destruction will likely lead him to be picked in ranked and below, teams in pro-circuit competitions always bring a shotgun on either Smoke, Mute, Maestro, Mira, or just via Aruni's fists.
As all five of those defenders are in the Top 10 by presence in the EUL, this is thus less of a key change.
The change in the launcher and the addition of a deployable shield, meanwhile, does certainly help his case as he can more easily hold down an area solo for a longer period of time.
This is probably still in conjunction with Smoke, though, as with nine ticks needed to kill someone, an attacker can simply run through the fire somewhat easily. The 10-second reload time is, however, pretty much a death sentence.
[Good news] Tachanka becomes stronger (test server)
・ Increased construction capacity
・ Gets a Deployable Shield
・ Schmiha bullet number from 10 to 14
While they have been decried by a number of pros, the other weapon changes will likely make no actual impact.
Alibi is only picked once in a blue moon due to her lack of utility, which an improvement in sights doesn't change.
The ACS12 buff, meanwhile, still doesn't make the shotgun a worthwhile replacement to the ALDA on Maestro or the more usable Mx4 on Alibi, especially considering Alibi already has a shotgun secondary weapon.
As for Frost, she's picked due to her shotgun secondary and awkward-to-deal-with gadget, which she usually plays off of nearby, meaning that the 2.0 sight is likely not too necessary.
While it is definitely a downgrade, there are entire strategies used that involve Frost holding an area with her traps that should be unaffected.
Finally, we have the TCSG12, which fell out of favour primarily due to the damage nerf in favour of the more reliable alternatives of the Vector and AUG.
Considering the shotgun is still played on Kaid, it's very possible this will increase his pick rate. However, it will require testing to see how many shots it will take to kill someone under the new figures.
While pure speculation, the criteria in which Ubisoft uses to decide upon who to buff/nerf is clearly reliant on the win delta/presence graph, with any operator deviating too far away from the mean becoming a target.
With this in mind, Valkyrie is probably next on the hit-list.
She is currently:
- The most over picked/too strong operator on the defence according to the win/presence graph
- The second-most banned defender in the game (fourth overall)
- The most banned operator in all five pro-tier leagues
A number of potential fixes have been suggested, such as stopping her cameras from being thrown outside, and decreasing the number of cameras to two (down from three and after she released with four).
Considering the changes above, however, it is more likely that the already weak MPX Submachine Gun gets a hit.
Also of note is Rook, who is also very clearly a standout with the highest win delta of any operator in the game:
Finally, on the attack, it will largely depend on how hard players take the Zofia nerfs and who's her replacement if so.
Since this will require a greater degree of control over her shots to secure frags, we expect Zofia to be less of an all-around pick who has both a strong, easy-to-use primary weapon and useful gadget.
Her gadget will continue to be a draw, but those looking for a more easy to use frag-focused Attacker will find Ace, Sledge, and Iana more enticing options.
The test server with these changes is currently live and you can find the full Y6S2.2 patch notes right here. Check back here at SiegeGG for further updates as they come later in the season.