In Operation Para Bellum, two G.I.S. Operators join Rainbow as the unit raids a luxurious Tuscan villa, our 19th map.
The villa was specifically designed to offer a competitive showdown. It sets the stage for diverse gameplay, providing wide staircases, narrow tunnels, and secret hatches. Don’t let the lush décor fool you, the villa is deadly: some of its floors are destructible and can fully expose you.
The land belongs to the Vinciguerra, a dangerous crime family known for their smuggling activities. The house is their retreat, where they lead a lavish lifestyle and collect rare art pieces. Now we catch the villa in a snapshot of time: Vinciguerras are burning documents and transporting their holdings before the big raid. But they’ve got wind of Operation Para Bellum and fled, leaving everything in disarray with vital information ready for the taking.
Visit our channel twitch.tv/rainbow6 on May 19-20th for a full reveal of villa during the Pro League Finals.
We have two major changes coming in Operation Para Bellum, an Echo buff and Operator speed changes. These changes will come with the Y3S2 patch, and will be available on the Y3S2 Test Server.
Echo will receive a second Yokai drone. The max charges for each drone are reduced from 3 to 2, and the recharge time between shots is increased to 20s.
Our original intention was to have an anchor that would be active throughout the whole round. We have seen Yokai drones used outside of the site to provide intel, or support roamers with the sonic burst. In other situations, players try to keep their Yokai drone alive for the last seconds of the round. This is especially true in Bomb, to interrupt the Defuser plant.
We decided several months ago to give Echo a second Yokai. The goal is to encourage him to take more risks with them throughout the round. This change was not possible then, as the observation tool suite made two drones difficult to maintain. The new interface will allow for switching between the two drones easier. Given that the new observation tool will deploy in Y3S2, we can now implement this change.
The drones sonic burst resources have been lowered for balancing purposes. We will keep an eye on Echo’s performances and tweak these parameters as needed.
With the release of Operation Para Bellum, we are adjusting Operator movement speeds. Over the last two years, we have noticed the trade-off between armor and speed is too skewed to higher speed. As such, we will be making the following changes:
3 Speed Operators slightly slower.
1 Speed Operators slightly faster.
Small increase to movement speed with handguns out.
One of the foundations of the speed vs. armor system is the balancing act between the two. However, we have seen that speed was stronger than armor in almost all situations. To refine that balance, we will bring both ends of the spectrum closer to the middle. The intention of this change to the speeds is to make high armor Operators more viable.
To us, it is also good for the health of the game to slow it down a bit. Slower movement speeds make for a better player experience, and reduce the impact of things such as peeker’s advantage.
HANDGUN SPEED CHANGES
There is interesting gameplay potential in having players choose between their primary and a handgun for a movement speed increase. We have seen the impact this has on Blackbeard, and would like to expand this dynamic.
Historically, players have selected automatic sidearms over handguns. This will push players towards giving more thought to their secondary weapon choice. We do not expect this to drive a significant change, but feel it is worth investigating.
As with most changes, we will keep an eye on the impact during the Test Server and the launch on the Live Servers. We are ready to tweak these movement speed values as much as needed. We will communicate any tweaks prior to their implementation.
First announced at the Six Invitational, Pick and Ban will change the selection process of Operators in a match and will bring a variety of new strategies to competitive Rainbow Six. Pick and Ban will be introduced into custom game options with the launch of Year 3 Season 2, and it will be a highlighted feature during Rainbow Six Pro League Season 8 and officially supported competitive events. While it was available on the latest Test Server, we wanted make sure all the details are covered.
WHAT IS PICK AND BAN?
The Pick and Ban is a new game flow that players can activate when creating a custom game. At its core, Pick and Ban is a competition-focused feature that introduces a banning mechanic in which up to two Attack and two Defense Operators become unavailable for the entire duration of a match.
The goal of this feature is to deepen the strategy of the game by altering the pool of Operators available in a match allowing players to craft their own Meta.
For instance, if a particular Operator is considered a challenging threat, this puts power into the hands of the players to create a strategy that works for them. We also intend for the Pick and Ban to allow the team to counter their opponent’s strategy. A team may decide to ban an Operator, not because they are strong, but because the opposing team plays that Operator better.
First, you need to create a custom game, and then navigate to the match settings section of the custom game options. From here, you can activate/deactivate the ban feature. You will also need to select the time per ban phase. To mirror the Pro League settings, you will also want to activate 6th pick, and select the time for this pick phase. Finally, set the objective rotation to rounds won.
During the Ban phase, teams alternate turns to ban Attackers and then Defenders for that map following that order:
1. Defending team: ban Attacker 1
2. Attacking team: ban Attacker 2
3. Attacking team: ban Defender 1
4. Defending team: ban Defender 2
The Ban order is set to prevent the team that will play on one side first to lock pairs of critical Operators for the other side. For example, the team that starts in Attack will always have the second Attack Operator ban, and the Defenders will always have the second Defending Operator ban.
There is a possibility that both Hibana and Thermite could be banned for an entire match, but we feel that there is a certain strategy and balance to this. The team that will ban the second breacher will start on Attack and face a difficult challenge for the next five rounds, allowing the enemy team to build momentum. If they have a specific strategy in mind that does not involve metal breachers and believe they can win rounds without them, then it could be a valid strategy. However, both teams can only ban one Operator per side, so no team can force a no metal breacher Meta on their opponent.
Note that while Operators are banned for the entire duration of the map, the pick phase is still done for each round.
After the Ban Phase, the Attackers will select their spawn, and Defenders will select their bombsite.
Both teams will select their Operators after the spawn and site selections have been made. Not much has changed here, but teams will be able to select their Operator knowing where they will be defending or spawning for Attack.
Following the Pick Phase, all Operators are revealed to both teams making every player aware of the team composition of their opponent. Following the Reveal, each team can activate a Sixth Pick, which is the possibility to re-pick one of their Operators. This Sixth Pick is oblivious to the enemy team, as they do not know if an Operator has been swapped out, let alone which one.
Quick thinking and good decision making is key in Sixth Pick, as players will want to misinform opponents, while trying to understand their strategy. Bluff, adaptability, diversity are all key part of this process.
For esports settings, there will be five Attack rounds in a row and five defense rounds in a row. Teams will not switch back and forth between Attack and Defense. First team to win six rounds will win the match. Both teams will still be required to win a round on the opposite side. Therefore, this is more of a flow change than a major gameplay change. For example, if teams trade Attack rounds back and forth, the first team to win a Defense round wins the match. The same is true with this new round rotation.
The new round rotation should be less confusing for our viewership, as teams will not swap side every round. Similarly, this should allow teams to adapt their strategies on the fly without needing to switch their mindset from Attack to Defense each round.
There are two options for Objective Rotation: Play, and Win. Play is the current implementation where if a team wins an objective, they must play X number of rounds on other objectives to be able to play it again. Win is an alternative ruleset where if a team wins an objective, they must win X number of rounds on other objectives to be able to play it again. Losing on other objectives does not unlock the objective won previously.
With the new style of Objective Rotation, named Rounds Won, teams will be required to win a given number of rounds on other bomb sites prior to returning to the site they won on previously. This will prevent teams from simply playing out rounds and taking the loss before returning to a bombsite they have won on previously.
Stay up-to-date on all the latest information on Operation Para Bellum on rainbow6,[rainbow6.ubisoft.com] and follow Rainbow Six on Twitter and Facebook.
Year Three Season Two brings a breath of innovation, spawning a new intel gadget, a Clubhouse map buff, an Echo buff, lots of gameplay fixes, and the Pick & Ban settings.
On the gameplay front, expect a series of enhancements. We are adjusting how dropshotting is handled and implementing a new counter defuser animation. Make sure to play on our Test Server and submit your feedback on the R6 Fix.
And we can’t wait to see you perform unprecedented tactics through the Pick & Ban system. This feature provides an extra layer of strategy between teams, as each side tries to counter their opponents’ picks during the banning phase. We also anticipate a thrilling twist at the last moment, when teams swap Operators for the unexpected 6th Pick.
Lastly, we are releasing our Y3S2 major update: Operation Para Bellum. Two new Defenders are joining Team Rainbow in our most competitive map to date.
Below you will find the bulleted list of balancing changes in 1.2. For a detailed explanation of why we have made these changes, please reference the Designer’s Notes, found here[rainbow6.ubisoft.com].
Outline will only appear for the duration of player movement.
Scan charges reduced from 3 to 2.
Cooldown between scans increased from 10 to 20 seconds.
Magpie no longer destroys Hibana’s X-KAIROS pellets.
Shield Flash range reduced from 8 meters to 5 meters.
Shield Flash charges reduced from 5 to 4.
Electronic Rendering Cloak will deplete its charge in 12 seconds, down from 30 seconds.
Electronic Rendering Cloak will now recharge in 6 seconds, down from 12 seconds.
Claymore replaced with Breaching Charge.
Smoke Grenades replaced with Claymore.
Fixed – Players are able to exploit hip fire accuracy by performing a series of actions.
Fixed – Weapon turns invisible if a player throws their drone and it is destroyed instantly.
Fixed – Defenders can remain stuck after deploying a gadget if using the Advanced Gadget Deployment setting.
Fixed – Sometime Deployable Shield’s replication is not the same after doing specific actions.
Fixed – Attackers can plant the Defuser on top of a shelf in 2F Armory Lockers.
Fixed – Character model will become 2D if prone close to the 1F VIP Section stairs.
Fixed – The Defuser can be disabled by destroying the floor underneath it if is planted in 2F Billiard Room.
Fixed – Players becomes invisible under the stairs in 1F Lobby area.
Fixed – Lion’s scan sound effect persists into the next round.
Fixed – If Finka’s boost ends while a player is in Smoke’s Gas, the damage multiplier is not removed.
Fixed – When the Spear .308 magazine is completely empty, aiming down sights while reloading will shorten the animation slightly.
Fixed – The EDD will not give 40 damage if it is positioned on the lowest point possible on a door.
Fixed – Black Eyes are able to see through borders in 2F Stock Trading room on Bank.
Fixed – Activating the Stim Pistol while holding a deployable shield switches weapon instantly.
Fixed – Ela will lose functionality if her gadget will be destroyed while trying to pick it up.
Fixed – Shock wire remains active on a deployable shield after the shield was destroyed
Fixed – Operator is sometimes stuck when trying to pick up deployable gadgets.
Fixed – Players with VS Notifications preference OFF still see the notification in-game
Fixed – Players are able to equip a standard and Elite BDU at the same time
Fixed – Slasher Headgear for Buck is missing the red eyes.
We will be testing a variety of systems and changes on the next Test Server. This is part of our ongoing effort to test features before implementing them in the live game. As such, any features present in the Test Server do not have final release dates, and are subject to change. More information about each change will be shared prior to their release. Please also note that our balancing changes planned for patch 1.2 are included in this Test Server. You can find more details about those changes, including the nerf to Lion here.
For this Test Server phase, our focus is on Pick and Ban, and the recoil change feedback.
PICK AND BAN
Pick and Ban is a set of custom game options that players are able to activate when they create a custom game. To play with the new Pick and Ban system, you will first need to create a custom game. Then navigate to the match settings section of the custom game options. From here, you can activate/deactivate the ban feature. You will also need to select the time per ban phase. To mirror the Pro League settings, you will also want to activate 6th pick, and select the time for this pick phase. Finally, set the round rotation to Win/Play.
We are looking for feedback on the UI and overall player experience with the Pick and Ban settings active. Additionally, any feedback regarding how Pick and Ban plays out within the game is welcome as well! Please submit that feedback here.
WEAPON SIGHT MISALIGNMENT
We are iterating on the weapon sight misalignment fix that was tested in the previous Test Server. We have made some minor tweaks and will be testing it again. We are looking forward to your feedback on this version of the weapon sight misalignment fix, and request that you submit all feedback here.
We wanted to improve the visual and audio feedback when disabling the Defuser. This is an animation change, so the interaction distance and conditions will be the same.
We are changing how your character behaves when going from standing or crouch to prone. If you are aiming down sights while doing this action, you will shift to a hip fire shooting stance. We felt this action is too strong and frustrating to play against.
OBSERVATION TOOL MANAGEMENT
With additional Observation tools coming to the game, we needed to rework how players interact with them. This new system will come with a cleaner UI, and a better player experience overall.
Some of our Operators will receive a deployable bulletproof camera to as a secondary gadget.
Over the last two years, we have noticed the trade-off between armor and speed is too skewed to higher speed. As such, we will be making the following changes:
3 Speed Operators slightly slower
1 Speed Operators slightly faster
Small increase to movement speed with handguns out (Automatic sidearms excluded)
No movement speed penalty for shield Operators when the shield is on their back
We are looking at giving Echo a second Yokai drone, and adjusting the recharge rate of his gadget. The goal is to encourage him to take more risks throughout the round.
Clubhouse appears in the custom game list but is not playable.
If a player leaves the game while their Yokai drones are deployed, they will disappear.
Lone Wolf Terrorist Hunt does not launch on first try.
Occasionally, players can be stuck in their spawn.
The “Designer’s Notes” series will provide you with insight into our Balancing team’s thoughts on Operator balancing around the middle of each Season. These will come after we have reviewed the data and feedback from the new Operators and changes. We are hosting an AMA on our subreddit starting at 2:00pm EDT (April 24th). After reading these changes, please head here[redd.it] to ask your questions!
We utilize data and player feedback to make decisions on adjustments. With that in mind, we wanted to share some of the data they have been looking at for our various Operators. The following charts plot the power (Win Delta) and popularity (Pick Rate) of the Operators on Attack and Defense. The Win Delta is the average win ratio when an Operator is picked minus the average win ratio when an Operator is not picked.
Our data indicates that Lion is currently too strong. He is close to 100% pick in Pro League, and his win delta is too high in Ranked as well. We have also observed feedback stating that he was not fun to play against. As such, our Balancing team has been looking at a few changes to bring him in line with other Attackers.
If you are detected by Lion’s Scan, it will stop displaying your outline as long as you are not moving. This has two main consequences:
If detected and a player stops moving, the outline will no longer appear – Attackers may know where you are, but you will be able to change your stance without them knowing.
If detected very briefly, it will be more difficult for Attackers to locate your position.
This is only a first step to give Defenders more options of counter-play against Lion’s detection. We are still looking into improving how Lion’s detection works and your feedback will help us get a better idea of how to proceed.
SCAN CHARGES AND COOLDOWN
We will be reducing the number of charges from 3 to 2, and increasing the cooldown between each charge from 10 to 20 seconds. We want to force players to make a more careful choice when they want to trigger Lion’s Scan. Players are currently able to chain the scans too much during crucial moments.
Jäger’s Magpies will no longer destroy Hibana’s X-KAIROS pellets. We have disabled that interaction, so that she cannot deny Jäger’s Magpie system so efficiently.
A single shot from the X-KAIROS launcher is able to deplete the charges from multiple Magpies without the large utility cost for the Attacking team. This contributes to Hibana’s overall utility, and thus increases her pick rate. Removing this interaction will drive teams to utilize more of their utility in order to maneuver around Jäger’s Magpie systems.
We are looking for ways to make Blitz fun to play without making him frustrating to play against.
As such, Blitz’s shield flash range is being reduced from 8 meters to 5 meters. He will also have fewer charges, from 5 to 4.
The Y3S1 Blitz change has brought his pick rate closer to the average, but his win delta remains too high. Reducing his flashing power is a first step in that direction. We are looking into ways to give Defenders more options to counter him at melee range, but that will take more time.
We are altering how players use the Electronic Rendering Cloak. It will now deplete its charge in 12 seconds, as opposed to 30 seconds. It will now refill in half the time, from 12 seconds to 6 seconds.
Following the nerf to Ela, Vigil has risen to the top of the pack and has become one of the strongest roamers in the game. This change will challenge Vigil player’s resource management, and require more skillful use to remain effective. We plan to keep an eye on his load out (weapons in particular) moving forward.
Hibana will be losing her Claymore, and receiving a Breaching Charge.
She is picked too often in Pro and Ranked play. This is because she brings crucial utility to the Attackers. She is better at gunfights than Thermite, but we want to adjust her utility before touching her weapons. Thermite will be the only hard breacher with a Claymore, and we expect this swap will rebalance their popularity. There may be more changes in the future, but we would like to keep an eye on the impact of this utility change first.
We are swapping out Ying’s Smoke Grenades for a Claymore.
She is currently too strong in highly organized groups, and too weak in high level Ranked matches. This change, coupled with the LMG changes, will make her a more balanced choice in both contexts.
Globally, LMGs are too weak right now. We made a pass on their damage to normalize it against their generally low rate of fire. We will also review their recoil once we have implemented the new recoil system.
Our data indicates that Finka’s win rate is too high right now. We want to take some time to investigate why that is before making any changes. Our focus will be to study the effects of her recoil reduction, speed boost through barbed wire, and health boost. For the speed and health boost, we will need more data to ensure that we are making the right adjustments. For Recoil, we do not want to change it before the implementation of the new recoil system. Doing so would result in clouded data and feedback.
Ela is currently in a much better place. The data indicates that she has an acceptable pick and win rate. We do not foresee any more changes being necessary in the short term, but will keep an eye on her.
UNIQUE OPERATOR GADGETS
Our team learned a lot from the test server and iterations on Blitz’s changes. One of our key takeaways being a clarification on priorities.
When an Operator’s core gameplay varies from your typical Siege gunplay, it is particularly difficult to handle balancing wise – with Shield Operators and Glaz being the best examples.
We will keep trying to make each Operator a viable choice, but we recognize that this cannot be done at the cost of players’ enjoyment. If we see that increasing an Operator’s pick rate while keeping their current mechanics is frustrating, we will look for other ways to make changes.
We have seen player feedback that the META currently feels faster than it has in the past. The average round length has gone from 2:24 to 2:15. We expect that the nerf to Lion will have an impact on how the META feels, and the length of rounds.
To ensure that your questions from these changes are answered, our balancing team will be participating in an AMA on our subreddit starting at 2:00pm EDT, April 24th. Please head here to ask them your questions! We look forward to seeing you there.
Toxicity management is a priority we will be focusing on as a team over the next few years, and we have a few different ways we plan on dealing with it. Our end goal is to track negative player behavior, manage those that behave poorly, and eventually implement features that will encourage players to improve their behavior.
We have been working on some short-term changes that will quickly have an impact, such as chat improvements, and team kill tracking.
We are currently tracking the frequency at which racial or homophobic slurs are used by individual players, and will be applying bans with increasing severity on a case-by-case basis.
This is clearly outlined in the following section of the Code of Conduct[rainbow6.ubisoft.com]:
“Any language or content deemed illegal, dangerous, threatening, abusive, obscene, vulgar, defamatory, hateful, racist, sexist, ethically offensive or constituting harassment is forbidden.”
The bans for this will fall within the following durations, depending on severity:
*Please note that this is not a strict progression of bans. Particularly egregious offenders can be permanently banned without a warning, 2, 7, or 15 day ban being applied beforehand.
Mute Text Chat Function
ETA: Season 3
We want to put more power in our player’s hands to manage their own online experience. As such, giving you direct control over communication channels is important. We are working on allowing players to mute players individually for each player in the game. For example, you can mute the text chat of player A, the voice chat of player B, text and voice for player C, and neither for player D.
ETA: Season 3
Our team is working on the creation of an automated system that will censor text chat in game based on a chat filter list. This will replace words that have been identified as offensive and provide players with a notification that their language was found to be unacceptable. We will also be tracking the number of times players trigger this filter and will take action as necessary for players that are intentionally having a negative impact on other player’s gaming experience.
ETA: Season 2
Intentional team killing is an issue in Rainbow Six, and our current method of addressing it is being improved. The goal is to track long term offenders across multiple games and sessions that slip through the cracks of our current team kill detection system. We cannot provide too many details on this, as it will lead to exploiting.
These short-term changes will begin to address toxicity, but we do not plan to stop there. We are serious about tackling the issues surrounding the potential for a negative player experience, and we will share any further changes with you prior to their implementation. We are interested in hearing your thoughts, and gathering your feedback! Please jump into the discussion on the subreddit and let us know what you think.
Our recoil system currently has a flaw, primarily affecting fully automatic weapons, that occasionally causes bullets to diverge from where the reticle is pointing. We will be fixing it by making changes to how our recoil mechanic works and we will be deploying this during the next test on the Test Server. The goal is to offer a clean, tight shooting system that does not cheat players out of a great show of skill, or on the contrary, register a headshot when the player is aiming at the torso.
We prototyped several technical solutions to correct the issue over the last year, but they all had significant drawbacks. We were not comfortable moving forward with the majority of those solutions. The solution we landed on shifted how recoils behave, making them trivial to control so all recoils had to be re-done in the new system. We tested some major adjustments to the foundations of the recoil equation on the TTS in September 2017[rainbow6.ubisoft.com]TTS in September 2017. Following feedback from that Test Server session, we changed how we were going to go about addressing the issue. As such, we have moved away from predictable recoil patterns, and found another solution that does not involve predictable recoil.
You can take a look at the comparison between the current recoil and the recoil that will be tested on the Test Server here[ubistatic19-a.akamaihd.net]!
With this new direction, we have made an effort to ensure that each weapon feels as close to the original recoil as possible. We have worked hard at trying to match the unique shooting feel of Siege by firing tens of thousands of bullets and switching back and forth between the two systems, alternating between the two and iterating to bring the new recoils closer to their live counterpart.
These changes will be live on the next phase of the Test Server, and we are eagerly awaiting your feedback. Please jump into the discussion and let us know your thoughts on the Test Server subreddit here, or on the main subreddit here!
The first patch after the season launches is generally a much lighter patch. As such, you will not see the same level of fixes as a Season launch. Patch Y3S1.1 deploys on all platforms on Wednesday, March 21st.
Fixed – The operator can be invisible for all users or have a different BDU equipped instead of the selected one when switching operator at the last moment.
Fixed – All equipped weapon skins, charms, uniforms and headgear (except those awarded by the Season Pass) are reset to default after losing connectivity.
Fixed – R6 Credits are not received after buying them from Shop.
Fixed – The Starter Pack discount pop up for Blitz cannot be closed.
Fixed – Player loose access to Operator from Starter Edition bundles when purchasing Standard Edition.
Fixed – The play ranked button can be selected for a second after a user below clearance level 20 join the squad.
Fixed – The Gold Skin for Hibana’s P229 is corrupted.
Fixed – Text overlaps the preview Operator image in Highlights tab from the Shop Menu.
Fixed – While wearing the Sidewinder Elite uniform, Ash’s eyes will be slightly misaligned in the MVP screen.
Fixed – When the Hostage is DBNO before escort, there is no "revive" icon or timer.
Fixed – Occasionally, in poor network conditions, Hostage can remain stuck if it enters DBNO while being pick up by a player.
Fixed – He Grunt Chibi is stuck to the magazine while reloading.
Fixed – Drone can be placed inside walls of plane from 3F cockpit stairs on Plane.
Fixed – During the intro cinematic, the hands of the right-most operator will be misaligned with the weapon.
Fixed – If a player leaves the sessions during the transition from Part A to Part B, shaders do not load properly
Fixed – Buck cannot refill his Skeleton Key while holding the secondary weapon.
Fixed – Outbreak Collection icon is missing from Ash’s Operator Card when equipping the Black Viper Elite.
Fixed – Incorrect victory pose model is shown for the Ash Black Viper Elite in the Collection menu.
Fixed – Some operators have the Outbreak load out in the Operator screen.
Fixed – The Outbreak Collection button does not work.
Fixed – Operator’s voice lines are not heard, nor subtitles displayed, when starting the game in a language different from English.
Fixed – After using all the ammo on the turret, it can’t be picked up or interacted with, losing all of its functionality.