In this latest edition of Designer’s Notes, we’ll go into detail about the balancing changes that’ll come with the Y8S4 Update and give you some insight into the reasons behind them.


Please note that we are using presence to gauge the popularity of an Operator. This notion had to be introduced to reflect the implementation of the pick & ban.

Presence definition: pick rate of an Operator when not banned. Win Delta: The Win Delta is aggregated from Operator’s Win Deltas per Bomb Site.





  • Fuse system: Removed ability to cook the grenade. Added fuse time reduction after the first bounce.
  • Initial fuse time: 4 seconds (from 5).
  • Reduced fuse time: 2 seconds.

We want to bring down the power level of the Frag Grenade to be in line with all the other Secondary Gadgets. Like all the others, it should be a weaker version of a Primary Gadget, such as the Hard Breach Charge for the Hard Breachers or the Bulletproof Camera for the Intel Gatherers. The secondary utility should not compete with or drive more attention than the main ability of an Operator. This change will put the spotlight back on Operators’ abilities, and we will have more margin to make them excel in their roles.

We also want to increase the population of Frag Grenades, so more operators can get them without severely affecting their presence. We won’t keep this utility as limited as it is right now forever because it conflicts with our intention to give as many options as possible to players to foster creativity.

To that end, we will remove the ability to cook grenades. This change removes a skill component when using them, but this aspect has been identified as the main reason why they are too powerful. Player ability can turn Frag Grenades into a better version of most operator abilities. Skilled players have reached a level that even ignores the correct counters for grenades, by killing defenders from below without warning.

We have not taken this decision lightly because of its impact on the skill ceiling when learning and mastering the use of Frag Grenades. We have adopted the fuse system from the Stun Grenade which means that the fuse time will be reduced to 2 seconds after the first Bounce (if the time is higher), so you’ll still retain some control over the gadget. Reducing that skill ceiling is our last resort when tweaking a gadget, as we generally aim for the opposite.

We have tested multiple ideas looking for the right solution for the Frag Grenade’s power level while keeping its identity intact. Here are a few of the changes we explored but ultimately did not implement:

  • Damage through surfaces: Here, we wanted to fix the competitive issue with a direct approach. We tested several options, from only reducing the damage below the lethal threshold to completely removing it along with the destruction. This solved the usage from the floor below against operators, but it didn’t affect their power level for the majority of the population, so we wouldn’t be able to give them to more operators.
  • Non-lethal: The most appealing aspect is the lethality, so we tried to reduce it directly. We tested reducing the base damage to non-lethal, so you’d have to land several Frag Grenades to kill your target. Not being able to guarantee the kill with a single throw achieved most of our objectives, but it also destroyed part of gadget’s personality.
  • Reduce amount: We evaluated reducing the amount to only 1 per operator to see if it was enough to make the other options more appealing. Unfortunately, this change made them too binary; we only removed the ability to try again if you missed the target. If you were accurate, you could still achieve the same results, and this potential was deemed enough to favor selecting a single Frag Grenade over any other gadget.
  • Random fuse time: With this prototype, we tried to add a bit of uncertainty to discourage players from cooking the grenades too accurately. They are super dangerous, so it is not a device you should want around when the detonation mechanism is triggered. We changed the fuse time to be between 3 and 5 seconds. This version achieved several of our goals because the players weren’t as accurate with them as they were with the live version and gave defenders time to react, which made them more interactive. But despite being a fun prototype, adding more randomness into the game while we are trying to remove it from other areas didn’t convince us.




  • Secondary Gadgets: Added Frag Grenades.


  • Damage: 43hp (from 47).
  • Stronger vertical and horizontal recoil.

Finally, IQ gets Frag Grenades back. We will see if she can keep them depending on the power level of the new version and how her having them affects other interactions in the game. She is an intel gatherer, and her intel can help attackers use resources and time more efficiently. We don’t want her increased utility to overshadow the team play.

We love her relationship with the EMP Impact Grenade. Having her on the team avoids putting drones in danger or wasting EMPs trying to hit an electricity source. She can also help the team use anti-utility gadgets more efficiently by seeing which ones are protected. She can find electronic gadgets that are normally hard to locate and track enemies using them.

Because of the increased utility and versatility, we must reduce the 552 Commando’s fire power. We will reduce its damage to make the Extended Barrel combo weaker. With the new damage, 1-armor operators will take 3 bullets instead of 2 to get downed. We’ve also made its recoil more challenging to control, which will bring it in line with other Assault Rifles.

IQ is a team player. She helps the team be more efficient and is one of the best representations of the essence of Siege.



  • Secondary Weapons: Removed Gonne-6.
  • Secondary Gadgets: Added Frag Grenades, Removed EMP Impact Grenades.

Lion and Frag Grenades were previously incompatible as the EE-ONE-D forces defenders to stay still giving the defender no options against a cooked grenade.

We are reconsidering his candidacy now because of the new synergy with the detonation system. The new Frag Grenade will force targets to move instead of killing them right away, pushing defenders into the EE-ONE-D’s detection. The defender will have to think fast to evaluate the different options and decide the best course of action.

We are swapping them for the EMP Impact Grenades because they are the least picked option, and of course, removing the Gonne-6.



  • Secondary Weapons: Removed Gonne-6.
  • Secondary Gadgets: Added Frag Grenades.

You must master the R.O.U. Projector and the new Frag Grenade to make use of Sens’ full potential. They have the ability to block multiple lines of sight, pressure enemies out of strong positions, and even force them to cross the light screens. This will increase Sens’ skill ceiling even more.

Sens has a projectile as their main ability, and it goes against a rule we broke with Gridlock in Y8S3.3 (allowing both a throwable unique ability and Frag Grenades). We will test if this rule should remain in place with the updated Frag Grenade, or if it allows more flexibility with the distribution.



  • Secondary Gadgets: Added Frag Grenades. Removed Smoke Grenades.

The new Frag Grenades will replace Osa’s Smoke Grenades, as it was her least picked secondary gadget option (only 15% of the rounds).

Osa allows attackers to create a setup, something that was exclusive for defenders until she arrived. She approaches the assault in a more methodical way, gaining terrain from defenders, but she cannot do it without help. This makes her a good candidate for this extra utility, as it is gameplay we want to encourage, but she still has good synergy with all the other secondary options, so we hope all of them will remain interesting.



  • Secondary Gadgets: Added Frag Grenades. Removed EMP Impact Grenades.

Blackbeard is the last attacker receiving Frag Grenades. His low presence made him an easy selection and since the Claymore is still a good option, we hope choosing between the two isn’t easy or at least depends on the way you intend to play the round.



We have decided to give Capitão EMP Impact Grenades to compensate for their removal from other operators and make choosing between him and Osa a bit tougher. Having Hard Breach Charges and EMPs to choose from can allow him to fit into more attacking compositions.



  • Secondary Gadgets: Added EMP Impact Grenades. Removed Breach Charges.


  • Damage: 43hp (from 47)
  • Stronger vertical and horizontal recoil.

We are pretty happy with the results of all of Grim’s buffs. Unfortunately, he shares the 552 Commando with IQ, so the changes made to it will also affect him. To compensate for that, and recoup some of the EMP Impact Grenades removed, he will also get them, replacing the Breach Charges. We believe it is a fair exchange; losing some frag potential but gaining flexibility now with the Bailiff 410 for soft destruction.



  • The bulletproof glass will be shattered if a Drilling Projectile explodes successfully after drilling into it.
  • This change affects all bulletproof glass: Black Mirror Window, Evil Eye, Talon Shield, Bulletproof Camera, Deployable Shield.


  • The Breaching Round is considered a Drilling Projectile.


  • The V-Lance is considered a Drilling Projectile.
  • Note that the V-Lance doesn’t drill through gadgets; it only drills through surfaces (the Black Mirror Window is considered part of the wall).

Mira is a game-changing operator. If you spot her during the Preparation Phase, you know that something will have to change in the way you execute the attack. We love the effect she has in game, but we believe the reason for her high ban rate is purely strategic. You don’t want to deal with her in situations where she alone defines the pace of the round.

We introduced the Shattered Glass system back in Y6S3 to give attackers more ways to deal with the Black Mirror Windows and penalize bad usage. We are very happy with the results, so we are going to expand that system by adding new sources, so attackers have more flexibility when spotting a Mira.

We have defined a new projectile category; "Drilling projectiles". These projectiles drill into the surface they impact to apply their effect. They’ll explode from the inside of the surface to deal more damage and will now shatter bulletproof glass. For instance, if Ash’s Breaching Round sticks to the Black Mirror glass and explodes successfully, the glass will be shattered.



  • Main Ability: 3 Evil Eyes (from 2)


  • Battery: 6 seconds (from 5)
  • Overheat: 6 seconds (from 5)

Maestro has been indirectly nerfed repeatedly since the release and introduction of new systems (Shattered Glass, Outside Cameras), new operators (Flores, Brava), new gadgets (Gonne-6, EMP Impact Grenades), and tweaks to operators (Dokkaebi) and now again with the increased population of Frag Grenades. Because of all this and the current meta, his presence has understandably gone down to be one of the least-picked defenders.

The changes to Evil Eyes should make attackers treat them with more respect. The new battery will allow Maestro to kill 1-armor operators with a single turret and down 2 to 3-armor operators. Increasing the number of Evil Eyes to 3 will increase his flexibility, requiring at least two operators with the proper secondary utility to deal with all of Maestro’s utility, helping him become the master of intel that he should be.



We feel confident about the Quick Match changes introduced last season. The faster match time provides players a much faster paced experience. Attacker Vanguard allows players a safer approach to the action and Pre-Setups let defenders play fast without having to forfeit the strategic element of reinforcements.

Having said that, we are aware of the community’s concerns regarding the new playlist ecosystem, and we realize that we made changes to the Standard mode before having the completed map pool available in Quick Match. Therefore, we are making the Standard map pool the same as Ranked while we dedicate our efforts to adding all the maps back to Quick Match as soon as possible. Once the map pool is completed, we will allocate some time to revisit Standard’s map pool and provide more options for players to enjoy the maps that they want. We are working on a proposal to bring back player agency by allowing you to enjoy Standard’s map pool with some control over it.


  • Hereford Base
  • Plane
  • Presidential Plane
  • Yacht
  • Fortress
  • Emerald Plains
  • Stadium
  • NightHaven
  • Lair


  • Oregon
  • Club House
  • Consulate
  • Bank
  • Kanal
  • Chalet
  • Kafe Dostoyevsky
  • Border
  • Skyscraper
  • Coastline
  • Themepark
  • Villa
  • Outback
  • Emerald Plains
  • NightHaven
  • Lair

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Kompletter Artikel: Y8S4 DESIGNER'S NOTES

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