Rainbow Six Siege Is Taking A Step Backwards With Year 9 Season 2

A season of duality and discontent.

Story Highlights

  • Operation New Blood reworks the classic Recruit into two new operators.
  • A nerf to Solis’ gadget functionality leaves defenders vulnerable.
  • A new paid membership system emerges.

Year 9 Season 2’s reveal for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege brings a ton of changes to the game. While some of these elements were for the good, some feel like Ubisoft is trying to ruin this season with unnecessary changes instead of giving us the Siege we all wanted.

Ubisoft is in a tough situation with Operation New Blood. The new rework sparks debate about potential balance issues, while nerfs to defenders raise concerns about Ubisoft’s commitment to a fair playing field. Additionally, a new paid membership system is here, questioning the monetization practices.

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Striker And Sentry: A Double-Edged Sword

Operation New Blood ditches the classic single Recruit operator and replaces it with two distinct options. Striker for the attackers and Sentry for the defenders. This introduces new customization previously unavailable for recruits.

Rainbow Six Siege Recruit Rush
No more Recruit rush from now on! | Source: Youtube

However, I am concerned regarding operator balance. Striker’s ability to equip any two attacker gadgets, barring duplicates, will create a nightmare for the defenders. Players can potentially hard breach walls using Striker without the need for operators specializing in EMPs or hard breach charges, opting for combinations that might disrupt the existing meta.

On the flip side, Sentry’s defensive gadget selection lacks the versatility of traditional defenders. Sure, with the wide range of gadgets you can equip, it’ll be easy to take gunfights to the attackers. But Rainbow Six Siege isn’t just about running and gunning. The tactical defense using operator abilities to identify and take out attackers is what makes Siege so unique. 

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Ubisoft will need to monitor the impact of these new operators closely and make adjustments to ensure a level playing field.

A Tale Of Two Nerfs

Fenrir, the defender introduced in Operation Dread Factor (Year 8 Season 2) has a gadget called F-NATT Dread Mine which emits a Fear Effect gas that restricts the vision momentarily. While the concept was interesting, Fenrir’s gadget ultimately proved too powerful. The invulnerability of the gadget, unless triggered, was a major factor in its overpowered nature.

Operation New Blood addresses this by reducing the number of mines Fenrir can carry from five to four. Also, the number of activation codes has been lowered to two compared to the initial three codes. However, Fenrir will get a code back every time somebody destroys a mine. And the best thing is that if any mine is activated once, it loses its bulletproof status regardless of whether you close it afterward or not.

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On the other hand, the nerf to Solis, a defender whose gadget could detect and disrupt attacker drones and abilities, feels heavy-handed. Her gadget’s shorter duration, reduced range, and disabled prep phase function significantly limit its usefulness. 

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Paid Perks Or Paywall Problems?

Operation New Blood introduces a new paid membership system. While the details are still quite unclear, it does seem to include cosmetic items, battlepass rewards, and possible discounts. This raises concerns as it may be a sign that Ubisoft is focusing more on making money than on enhancing gameplay.

Rainbow Six Siege Membership
Pay-to-win or pay-to-flex? | Source: Ubisoft

Because Rainbow Six Siege is a game that requires skill and game expertise rather than access to premium features hiding behind a barrier, it has thrived in a fair environment. However, Ubisoft must be very cautious to prevent this membership system from negative impacts on the existing loyal fans by giving new players many privileges for their money.

Improved Ban System And Training Tools

The new season isn’t without its positive aspects. The improved ban enforcement system tackles the frustrating issue of cheaters who disrupt ranked matches.

Rainbow Six Siege ban chart
Data insights guide improvements to the ban system | Source: Ubisoft

Additionally, the Endless Drill playlist is great for practicing maps and accuracy through repeated matches. I think this is a good place for both new players and those experienced in the game because, with the addition of training mode, players can come here and play matches without any rank penalty.

A Season Of Potential, Tangled in Uncertainty

While Year 9 Season 1 was critically acclaimed, Season 2 presents a mixed bag. Although Recruits and Endless Drill were reworked and adjusted in various ways, the balance concerns and nerfing Solis reduced the excitement. The potential for unbalanced gameplay is a significant issue that Ubisoft needs to address.

All in all, it will also come down to whether Ubisoft pays attention to these changes, how it evaluates their consequences, and whether new nerfs will affect all operators evenly.

Additional Balance Changes They Should Consider for Y9S2 To Change Up The Meta
byu/brodiebradley51 inRainbow6

Despite the issues surrounding Operation New Blood, it’s important to acknowledge the potential for a positive outcome. The changes are seen in the integration of an improved anti-cheat system, as well as the new Endless Drill playlist.

If Ubisoft can address the balancing concerns and tweak the paid membership system to focus on non-intrusive cosmetics, Operation New Blood could still become a successful season.

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Fahad Shabbir is a 3rd-year computer science student with a lifelong passion for gaming. As an opinion writer at eXputer with a deep love for challenging experiences, Fahad brings a unique perspective to the table. His background in various genres and active participation in gaming forums fuel his insightful analysis of the industry's hottest topics. Expect him to dissect the latest releases, unpack hidden depths, and provide a detailed look at the ever-evolving landscape of PC gaming. Get familiar with Fahad's gaming library by checking out his Steam profile.

Covers Opinion Pieces at eXputer || Education: Bachelors in Computer Science.

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