Ubisoft has unveiled the brand new season content for Rainbow Six Siege, aptly dubbed ‘Crystal Guard’.
The brand new Operator looks to change things up in a huge way for attacking teams, and some long overdue map reworks are finally seeing the light of day. Here’s all of that and everything else that you need to know about the Crystal Guard season update.
New Operator – Osa
Coming in as an Operator for the attacking team, Osa is the first attacker that’s able to mount shields to walls. The key difference is that her shields are transparent, allowing both teams to see right through them.
These shields have a couple of different uses. Holding one out in front of you protects Osa from incoming fire in the direction you’re facing. The shield is tall enough to protect Osa’s head, too, so you’re fairly safe when pushing towards a defender.
Shields can be mounted on any floor surface, or to windows and door frames. When mounted in passageways, the shield won’t extend to the full height of the door or window. Instead, it leaves a small gap for shooting through. Players can use this as an advantage to bait out enemy shots and then pre-fire peek to get an easy kill.
We have a more detailed guide on how to get to grips with Osa over on FragHero if you’re keen to learn more!
Twitch Drone Rework
Alongside the new Operator, several of the older ones are seeing some significant balance passes.
Most notable of the lot is Twitch. Until now, Twitch has started each drone phase with her more powerful drone ability. However, a recent change to the game rules allows players to swap Operators during the preparation phase. This meant that players were able to use Twitch’s more powerful drone in the preparation phase before switching out to a completely different Operator.
Now, Twitch can no longer use her special drone at the beginning of each round – she now uses a normal one like everyone else. To compensate for this, her special drone is now much more maneuverable when deployed. It can jump into sneaky crevices, just as normal drones can. Its damage model has also changed from electricity to lasers with an infinite range. That means you should miss far less shots with the Twitch drone from now on.
FUSE gadget Buffs
Fuse has also seen some tweaks. This character can now place his entry charge gadget onto reinforced walls and surfaces. The trade off is that it has a delayed activation time compared to mounting the gadget on a normal wall. Sparks flying from the device will alert defenders where the gadget is, giving them plenty of time to react. The device will now also spawn a tube on the other side of the wall, meaning defenders can more easily destroy the device.
IQ Ping System
IQ has borrowed some excellent quality of life features from Apex Legends. They now have a Smart Ping feature that lets them identify specific gadgets to their teammates by pinging them through the smart scanner. This should prove to be a great teamwork feature, especially for those that prefer to play with their mic muted.
Flashbangs in Siege are about to see a pretty huge overhaul. Previously, getting hit by a flash was very hit and miss. Getting caught on the fringes sometimes meant that flashed players could still see what they were doing, negating the effectiveness of the grenade almost entirely.
Now, anytime you get flashed you will see a white flash at full intensity, turning your screen completely blank. The variable factor will be how long the flash screen lasts for. If you’re far away or partially blocked from the grenade, you’ll only see the screen for a very short while. If the flash goes off right by your feet, you’ll be starting at the white screen for much longer.
It won’t be possible to dodge a flash by looking away anymore as you’ll still be hit with a short flash burst. This is supposed to simulate the rays of light that would bounce off of the walls if a flash were to detonate in real life. The idea behind this change is to make the flashbang grenade much more reliable to use.
CLUBHOUSE Map Tweaks
Plenty of map tweaks are arriving in this update, some of which have been a long time coming.
The biggest change to Clubhouse is that one of the bomb sites has moved from the Stage area to the Bar. To accommodate this change, the overall flow of the map has been altered. New doorways and corridors connect new parts of the map, creating new routes and lines of sight. It’s now possible. It’s now possible to run around the entire perimeter of the map without having to rappel over the top of buildings.
In addition, brand new tech updates mean that Clubhouse sounds much better. It’s now easier to pinpoint where noises are coming from. Lighting has also been improved across the board.
Coastline Map Tweaks
Next up is Coastline. These changes are more subtle, but will still have a big impact on match to match gameplay. There’s a new breakable wall to the back of the VIP area, making the site approachable from the outside Deck. A new rappel spot has also been added beneath the iconic purple tarpaulin, creating a new route to the top of the roof.
The biggest change of all is that the windows in the central courtyard can now be barricaded. Previously, this area was super difficult to defend with very little cover. Now, defenders can barricade up all of the levels to keep the sites safe..
Bank Map Tweaks
Ubisoft described Bank’s map update as “a long time coming”. The team has gone back to the drawing board with this one and rebuilt it from the ground up. Apparently, 95% of assets are in the same place, but some parts have been moved around to improve the overall quality.
Some of the skylights in the roof have been blocked off as these gave away a little too much information in the previous build of the game. The same goes for the arched windows to the front of the building – these are now mostly all blocked off so it’s harder to attack Banana from the outside.
Speaking of Banana, cover has been added to every other bannister panel, also improving its defendability. Railings at the top of the stairs are now destructible. Bars in the windows of the Vault have been removed entirely as the team felt that most bullets ended up getting caught in them anyway.
The layout has been tampered with so that Defenders are less able to run out and grab a cheeky spawn kill on an Attacker. The elevator shafts have also been moved about so that they’re much more usable for players.
Ubisoft says that “Bank needed a lot of love”, and its time has finally come.
The final big changes for Siege this season come in the form of customisation. Ubisoft is tweaking how customisation works so that it will eventually be possible to mix and match your Operator cosmetics.
“Currently when you buy an Elite Uniform, all of the assets in that Elite bundle are linked together. So you either equip all of it or none of it,” Ubisoft explains. This is changing in the form of a two stage rollout. In this season update, players can select between headgears and uniforms individually. That means you can equip the Tachanka Unicorn Helmet alongside his Elite uniform, should you like.
For now, the Operator Cards, Victory Dances, and ability skins will remain tied to the Elite uniforms. Ubisoft is looking to separate them all at a later date. Eventually, you’ll be able to mix and match every single piece of cosmetic item with each other.
That’s just about everything that’s coming to Rainbow Six Siege in the upcoming Crystal Guard update. The new season is set to begin towards the end of August.
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Featured Image Credit: Ubisoft