Rainbow Six Siege - What Ubisoft has planned in Year 7 and Demon Veil
We've provided a rundown of what the next year, and the upcoming season of Rainbow Six Siege will include.
It's that time of the year again where Ubisoft not only dishes out the details on the next season of Rainbow Six: Siege, but also shares a bunch of information on what the entire next year of content will include. Revealed as part of the annual Six Invitational competitive tournament, this next year of content is set to be a particularly packed one, and is filled with the typical new additions, on top of a range of long-awaited technical and performance improvements for the game, both on PC and consoles.
As there's a lot to unpack, we're going to start with the roadmap and plans for Year 7 of Siege, then look into what the immediate first season of the year will be serving up, before concluding with esports.
First things first, as has been the case in the past, Year 7 will be divided into four individual seasons, split equally over the year. Each of the four seasons will bring a new Operator and a variety of other features, and as for what each season will be framed around, the first will be based on Ireland, the second on Belgium, the third on Singapore, and the fourth on Colombia. This means that for each of these seasons, you can likely expect an Operator from these countries, as well as what will likely be a seasonally-themed event and a unique arcade mode experience, and even some other new goodies that we'll get to later.
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Otherwise, each season for this year will be focussed on improving the overall Rainbow Six Siege experience. Season 1 will feature new privacy and griefing/disconnect tools to better the general gameplay. Season 2 will bring friendly fire sanctions and ways to combat players who grief frequently by teamkilling. Season 3 will see players able to check out match replays and produce more competent reports on accounts and players that seem to be cheating. Finally, Season 4 will include a variety of toxicity improvements, to make the game a far more inclusive experience.
But, more than this, from the second season onwards we're told to expect more console specific improvements, including the long-awaited field-of-view slider that will work similarly to, and bring the console version more in line with the PC edition. In the same season, we're also told to expect a reputation system that will work in harmony with the upcoming toxicity-tackling plans, as well as a range of improved onboarding and introduction features that will make the game more accessible to newer players. This will include a shooting range as well as Operator Tips to help new and returning players get up to speed with the continuously developing game.
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Following this, we can look forward to Ranked 2.0 in Season 3, which will bring a more rewarding progression system, and will ask players to start in Copper and continue to advance through the tiers until their win/loss percentage starts to even out as you reach a rating and range of players that match your skills. While it was only mentioned in a fleeting breath, there was a note of a new competitive map arriving in Season 3 as well.
Season 4 will then be quite a hefty one, as we can look forward to permanent arcades landing here, meaning more unique ways to experience different gameplay without having to wait for a seasonal event. It will be here that, after being pushed from an early 2022 release window, we can look forward to crossplay and cross-progression landing in-game, meaning you can flip-flop between PC, PlayStation and Xbox versions of the game, and play with friends on all platforms without needing to be on a similar system.
Ubisoft also told us that alongside all of these features and upcoming systems, it has plans to rework various Operators over the year, with Valkyrie, Zero, Bandit, Dokkabei, and Thatcher all being on their radar. It should be noted at this point that Ubisoft did state that the roadmap and some of the dates/windows mentioned are tentative and will likely change over the course of the season. With this being in mind, we were told that Year 7 will be the "most ambitious" year of Siege they've ever planned to deliver and that even though it's entering its seventh year, "Siege is here to stay".
Looking to the immediate future of Season 1, this will be called Demon Veil and will be framed mostly around Ireland. With this in mind we can look forward to a new Operator (strangely not from Ireland) and even the first new map coming to Siege in three years.
The Operator, known as Azami, is Japanese in heritage and is described by Ubisoft as "one of the most complex" Operators they've ever had to make. She will be a Defender and will be a two-speed, two-armour class type and will be bringing a Siege-first ability with her gadget: the ability to patch up holes in the map with special throwable kunai that releases a gas agent that when solidified is bulletproof. Regarded as the Kiba Barriers, this gadget can be thrown onto any surface, meaning it will even allow Defenders to protect themselves from attacks from above, which too is a Siege first. The Kiba Barriers seem to have been created with versatility at the forefront as they can also be used to block drone holes and as an almost instantaneous form of cover if necessary, and while all of this does sound very powerful, the barriers are not all that strong and can be destroyed with explosives or a couple of melee hits.
To build on this design of a builder and a character that excels with impacting the environment, Azami will be able to wield the 9x19VSN SMG or the ACS12 shotgun as her primary weapon, alongside a D50 sidearm. To add to this, she will be able to bring either impact grenades or barbed wire, both of which suit her style of controlling the flow of the battlefield. We were told by Ubisoft that Azami excels when paired with Mira and Jager, as her Kiba Barriers work in harmony with both Operator's gadgets and makes them more versatile. However, she suffers when facing characters like Zofia, Ash, and Flores, all of whom can easily destroy her Kiba Barriers with their own respective gadgets.
Alongside Azami, we can look forward to a new map called Emerald Plains, which as the name suggests, is set on the Emerald Isle (Ireland). This will be coming in the middle of Season 1, and will be based in an old manor that has been turned into a luxury country club for the wealthy. It'll feature plenty of new locales and environments to tackle and will present a challenge we haven't seen since the last new map was added back in 2018.
Otherwise, Season 1: Demon Veil will be seeing the reintroduction of Team Deathmatch, which after a stint as a limited mode, is coming to Siege permanently, with plenty of plans for new content, maps, and improvements once it has been released. We can also look forward to Attacker Repick officially debuting in the live game, allowing Attackers to switch up their Operators to overcome the challenge of the dug-in Defenders they face. Add to this; console players getting the Match Replay feature (due to the limits of console storage space, console players will only get access to their past two hours of games), loadouts being tweaked so that all primary weapons will get access to all 1x zoom sights, and Rainbow Six Fix 2.0 getting even more love so that those who file bug complaints get rewarded with Alpha Packs to earn some in-game cosmetics. There's a lot of welcome changes set to drop in the first season.
And this doesn't even take into account the Operator rebalancing that is on its way, which primarily will see Goyo's Volcán Shields losing the shield aspect in favour of being a explosive canister that can be placed and used to block chokepoints and vital areas in the map. This change is designed to see Goyo occupy his originally intended role of being an area controlling type alike Smoke.
Last on our list are the plans for esports and what the next year will look like. While Ubisoft is primarily focussed on wrapping up the Six Invitational and ensuring the victor gets time to celebrate their victory, we were told that there will be a Major in May in North America, a Major in August in Europe, and a Major in November in the Asia-Pacific region, all of which will lead up to the 2023 Six Invitational. We'll have to wait until closer to each event to hear more about formats and prize pools, and more. It was noted that Ubisoft intends to also expand its in-game team skins and item support so that more teams are included in the system.
Needless to say, Ubisoft is really doubling-down on Rainbow Six Siege over its seventh year. This is set to be a year filled with exciting new content, but also plenty of welcome, necessary and awaited features. Be sure to dive into the test server on February 21 (tomorrow) to check out a lot of the new goodies coming in Season 1 for yourself, when it lands in the live game in a few weeks.