In a new patch to the Rainbow Six Siege Operation Shifting Tides test server, Ubisoft is wasting no time trying out balancing changes that could have a significant impact on the meta. Kaid’s Electroclaws have more bite, a few powerful shotguns are getting a nerf, and you can now, in holy acronym matrimony, strap an ACOG to the BOSG. Vulcan Graphics API testing is also underway, though it was quickly disabled after causing crashes.
As with every test period, there’s no guarantee that this stuff will make it into the live game. That said, I anticipate most of what’s listed here will.
- ACOG sight added to BOSG
This change has an unconventional lineage. Nobody was asking for the slug shotgun to be ACOG-compatible until Youtuber BikiniBodhi launched the “#BOSGACOG” hashtag campaign on Twitter in September. After months of rallying fans and other influencers to flood Ubi with requests, the BOSG ACOG is now a reality.
Regardless of what encouraged the change, the logic behind it is mostly sound. The BOSG is a scarcely used weapon because of its high risk—it's a slug shotgun. You either land both shots from its double barrel or you lose the fight, probably. Adding the ACOG gives players a better chance to land headshots and makes it more versatile, though it likely won’t change its pick rate much. Still, it’s interesting to see Ubi budge on a feature motivated primarily by one Youtuber’s hashtag instead of typical fan outcry.
On the Siege subreddit, where the majority of the game’s critical discussions happen, feature requests supported by thousands only rarely come to fruition. When they do, it often takes years. For instance, Siege still makes zero accommodations for colorblind players, despite years of requests. Maybe that should be the next hashtag.
- Increased Electroclaw’s radius to 1.3 meters (up from 0.75m)
- Replaced Impact Grenades with Barbed Wire
Potentially big boost to Kaid’s usefulness. The extra radius on his Electroclaws mean that, on some maps, a single claw could electrify three walls at once. Currently, a well-rounded defense needs both Bandit and Kaid to cover all important walls. Kaid should be able to pull more weight now. It’s also great to see his barbed wire come back. Electroclaws combo well with barbed wire when cleverly placed. Trading that utility for impact grenades always felt like a step back.
- M-12 SMG damage increased to 40 (from 36)
Ubi wants to give players a reason to use Caveira’s M-12 SMG instead of just sticking to her Luison pistol. A small bump in damage could encourage more use, but the patch notes seem to overlook why players stick to her pistol. It’s less the damage output, and more that the Luison always downs enemies instead of killing them outright. This allows Caveira to interrogate them and score a huge advantage for her team. As long as the M12 doesn’t share this property, its use rate probably won’t budge.
- Replaced Barbed Wire with Nitro Cell
Ubi says this change is to increase Warden’s potential as a “denial defender” against defuser plants. Warden is in a much better spot since his move to a 2-speed 2-armor, but he still lacks a clear role beyond occasionally nabbing a kill through smoke. Giving him a Nitro Cell makes him a more attractive roamer and a more valuable pick on highly destructible maps like Oregon and Villa. Since no defender is losing their Nitro Cell at the same time, this makes 10 total defenders equipped with them.
- Decreased falloff damage curve for FO-12 shotgun. Damage remains the same up until 6 meters but decays more rapidly to make it less effect from more than 10 meters.
- Increased spread and lower accuracy. The FO-12 now has additional spread when shooting quickly, making it more consistent with other Semi-Automatic shotguns.
- Slightly increased recoil and kick to make it less easy to control and less spray and pray.
Ubi says that Ela’s FO-12 shotgun stands out among others as too strong. It is without a doubt the best semi-auto shotgun at the moment, though shotguns are not very popular in general. Ubi noted that the power of the FO-12 is most egregious on console, where aiming is less precise. The goal here is for the FO-12 to feel more like other semi-auto shotguns (mediocre).
Kapkan, Finka, Tachanka
Similar to the FO-12, the SASG has always been a superior pick for shotguns. With this nerf, it’ll be harder to control. More than ever, it’s a tough sell among the rest of Finka, Kapkan, and Tachanka’s loadouts.
Bug fixes & known issues
The test server patch also addresses several bugs players have noticed since the build went live, including a few that have been misinterpreted as intentional changes. Ubi is aware that Echo’s Yokai drones currently have a milky glaze that makes them easy to spot. That’s not a nerf, just a bug. And, no, you’re not supposed to be able to place two deployable shields on a double doorway. That’ll be patched, too. For the full list of fixes, read the full patch notes.