After only a few days with the test server for Rainbow Six Siege’s new Operation Grim Sky, Ubisoft is (opens in new tab)reacting (opens in new tab) quickly to feedback and issuing a set of balancing changes. Maverick is receiving the most drastic of changes to better balance him before his official release, but there are also some unexpected nerfs coming for Zofia, Glaz, and eventually Dokkaebi.
Increase the amount of time and damage required for the blowtorch to destroy barbed wire
When Maverick first hit the test server earlier this week, players were immediately surprised by how useful his blowtorch was at not just melting walls, but instantly destroying almost anything it touches. Its damage to barbed wire was especially strong, since he could destroy them quickly with almost no noise made. This change still allows him to do that, but it’ll take more time and more of his precious blowtorch fuel to pull off.
Replace smoke grenade with stun grenade
Ubi explained this change by saying smoke grenades gave Maverick overall “too much utility,” which makes sense when you break it down. Maverick checks a lot of the boxes of the most popular and universally useful operators in the game: he’s a 3-speed, has powerful weapons with few downsides, and gadget that is set to disrupt the meta and make the game more Attacker-sided. Smoke grenades are considered the most valuable gadget for capturing an objective or planting the defuser, so taking them away from Maverick unchecks one of the boxes that makes him a must-pick.
Slightly increase the volume of the blowtorch
This change will surely make a lot of players happy. Ubisoft agreed with the feedback that, even when standing close to the wall he’s breaching, the torch is just too quiet. This will hopefully give defenders paying attention more opportunities to be ready for his sudden infiltration.
Ubi also touched one some other aspects of Maverick that players have been complaining about, like the range on his torch, and increasing the fuel cost so he can’t breach as many surfaces. They would like to avoid reducing his torch’s range if possible. “This is an extremely delicate aspect of his gadget, and will require months of work to adjust to ensure the gadget still works properly in all situations. If this is absolutely necessary, we will discuss it further down the line, but this will be a last resort adjustment.”
Ubi is going to wait and gather more data before deciding if Mav needs less fuel for the torch. The gray area here is that the blowtorch can make a lot of openings, but it requires significant practice and a lot of time spent potentially vulnerable. The gadget might prove too powerful at the higher levels but more balanced at lower levels.
Reduce the number of pellets required to destroy a hatch from 6 to 4
This less of a balancing decision and more of a necessary fix. Since her launch in Year 1, Hibana has suffered from a bug (opens in new tab) that sometimes causes some of her breaching pellets to not hit their target. Reducing the number of pellets required to destroy a hatch alleviates the frustration when this bug happens, but still feels balanced in that Hibana will have to use one third of her utility to make it happen.
Reduce the number of concussion grenades for KS79 Lifeline from 4 to 3
This change comes somewhat out of the blue, since Zofia’s balance hasn’t been a topic of Ubi in the months leading up to Grim Sky. But nonetheless, the team believes that she “currently has too much utility, which leads to her being able to burn the defender’s ADS too easily, or take a room without much of a contest.” Since her release last year, many players have agreed that four concussion grenades felt like a lot, but it has never been top of mind. From here on, Zofia mains will have to be a little more discerning about when to concuss a room.
Glaz is no longer able to destroy Castle’s Armored Panels with the OTs-03
I can’t help but chuckle at Ubi’s reasoning for this one. Essentially, this is a bug that the team is leaving in because they like it. “Originally, we had a bug that prevented Glaz from being able to destroy Castle’s Armored Panels. As this makes sense, and is a positive way of adjusting both Operators, we have decided not to fix it.” The post goes on to say that in the future Glaz’s rifle won’t even be able to penetrate a Castle barricade, but this likely won’t be implemented until one of the mid-season patches for Grim Sky. This is likely part of the team’s grander plan for reworking (opens in new tab) Castle so that he’s not only useful at the highest levels of play.
An interesting note on Dokkaebi bookends the blog post, saying they’re exploring the possibility of her Logic Bomb having a set time limit until the phone call automatically shuts off. Ubi says a timer of 7-8 seconds is interesting, but its theoretical implementation is far enough off that no time frame was given.
The post also addresses one issue arising with the new game-wide recoil system introduced in the test server: shotguns now have very little recoil (opens in new tab) after the first shot. “We are working on a fix, but will not have it ready by the release of Grim Sky.” The fix will likely come at “some point” during the season, which…isn’t hopeful news. This is potentially months that players will have to deal with a bug that effects balance.
Recoil for SMGs is also being reconsidered after it was increased heavily under the new system. “We want to push the secondary weapons to being true secondary weapons, as opposed to their primary weapons. We may go about this in a different way and make adjustments to the recoil in the future, but not prior to the release of Grim Sky.” This is an obvious reference to both the SMG-11 and SMG-12, weapons that are so good that Smoke, Sledge, Vigil and Dokkaebi are better off using them than their primary weapons most of the time.