Following the official unveiling of Rainbow Six Siege’s Operation Grim Sky at the Paris Major, excitement is in the air for Siege fans. But as it turns out, there are a lot of small tweaks and additions in the Grim Sky patch notes (opens in new tab) and test server that Ubisoft didn’t shed much light on, including a returning map, quality of life additions, and a truly bizarre change to Blitz. Let’s break down everything we’ve found.
Favela is back, baby
After almost a year banished from the competitive side of Siege for being too unbalanced, Ubi has finally placed Favela back into the map rotation of Casual. Starting with Year 3, the developers have committed to consistently reworking maps and smaller and bigger ways each season. It doesn’t appear that Favela received any huge changes while it was away, so it’s a little curious that Ubi felt it was ready to come back to the game. In any case, it’s a map that players either tolerated, hated, or loved to hate. If I said I wasn’t psyched to play it again, I’d be lying.
Mandatory two-step verification for Ranked is coming
After a severe uptick in hackers and boosters earlier this year, Ubi announced that two-step verification would become a requirement for those wanting to play ranked. This will be going into effect during Grim Sky after an “awareness campaign” period of about one month. Any user who enables the two-step security will receive an exclusive bundle for Thermite. This will also be rewarded retroactively to accounts that already have it enabled.
No more getting stuck with Recruit if you’re AFK
An addition that fans have been asking for since the dawn of Siege, players will finally end up with a random operator if they fail to select one themselves. Up until now, staying AFK during the pick phase left you with Recruit, a default operator lacking any distinct gadget and one less reinforcement. Since the beginning of Year 3 unlocked all base operators for the majority of Siege players, the Recruit has felt more useless than ever. But the option to choose him isn’t going anywhere, so fret not if you enjoy the extra challenge and expanded weapon choice.
A slick new scoreboard and drone UI
The updated scoreboard is awesome for a couple of reasons. It looks great and presents the information more clearly, but it also makes muting the worst people in your match even easier. Right next to everyone’s name are two mute buttons, one for muting voice chat and one for muting text chat. Muting voice chat has been around forever, but muting text chat is completely new, and it took way too long to get here. Nonetheless, I’ve already been making great use of it against a truly toxic Siege community. Does someone on your team make good voice callouts but troll the enemy team in All Chat? Muted.
Also new are some tweaks to the UI while droning. The available commands for your drone have been moved to the left while the compass has been enlarged and moved to the center for help with efficient callouts.
Hatch reinforcements look totally new and function differently
Hatches have been reworked to be less of a “binary” interaction, according to Ubi. The new look and animation for hatches is slick and no longer extrudes awkwardly up from the ground, but more interesting is that they now support partial destruction. This means Maverick’s blow torch can cut through only portions of them to get sight lines and Hibana’s breaching pellets will need to land all six to destroy the whole thing. Considering Hibana’s gadget still has issues with registering pellets that should have landed correctly, this is already becoming frustrating for some players.
Wait… what did they do to you, Blitz?!
I don’t really know how to explain this next one. For some reason, Ubi has updated Blitz’s character art in the smallest and creepiest way possible. Check it out for yourself.
Blitz…are you OK? You look like you’ve been bitten by a zombie, my dude. Why did your eyes change and where did your anger go? If any part of the old you is still in there, we’re here to help, buddy. There is no life in those eyes. Pour one out for zombie Blitz.
But, seriously, why make such a small change? Is it because Blitz’s new leaked Elite skin is looking fresh and Ubi decided blue eyes are a part of his new look? Who knows, but Rook’s elite skin also got a makeover, flipping up his astronaut visor to more easily scope his beautiful face.
Echo’s Yokai drones no longer have a green filter
A very small and appreciated change for my Echo mains out there: it will now be easier to see what’s going on through Yokai drones. When Echo was first released, the green filter was an interesting addition that distinguished it from other cameras in the game, but now with both Bulletproof Cameras and Evil Eyes having similar green filters that see through smoke, it probably made more sense to remove the filter to avoid any misconceptions. Works for me!