Rainbow Six: Siege will gets its first major patch later this month, and while the full changelog hasn't been released yet, a new post on the Siege forums has confirmed at least one change. Casual and Ranked matches will shortly have (roughly) the same HUD elements and features, meaning the only major difference between the two playlists will be the ladder.
"We are convinced that Casual and Ranked experiences should be as close and consistent as possible," a Ubisoft rep wrote on the forum. "Players of Casual matches should feel welcome to try a more ‘competitive’ playlist and get a rating for their performances, without having to re-learn or re-adapt to new settings. Similarly, Ranked players should feel compelled to launch in Casual, either to play without ‘ladder anxiety’ or just to try out a new strategy or Operator."
Players will still need level 20 ranking to compete on the ladder, and the Killcam will remain off in the Ranked playlist.
Possibly as a means to compensate, Ubisoft plans to implement a Hardcore playlist in 2016 – but only if the player base allows it. "By having hardcore be its own playlist, we will have the liberty to have the hardcore experience that we want and that the community deserves." For those eager to play Hardcore in the meantime, the Custom Game menu has a preset to try (though Custom Games don't receive XP).
The full rundown of how Hardcore is different from the other playlists is in a handy table on the Siege forum, but a few major changes include no team member outlines, no reload indicator, no scoring or threat indicators and no hit confirmation.
Naturally enough some people are annoyed, arguing that making Ranked play more in-line with the Casual playlist removes the game's hardcore roots. Whatever the case, fingers crossed the player base grows enough to warrant a Hardcore playlist, because like James, I'm loving Siege so far.