After a round of updates this morning, the Rainbow Six Siege Test Server (TS) is back online with a wide range of changes. Glaz’s rework falls short, while Cav and Vigil see a buff that is, somehow, simultaneously a nerf.
The Glaz rework is finally here, but it’s not great. While the rework achieves what it set out to do—prevent Glaz from being an entry fragger—it went far beyond, rendering him almost unplayable. Glaz has always been a contentious operator, but when he got his thermal scope in March 2017, he became extremely powerful in the right scenario. The devs have nerfed his scope to where a player can only take advantage of it while standing completely still. There are indicators on the left and right of the scope that let the player know when the thermal scope is fully active.
The problem is that the thermal scope is straight up uncomfortable to use now. If the player goes from moving to scoping in the thermal scope it takes a while to highlight the defending operator in yellow. While this doesn’t seem like an big issue, it goes against everything Glaz players are used to and it’s easy to become disoriented when scoping in on an enemy. If players can’t tell the difference from an enemy’s foot and a panhandle, then it’ll likely be a rough adjustment period with some harsh growing pains.
On the slightly more positive side, Vigil and Cav got buffs that also act like nerfs at the same time. The two existing defenders’ ability meters will now follow the same system as the newly-added Nøkk’s ability meter. The new attacker’s meter works differently than past ability meters by allowing players to toggle the ability on and off at will when it is above 20 percent charged. Now that Cav and Vigil have access to the new meter system, they will have greater freedom in how they use their abilities.
The buff comes at a cost, though. The new meter system takes longer to regenerate fully, so while players have more freedom to toggle their abilities on and off, they must be smarter about timing their usage, according to YouTuber ProdigioPete. Keeping your meter above 20 percent seems like a decent way to combat the nerf side of the change, but that strategy is easily undone when the match turns sideways and players lose track of their meters. Time will tell if this is a change for the better.
New TS changes also include changes to the camera appearances, which seem a bit unnecessary at this point. The changeup causes cameras to glow blue whenever a defender is using them and yellow when an attacker has control. It seems redundant to change the appearance because it was already clear when each team had control of the cams—glowing white for a compromised cam and red for a regular cam. The change just seems like another thing for players to have to get used to on top of Glaz’s rework, the Kafe rework, and the new meter system for Cav, Vigil, and Nøkk.
One welcome change is that players are now able to see their HUD when flashed. It’s a small change but helps the player recover from being disoriented by the flashes. Players won’t be able to stick it to Blitz by any means with this change, but it definitely helps when trying to regain your bearings after a lengthy flashbang timeout.
The last new and noticeable change is that matches no longer end on a draw. Instead, devs have opted to make a system that takes the match scenario into account. If the last players left standing die but the defuser is planted, then the attackers take the round and vice-versa. On Secure Area mode, if the last players die, then the round goes to the defenders since the area wasn’t secured. In Hostage mode, if the time expires then the defenders win, as they still have control of the hostage. While we didn’t run into any of these scenarios in our time with the TS, it’s good to know Ubisoft has a system in place to eliminate the frustration of draws.
Some of the TS changes are good, others are not so good, but they all show Ubisoft is trying to keep the game fresh, balanced, and comfortable for players. Even if the Glaz nerf is a bit much, the alternative was definitely too much to handle at times. With Cav and Vigil, the change is something players will need to sort out for themselves. Everything else seems to be a matter of having a healthy adjustment period.
The TS went live May 21 and is currently up with intermittent maintenance. Players who already own Siege can download the TS through the “My Games” tab on Uplay and the “Library” tab on Steam.