Limb penetration headlines R6’s Operation Shifting Tides patch notes

Animations won't save you now.

Screengrab via Ubisoft

Ubisoft has released the patch notes for Operation Shifting Tides and there are some huge changes coming to Rainbow Six Siege with this new season of content. 

The Operation Shifting Tides Test Server is now live, introducing a flurry of changes for players to check out. The most notable additions to the game are the new operators Kali and Wamai, but there’s quite a bit going on behind the scenes that fans might not notice right off the bat. 

Limb penetration is coming to Siege, and while it may not seem like the most exciting change, it’s undoubtedly the most important detail in the patch notes. “Have you ever flashed someone with a stun grenade and been denied a headshot because of the hand covering their eyes?” Ubisoft asks in the official post. Nearly every player has experienced being denied a headshot due to an enemy’s character model raising their hand to block their faces. It feels a lot like robbery if you’ve set up the perfect entry only for the game to deny you the payoff by design. That all changes this coming season with limb penetration, however.

Ubisoft is breaking down limb penetration categorically to ensure that the new mechanic is fair to players. For instance, a P-12 handgun probably shouldn’t have the same penetration as Kali’s new CSRX 300 bolt-action rifle.

The first category is “none,” which blankets all secondary SMGs and majority primary shotguns. “Simple” will likely have the greatest effect on players since it encompasses primary SMGs, assault rifles, pistols, and LMGs. Weapons under the “Simple” category will penetrate limbs to target “more valuable body parts,” such as the head and chest.

“Full” penetration is exactly what it sounds like. If the player is using a weapon like Kali’s CSRX 300, then that bullet can pass through an enemy to hit another enemy for a 30-percent damage reduction, according to Ubisoft. Other “Full” weapons include the BOSG.12.2, TCSG12, and all sniper rifles. 

Ubisoft has also taken armor levels into account when designing the new bullet penetration system. “Now that most bullets go through arms and hands, the damage received if a shot hits only those areas (without penetration) is reduced to 75%, the same as leg shots,” Ubisoft said. “For Operators with 3 Armor, however, damage is reduced to 65%.”

This should temper fans’ worries about the fairness of the mechanic when it comes to operator choice. Without this detail, the operator armor level would be a useless mechanic in a bullet penetration scenario. 

Smoke’s Toxic Babes will also receive a change. The gas will now behave more like the new iteration of Capitao and Goyo’s respective fire-oriented gadgets. This means that the gas will no longer clip through walls to damage attacking players like it has been doing for years. The new system used for Goyo and Cap will make sure that the gas won’t go through a wall unless there’s a large enough opening in a surface for it to do so. 

Another nice player comfort change will be hitting Siege in the form of a rappel exit button. This alteration is for those players who are pros at inverted rappels. There will now be a rappel exit button that functions exactly how the enter rappel button works. The new feature will allow players to show as little of themselves as possible without accidentally exiting the rappel animation. Overall, this should make inverted rappelling a much more comfortable option for attackers. 

In addition, players will see the usual price decrease for operators from seasons past. Hibana and Echo will drop down to 10,000 Renown (240 R6 Credits), Dokkaebi, Vigil, and Zofia drop to 15,000 Renown (260 R6 Credits), with Nomad and Kaid dropping to 20,000 Renown (480 R6 Credits). These discounts help players unlock operators little by little and are always a nice addition for players who don’t have the cash to shell out for a season pass or R6 Credits every season. 

The launch of the Test Server will also give players access to the Jackal rework that’s in progress, as well as the long-awaited rework of the Theme Park map. Casual has been renamed to Quick Match, while Role Swap comes to the Newcomer playlist. Ubisoft has also added in Playlist Guides, which inform players of the ruleset of each playlist in the game. This should help new players navigate to the playlist that best suits their ability or need. 

A minor change that might rub people the wrong way is the replacement of Mira and Hibana’s voice actors. All lines of dialogue have been re-recorded with new actors. Ubisoft cites the expansion of the “Universe” as the reason for the voice actors being replaced. 

Operation Shifting Tides is now live on the Test Server. Fans are encouraged to share feedback and report any bugs or glitches to Ubisoft. The TS should be live for about three weeks before a full release of the season hits the main game.