Ubisoft solidifies operator utility changes and defuser time increase with pre-season R6 designer’s notes

Operation Ember Rise continues to show promise, even if some changes miss the mark.

Image via Ubisoft

Operation Ember Rise looks like one of the most balanced seasons of Rainbow Six Siege in quite some time and with that balance comes a substantial list of operator utility changes. The release of the pre-season designer’s notes today gives players a look at all the forthcoming changes hitting Siege.

With the underwhelming Operation Phantom Sight almost in the rear-view mirror, fans can look forward to a more balanced and focused season of Siege. While Phantom Sight had some intriguing concepts in its operators Nøkk and Warden, it failed to really come through on the hype surrounding the ops. This time around, the operators are sound enough to where other changes are stealing the spotlight—mainly, operator utility changes and defuser time increases. 

It’s common for operators to see changes to the utility of their loadout. The introduction of the Bulletproof Camera saw a pretty significant shift in operator utility since the developers needed to make room for the new gadget. This time around, devs have made room for the new Deployable Shield 2.0 along with some general enhancements to make operators more viable choices. 

Confirmed utility changes coming to Siege with Operation Ember Rise include Smoke, Glaz, Dokkaebi, and more. Smoke’s utility change is significant because he’s getting a new Deployable Shield. The new shield has bulletproof glass slits patterned on the face of it, which may allow Smoke to gather more intel in late-round scenarios. 

Glaz and Dokkaebi getting Frag Grenades remains an interesting utility shift. While Frags seemingly go against Glaz’s playstyle of being a sniper, they may aid in some scenarios. It’s an odd move because using Smoke Grenades is a key facet of Glaz’s playstyle. Whether this change will make Glaz a more viable option is up in the air and it seems like Glaz may be headed for Tachanka-level uselessness if the developers can’t find a happy medium. 

Conversely, Dokkaebi’s acquisition of Frag Grenades seems to be a great addition to her kit. Losing the Stun Grenades isn’t the biggest deal considering the operator’s mixed results in the field. She sees a decent amount of use in the Pro League but is often brought out and shelved in quick succession. The addition of Frag Grenades to her loadout should aid in making her more appealing to players.

One of the most impactful changes overall will be the adjustment to the defuser deployment and counter-defuse times. Previously, the time to defuse and deploy stood at five seconds. Now, the time to deploy and defuse has been upped to seven seconds. For fans who aren’t familiar with the game mode Bomb, seen in Ranked and Pro League, two seconds is a ton of time when planting and counter-defusing. Those two seconds are going to heavily alter the way plants go down and the level of coordination needed to successfully plant or defuse. 

Fuze, on the other hand, will be getting a meager buff in the form of his gadget deployment time being reduced from two seconds to 1.6. Veterans can hear a Fuze charge being deployed a mile away, and as a result, most Fuze players are disposed of before they can even activate their charge. The deployment time buff should help lower the high-risk level of using Fuze’s gadget.  

The weakest alteration of the season will undoubtedly be the changes to Warden’s ability. The Phantom Sight defender has been an absolute disappointment and sees little to no time in the field. The developers have attempted to give him a “buff” by implementing a system more closely related to the way Glaz’s Thermal Scope works, but it just isn’t enough.

Adjusting the movement penalties for Warden’s Smart Glasses helps in terms of comfort but the fact that his ability is meter burn based means that these changes are going to make little to no difference. Warden will still be situational and rely too heavily on the opposing team’s playstyle to be a widely-selected operator. Warden will likely be warming the bench yet again in Operation Ember Rise, especially since Goyo is in play now. 

With the launch of Operation Ember Rise just around the corner, fans will be able to test out these new changes soon. Some fans believe Operation Ember Rise will launch tomorrow, but Ubisoft hasn’t confirmed a release date yet.