Ubisoft testing Vulkan Graphics API and other big changes on R6 Test Server

Don't forget to update your drivers.

Screengrab via Ubisoft

Ubisoft released its first big round of patch notes for the Operation Shifting Tides Test Server (TS) today and Rainbow Six Siege players may experience a bit more than some recoil nerfs. 

The developer will be testing out a new graphics application programming interface (API), according to TS patch notes released this morning. The TS will veer away from DirectX for the beginning phase of the Test Server and will instead be using Vulkan.

This shift is basically meant to be less taxing on hardware overall and should bump frames per second (FPS) on most rigs. Ubisoft claims to be aware of a small portion of the community being unable to run Vulkan if their hardware is older. Vulkan can also potentially cause issues with OSB, a popular streaming software that requires the program to be used in Window or Display Capture mode, according to Ubisoft. 

Fans should download the latest drivers if they haven’t already. Ubisoft lists the newest drivers as AMD 19.11.1, Nvidia 441.20, and Intel 26.20.100.7372. After an undisclosed amount of time, the devs will shift back to DirectX and compare the data gathered throughout the test period. DirectX will come back before the close of the TS period so that fans can also compare and share feedback.

Alongside this shift, Ubisoft has also made the Theme Park Discovery Playlist available for fans who haven’t yet had the opportunity to try out the rework. Theme Park underwent a substantial redesign and is much brighter and a bit smaller. The removal of the second-floor train area was a massive move that’s made the map considerably more comfortable to navigate around. 

Both Ela and the SASG-wielding members of the Spetsnaz will be getting nerfs to their shotguns. Ela’s FO-12 will see a higher spread and lower accuracy, especially when firing in rapid succession. The devs made her recoil pattern more attune to that of a semi-auto shotgun. The SASG used by the Spetsnaz will get an increase to its spread when rapid firing and it’ll also see an increase in recoil. These are some heavy nerfs, but nothing is final yet since these are Test Server changes. 

It looks like Ubisoft is once again attempting to make Glaz a bit more viable by making enemies seen through his Thermal Scope more yellow in coloration when the scope isn’t fully charged. This change could make Glaz more comfortable to play considering he’s in a pretty rough spot right now.

Warden’s barbed wire is getting replaced by a C4, which seems like a smart move. The ill-received Operation Phantom Sight op was recently buffed to a two-armor, two-speed, and the inclusion of a C4 should help widen the scope of the defender’s options. Ubisoft said that it wanted to give Warden more denial potential when attackers push for a defuse. This is a smart move and gives Warden more direction as an operator. His role has been nebulous, so giving him a C4 should help define who he is as a defender. 

Some other notable changes hitting the TS are Kaid getting an area of effect buff for his Electroclaws and Cav getting a buff to her M-12 SMG. Kaid’s change is meant to promote more creative use of his Electroclaw gadgets, while the M-12 buff is a long time coming for Cav players. The M-12’s damage will see an increase from 36 to 40 and Kaid’s Electroclaws radius has been increased to 1.3 meters, according to Ubisoft. 

Overall, these are massive changes. These shifts, combined with the BOSG getting an ACOG and the new operators, make it look like Operation Shifting Tides will mark several turning points for Siege—if the changes stick.

Operation Shifting Tides is live now on the Test Server. Fans are encouraged to share any feedback, bugs, or glitches with Ubisoft. Players should download the newest drivers before launching the game due to the shift over to Vulkan.

Update Nov. 13 3:30pm CT: Ubisoft has rolled back the Vulkan API update following crashing issues. The Vulkan API update is postponed until further notice.