What’s up guys, Rogue-9 here and I have spent some time digging through the current gameplay changes featured on the Operation Neon Dawn test server. Many of the changes described in the patch notes are pretty straight forward but there are quite a few myths floating around about unannounced changes and some of those are actually true and in this video, I will be going over all of them! Thank you to everyone who joined me in my little “behind the scenes” stream on Twitch the other night, it was really great having a community to bounce ideas off of while running my comparisons and tests. If you want to join me in such streams in future, feel free to follow my Twitch account (link in the description)! And now, let’s take a closer look under the hood of the gameplay changes we are in for with operation Neon Dawn! We can categorise the changes on the test server in two ways: announced vs. unannounced and frustration reducing vs.
Frustration increasing. Because it feels like all of the steps that have been announced are great for the players and solidly aimed at reducing frustration while the unannounced changes are the exact opposite. But let’s quickly look at the announced changes first! Explosions in Rainbow Six Siege cause a variety of visual effects, such as screen shake, blurring, debris, smoke and on the current live servers: also a lingering smoke haze. This haze effect is sadly quite unreliable in terms of its intensity and there are certain areas, on certain maps where the smoke will be so thick that it will obstruct players’ visibility considerably. And while effects like this might be realistic and immersive, they also have the ability to interfere with the competitive integrity of a game, especially if the effects are unreliable and for that reason, they are simply being removed.
With the launch of the new operation, the lingering smoke effect will simply be deleted. Another set of effects that for the last five years now have always interfered with fair and competitive gunfights in Rainbow Six, are the low health effects that a player experiences. Going down to critical health will desaturate your vision and give you a temporary deafening effect and how annoying is it to narrowly win a fight but then immediately lose the next one because for some reason you’re now at a serious disadvantage. Well, good news everyone, with the launch of the new season the muffled sound effect you experience at low health will be significantly toned down. The effect is much less severe and now only lasts 3s instead of 5s.
In one of my past videos, highlighting how broken vaulting can be in Rainbow Six Siege (link in the top right hand corner now) I discovered that the runout timer could be quite unreliable. Not only is this getting fixed with the new season, but the runout timer itself is being reduced from the current 2s to 1s. This makes it easier for the attackers to react to surprise runouts and will make hidden jump-outs almost impossible to pull off. Even if you try to immediately jump back in through a window after jumping out, you will almost always still get revealed very briefly.
In my personal opinion, runouts and jump-outs are a very effective tactic for the defenders to catch the attackers off guard but they can also be incredibly frustrating. I have played far too many rounds this season where both my teammates, as well as the opponents are just dying in the first 15s of every single round because everyone is focused only on trying to exploit the early runout advantage. Taming this kind of gameplay down a bit is a good change in my opinion and will bring Siege back more towards the strategic team based gameplay it is supposed to have. Another great little quality of life change, is the reduction of the time it takes defenders to reinforce a wall or hatch. This timer is coming down from 5.5s to 4.5 seconds and even though 1s might not sound like an awful lot, the action just feels so much less tedious and this is a great change in my eyes. On attack, an area that is seeing a lot of little tweaks coming in with the new season is defuser planting.
The improvements to the planting mechanics are as follows: You will no longer be able to plant the defuser outside of the objective room, so planting just outside of the room with just the tips of your bum cheeks grazing the zone behind you will be a thing of the past. This is achieved by changing the animation, so that the operators plant the defuser at their feet, rather than out in front of themselves and this brings another key advantage with it. You will now be able to plant the defuser right next to obstacles, such as props or walls, without having to move your character back first.
This is not only a lovely quality of life change but can even allow you to in places where your operator has just that little bit more cover than before. Finally, last but not least, there is also a small No Drop Zone added around the edges of each objective room. And when the devs say “small”, they actually mean tiny: something like 4 inches (or 10cm for all you folks out there that use sensible units of distance). The purpose of this zone is to help players avoid unintentionally dropping the defuser while trying to plant at the very edge of the zone and I think this is a great idea. I was expecting this safety zone to be a little larger but actually, maybe a tiny zone is perfectly adequate. It’s only meant to be a little bit of a safety buffer anyway. So the bottom line is that planting should become a lot more intuitive and comfortable in future and I’m all for it.
Finally, there are also some announced improvements to “gadget on gadget” interactions… oh my… [not that kind of interaction you pervert!!] … oh, well ok then. Right, so what this actually means is that sticky attacker projectiles are now supposed to work properly when fired at defender gadgets, such as Melusi’s Banshees or Maestro’s Evil Eyes. Beyond this, gadget deployment is blocked by existing gadgets. Up until now, Ash and Kali projectiles simply used to bounce off of bullet proof defender gadgets and that is now getting fixed. Sticky projectiles will now actually stick; that’s a cool change, I’m all for it! But, I also think this could be taken a little bit further. Hibana’s sticky pellets for instance will still not stick to defender gadgets.
Sure, it would be another little buff to Hibana but I think it could be cool to have the pellets also work against gadgets. When Ace was introduced, he was advertised as a hardbreacher/anti gadget operator, so why don’t his water things work against gadgets? Why don’t they go off? That would be a nice change! And what about Clash? Wouldn’t it be nice if sticky attacker gadgets actually work, would actually stick to the shield and then explode? It would be a minor buff to Ash and Kali but also a nice little nerf to Clash. The second part of the update is that gadgets can no longer be deployed over the top of each other. Let’s take Thermite and Melusi as an example here. In the current state of the game you cannot deploy the Thermite charge directly over the top of other gadgets but you can deploy them so close that they still clip through each other. In future, you will no longer be able to do this and you will need to leave enough space next to existing gadgets, so that there will no longer be any clipping.
I guess this is a “nice to have” kind of update, rather than something that will materially affect the way the game plays and even here, I think there is still room for improvement. In the current live build, defenders can deploy their gadgets over the top of each other by placing them down on the same spot at the same time… Maestro cameras with slow down anyone? I tried this method out on the test server and even after the improvement to gadget on gadget interactions, this is still possible and if you’re going to address gadget collisions, then you may as well do it properly, no? Next up the myths and unannounced or hidden changes that are currently live on the TS: meleeing is speeding up but at the same time it’s also slowing down.
Slashing a wall shows that the new melee animation is on average 100ms faster in terms of the time it takes from pushing the melee button to the strike landing. BUT! Importantly, the reset time before you are allowed to perform a new action is lengthened by around 100-180ms on average (depending on the action). So right now on the TS, the delay between meleeing and then meleeing again is about 20% longer than on the live build. The delay between meleeing and aiming is just over 10% longer and that is particularly important when you are trying to quickly snap off a shot after punching a hole into a wall.
I honestly don’t quite know what to make of this change. It could actually be great to have a melee strike land much sooner after pushing the button. Maybe that will help lower the number of missed melee attacks against an opponent because the timing will be more intuitive… At the same time though, the added delay before being able to perform another action feels horribly slow and I really don’t like it.
Now of course, since this change was not mentioned in any patch notes or announcements, it might just be an unintended change or a bug that may or may not be fixed before the season comes to the live servers. Nevertheless, what are your thoughts on this change? Would you like to see it stay in the game? Let me know in a comment below! Since the launch of the test server, I have seen some discussion around the muzzle attachments and specifically the muzzle flash and smoke effects of the flash hider. I tested the flash hider on several guns on both the test server and live build and can conclusively say that this myth is busted. Yes, there are almost no visible flame effects at all on the test server (depending on the gun and sight setup) but the effects are exactly the same on the live build and have always been this way.
This should not really be a massive surprise because… ya know… it’s a flash hider so, oh shock and horror, it hides flashes quite successfully. Moving on from that, another undocumented change that is quite evident on the test server is an increase in the hip-fire spread for every weapon in the game, see examples in the background. I have seen quite a few people reporting issues with shotguns, especially while breaching soft surfaces because of this spread change but while the hip fire indicator is undeniably larger for every single gun in the game, I did a little bit of testing. Here is Valkyrie’s SPAS-12 in a side by side comparison and if we actually shoot the gun and create a spread pattern, it very quickly becomes clear that it is actually the same for both the test and live servers.
I repeated the same test with Caveria’s SPAS-15… same result. What if we aim down sight? Again: the underlying spread is actually the same. So, despite all of the rumours, it appears as if this one is almost certainly busted as well. It makes no sense for the spread indicator to become larger without a change to the actual spread in the game, so my guess is that this is virtually guaranteed to be just a visual bug that will hopefully be fixed before the launch of the season. And last and probably also least, there has been an announcement that 3D weapon skins are being added into the game! The seasonal update notes read: “3D Weapon Skins are gradually being added into the game.
Skins are intended to improve the quality of content provided to players and provide further monetization opt… sorry that reads “customization” options… provided to players and provide further customisation options” There, got it! And that’s it, all of the important announced and unannounced gameplay updates coming to Rainbow Six Siege with Operation Neon Dawn (although maybe the unannounced things are actually just bugs and they hopefully won’t come to the live servers). All in all, I am really impressed with the quality of life changes coming to the game and I am really looking forward to the new season. What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments section below and with that, thank you so much for watching, I hope you enjoyed the video and I will see you in the next episode!.