We’re approaching the month of December, and that can only mean one thing… A new Season for Rainbow Six Siege is upon us. Operation Solar Raid will begin on December 6th, but recently I was able to get my hands on it to see what this new season has to offer. There’s a lot to unpack here, from the new content to all the updates and features, it’s probably one of the biggest updates in Siege history. Let’s start.
A new season means a new operator. Operation Solar Raid introduces us to Solis. Ana “Solis” Diaz, a new defender from Colombia, is a technology specialist who has advanced computing skills with her SPEC-IO electro-sensor, which uses an augmented reality display to gather vital information that she can then relay to you brings teammates to the table. The device works similarly to IQ’s RED MKIII “Spectre” in that it can locate and tag devices such as attacker drones and explosive charges up to 15 meters away. Solis can also perform what is known as a cluster scan, which reveals all gadgets in the scan area, which can then be forwarded to the team.
Solis’ loadout leaves something to be desired. Her primary weapon will be either the P90 SMG or the ITA 12L shotgun, with the SMG-11 being her only secondary weapon. I’m not the biggest fan of the P90 as I feel like it’s very weak when it comes to SMGs in Siege, but I’m even less a fan of using shotguns (I don’t want to use them in general). , leaving me no real alternative if I want to use this operator. I’m comfortable with the SMG-11 as it comes in handy when you have a fully automatic abutment in a pinch. The gadget itself is a pretty cool flip in my opinion compared to IQ’s gadget, which I think is helpful for those who like to run around or use quick outside jabs to catch rappelling attackers off guard so you don’t accidentally jump straight into a claymore runs.
We’re also getting a brand new map, and it looks absolutely insane, Nighthaven Labs. We were first introduced to Nighthaven in Operation Crystal Guard 2019, which introduced us to Kali and Wamai. Since then we’ve seen Nighthaven slowly creep into other aspects of our little siege story, and now we have a whole Nighthaven playground to explore. When it comes to maps, Nighthaven Labs is a bit smaller. The main structure of the map has 3 floors, but the top floor and the lower floors are not as spacious as the main level.
The Labs features a modern technological design with a focus on creative strategies. You need to be fast as the map has many tight corners and shorter sightlines. The overall design allows for a free flow of navigation with many many doors and walls to break through to find alternate routes. For the roaming defender or the sneaking attacker, there are plenty of opportunities for a quiet entry or a quick exit to catch the opponent before they can react. On the outside you will find glorious open sea, clear skies and awe-inspiring landscapes beyond the property. Nighthaven Labs is on par with Coastline for me, I always love a seaside getaway.
If there’s one thing Ubisoft is known for, aside from their obviously top-notch selection of games, it’s their Easter Eggs. It’s not uncommon for them to go the Disney Pixar route, with obvious placement of small references to other franchises, and that’s aside from actual crossover events like Siege and Ghost Recon Wildlands. You can literally visit Abstergo Industries in Watch Dogs 2. When spawning in Siege by the fountain on the mansion map, you’ll see the Assassin icon through the water and the silhouette of a man perched atop the church tower in the distance. You can play as Castle in Far Cry 5! I won’t spoil it for you here, but see if you can find the Easter egg(s) hidden in Nighthaven Labs.
Go on! With this new season come many new features to Rainbow Six Siege. To begin with, ranked progression will be completely overhauled. Gone are the days when you had to play 10 placement games early in the season before figuring out where you supposedly sat in the ranks. Siege will adopt the Rank Points system similarly seen in games like Fortnite Battle Royale and Apex Legends ranked modes where you earn or lose points based on your performance during each game. This is a very welcome change for me as I’m less likely to lose a rank due to a lost game when my performance was still very high. As someone who queues alone a lot, it has been frustrating when I lose my rank due to poor team performance, lack of team skill/knowledge, or teammate trolling which costs us the match. I’m not saying I’m a pro siege player, but I’d like to think I’m pretty good at the game considering how long I’ve been playing. It will be nice to see that being recognized more in the new ranking system (I better not eat my words here).
Each rank now has 5 divisions, with each division requiring 100 rank points to advance to the next rank. Also being introduced between the Platinum and Diamond ranks is a new rank called Emerald, which gives us all that extra step up the ladder to climb. I’m content if I can hang out in Platinum. Your MMR is split from your rank and is called a skill. It no longer determines where you are placed in the ranks, but it does determine how fast you climb. The ability also carries over from season to season. The Squad MMR limitation will also be removed, so players will be able to unite with whoever, and a new algorithm will adapt to the different skill levels present. Last but not least, for the leaderboard updates, players will receive 1 reward for each rank tier they achieve during the season and will receive those reward(s) at the end of each season (Please make it copper, please make it copper).
The Battle Pass is also getting an upgrade and is somewhat of the same model as the new Battle Pass for Modern Warfare II. Instead of linear progression with Battle Pass levels, you’re presented with a roadmap of nodes that you earn with Tokens and Breach Charges ( clever) unlock. That means you can prioritize the rewards you want to receive. You earn tokens and charges by playing matches and then using them 1:1 to unlock tiles and progress through Breach Paths that create shortcuts for quicker access to the rewards you want. You will unlock various cosmetic rewards, Alpha Packs, Bravo Packs, Renown Boosters, Battle Point Boosters, and R6 Credits, with an additional reward for each unlocked tile for Premium Pass holders. I still don’t know what I necessarily think about this progression type, but we’ll see how I feel when we see what the new Battle Pass contains.
My favorite updates to Operation Solar Raid are crossplay and cross-progression. I think it’s long overdue for Rainbow Six Siege to implement both of these features and I’m so excited now that it’s finally happening. There is already crossplay between PC players and players on Amazon Luna, a cloud gaming service developed and operated by Amazon. But now console players can enjoy crossplay too, but only with other consoles. Xbox and PlayStation players can now team up or compete (who has the better Siege players?), which should result in shorter wait times. However, if you’d rather not participate, crossplay can be disabled in the options menu. Cross-progression occurs when you have linked all of your respective platform accounts to a single Ubisoft Connect account. With cross-progression, you can access all of your content no matter what platform you’re on, including all of your operator unlocks, rank and battle pass progression, and cosmetics. In addition, you will receive a free alpha package. Free Items!
It’s a well-known fact that when you’re playing competitive games, you’re going to run into some of the most toxic people out there. The development team is constantly working to combat players who decide to abuse things like team kills and will be making some updates to the reputation system and interactions during the setup phase of each round. Reputation stats will be introduced this Season in the BETA as the next step in the reputation system first introduced in Siege in 2020. Players can see their reputation status as well as any positive or negative effects so they can see what their actions will now have consequences. There are five levels, one being the lowest and five being the highest. These rankings are not shared with other players, but rather serve to provide feedback to the player to encourage healthy interactions and prevent toxicity.
In addition, players can no longer deal friendly fire damage during the preparation phase of each round, whether intended or not. Again, this will reduce toxicity when your teammates decide they don’t like you, but will also prevent those unfortunate mishaps when someone tries to open a rotation point between targets or when trying to take down attacker drones. Or those teammates who decided to just randomly shoot as soon as they load into the round… Just… Why are you doing that? Stop it. However, once the preparation phase is over, it’s all free play, so watch out.
Operation Solar Raid has a number of other minor updates that don’t need a full explanation, so I’ll just list them here:
- Map Ban Update: Nighthaven Labs cannot be banned in ranked and unranked. It is still visible but cannot be selected. play it learn it Enjoy it.
- Ability Mode Swap Update (Capitao & Zofia): Swap between Zofia’s Impact and Concussion or Capitao’s Smoke and Fire ammo before equipping
- Bomb sites remain visible even if the defuser is dropped
- Drone penalty speeds (controllers) were no longer slowed down when moving diagonally
- ADS movement speeds are now the same for all operators regardless of armor/speed to improve balance
- Operator price cuts are coming for Kali, Wamai, Aruni and Thorn
- DRONE COSMETICS COMING SOON!
- Shooting range update to view shooting records so you can see the performance of different weapons used on the shooting range
- Accessibility Update: Gadget color customization update, you can choose what color friendly and enemy gadgets are to make them easier to spot, including drones. Also distinguish who accesses cameras/drones (Dokkaebi Hack vs. Defender)
Operation Solar Raid launches on all platforms on December 6th, just 5 days after Siege’s 7th birthday! I look forward to seeing and playing more of this. Stay tuned to GamingTrend.com for more news and updates.
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