After a couple months of test-server experimentation, Ubisoft are rolling out their new team-killer punishment to Rainbow Six Siege proper. While the studio confirm that today's iteration of "Reverse Friendly Fire" (RFF) is still to be refined and has a couple bugs still to be hammered out, it's ready enough for the big leagues. In short, if you shoot a teammate, they can choose whether or not to replace your bullets with karmic ones that bounce off friends and back into their owner's careless (or malicious) face for the rest of the match. A poetic punishment if there ever was one.
Probably the biggest change between the test-server iteration of RFF and today's launch version is a new system designed to catch players that damage teammates without killing them. If you deal enough cumulative damage against your team, RFF will be activated no matter how forgiving your squad are. Ubi break down the specifics in this extensive dev-blog post, but in summary, just about anything that can deal damage to your own team can activate the RFF system. The only exception is some explosives, which can still harm your team even with RFF on - this will change in the next major update.
For the most part, Reverse Friendly Fire redirects damage done to the player that caused it, but it is a little more lenient in the case of remote control drones and other such gadgets. If you hurt your friends with those, the gadget will take damage instead. It's all smart stuff, and will hopefully curb team-killing and team-damage in the twitchy competitive shooter. Friendly fire happens, and you can forgive it when it's obviously a mistake, but punishing offenders without depriving your team of a member is a big deal. Ubi are looking for feedback on this release, and will make further adjustments in the upcoming Year 4, Season 2 update.
There are still some concerns that passive-aggressive jerks might deliberately throw themselves at teammate's explosives in order to damage themselves or activate RFF, but this seems unlikely. So far, response to the new system seems positive. While there are undoubtedly going to be jerks who try to test its limits, it should at least provide an elegant solution to that guy who shoots you in the back of the head at match start. He will feel ashamed of his words and deeds, or at least get a taste of his own medicine.
The Reverse Friendly Fire update is live now, and while we're on the subject, Rich McCormick recently took a deep dive on how the game has been improved by its years of post-release support. Give it a read here.