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Rainbow Six Siege's Operation Blood Orchid delayed

Good news, bad news, news news

Good news: Rainbow Six Siege [official site] will be free for everyone to try this weekend, and on sale half-price for keepsies too.

Bad news: Operation Blood Orchid, the next big content update for the the wall-busting tactical FPS, has been delayed by one week.

News news: Ubisoft have detailed the three new characters to be added by Blood Orchid when it does arrive. Their superpowers include flash bombs and poison mines.

So! Operation Blood Orchid was due to launch on August 29th, but now it's slated for September 5th. For people who really, really want to play on the 29th, Ubisoft do plan to launch it onto the test server on the 29th to squeeze in a little more testing but yeah, that's not the same.

Operation Blood Orchid is running very late. Ubisoft decided in May to delay it to instead focus on 'Operation Health', a string of updates focused on patching and improving the base game rather than adding new content. That is welcome, and Blood Orchid will include a little of Health's ongoing work, but this last-minute delay does smart a little. The last new map and characters were added back in February with Operation Cushioned Clunge, so a little freshness is long overdue.

When Blood Orchid arrives, it'll bring a new map set in a Hong Kong theme park and three new operators. Ubi detailed the three in a blog post this afternoon. In the usual way, the map will arrive for everyone at launch but the operators will initially be exclusive to season pass owners.

New attacker Ying carries 'Candela' devices, which flash lights to blind other players. They can be thrown like grenades, cooked then rolled increasingly long distances, or poked into breachable surfaces to flash the other side. She carries a shotgun or LMG.

Watch on YouTube

The other two new characters are defenders. Lesion carries poison mines that poison enemies to deal damage over time and mess with their view (it causes "sort of a swampy, queasy filter", Ubi say), and he neatly gains more over time so they become more of a concern, not less. He's got a silenced shotgun too.

Watch on YouTube

Lastly, Ela has proximity concussion mines which stick to surfaces when thrown. "These beauties will detonate when an enemy gets close, stunning them, disrupting their hearing, and shaking up their view but doing no damage," Ubi explain. She's got an SMG or shotgun as well as a pistol with a dot sight. She also can detonate a spare concussion mine manually when downed to cause a distraction.

We're almost done here.

As it has several times before, Siege will be free to play in full through Steam and Uplay from Thursday through to Sunday. If you like it and want to keep it, it'll be half-price until September 4th. And yup, progress from the trial carries over to the full version.

This weekend will also bring a preview of Blood Orchid during Siege's Pro League Finals on Twitch at 5:15 pm (9:15am Pacific) on Saturday. Oh, and that whole tournament I guess. That will also take place.

For now, here's last week's video of the new map:

Watch on YouTube

This is so very many videos.

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