We're onto year 2 of the Rainbow Six Siege [official site] calendar (where does the time go?) but, within that, season 2 of the tactical FPS is no longer bringing the usual new map and operators. Instead the trip to Hong Kong is being shunted back while the devs devote the season to performance, stability and rejigging their update pipeline. This being Rainbow Six Siege it was never going to be called "Q2: the developmental pipeline, servers and game performance season" and thus we have Operation Health.
Rainbow Six Siege is a game which betrayed me twice. The first time was when I found out it had no rainbows and I felt Hugely Mislead. The second time was when I played the game and found out how bad I was and how many buttons I was expected to press. HOWEVER, a significant slice of my friendship pie really loved the game and have stuck with it over time, singing its praises as a kind of sleeper hit FPS so it would make sense that if there are noteworthy issues with the game's infrastructure the team would want to iron those out as a priority.
Graham has played a chunk of R6S, although not for the last couple of months so I prodded him for opinions on the matter:
"My problems with matchmaking were always that it too regularly paired me with players that had played much more than I had, and so were better and had more unlocks than I did. They don't mention that as an issue in these notes though.
"In terms of what they do mention, I never noticed anything being slow so "faster servers" doesn't excite me, and I'm not sure what "one step matchmaking" really means. Fixing bugs sounds great, but I didn't encounter those either.
"I wonder if the biggest part of this is really the "new deployment process", which benefits the development team most obviously and I guess might indirectly help players later if there's more content released at a faster rate in future years."
Reading through the Q&A on the official site, the devs say things like "we were not satisfied with the pace at which we were able to deliver major improvements and fixes" and "we are dedicating an entire Season to both eliminating the highest priority issues and restructuring for a more sustainable update pipeline". Essentially it sounds like the team need a bit of breathing room to get back in top of issues and figure out how to do that alongside creating new stuff for the game.
What this means in terms of what pass holders and other interested parties can expect is that the season set in Hong Kong will be pushed back by three months to make way for Operation Health and season 4 will be the stuff set in South Korea. The Polish map which was set for season 3 has been cancelled but the two operators which would have been part of that update will appear, one each, as part of seasons 3 and 4.
Year 2 Pass owners will therefore still be getting the content which was promised as part of the deal but at a different cadence and "Year 2 Pass holders will also still receive any cosmetic items associated with the Polish Operators". The Polish map wasn't part of that deal because no maps are part of the season pass.
Further info on how the Operation is going will be found via a dedicated hub going live later in May, and Ubi add "We will be providing frequent updates through Dev Blogs, a more in-depth Known Issues list, and we will be maintaining high engagement on forums and the subreddit."