Rainbow Six Siege tests tweaks, dumps dropshotting
Stella was a dolphin diver
There's something about serious modern tactical shooters that just makes them a breeding ground for bizarre, alien movements that would never make sense in a gunfight. Who here remembers Dolphin Diving in Battlefield 2? Well, the Rainbow Six Siege equivalent is the Dropshot, a trick carried over from the likes of the Call of Duty series, and Ubisoft have finally decided it's just a little too much for their game of breaching and clearing. Its removal is leading the charge along with a bundle of other balance tweaks currently in public testing.
For those who haven't had the misfortune to go up against it online, Dropshotting is when a player enters a combat encounter by bringing up their sights, begins firing full auto, and simultaneously goes prone, maintaining accuracy while also practically teleporting out of normal aiming space. Rather than completely remove it, Ubisoft have chosen to force players back into hip-fire mode for a moment when transitioning from standing or crouching to prone stances and vice versa, making it less deadly and a little easier to counter.
Other notable changes in testing are the new Pick & Ban playmode, already used as standard in Pro League matches for the game. Teams take turns to pick what characters they'll use in the next round, while also banning specifically troublesome picks from the opposing team, allowing savvy and observant teams to handicap their opponents and keep matches fresh. At first this'll be rolling out solely as an option in custom games (it'd be a huge liability in public matches), but I could see it eventually becoming a standard feature for ranked play.
Some other interesting tweaks are coming to the game formula. Some characters are getting a singular bulletproof camera as a secondary gadget, meaning that quick and twitchy shooters won't be the universal solution to being spied on anymore. Plus, tweaks are coming to character movement speed across the board, with high-speed characters becoming slightly slower, but slow characters are being made a bit nippier. For all characters, you'll be getting a small boost to run speed when you've got a semi-auto handgun equipped, and shielded players will move at full speed when the shield is on your back.
So, big changes coming for the next competitive season of the game. These tweaks (and plenty more besides) have already been deployed to the public test servers for the game, and assuming nothing goes too catastrophically wrong should find themselves moving to standard format before long. It's interesting to see Ubisoft still making such major changes to the flow of their game, after what feels like a decade of Counter-Strike being a near monolithic, unchanging presence in esports.
You can see the full patch notes over on Steam, which go quite some ways beyond the highlight picks here. I'm sure some of you lot are avid Siege players. What do you make of these changes? Do you reckon they're a big shake-up, or are Ubisoft overestimating the impact that these tweaks will have on the competitive scene?