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R6 Siege launching Operation Velvet Shell tomorrow

Fnarr! Blimey! Oooh matron! etc.

Rainbow Six Siege [official site] will kick off its second year of content updates tomorrow, February 7th, Ubisoft have announced. They held their big Six Invitational tournament over the weekend and took the opportunity to show off the new map and characters coming with Operation Velvet Shell (not a euphemism, unless you want it to be, in which case go right ahead tittering) and discuss plans for the year beyond.

My favourite of the new operators is Mira, who continues Siege's avant-garde Changing Rooms action by popping windows into walls wherever she pleases. Perhaps a future character will paint an accent wall and hang hideous drapes to distract enemies.

Here, check out this video showing Operation Crinkly Chuff's new operators in action. The defensive Mira can punch bulletproof one-way mirrors into walls then blow them to make "murder holes". Attacking operator Jackal's ability is to track footprints, which light up on his HUD and are more red the fresher they are. Jackal's tracking will also give a few snapshot glances at an enemy's location. The operator Caveira's Silent Step ability stops her leaving footprints, mind. Both of 'em can carry the small new ITA12S shotgun as a sidearm - the first secondary shotgun. Anyway, have a look:

That's also showing off the new map of Operation Cushioned Clunge, Coastline, which visits an island club round Ibiza.

Operation Furry Muff will launch tomorrow. The map will be available to all at launch, while the operators will be staggered. As ever, folks who own the season pass will get them unlocked instantly while regular folks will need to wait a week before they'll be allowed to unlock 'em with imaginary coins.

"The upcoming Operators are much more representative of our vision of Siege and what we want the game to become," creative director Xavier Marquis says in an accompanying video about wider Year 2 plans. Now they've had a while to see Siege in action, Ubi are designing characters who take some interesting roles in the meta. It sounds like they plan to tweak some of the older ones too.

Matchmaking is being reworked with Operation Plush Flange as well, so players can queue then still use other menus rather than being locked into a matchmaking screen. The folks at cheery RPS fanzine visited Ubi and say that matchmaking is also going from peer-to-peer to running through dedicated servers, so it should be less janky and prone to collapsing. PCG say Ubi are working on hit registration too.

Loot crates are coming too, rewarding players with random pretties as they play. So far, skins have cost real or virtual money.

Here, this dev video goes over this and Ubi's other, wider plans:

Siege is still half-price on Steam for another few hours, by the way, following a free trial weekend.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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