Following the launch of last season’s Operation Chimera, Ubisoft is looking at what’s next for hit tactical shooter, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege. After a diverging from its traditional content structure with a zombies-themed Outbreak event, the next drop is set to return to the established multiplayer-centric formula.
Following a full reveal of Operation Para Bellum at the Atlantic City Pro League Finals, we now have a clearer idea of what the coming season entails. Here is everything you should know about Rainbow Six Siege’s forthcoming Italian expansion and what it means for you.
New Operators: Alibi and Maestro
Like previous seasons of Rainbow Six Siege, two new playable Operators will debut with Operation Para Bellum, hailing from a new counterterrorism unit. Tying into the expansion’s Italian theme, both offer their skillset under the “Gruppo di intervento speciale” of the Carabinieri military police. This season’s new Operators play defending roles, following the two attackers of Operation Chimera.
For those with Rainbow Six Siege’s Year 3 Pass, both Operators should be available at no additional cost at launch. Seven days after the update goes live, these Operators will be available to the public using Renown or R6 Credits.
Aria ‘Alibi’ De Luca
One half of this season’s duo is Alibi – an three speed, one armor Operator leveraging holograms to deceive foes. Despite Libyan origins, Aria de Luca immigrated to Italy, gaining a knowledge of firearms at a young age and developing exceptional sharpshooting skills. After proving her talents through combat, she was ushered into Team Rainbow as a GIS representative.
Alibi is expert in illusions, utilizing throwable “prismas” to display holographic decoys of herself. Up to three projectors can be placed per round, which each summon a stationary bait for attackers. However, if enemies shoot or touch these holograms, they’ll be marked for the whole defending team. This establishes a new factor in gameplay, where attackers should think before pulling the trigger.
The Mx4 Storm submachine gun is Alibi’s signature weapon, delivering a fast rate of fire and considerable damage. This can be swapped out for a new fully-automatic shotgun – the ACS 12. She also has access to the Baliff 410 and Keratos .357 as secondary armaments.
Adriano ‘Maestro’ Martello
Maestro is an Operator focused on heavy firepower, with an established background in reconnaissance and target acquisition within the GIS. After growing up in a large family, Adriano Martello entered the military from the age of 18, where he remains today. Though his arsenal allows him to jump into the action, his remote cameras also provide support from afar.
Two “Evil Eye” bulletproof cameras are Maestro’s primary gadgets, which can be deployed on any surface, like Jäger’s ADS units. These devices conceal a remote-controlled laser, which can be fired after opening its bulletproof glass sliders. Each shot only deals five damage but attackers will have to take them out to stay focused.
Maestro is defined by his ALDA 5.56 LMG, which provides formidable stopping power and destructible capabilities. Like Alibi, he also has access to the ACS 12 shotgun, Baliff 410 and Keratos .357.
New multiplayer maps: Villa and Clubhouse buff
Operation Para Bellum also introduces a new multiplayer map, “Villa.” Set on the estate of the Vinciguerra crime family, the map offers a blend of traditional Italitan architecture and contemporary luxury.
Villa is pitched as one of Rainbow Six Siege’s most competitive maps to date, embracing the game’s renowned close quarters gameplay and destructive environments. Attackers will spawn on the surrounding courtyard, before breaching the three-story building housing the objective. The villa also stows some varied locations, including a stylish living space, dark cellars, and vibrant gardens.
As unveilled at the Six Invitational in February, this season is also set to deliver a “buff” of the existing Clubhouse map. Addressing player feedback and data, changes are being made to the map’s layout to improve balancing and flow.
Some of the biggest changes include a new hallway between the upper floors, connecting the bedroom and the cash room. New walls have also been added to the bar, breaking apart the environment into smaller sectors.
Villa will be added to Rainbow Six Siege’s multiplayer map roster once the update is available on your platform. All players will gain access to the map, and the Clubhouse upgrade, regardless of owning a Year 3 Season Pass.
New system: Pick and ban
Rainbow Six Siege is also set to inherit a common feature from multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games, through a new pick and ban system for competitive matches. When enabled, pick and ban phases will allow teams to choose two Operators to be eliminated from play entirely. This keeps gameplay fresh in the competitive scene, forcing foes to change up their approach on the fly.
This move will have a major effect on how multiplayer plays out, allowing teams to eliminate counters for their strategies. This will be limited to Pro League and custom matches for now, leaving casual and ranked matchmaking will be unaffected.
New anti-toxicity measures: Team kill prevention
Ubisoft recently outlined upcoming anti-toxicity measures for Rainbow Six Siege, set to be deployed over the coming months. Addressing player concerns around the increasingly hostile player base, investments being made to counter toxic player behavior.
Season 2 is set to deliver a new system with improved tracking and punishing for team killing, by patching flaws in the current system. While the game’s current implementation punishes players for repeat teamkills, Ubisoft pledges to improve this system on a wider scale. Few details have been provided but the system is set to better track “long-term offenders across multiple games and sessions,” while cracking down on exploits.
Future updates are set to improve upon these anti-toxicity measures, including new options for moderating in-game chat and avoiding this negative player behavior.
Other changes: Bulletproof cameras, Echo buff and more
Earlier this year, Ubisoft announced an end to “mid-season reinforcements” – major reworks released between content drops with balancing tweaks and various fixes. While updates can still be expected between seasons, the move prevents regular drastic changes to gameplay flow for Pro League players. With changes now tied to new seasons, a number of balancing changes have amassed for this update.
One of the biggest changes is a new bulletproof camera, available to Mute, Castle, Doc, Frost, Caveira, and Vigil. Equipped as a secondary gadget, these thermal cameras can be deployed on almost any wall or floor. This allows defenders to keep a watch more angles, outside of dedicated intel Operators.
A new prevention for “drop-shotting” is also being deployed, where players rapidly enter prone in combat to avoid gunfire. Once deployed, players will be forced to stop aiming down sights when transitioning between stances.
A vartiety of other changes are being deployed alongside the update, as listed below:
- Echo buff: In response to feedback, Echo is receiving an upgrade to change his role in combat. The Operator will now stock two Yokai drones, allowing him to take more risks as a permanent anchor. To balance these changes, each drone’s maximum charges has been reduced from three to two and charging time has been increased to 20 seconds.
- Speed changes: Operator movement speeds are being tweaked this season in an attempt to further balance gameplay. One speed Operators will now move faster, while three speed Operators will move slower. All players will also receive a speed boost when their secondary is equipped.
- Scoring tweaks: An overhaul to multiplayer scoring is being made, changing how drones and Operator gadgets distribute points. This generally reduces the points for deploying a gadget, while delivering higher rewards when using them to contribute to the team. For a deeper breakdown of these changes, check out the official blog post on the subject.
- New user interface: This update also brings new interface to Rainbow Six Siege, which changes the heads-up display (HUD) styling and other in-game menus. The observation menu has also seen a reworked to better navigate between team cameras.
- Counter defuser change: A new animation is being implemented for the “Bomb” game mode, with defenders now using a dedicated defusal device. While this system is unchanged mechanically, this adds new audio and visual cues while defusing.
Availability: Release date and times
Ubisoft is yet to formally reveal Operation Para Bellum’s release date, however, pre-release public testing will begin on the Technical Test Server (TSS) on May 22.
Previous seasonal cosmetics will removed from the in-game store once Operation Chimera ends, with players were notified that skins will be unavailable from June 6. Based on this schedule, Operation Para Bellum is expected to see a full release on June 5 or June 6.
On launch day, Rainbow Six Siege updates often see a staggered release on an hourly per-platform basis. The first platform is often taken offline for maintenance at 9 a.m. while the third platform follows two hours later. Once maintenance is complete for your platform, Operation Para Bellum should be playable.
What’s next for Rainbow Six Siege
And that wraps up everything we know so far about Operation Para Bellum. How do you think the next season is shaping up? Drop into the comments section below with your thoughts.
Check out Windows Central’s Rainbow Six Siege hub for in-depth coverage of upcoming content, latest updates, and tips to improve your gameplay.
Updated May 20, 2018: Refreshed this article following the full reveal of Operation Para Bellum at the Atlantic City Pro League Finals.