A new update is on the way to Rainbow Six Siege's test server that introduces some new changes, but that's not all that developer Ubisoft has in store. It's also discussed some of the other adjustments it's exploring, including a nerf for Lion, an Operator who is widely considered to be too strong and Ubisoft previously said: "is not in a good place right now."
In a new "designer's notes" post on Siege's website, the game's developers outlined some upcoming changes. Specifically, regarding Lion, Ubisoft admitted, "Our data indicate that Lion is currently too strong. He is close to 100% pick in Pro League, and his win delta is too high in Ranked as well. We have also observed feedback stating that he was not fun to play against."
Lion is an Attacker-class Operator. His gadget is a drone that marks enemies through walls, highlighting their current position--a massive advantage for Lion's team. Some of what Ubisoft has planned was rolled out in a preview PTR update; Lion's Scan won't show your outline if you stop moving. Ubisoft says this is "only a first step to give Defenders more options of counter-play against Lion's detection. We are still looking into improving how Lion's detection works and your feedback will help us get a better idea of how to proceed."
The other change involves reducing Lion's gadget to have only two charges, rather than three, and to increase the cooldown to 20 seconds from 10. "We want to force players to make a more careful choice when they want to trigger Lion's Scan," Ubisoft explained. "Players are currently able to chain the scans too much during crucial moments."
In a separate Reddit AMA, Ubisoft discussed the Lion situation further. "[T]here are clearly limitations and flaws in our pipeline when it comes to testing and iterating on Operator balancing before releasing them," game designer Jean-Baptiste Hallé said. "We have Pro players come in early to test content, but we don't get a full picture as it is limited in time and the number of players involved. Also, we don't always have the time to correct the issues that they spot during these sessions.
"For example, on Lion, they did spot that the full outline detection was problematic. We did not have time to modify that system before the release of the Operator. This shows that we have room for improvement in our iteration pipeline. We are working on ways to improve the feedback to iteration loop for Operators pre-release."
Other characters touched on in the designer's notes include Blitz (losing charges and range on his shield flash), Jager (whose Magpies will stop destroying Hibana's X-KAIROS pellets), and Vigil (whose cloak will drain faster but also recharge more quickly). Ubisoft also pointed out that LMGs are in line for a buff and that Finka's win rate has been deemed too high, though specific changes weren't outlined.
"We want to take some time to investigate why that is before making any changes," Ubisoft said about Finka. "Our focus will be to study the effects of her recoil reduction, speed boost through barbed wire, and health boost. For the speed and health boost, we will need more data to ensure that we are making the right adjustments. For Recoil, we do not want to change it before the implementation of the new recoil system. Doing so would result in clouded data and feedback."
Rainbow Six Siege kicked off Year 3 of its post-launch support in March, bringing two new Operators, Lion and Finka. We don't yet know what's next for the game, although the next Operators may have leaked.