Operation Deadly Omen in Rainbow Six Siege brings new tracking Operator and shield rework for Y9S1

Operation Deadly Omen in Rainbow Six Siege brings new tracking Operator and shield rework for Y9S1
Images via Ubisoft

Written by 

Harry Boulton


24th Feb 2024 18:00

The arrival of Year 9 in Rainbow Six Siege is certainly something to celebrate, and its first season Operation Deadly Omen brings new tracking Operator Deimos into the fold alongside a bunch of exciting balance changes and reworks.

We got the chance to check out everything on the way in Y9S1 ahead of launch, and it's looking to be one of the most significant seasons for how we'll all play the game, even without a new map addition.

Keep an eye on Defenders with new Operator Deimos

Image of Deimos in Rainbow Six Siege
Click to enlarge

Flying into Y9S1 is the new Attacker Deimos, who can deploy tiny helicopter drones that track your foes. Much like Jackal, this can give you a significant advantage when used correctly - but there are a few caveats here.

Not only will you be able to scan defenders who have already been identified by your team's drones, but that player will only be visible to you, and you'll be pinged for them as well.

You'll be able to get info far more frequently than they'll get in return, but it certainly sets up an interesting cat-and-mouse game that we've not really seen before in Siege.

Key art for Operation Deadly Omen in Rainbow Six Siege featuring Operators
Click to enlarge

While the prospect of another Operator like Jackal entering the game will likely send shivers down the spine of the player base - myself included - it does seem like there's a lot of counterplay to astutely deal with Deimos, and they're almost more of a support Operator instead of the entry fraggers that have become so dominant in the meta.

Could this be the end of the TDM meta?

Incremental changes in the past few seasons have been made in an attempt to tackle what has been dubbed by the community as the 'TDM meta', but Y9S1 looks to be Ubisoft's biggest effort so far.

First, and most important of all is the blanket increase to every Operator's aim down sights (ADS) speed, which means that it'll now take longer to gain full sight picture on each and every optic.

This places a much greater emphasis on intentionality, benefitting those who are proactive in holding an angle. This directly affects the TDM meta which was largely based around rushing with fast Operators like Iana, as the speed of the game very much catered to this.

Key art for the holographic sight changes in Rainbow Six Siege
Click to enlarge

Support this is quite a dramatic shift to the optics, as both the 1.5x and 2x sights have been completely removed, and we'll now only have 1x, 2.5x, and 3.5x scopes available. Furthermore, Defenders will have limited access to 2.5x optics, and comprehensively no access to 3.5x sights - leaving many with just a 1x or the lowly irons.

1.5x sights have been quite a controversial topic since they were introduced in Siege, as they encourage aggressive play from the defenders and level the playfield with many of the best Attackers. Their removal should directly affect the viability of TDM meta, so we'll have to see what new playstyles emerge as we head into Year 9.

There's a new shield in town

One of the most anticipated updates in recent seasons has been the long-awaited shield rework, as they've always remained in a complicated position in the game.

Gone are the days of chaotic shield rushes though, as they're now positioned far more as a front line for your team and a means to support every entry.

One big change is the fact that you can't hip-fire any more, which negates a lot of their attacking potential - but by far the most significant shift is that melee hits no longer deal damage. Instead, players on the receiving end will be pushed to the floor as if they've been hit by Oryx, leaving them open and exposed to all dangers.

Your main aim as a shield player now is to be the focal point for your team though, taking away enemy attention and drawing suppressive fire. To help with this you'll now be able to reload behind the shield, in addition to throwing equipment and some gadgets.

Attackers do have some leeway with these changes though, as shield users will now be prevented from sprinting if you fire onto their shield, giving you the time and space to communicate their location to your team and create an opportunity to take them down.

There are plenty of other smaller changes coming that will make your Siege life more comfortable in Y9S1, but it's certainly an exciting time that will likely cause a big shift in the way that the game is played.

Harry is a Guides Writer at GGRecon, having completed a Masters of Research degree in Film Studies. Previously a freelance writer for PCGamesN, The Loadout, and Red Bull Gaming, he loves playing a wide variety of games from the Souls series to JRPGs, Counter-Strike, and EA FC. When not playing or writing about games and hardware, you're likely to find him watching football or listening to Madonna and Kate Bush.

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