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This week's Rainbow Six Siege update adds a new map, overhauls Tachanka, and delivers a list of bug fixes and balancing as long as your arm

Rainbow Six Siege is being updated this week as Ubisoft continues to provide new content and attentive support to its quietly terrific tactical shooter.


Rainbow Six Siege just keeps on getting better, which is how it snuck in as a bonus entry on our list of the best shooters of 2016.

Let's hope this week's update continues the trend. Arriving when December 15 rolls around in Ubisoft's key timezones, the Mid-Season Reinforcements update patches up one of Rainbow Six Siege's least-active Operators, adds a new map, and makes an enormous stack of changes.

We won't cover everything here because the full patch notes are enormous, but here are the highlights.

Reworked Operative: Tachanka
On November 13th 2016, Alexsandr Senaviev was declared clinically dead for two minutes on the field. While he recovered at the Hereford Base, his mounted RP-46 Degtyaryov Machine Gun was inspected. Having been decommissioned in the 1960s, the RP-46 Degtyaryov was one of the last machine guns manufactured by the Soviet Union. Aware of the Operator’s preference for such antique pieces, Six asked for the weapon to be upgraded to meet safety measures. The team of engineers led by Elena “Mira” Alvarez Del Manzano added a ballistic shield that protects the head from frontal shots. This shield can be destroyed separately from the rest of the turret. Mira was also tasked with adding a light customization on the Mounted LMG as a personal touch for Tachanka.

    Game design notes
  • Since the launch of Rainbow Six Siege more than a year ago, Tachanka has been the weakest Operator, even if he has become one of the most loved. This has most clearly been reflected in his pick rate, which is the lowest in the game.
  • When looking at Tachanka, the biggest downside lies in the gadget. The tradeoff between his turret’s stopping power and his lack of mobility isn’t good enough. Attackers have several ways to deny him with the element of surprise, and can easily headshot him once they know his position.
  • In order to introduce a counter to this weakness, we’ve added a shield in front of the turret which protects him from frontal headshots. The objective is for Tachanka to be the king of the angle that he positioned into, while being very vulnerable to other angles.
  • The shield can be broken separately from the rest of turret and has 500 HP.
  • We’ve also added recoil and a little bit of spread to the gun, in order to mitigate the strength of the shielded turret in spawn peek situations (long distances).

New map

    Bartlett University
  • Launching with the Mid-Season Reinforcement patch is the Bartlett University map redesigned for PvP. The map used to only be available in PvE and is going to be available for everyone starting December 15, 2016
  • The newly redesigned map removes all the gas and PvE elements from the original design, and introduces better destruction, improved visual layout for better orientation, and a new two-layer destruction.

Tweaks and improvements

    Operator Tweaks
  • Fuze is getting an additional Cluster Charge and each sub-grenade has a larger radius
  • Bandit is getting a fourth battery
  • Smoke's Gas Canisters now throw like grenades
  • Blackbeard is bing nerfed

For weapons balancing, other improvements and bug fixes, please hit the link to the patch notes above. They go on forever, and there was so much nesting of lists involved that I threw a small tantrum. You'll also find more detail on what's happening with each of the bullet points above.

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