UPDATE: We’ve included a Q&A at the bottom of this post covering questions raised by the announcement of Operation Health.
Rainbow Six Siege boasts a thriving community of online players, and the game’s overall health is always chief among the development team’s priorities. As such, the team has made the decision to focus on improving the overall Rainbow Six Siege experience over the next three months with a series of improvements and changes called Operation Health.
Operation Health is a hard push toward tech improvements and bug fixes, and it introduces a new three-stage deployment process for updates, with new features first rolling out on a Technical Test Server, then on PC, then on consoles. (There’s also a new on/off feature in case a rollback is needed). Because of this new focus, the planned Hong Kong season will be pushed back to Season Three in August, while November’s Season Four will feature South Korea. Poland will no longer have its own season in Year Two, but its GROM Operators will be available at the start of seasons three and four. The number of new maps has also been reduced to three and includes the most recent map set in Spain.
Operation Health is also about keeping the community informed on what’s coming when, with frequent reports detailing upcoming features and improvements, and you’ll also be able to help the developers test the quality of these changes by previewing them on the Technical Test Server. To learn more about Operation Health, check out the official site and be sure to tune into the Rainbow Six Pro League finals on May 21st, when there’ll be a full panel discussion on what’s planned for the new season.
Here are answers to a few key questions raised by the changes:
What is Operation Health?
As announced during the Six Invitational, game health is our priority. To achieve this goal we took the decision to fully dedicate the next three months to improving our game. This means pushing back our season set in Hong Kong and launching Operation Health instead. Operation Health is all about fixing several issues and investing in better technology to make sure we keep growing strong in the upcoming years. This includes better servers, 1-step matchmaking, better deployment of updates, and many other improvements on issues that have been around for a long time.
Will we still be getting 8 Operators in Year Two?
Yes. Two have already been released with Velvet Shell, two operators will be released in the Hong Kong and South Korea Operations each, and an additional Polish Operator will be deployed in each of those two seasons.
So we will now be getting three Operators in Hong Kong and South Korea Operations?
Yes. We have already progressed on these operators and want to make sure we keep them.
What happened to the Polish Season and map?
The Hong Kong Season will now be released when the Polish Season was intended, this is to make room for Operation Health. The Polish map will be cancelled, but the two Polish operators will still be released, one in the Hong Kong season and one in the South Korea season. The reason behind it being cancelled is to truly prioritise our game’s health over adding new content.
Will there be compensation for Year Two Pass owners?
The Year Two Pass provides players with early access to 8 new Operators. While we will not have Two new Operators every three months this year, we will still deliver on your early access to the remaining Operators. You will receive the content and early access benefits you have paid for. Year Two Pass holders will also still receive any cosmetic items associated with the Polish Operators.
Why did you cancel the Polish Season and not Hong Kong or South Korea?
We did not cancel Hong Kong as we have already made progress on its development. South Korea’s plan was maintained as a result of assessing our development team’s needs and capabilities. We determined that we are better able to deliver the content from the South Korea Season by keeping it in the original time frame that was scheduled.
Will there still be Mid-Season Reinforcement updates and balancing updates to operators?
The focus of Operation Health is addressing the key issues regarding stability and performance. Because of this, we will be reducing the modification of gameplay data so there will not be a mid-season Reinforcement during Operation Health. You can expect its return during Season Three.
Why are you making this decision now instead of earlier?
While we have been working diligently on improving the health of the game, we were not satisfied with the pace at which we were able to deliver major improvements and fixes. So we are dedicating an entire Season to both eliminating the highest priority issues and restructuring for a more sustainable update pipeline. This will allow us to deploy fixes that have the highest impact possible without putting undue pressure on the development team to deliver both gameplay content and major health improvements. Basically, we are prioritising health this season.
When will these fixes take place?
The roadmap will be communicated during the Season One Pro League finals on our Operation Health Panel on May 21st. We are confident in the plan that we have set forth for Operation Health.
You had a focus on Health in Year One Season Three too. Why is this going to be different?
Year One Season Three revolved around the introduction of an additional Anti-Cheat, as well as various other quality of life improvements for our players. Where Operation Health differs is in the scale of the improvements and changes that are coming. We have outlined our plans for Operation Health here.
Will you still be releasing cosmetics during Operation health?
Cosmetics are created by our Art team and have a very low impact on the production cycle. Much of the work we are doing with Operation Health is specifically designed to deliver sustained development as required by the live environment, ensuring that further updates to the game can be implemented without risking stability. The creation of cosmetic items does not affect stability.
How are you going to be communicating updates with us?
First and foremost, you will be able to find all updates on the Operation Health Hub, which will be available at the end of May. We will be providing frequent updates through Dev Blogs, a more in-depth Known Issues list, and we will be maintaining high engagement on forums and the subreddit. We will be striving to communicate more frequently with you during Operation Health.
How will you be using the Technical Test Server (“TTS”) in the future?
We are continuing to explore the possibilities and various ways to approach our testing process. As noted in the Operation Health announcement, we will be utilising the TTS to test patches featuring major tech improvements. Once a patch is determined to be stable, we will deploy it to PC first, then consoles. We have chosen to deploy patches to PC first, as it allows us the most flexibility in terms of hotfixes and other adjustments. Once we are confident in the quality of the patch, we will begin the approval process with Microsoft and Sony to deploy the patch for our Console players as well. While this will extend the amount of time between title updates, we found it to be necessary in order to provide all of our players with the most stable experience possible. Note that this will not be the pattern forever, just Title Updates with major technical improvements.
How will you be prioritising bug fixes in Operation Health?
We have made an effort to prioritise our fixes based on what has the highest impact, but the impact was not always aligned with what the community felt were the biggest issues. We will be adjusting the bug fixing process to place community feedback on our Known Issues as a higher priority.
If I have more questions, where should I ask them?
Rainbow Six Siege is available now for Xbox One, PC, and PS4. For more on the game, check out our previous coverage.