Three years after launch, Ubisoft took the first step towards re-balancing maps in Rainbow Six Siege. In the second season of year three, Operation Para Bellum, the first significant change to a map was made. Officially called ‘Map Buff’, the balance change was made to clubhouse in order to make it fair for both attackers and defenders. Starting in Grim Sky, the first official ‘Map Rework’ will be deployed to Hereford Base. Ubisoft developers want to make the difference between the two clear, and today’s developer blog does just that.
Map buff involves “creating new walls, new windows, and actual new doors.” Operated by the Level Design team, map buffs hold great importance in the life of a map. Ubisoft describes map buffs as a “key feature in the future.”
As more and more operators are added to Rainbow Six Siege, the meta automatically evolves but the maps do not. As a result of this, some maps become unbalanced and less fun to play. Map buffs “give maps new life while improving the competitiveness,” reads the developer blog. “The team builds onto the existing structure and flow of the map that improves on these qualities without completely changing the experience of the map.” The developers also state that they want to introduce map buffs more frequently in the future.
While the community has not had any first hand experience with map reworks, Ubisoft has given us a good idea of what to expect. From what we can gather from the Hereford Base trailer, map reworks are significantly larger than buffs and change the whole environment of a map.
“Map Buffs are surgical and limited changes are focused purely on gameplay. These are more rapid iterations on a map that require reduced workload on the art team. They aim to offer a few critical improvements to competitiveness, mainly more viable objectives.”
Being a much bigger step than map buffs, Ubisoft considers feedback from the community including Pro League players before taking action with map reworks.