Rainbow Six Siege will expand once again before the end of the year with the introduction of Operation Wind Bastion’s new map and two additional Operators. After playing around three hours of the new DLC season, I can confidently say Nomad and Kaid are both fun to play with, but one of them poses a big problem for developer Ubisoft.
Nomad, an attacker, is in a good place already. Her primary weapons come attached with a device that launches wind-powered proximity mines. When an opponent approaches, the mines blast all enemies back and off their feet. Opposing players are rendered unable to use their weapon for a short duration, and must get back up before they can attack or move again. The mines can be used defensively to protect your flanks or offensively to flush enemies out, and they’re effective at achieving both objectives. But, crucially, there are relatively specific circumstances that are required for her ability to be used to its maximum potential–utilize it at the wrong location and its power will make little difference. The balance, then, appears to have been expertly struck.
The new defender Kaid, on the other hand, has issues. His Electroclaws, stick-shaped devices that electrify an unlimited number of metallic objects within a small radius, feel massively overpowered, especially since they render an old Operator almost totally pointless. Why would anyone choose Bandit and his four shock wires–capable of electrifying a total of four reinforcements or deployments–when they can pick Kaid and his three Electroclaws, which if placed intelligently could conceivably electrify nine objects, including hatches? And because those Electroclaws are small and can be placed at any height, it makes locating and destroying them very difficult for attackers.
That’s before you even get to his strong loadout, which offers a rapid-fire AUG-based SMG or an extremely powerful suppressed shotgun in addition to a scoped, high-power pistol. That loadout compounds Kaid’s three armor, one speed setup to make him a formidable anchor. Ubisoft has attempted to balance his loadout by introducing a delay before his Electroclaws are active, meaning fast players can react and destroy Hibana’s slow-activating pellets before they detonate, but you can’t do the same to the quicker Thermite charges. However it’s a small drawback to an otherwise incredibly powerful Operator. Nerfs will need to arrive soon after launch–or even before if the test server community reports similar observations–or Kaid’s introduction risks harming any or all of Hibana, Thermite, Bandit, and Mute.
In Siege’s lore, Kaid is Nomad’s tutor in Morocco’s GIGR special forces. The game’s new map, Fortress, is also Moroccan, and I’m pleased to say it’s a–technical term here–banger. With a huge roof area offering attackers large scope for descent from above, it forces enemy teams to play defensively. Despite Fortress’s large size, then, it offers a welcome trip back to the confined, claustrophobic, close-quarters action Siege was best known for in its first year.
Wind Bastion is shaping up to be, as is usual with Siege’s DLC drops, a worthy expansion that carries welcome additions to its roster. Nomad should slot in nicely with the rest of the game’s now 46-strong lineup, and Fortress is an excellent new map that offers a nice taste of old Siege to accompany its north African aesthetic. However, Kaid will need to be nerfed hard in the coming weeks to avoid upsetting Siege’s delicate balance.