When content creators first got their hands on Operation Shadow Legacy, they quickly dubbed it as Siege 2.0. The new operation, which adds Sam Fisher of Splinter Cell fame to the fray as Zero, also brings a whole load of changes which is set to change the way we play the tactical shooter forever.
While many online have spent the last few days arguing over the accuracy of nickname Siege 2.0, it’s undeniable that this new season of content, which is set for full release next month, is an absolute game changer. Where players once had problems trying to communicate with random teammates, Ubisoft has provided new ways to counter those frustrations – whether that’s with a community pool of reinforcements or an updated ping system.
You see, for a five year old game that boasts more than 60 million players, Siege still has a few niggling problems. With new operators introduced to the game every few months, balancing Siege’s arsenal of weapons and abilities becomes more and more difficult. Add to that problems with choke points on maps, communication issues, and accessibility complaints, Siege’s tactical gameplay can be infuriating for some.
These problems have persisted Siege servers for as long as I can remember, but despite calls for another Operation Health, Ubisoft stuck to its roadmap and continued adding content – but this time, it’s different.
This update has the potential to be the biggest meta-changing operation in Siege history that actually rewards team play and communication. Before, in some Siege ranked circles, queuing without a full five-man stack could be dangerous. Teams couldn’t coordinate properly when it came to reinforcing sites, pings were placed without context, and you always had that one teammate without a microphone who insisted on roaming or spawn peeking every single round – even though they died almost every time without fail.
Well, Operation Shadow Legacy should put an end to the misery of solo queues. With the reinforcement pool feature, your strategy won’t be screwed when one of your teammates runs off in the preparation phase. So if you’re one of those Mira mains who obsesses over reinforcement placements, then you can sort it out yourself while the rest of your team prep sites for themselves. Equally, if your roamers are laying their traps upstairs, they can sort all the hatches out for you.
In addition to that, the new and improved ping system finally gives players without microphones a voice. Instead of adding another pointless yellow ping to the mix, pings will now be contextualised though a colour coding system. There’s a ping for gadgets, the defuser, enemies – all sorts. Yellow pings will even have a number, so you can work out which of your teammates is incessantly pinging basement stairs so you can actually ask them why.
And when it comes to team roles, things have been slightly relaxed. You’ll never have to reluctantly take a hard breacher into battle again, because all attackers are being gifted a new breach secondary going forward. This one works a bit differently from the ones carried by specialists like Thermite and Hibana, but when you’re hard stuck or your dedicated hard breacher died earlier on in the round, you’ve still got a chance of actually winning the round.
These seem like small changes when you glance at the operation’s patch notes, but they go a long way in changing the way Siege is played. At the higher level, organised teams can have their sites reinforced in seconds while giving time for their anchors and roamers to set up shop in whatever position they like. In the lower levels, new players can actually learn from their teammates without being shouted at for not using their two reinforcements.
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It’s a win-win situation for all involved, but we’re not even done yet. Scopes have been a contentious part of Siege’s long history. Long range scopes like ACOGs have been added and removed from operator’s loadouts more often than I can remember and the subreddit is often full of complaints or ideas about how to level the playing field in regards to their usage. Well, in Operation Shadow Legacy that all changes.
An optic overhaul, which replaces the ACOG with 1.5x, 2.0x, and 3.0x scopes, will have the biggest impact on Siege’s competitive scene. Defenders like Doc and Rook, favoured for long-range engagements, will be hurt the most by the overhaul. Doc loses his 2.5x ACOG for a 1.5x scope, and although Rook gets a 2.0x scope, defenders are at risk, now more than ever, for trying to watch long angles and take out unsuspecting attackers in the first few seconds of a round. Attackers on the other hand have had their kit buffed, with some benefiting more than others.
While the overhaul sucks for the defending team, it does help with Ubisoft’s ongoing efforts to keep the game balanced. Plus with three new scopes to tinker with, any changes to an operator’s build in the future should be less drastic and game breaking than it has been before.
Operation Shadow Legacy isn’t quite Siege 2.0, but it’s close. By delivering quality of life updates in a meta-changing format, Siege’s competitive community are in for a treat. And you know what? You can count me in for the long haul.