If Blood Orchid was to be known as the trap meta, then the forthcoming Operation White Noise should become the observation meta. Its two new South Korean operators, attacker Dokkaebi and defender Vigil, excel in deception and interference. Their gadgets don't just target electronics like those of Thatcher or Mute, they aim to mess with the opposition by turning their most useful equipment against them: cameras.
Want the developer’s perspective on the new operators? Check out our Rainbow Six Siege White Noise interview.
For Dokkaebi, that means hacking into the defending team’s network of surveillance cameras, which is ideal for flushing out roamers and campers alike. To do this, Dokkaebi has to track down and hack one of the enemy’s smartphones, which they will drop when they are killed. Dokkaebi’s Logic Bomb gadget helps with this part as well, allowing you to hack every enemy’s phone and force it to emit a loud buzzing sound, making them easy to hunt down in close quarters. You can do this twice in a round, and the defenders will have to take a few seconds to override it - a good distraction ahead of a breach.
Defenders can block Dokkaebi by either destroying the phones of their fallen teammates, or by shooting out their own cameras. Effectively, her role is to distract and blind. She does not bring any essential utility like Thermite or Thatcher. Likewise, her primary weapons - a powerful DMR for long-range encounters and double-barrel shotgun that fires slugs - are not made for leading the line where kills are concerned. Manage to hack an enemy's phone however, and Dokkaebi comes into her own, able to ping enemies on their own cameras for a fast-moving and coordinated attack, or patiently hunt them down by herself with her two-hit kill MK14.
During my first outing with Dokkaebi I struggled to find much use for either her gadget or her loadout. However, more time and new situations reveal a great deal of potential when accompanied by, or countering, specific operators. In one round I am joined by an IQ who is diligently scanning around for traps. I decide to deploy the first use of my Logic Bomb and suddenly IQ starts firing into a nearby wall where a faint buzzing could be heard, registering a kill. Before I can figure out what is happening she sprints off to barricaded window and unloads an entire magazine into it, dealing some damage before the defender manages to escape. The penny drops: IQ can spot electronics, so as defenders go to silence their phones she can make out their exact position and grab an easy kill.
Later in the round with only 20 seconds left to grab the hostage I deploy the Logic Bomb again, sending the entrenched defenders into panic, one darting across into the open making for an easy kill with the punchy MK14. In reality, he was in no danger, but mind games are a powerful thing in Rainbow Six Siege.
In the next round with Dokkaebi I manage to acquire a defender’s phone and play more mind games. Turns out, hacking into the defender’s camera network also allows you access to Valkyrie’s Black Eye cameras - and defenders will know their cameras have been compromised as a bright orange Dokkaebi icon corrupts the feed whenever they try to use them - not only telling defenders that she is watching them, but also obscuring their vision with the overlay. Watching as a Valkyrie, who had previously gotten the jump on you, sprints from room to room shooting out her own cameras is a prime example of how Rainbow Six Siege continues to mess with meta expectations, and heap emphasis on character synergies as it increases its roster size.
But even hacker Dokkaebi will not be able to catch Vigil off guard. Dokkaebi's defensive counterpart can cloak himself from cameras and drones, which makes him the perfect roamer - even if you know roughly where he is, you will never be able to get the drop on him thanks to his three speed rating. This ERC-7 cloaking device is not long lasting though, nor does it totally hide Vigil. The ability itself can be activated for a few seconds at a time, but must recharge once depleted - much like Caveira's Silent Step ability. If you are droning out the opposition as an attacker and come across Vigil you can still spot him from long distances as his disruption field is localised, however, up close a little bit of static is all you will have to go on.
At first, Vigil’s ability seems tame, but in the right hands Vigil can waste valuable minutes as attackers attempting to clear the level before moving onto the objective. Complimenting his excellent roaming potential is one of the best defender primary weapons in Rainbow Six Siege, the K1A SMG. High power, steady rate of fire, and unmatched accuracy combine to make Vigil lethal in every situation, while a selection of two PDWs ensure you always have a solid backup to switch out to when the K1A runs dry.
Vigil’s role is to keep roam-clearers busy for the duration of the round before falling back on the objective as the attackers make their move. It is what every roamer is meant for, but by being able to cloak himself from drones Vigil is difficult to track down with any certainty.
When playing as Vigil, each drone that fails to spot you increases your confidence as you can cling to whatever spot you have settled into and pick off any attackers who are haphazardly searching the area.
The ERC-7 is most effective on the move, where you can pull attackers into chasing your digital shadow across the map, eating up valuable time or setting up ambushes along the way. But it is also helpful when you are defending on site, as no attacker is able to spot which corner you are hiding in. And while knowing you have a couple of operators on your tail is a rush, nothing compares to watching drones pass you by before the enemy rushes in to the objective room, clueless as to where you are. Vigil is defined by his adaptability, an aspect that few defensive operators possess - though last season’s Ela is among them.
Speaking of Ela, her sister Zofia is the third new operator in Operation White Noise. Her gadget is the KS79 LIFELINE, a dual-fire grenade launcher that can switch between concussion and impact grenades without having to reload. In practice, that makes Zofia one of the best entry fraggers in the game as not only can she breach soft cover like Ash, she can disorient anyone inside just before entering. The penalties for such a useful gadget are smaller breaching holes and slower movement, but Zofia can also revive herself from a downed state - though it is worth noting that she will only have one health point left once she gets back up.
She is definitely the odd one out in the White Noise lineup, but Zofia is not without merit. Boasting an accurate M762 assault rifle and bullet hose LMG-E as her primary weapons, Zofia is well suited to storming rooms and suppressing enemy positions. Combine that with her ability to both destroy soft cover and disorient enemies and you have an operator that can stand in for either Ash or Ying.
Thanks to proximity sensors, stun grenades detonate as soon as a defender is in range, so you always know when you have dazzled your opponent. This makes the role of entry fragger more straightforward than ever before: fire both impact grenades, fire both stun grenades, vault in, and finish off anyone left inside. But the KS79 is useful on the fly as well. Pinned down at the end of a long corridor with multiple defenders firing at you is a tough situation to overcome, but by bouncing a couple of concussion grenades down the corridor you can buy yourself time to push up or flank. Likewise, Zofia’s impact grenades let you open up new, traversable sightlines in an instant, making her adept at rushing the objective. Impact grenades are a utility that defenders have been using to quickly rotate back to the objective - perhaps simply repackaging some of the best tools in the game is all it takes to produce one of the strongest operators to date.
Mok Myeok Tower
These playstyles, whether old or new, felt right at home on White Noise’s new map, Mok Myeok Tower. Casual players will be relieved to hear spawn killers and runouts are totally powerless here as the attackers spawn on the roof of the tower and have to either rappel down the side of the tower or go through a central maintenance shaft. Attacking from the top lends a great deal more cohesion to the assault, allowing a floor-by-floor sweep of the building. There are too many entry points for defenders to keep an eye on all of them, raising the chances of all five attacking players making it into the main building without taking any damage.
Defenders will still find plenty of space to roam, but it is much harder for them to tell where the attackers are coming from or if they have already entered the building. Each of the two main floors bears a circular design with an encompassing promenade and central corridor allowing for easy movement around the objective sites, which should benefit both sides of the fight. The interiors themselves are sleek and stylish, playing host to a bevy of hard and soft cover options in the form of art installations and museum pieces - even with a few angles it is very tough to spot every defender in the room. Both floors are so large that roamers will always have a chance to hide in a distant corner of the map and rotate back to site in the dying seconds of a round. It is open, but the key points for both attack and defence are easy to spot after a match or two.
At such an early stage in Operation White Noise’s life cycle, it is impossible to tell how players will eventually settle into playing both the new operators and Mok Myeok Tower. White Noise is not adding any essential new operators or components to the game - this is does not reinvent the way observation works in a match - but it does add some clever counters and alternatives that only flesh out an already extensive operator pool. No doubt, pro players and streamers will be the ones to figure out whether these additions have a place in the game’s meta beyond the season.
After the specifics? Here is our rundown of the new Rainbow Six Siege operators, from loadouts and utilities, to armour and speed stats.