A surprise patch was deployed for Counter-Strike Global Offensive last night. Titled the Winter Update, it brought a new gun and various balance changes to the game, along with some features for casual play. The gun goes into the same selection slot as the Deagle and is a slow-firing, highly-accurate and devastatingly powerful Revolver R8. Its alternate fire is inaccurate but far more fast-firing. Meanwhile pistol accuracy on the move has been reduced to help combat random-feeling early rounds and the spray-accuracy of the most commonly used rifles – the M4 and AK47 – has been lowered also, forcing ‘tapping’ shots.
CSGO fan who now wants a new FPS to play? We can help with that.
The reaction to the patch has been … negative, to say the least. As with any big change to games that have remained mostly static for a number of years, the immediate backlash was as loud as it was predictable. However, as last night progressed, the number of issues with the new gun and its overall power came into focus. It is, effectively, a pistol version of the Scout, doing lethal damage to the head and seriously crippling on body shotsat any range. The Scout is not a much-used rifle, but it can’t be equipped in the secondary position, meaning the revolver is a true game-changer.
ESL reacted quickly to the update dropping so close to their ESEA Proleague season finals which start tomorrow and run through to Sunday. As announced on Reddit, they will be using an older version of CSGO in their tournament. The patch simply came too close to their start date for players to get effectively practiced and they want to “maintain the competitive spirit of the event given the amount of money and prestige on the line.” All the info on that tournament on ESL’s site.
Meanwhile the community has been in uproar over the gun’s seemingly untested nature. It’s perfectly accurate on ladders, can use its shotgun-tier alternate fire while defusing or during round-set-up, both clearly bugs. Complaints have ranged from calls to stop playing the game entirely until it’s fixed, to petitions for a beta client so the community can test things before they’re implemented, calls for the revolver to be immediately banned from anything but casual play by both Valve and tournament organisers and every community manager’s favourite, the Game Developers Are Cunning Masterminds conspiracy theory. There’s also the odd ‘highlight’ gif to really push the point home.
Do they have a point? The Revolver particularly seems to be egregiously strong and the majority of pros agree, though many haven’t had time to go hands on yet. It has the capacity to one-shot players when hitting the stomach area of the model as well, and Valve’s customary total lack of communication means there’s no news on if or when they’re planning on making any further changes. It may disappear from the game by Monday, or linger forever. Calls that it will immediately kill the game seem a little far-fetched – it is less powerful than most main weapons – and the anti-change mindset has plagued many a pro scene before to its detriment, until developers forced something through. This may be a little too far though.
We know a lot of you play CSGO. What do you think?