Recovery Time

We made some adjustments to rifles recently, and those changes have been causing a lot of pain in the CS:GO community. The pain was the result of a few mistakes we made, and while we usually prefer to avoid disrupting conversations happening in the community, we wanted to talk about some of the thinking that led to the recent changes as well as our plan for moving forward.

Why change rifles at all?

In CS:GO, spraying is generally the most popular way of firing a rifle. We can see this pretty clearly in the rifle data that we collect internally, and it’s something we hear the community discussing frequently.

Because we think it’s valuable for players to have choices when they’re thinking about how to engage an opponent, we looked at ways to make tapping/bursting a bit more appealing. The hope was that by encouraging more deliberate firing, we would add something skillful that players could use to their advantage.

As a first step toward this goal, we increased recoverytime for the AK-47, M4A4, and M4A1-S. For a detailed breakdown of the change and its impact, check out this excellent community post by lalush.

Unfortunately, our implementation failed in a few ways.

For one thing, increasing inaccuracy while spraying also comes with reduced accuracy for all forms of firing. Proportionally, spraying was the most impacted, but we underestimated the impact that the change would have on players who were already firing in shorter bursts.

As it turns out, the adjustments didn’t really achieve the goal either – our rifle data shows that players in all skill groups are still spraying more than tapping or bursting.

What’s next?

It’s difficult to measure the impact on gameplay when too much changes at once. The Winter Update came with some really huge changes to gameplay, including a new weapon, an adjustment to pistols, and the rifle change. Since we likely changed too much too quickly, in today’s update we’re rolling back both the rifle and pistol adjustments to their pre-Winter Update state.

We failed to anticipate the reaction of the community to changes in such heavy-use weapons, and we clearly need to re-evaluate our process for making and communicating about changes in that space. We still think there’s value in trying to find a better balance for pistols and more skillful ways to use rifles, so we hope to tackle rifles and pistols again in the future.

We’re constantly reading community feedback and while we don’t often respond directly, understanding the community is one of the most important parts of working on CS:GO. Mistakes happen, but when they do, we’re committed to making sure they get fixed.

Happy Holidays,
The CS:GO Team

CS:GO’s Winter Update

Welcome to the CS:GO Winter Update, filled with holiday cheer. There’s something for everyone, including a brand new pistol, a new weapon case, gameplay adjustments, the all-new Killer Replay feature, and more!

Click here for release notes, or read on for more details.

R8 Revolver

Revolver Case

Looking for the first R8 Revolver finishes? Two have been added to existing collections, and two can be found in the new Revolver Case:

Killer Replay

How’d that happen? In Demolition and Casual modes you can review your deaths with a Killer Replay from the perspective of your opponent. See the game through their eyes, and plan your next move!

Take Your Time

Need a minute to think things through? In Competitive Matchmaking, teams can now vote at any time to take one 60-second timeout, which will begin at the next freezetime.

Additionally, this update includes a change to round and C4 timers in Competitive Matchmaking (they are now 1:55 and 0:40), and these are the new times that will be used for CS:GO Major Championships. The times are intended to unify the professional and community experience, while addressing the exceptional strength of smoke grenades in the shorter rounds of professional matches.

We’ve also adjusted weapon balance to reward taking your time to aim. Movement inaccuracy has been increased for all pistols (excluding the R8 Revolver), and recovery time has been adjusted for the AK47, M4A4, and M4A1-S to reduce the range at which spraying is preferable to tapping/bursting.

Getting in the Spirit

We’ve added some holiday cheer for the season, and you can get in the spirit too! For those of you who are feeling generous, gifts are currently available for purchase.

And as always, the best way to get in the spirit is to play, so get in the game and go go go!

Damage Control

On Tuesday we shipped some major gameplay changes in CS:GO including the R8 Revolver, and players have been voicing legitimate concerns over the balance of the weapon as shipped.

While it typically takes more time to generate enough data to drive an update (and gameplay updates are always a bit disruptive), in this case it’s clear that we got the damage wrong and can respond immediately.

So today we’re updating the R8 Revolver to bring its values to be more in line with other weapons: among other changes, its damage has been reduced and it takes slightly longer to fire.

As experience with other new weapons (e.g., CZ75a and M4A1-S) has shown us, it may require several iterations over a longer period to find the stable values that create interesting strategic choices for players. We’re committed to monitoring usage and adjusting the values as required.

Tuesday’s update also included several other changes to gameplay (including a rebalancing for pistols and rifles). It’s still too early to determine their impact but we’re just as committed to monitoring the new meta and ensuring that as CS:GO continues to evolve, it remains fun, skillful, and balanced.

CS:GO Regional Minor Championships

CS:GO attracts the most highly-skilled professional gamers across the globe, and new competitors are emerging every day.

In January we will hold four Regional Minor Championships, which are opportunities for regions to continue to develop world-class talent. The events will spotlight players who have not recently gained exposure by participating in a CS:GO Major Championship.

Each will feature high-quality production, with the event’s playoffs streamed live in-client to regional viewers. In addition to a $50,000 prize pool, the winning team of each Regional Minor Championship will be invited to participate in the offline qualifier for MLG Columbus 2016.

Regions:
CIS, hosted by StarLadder
Europe, hosted by PGL
Asia, hosted by ESL
Americas, hosted by MLG

Teams are eligible to participate provided the majority of their players are citizens of a country in their respective region, and none of their players were Legends or Challengers in the previous CS:GO Major Championship.

Join us in January as we showcase rising stars in the CS:GO scene and take our first steps toward the Major Championship in Columbus!

Merch for the Holidays

Holiday season is upon us, and there’s no better way than CS:GO merchandise to tell your favorite CS:GO fan you love them deeply respect them!

From the Fade Edition mouse to mugs, t-shirts, jackets, hoodies and more, you can find it all at the Valve Store.

Looking for Community-designed Merchandise? Head on over to welovefine.com.

MLG Columbus 2016 Tickets

Want to see the world’s best teams in action at the first-ever North American CS:GO Major Championship? Tickets for MLG Columbus 2016 are available now!

ESL ESEA Pro League Season 2 finals

You don’t have to wait to watch the top teams: from December 10th to the 13th, North American and European teams will clash at ESL Studios in Burbank, California as the ESL ESEA Pro League reaches the end of its second season.

Tune in and watch the teams battle for their share of the season’s $500,000 prize pool and the ESL ESEA Pro League Trophy!