Valve deployed an update to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive this evening that adds Operation Bloodhound, a fresh set of community maps and weapon skins that you can pay $7 for the chance to play and earn.
Rails, Resort, Zoo, Log, and re-released versions of Agency and Season are included in the Bloodhound Access Pass, which also opens up two new “campaigns,” a continuation of the web of challenges players can complete to earn weapon skins or unlockable crates.
New maps are welcome, but the packaged metagame content is the least interesting aspect of CS:GO to me—I’d much rather weapon unlocks be attached to an enhanced stats system that helps me understand where I’m at as a player. Instead, Valve has added another layer of profile progression, Profile Rank. “As you increase your Profile Rank, not only will your CS:GO profile evolve to show off your new title and icon; but the first time you rank up each week will earn you a weapon drop.” It’s weird that player profiles will have two pseudo-military ranks—one to measure their competitive skill, and another to measure how much they’ve played across all modes.
Other than map tweaks, there are no stated changes to weapon balance or other aspects of CS:GO. I do like that the match timer for casual has been cut by 45 seconds to a more respectful 2:15, but otherwise the focus of this update is squarely on shoving more maps, monetized missions, and weapon skins into the game. But hey, the new Falchion knife (already listing at about $400 at the time of this post) has a cool animation, I guess.