Valve just released the Winter Update for CS:GO. You can find the full patch notes here. Before we dive into any sort of analysis I want to say that I think it's a good thing that they frequently update the game and try out new ideas. That way we avoid a static meta-game. However, Valve tends to change the game too much with each update and this one is no exception.
The newest addition to the arsenal is a high caliber revolver that's almost as powerful as the AWP and with longer accurate range than the AK47. With this gun, Valve effectively removed the value of eco rounds. Even if you don't win the round, chances are you will damage your opponent’s economy severely. At the moment the price tag is set to $850, which means you can't buy it on pistol rounds. Other than this, the only downside of the R8 Revolver is the low rate of fire and the length of the trigger-pulls. At close and medium range the R8 is a one-shot kill to the chest against a fully armored enemy. Combined with a grenade, you can one-shot players even if you hit the arm:
In that sequence I used $1150 to kill an enemy who spent $4750 plus utility, without any problem. That is, in my mind, ridiculous.
And it gets worse. The gun has a secondary fire that's less accurate, a lot faster and allows you to shoot while defusing the bomb. I suspect that this wasn’t intended, but either way, it needs to be fixed:
Clearly, the R8 Revolver needs to change. I say ‘change’ because Valve can't remove it from the game due to the Steam market. The Winter Update included the Revolver Case as well, which means players already have invested a lot of money on skins for the new gun. The skins in the case can be found here. If they were to remove the weapon entirely they would have to refund any money spent on skins for the R8: not only to the steam wallet, but to player's bank accounts.
So, how could they change the R8 Revolver? For starters they could increase the price tag. Then they could make it even slower, but I'm not sure that would help. The other way they can go is to make it less powerful than the Desert Eagle but keep the secondary fire, otherwise they'd just have a copy of the same gun.
At the same time they decided to reduce accuracy when you run and shoot with Dual Elites, Fiveseven, Glock, P2000, P250, Tec9, USP and CZ75a. What this means is that Glock and Tec9 pushes will be less efficient than they used to be and we will probably see changes to the metagame for T-side pistol rounds as a consequence.
Every cloud has a silver lining
The Winter Update includes some changes to the game that I really like. One is the changed round and bomb times. The bomb time is now 0:40 in both Competitive Matchmaking (previously 0:45) and in Major Championships (previously 0:35). For the casual gamer this means you have to decide if you want to go for the defuse or save your gun earlier than before. I welcome this change because in my opinion the counter-terrorists had way too much time on their hands to retake a bomb site after the plant.
How will this affect pro play? First of all, smoke grenades and molotovs won't be as powerful, which will add more excitement for spectators. I think it's safe to say that these five extra seconds will result in more insane clutch plays for us to enjoy.
Another update is that Valve added the option to vote for a 60 second timeout in Competitive Matchmaking. This is great if you have lost a couple of rounds in a row. You get some time to analyse your and your opponents' play and figure out what you have to adjust in order to bring the game back. As an in-game leader of an amateur team I love this. Even if I don't play Matchmaking that much anymore, I could absolutely have used this in order to improve faster. This is good for the scene and all budding in-game leaders out there.
First person footsteps are quieter while third person footstep volume remains unchanged. The adjustment is ever so slight but it's still helpful. Listening for footsteps is a huge part of the game, contributing to its tactical dimension.
In addition, the recovery times for AK47, M4A4 and M4A1-s have been increased, making it more important to be on point with your initial bullets. I look forward to more highlight clips from sick aimers such as Titan's star player Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom.
The Winter Update brought some really good and welcome changes to the game. Unfortunately, the biggest change turned out to be not just awful but downright bad for the health of CS:GO. I hope that Valve will revamp the R8 Revolver within the next few days. What do you guys think?
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