Back in July, Valve asked Counter-Strike: Global Offensive server operators to “stop providing services that falsify the contents of a player's profile or inventory,” like letting them have “temporary ownership” of items that aren't in their inventory. “We will continue to monitor the players experience on community servers, and may reevaluate if further actions need to be taken to ensure that server operators comply,” it warned in the Server Operation Guidelines. And It would now seem that Reevaulation Day has come.
The first indication that the hammer had fallen came a few days ago by way of the CSGO_Servers mailing list, when server operators began reporting surprise bans of server login tokens. That led to a beefy Reddit thread and a debate about whether Valve's warning included “completely custom weapon models,” which some operators thought were allowed, and complaints that some of the banned servers simply had inactive plugins sitting in a disabled directory. Despite some operators' claims that the server restrictions don't cover their specific circumstances, Valve appears to be drawing a hard line in the sand.
“In January 2016, we permanently disabled Game Server Login Tokens belonging to server operators that were providing free or paid services that falsified the contents of a player’s profile or inventory. The Steam user that generated the tokens is now also permanently restricted from creating new GSLTs,” it wrote. “A new Steam user account associated with a new qualifying phone number (http://www.steamcommunity.com/dev/managegameservers) will be required to create new GSLTs. To avoid future disruption game server operators are best advised to comply with CS:GO server operation guidelines described above.”
Some Redditors think Valve's crackdown is harsh and punitive, especially against a game that itself originated as a mod, but a large number of others don't seem to mind, or at the very least appear to think that Valve's warning was a sufficient heads-up that shenanigans will not be tolerated. Valve itself took to the CS:GO subreddit to point out that there hasn't been any change to its policy, although an update to the post (which has since been corrected) could be taken to indicate that there was.
“Innovation is awesome and almost every mod we see is fine,” the rep said. “Our only concern, as the community correctly understands, is with mods that specifically misrepresent a player's skill group/rank or the items they own.”
Govern yourselves accordingly, as they say.