Video Games

Counter-Strike is Changing: AUG Meta, Flash Assists, and More

CS:GO, T-Side | Too Far Gone

Changes abound for the iconic FPS.

Half a million strong, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive continues be one of the most played games on Steam. Having transitioned into a free-to-play model, this shift coinciding with the inclusion of a Battle Royale mode called Danger Zone, the game has been quietly been undergoing a number of changes that could have a dramatic effect on the competitive scene.

Gun Pricing and Balancing

After rising to prominence and being heralded as “the new meta,” the price of the AUG has been bumped back up to $3,300. The rationale here, being that an increase in price will result in less use across the board. Additionally, the M4A1-S now hold 25 bullets per magazine, and shotguns (Nova, Sawed-Off, Mag7) have all received price drops.

The Cost of Doing Business

Before the update, teams that lost multiple rounds would see the money given to them between rounds increase exponentially. Winning a round and then losing the next one meant that the loss bonus would be reset. Somewhat complex in its system of check and balances, the in-game economy served as both an obstacle to overcome and a tool to be leveraged. A mechanic that could just as easily snowball a bad run into a game lost, playing the economy and being able to make better informed risk-reward decisions based on that knowledge was as much a part of the competitive game as anything else. Now, loss bonuses work on a cumulative multiplier that will go up and down based on total losses, not losses in a row (winning a round after losing 3 in a row means the count is lowered to 2, instead of being reset entirely). The change means that teams will have more money to play with, even when things aren’t looking so hot.

The Controversial Flash Assist

Ah yes, the pains of being a support player. Often an unsung hero in team games, plays can make or break from a well placed flashbang. Players that flash an enemy who then gets killed by a teammate will now see their names in the kill feed, along with the names of both the fragger and their victim. But, as many have pointed out already, the new system presents more information than perhaps it ought to.

New Flash Assist Kill Feed UI

Say, for example, I’m pushing onto a site. I see one enemy, then get flashed and killed. Before the update, I’d see damage based assists, meaning that if I got shot by more than one person and then killed, both their names would appear in the feed. So even if I only saw one person, and couldn’t discern different source of gunfire, I’d have the knowledge that 2 people conspired to kill me. Now, if I see 2 names in the feed (one person being credited with a flash assist), I know that 2 people took part in my death even though I only saw, or heard, one person. Information is power, and knowing where your opponents are lying in wait can make all the difference to a seasoned player.

Of course, it could turn out that these changes get rolled back or altered almost immediately. It wouldn’t be the first time that the CS:GO dev team admitted that they’d made a mistake. Until then, feel free to read up on the official patch notes and play around with the new changes for yourself!

Image Source: Valve via Author/pashaBiceps

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