The most recent big Counter-Strike update pissed off a lot of players, first with an overpowered new pistol, then more subtly with an overhaul of the way rifles and pistols work. Now, though, Valve’s admitted that they messed up.
In the wake of the changes, members of the Counter-Strike community spent a whole week lobbing molotovs of fiery rage at Valve. The effort appears to have been worthwhile. Within days, Valve nerfed the new pistol, and now they have rolled back the pistol and rifle changes to their pre-update states as well.
In a new blog post, Valve explained the rationale behind their initial decisions while acknowledging that, unfortunately, their plans didn’t really pan out:
“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 [with rifles] 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.”
“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.”
After a week of ugly tension — fuelled by many cries of “Why didn’t Valve publicly test any of this before releasing it?” — Valve appears to have learned a valuable lesson. They explained:
“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.”
Valve does, however, still intend to re-balance pistols and encourage more skillful use of rifles. They will just do it differently next time and, hopefully, in a way that involves more communication with players.
For now, players are pleased that Valve (eventually) listened. The question now is whether or not they will actually revamp their approach to sweeping changes like these. If so, fantastic! More pre-update communication from Valve is long overdue. If not, though, Counter-Strike will remain a ticking time bomb, and it probably won’t be long before Valve has another community explosion on their hands.