Developers have made several adjustments to two of CSGO’s oldest issues in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s latest patch.
First, Valve has finally fixed a widespread issue that has plagued both professional and casual CSGO players for years. When a player dies in CSGO, they drop both their primary weapon, if they have one, and their most expensive grenade. Since both are dropped at the exact same time, it was common to find the grenade very close to or up against the dropped weapon. Unfortunately for players, the grenade’s geometry often got in the way when a player attempted to pick up the dropped weapon using the “use” key.
This small bug resulted in the player having to run over the dropped weapon in order to pick it up, potentially leaving them out in the open trying to retrieve the weapon instead of being able to grab it from behind cover. Valve has tried to tackle this problem before, and it has existed in one form or another since Counter-Strike’s release.
Now, Valve devs say they’ve finally fixed it.
There is an indication that the issue is indeed fixed, and that’s Valve’s second change to the HE grenade in the recent patch. Counter-Strike’s HE grenades are hit or miss. Either a player’s throw lands perfectly, putting up heavy damage onto enemy players, or it gets stuck behind the lip of a crate and does no damage at all.
In a change that will have an enormous effect on both professional and casual play, grenades will now inflict damage more often when the grenade’s line of sight to the player is blocked by a stair or other small objects. Previously, a grenade that landed on a stair that was below the player’s position would inflict minimal damage, with Counter-Strike’s engine calculating that the stair should prevent the majority of the grenade’s damage from being applied. That’s no longer the case.
This is a massive change. Without fail, every tournament sees a caster hype up a perfect grenade toss only to be disappointed when the grenade fails to do much of anything to the enemy team. Now, developers have said that grenades will reliably damage players from positions that used to shield players unintentionally. Utility, especially high-explosive grenades, just became a defender’s best friend. With assurances that their money won’t be wasted, fans should see many more HE purchases than before.
When Counter-Strike’s icon update shipped, developers removed portions of code used to whitelist the Agent models added in the game’s Shattered Web operation. When this code was removed, it had the unintended effect of blocking third party files like custom skins and sounds often found on public, third-party servers. These servers, often deathmatch, surf, or kz servers, download custom textures to CSGO’s resource folder. When devs changed the whitelist, Valve’s servers wouldn’t allow any users that had these files to connect.
To fix it, Valve has added new server commands to allow third-party files to exist, but not be loaded, onto Valve’s own matchmaking servers. Prior to the update, Reddit was filled with posts of frustration from users who couldn’t connect to the game’s servers, but this fix should eliminate most, if not all of those errors.
Finally, Valve also fixed one of the silliest quirks of CSGO with the patch, finally allowing flashes that went off behind a hostage to blind any enemies standing on the other side. For years, hostages have acted like magic walls, able to block the blinding effect of flashbangs from affecting anyone that hid behind them. Now, players who try the trick will be full white.
In an accidental leak of the update, the CSPPA tweeted that they had discussed “the patch” with ESL and had agreed that it could and should be used in the upcoming Regional Major tournament playoffs. The tweet went live around 16 hours before the patch did, so either someone at the CSPPA mixed up the time or Valve’s Counter-Strike update was late. Regardless, fans crammed the CSPPA’s Twitter mentions, demanding to know what patch it was referring to.
The CSPPA decided to leave the tweet live. After all, they could have been referring to Counter-Strike’s other recent patch that introduced new icons to the game’s kill feed. The CSPPA’s slip-up is evidence that not only do professional players and teams know more about what’s going on behind the scenes that fans do, they often know some time in advance. Exploring the patch and making sure it’s appropriate and ready for competitive play takes time, meaning that teams, the CSPPA, and ESL knew the patch was coming. While it makes sense on paper, the issue raises concerns of competitive integrity stemming from not teams or players, but Valve themselves.
If members of the CSPPA know a patch’s content beforehand, there is the possibility that the knowledge can give them a leg up on the competition that isn’t in the know. So unless Valve informs every single CSGO player and their team that changes are incoming, they might want to rethink their testing strategies to avoid cries of foul play in the future.