Sometimes several small tweaks can bring a big change in the bigger picture. Let’s review the butterfly effect of Nov 2022 CSGO Update.
It’s obvious that at this point some news about updating the game to Source 2 or a new operation would be much more welcome than some game fixes, but the small, four-point blog entry on Global Offensive’s blog might actually bring about much more than we imagine. Let’s go through each and every aspect of the November CSGO update and think about the possible consequences!
Goodbye Dust 2
That’s right, you heard right – Dust 2 is leaving the Active map pool. The all-time favorite of both casual and professionals had managed to create quite polarizing opinions long before anyone considered erasing it from the map pool. Some argue that the nostalgia factor kept it alive more than it should be going and that the map is neither balanced nor interesting to play in the end.
Valve had an unprecedented solution to that dilemma. In 2017 Dust 2 was removed from the Competitive roster and received its own separate map rotation in online matchmaking. However, the map was such a cornerstone of modern CSGO that it was still included in the Majors pool.
With the passing weekend’s decision to remove it from Active maps, we’re witnessing a milestone in CS:GO history. This is Valve admitting that sometimes the good things have to go too to make room for the game’s future. The pro Team NAVI commented on the matter with one simple meme:
However, what’s even more alarming is the map they chose in its place.
If you have a hunch that you’ve heard that name already, you’re absolutely right. Anubis debuted in CS:GO two years ago alongside Chlorine (which is more interesting than the latter, in my opinion). It was very quickly moved to the Competitive rotation, but, given both lack of popularity and complaints about technical balance, it was retracted after a year of tech struggle.
On one hand it’s good that Valve is a) switching things up, b) trying not to dump its long-curated content out of inconvenience, but whether it will successfully bring something new to both amateur competitive strategies and the professional esport struggles remains to be seen. So far no constructive complaints have been made about the playability of the map. Let’s hope it remains this way!
Some speculate that because Anubis has no dedicated skin collection, it is a great opportunity to add a batch of community-created skins in the next operation. These better please the god of passage!
Why Active Maps Were Changed?
It’s a part of a bigger, longer cycle. Of course Counter-Strike pros could spend the next 10 years mastering the same old map rotation, pushing the game engine till its last sweat. However, maybe that’s not the most interesting thing for everybody.
Switching up maps in Active pool and competitive rotation achieves two things. On one hand, both amateur and professional players face a new challenge of adaptability. On the other, it brings something fresh for the CS:GO audience, be it on casual streams or watching major championships.
Which Weapons Were Nerfed in CS:GO?
Two of four bullet points from the November update consider changes to weapon functioning. Both of these changes reduce the effectiveness of affected rifles in two different ways.
Less Bullets For AWP
The biggest shock comes with changes to the AWP clip capacity. The canonical sniper rifle’s bullet count has been cut in half, from 10 to 5 shots per clip. What might seem like a very minor change might be much more daring than it seems.
The AWP reloading time is not very long, but the need to reload faster has its effect. It scales down the aggressiveness with which you can engage in exchange of fire. Upcoming months will show if it causes AWPers to change the way they enter combat.
M4A1-S Deals Less Damage In Long Range
This would be the easiest way to describe it, but it’s actually a little fetched. What has changed is the damage multiplier of the weapon. Now the damage is calculated in distance by 0.94 instead of old 0.99. Again, seems like a small change, but is far from being insignificant.
Recent Esports.GG article has made detailed calculations on the damage change per distance. Basically, with body shot full damage of 27pts at point blank, it goes down to 20 instead of 26 at 2000 distance units. This renders it comparably as effective as M4A4 in this range. Alas, the damage is going even lower than its non-silenced counterpart’s at growing distances.
The change screams tremendous consequence for the CT meta. You don’t have to look far into gameplays to see how effective M4A1-S was for accurate players trying to hold mid-to-long distance from their enemies. Overall, there’s a lot of fear of balance being forcefully pushed back into the T territory to seemingly counterbalance the pressure on their side in the bomb scenario.
Why Are Rifles Nerfed?
Let’s not get too philosophical. Changes like these are usually made to stir the player base up, but not in a negative way. Some variety in the meta is needed to see if current gameplay can benefit from small shifts of power. There’s nothing worse for a competitive multiplayer game than for the global community to discover that you can learn a few tricks and that’s all.
Of course, CS:GO is far from that and it boasts being one of the most tactical shooters in its genre. However, seeing the same plays for the millionth time is neither very constructive nor motivating. Making the game constantly interesting is not only in the hands of ingenious players.
After all, avid players will find nerfs and buffs a minor inconvenience on the way. While many are quick and happy to proclaim that “CS:GO is dying”, it’s far from true, and relying less on one weapon against the other will not ruin the whole game for everybody. Not long ago everybody was lamenting the changes to SG553, and still, it grew to be the new normal.
November Changes To CSGO – Summary
A little sneaky update last weekend has removed Dust 2 from the Active map pool, added Anubis into the Competitive map pool and nerfed two weapons. AWP now only has 5 ammo in its clip and M4A1-S has a smaller damage range multiplier, making it much less effective on mid-to-long distances.
Let us know when you give the rifles a spin after the nerf – were the changes worth it? Also, fingers crossed for an Anubis skin collection. Let’s see what the future brings!