3 changes we didn’t like


We are quite used to the concept of anything new being better. The new iPhone has a cooler camera, the next generation of consoles offers a brighter picture — let alone, say, cars, whose changelog provides reading material for a couple of years. 

Yet at times, this principle fails. Today, the CS.MONEY blog is going to look back at three map changes in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive that didn’t go well. 

New A Site on Train

When the map Train was released in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, it looked sloppy and outdated. Monotonous gray walls, ubiquitous brickwork, useless positions, and dirty surfaces — all of these left much to be desired, mildly put.

The map was played at Majors for a certain while. Then, it was hastily sent to revision to right its multiple wrongs. In December 2014, a renewed Train returned to the game. It was… disgusting and fascinating at the same time! 

The new look of the map was fantastic. Different areas were marked with different colors and designs, a bunch of places received better lighting, and many unnecessary details were removed. Genuine eye candy. Just look at that flock of birds near the trash cans. A small detail, but it contributed greatly to livening the map up. 

Yet the new gameplay was awful. We would even dare say “below Silver level.” In the endeavor of deleting unnecessary objects, the mapmakers decided to remove the “unnecessary” wagon at A Site. As a result, it ceased to resemble an intricate jumble of shelters of different heights. Instead, players were welcomed by a basketball court with an incredibly important electric booth in the center. 

Valve quickly realized the mistake and returned the wagon. Even though the new wagon stood at a different position, A Site became playable again. The map Train returned to the Major map pool — you can still find it there today. It’s still not clear how this notorious change passed tests.  

Open skies over the tunnels on Dust 2

Dust 2 is the sacred cow of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive community. The community is willing to forgive almost any flaw it might have — even the odds of dying in the first five seconds of the round. And like with all idolatry, change is vehemently reviled. So when Valve announced that it would be possible to throw grenades through the “roof” of the tunnels, the community strongly resented it. 

For instance, a post on the game’s subreddit whose author harshly criticized the idea of opening the skybox gathered almost two thousand pluses. The post claimed the map was already good enough for the attack, and this change would utterly destroy the defense. These changes would allegedly make Dust 2 better suited for a trash can than a map pool.

However, despite the community’s dissatisfaction, Valve did open the sky above the tunnels. Small wonder that no end of the world happened. Nothing happened at all — this is evidenced by the statistics.

At the Berlin Major, where the closed-sky version was played, the attack won 49% of the rounds. In the ESL Pro League Season 10 finals, the attack had an “impressive” 50.5% win rate. At DreamHack Open Fall 2020 and cs_summit 6 Europe, the attack started winning more often on Dust 2 with the open sky. 1-1.5% more often. That’s almost a statistical margin of error. 

But what’s even more interesting, both pros and casual players seem to have forgotten about the change. You won’t be able to recall, off the bat, any of those 900 IQ rounds with grenades thrown across the open sky. In the end, the most controversial change on Dust 2 had very little impact. It just didn’t go over that well.

Moving Chernobyl to the jungle

The third change is purely graphical in nature, but what a change it is! The map Cache was relatively popular both in the community and on the pro scene. Therefore, updating it seemed quite reasonable. Let’s just paint the walls, make a couple of doors, and move that forklift — just introduce a couple of small changes. However, the story was much more exciting in the end. 

Since the beginning of the rework, FMPOne, the creator of the map, intended to completely renovate A Site. He wanted to replace the square building with a round one. As a result, the view from the defense spawn was greatly improved. Despite the new tactical perspective, this change had to be reversed — the first token to the piggy bank of unpopular ideas. 

After tweaking a few more things, FMPOne found the map was ready. The main gameplay change was the window on the mid, on the defense side. A simple solution that strengthened the position of special forces on the map. Design-wise, the map was completely transformed. The sterile grayness of apartment blocks and hangars was replaced by bright green moss and jungle. 

The effect was emphasized by the first presentation of the map. In the trailer, the contrast and saturation values were, for some reason, increased to the point of abomination. It seemed as if FMPOne had teleported Chernobyl into the Hollywood version of Mexico in the process of remaking it. So much yellowness there was. 

The new Cache didn’t last long. The problems emerged from a source no one could have predicted. Namely, Valve added agents to the game, and some of them blended in with the overly green backgrounds of the map. 

The creator of the map had to grab a pair of garden shears and start trimming the lush greenery. The process took so long that it continues to this day. Almost every map update reduces the amount of greenery and brings its look closer to the version before the remake. 

Usually, new versions of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive maps are a joy to play. Thanks to regular updates, Vertigo has transformed from an ugly duckling to a not-so-ugly swan, and Inferno has become even more aesthetically pleasing. But when the machinery fails, things get ugly. 

Over the twenty-year history of the Counter-Strike series, the game has undergone quite a lot of changes. Tell us about your favorite change — or the one you hate the most — in the comments and be sure to give this post a like.  




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