Today’s update includes a server browser. This feature is a good example of how different features are dependent on each other. A server browser alone is not much of a feature. It needs 3rd party servers to be useful. So before we could include it, we needed to test third party servers. Once we resolved some issues with the initial rollout, we needed to expand the server beta to more providers. That is what we have done this week.
When you open up your server browser, you will see some 3rd party servers, but not that many. This is just another step. We need to test this feature and the servers with a wider group before we deploy more and more will be coming. This is also good news for another reason, as the server pool grows the player base can grow as well. Today we are sending out even more keys to potential players.
Another interesting change in today’s update is the addition of screen shake. A couple of months ago Whisenhunt posted this video. We watched it and like the forums thought it was a good idea. It just took a little time to work it in while we had to concentrate on other features that had dependencies. So today we are testing that original idea. Let us know what you think.
So, yes. Screenshake has returned. Its absence was a bit jarring, and it might be a bit too much at the moment, but overall, a welcome change. In addition, the server browser is here, and with quite a few third-party community servers are already up, it’s doing pretty well. Still, I find the “Find A Game” feature to be way handier – at least for now. In addition, Arsenal Demolition now has its full map roster – as Sugarcane, Safehouse, Bank and Shorttrain have all been added to the game. Arsenal Demolition, which is the second Arsenal Mode game type, is a blend of Arsenal Arms Race/GunGame with the classic Counter-Strike gameplay. It’s actually really, really fun.
Sugarcane is a fairly spacious map. It might be the spiritual successor to CS_Assault, and it is based off “Sugar Mill”, the second chapter in L4D2’s “Hard Rain” campaign. Still, don’t get your torches lit and your pitchforks out, as Valve have modified the map heavily for inclusion in Global Offensive – and it shows, because it is quite fun to play, and challenging to boot, with many ways to flank and surround your enemies.
Safehouse is an interesting map, to say the least. It carries the spirit of CS_Militia, even more so than Arsenal Demolition’s DE_Lake. It’s based off the Farmhouse Finale from L4D1’s “Blood Harvest”, but again, it’s been modified so extensively that I honestly didn’t recognize it until it was directly pointed out to me. Perhaps the tightest Arsenal Demolition map of the bunch, Safehouse heavily encourages close-quarters combat. The insides of the house are tricky all throughout, as enemy players skirting the exterior can and will spot you through the windows if you’re not careful. I’d work on actually making the safehouse feel like a safehouse – replacing the tiny floor safe with a larger entrance to a sealed panic room, or something.
Bank is okay. It didn’t really remind me of any of the classic CS maps as much as the other maps, so it does have its own style. It is based off “Milltown”, the first chapter from L4D2’s “Hard Rain”, but just like Safehouse, I totally missed it at first. An interesting map, but it needs some work. Certain paths need to be opened up (the fences blocking the bank’s parking lot, in particular), and some cover needs to be added in front of the bank to discourage camp-sniping from the CT’s spawn (which gives the CT’s a view straight in the bank’s interior), but other than that, it’s an enjoyable map.
And, lastly, Shorttrain is a brand new version of DE_Train, with the entire B bombsite, and the pathways leading to it, cordoned off. An interesting experiment, but it needs a lot of work. In the process of cutting their indended path off from the bits that aren’t needed anymore, Valve has essentially sliced through DE_Train’s coronary arteries, as both the T’s and the CT’s have lost their most valuable paths through the map. T’s can no longer pass through the building next to their spawn to take the ladder leading right to the main train platform and bombsite A. Meanwhile, the CT’s will now have to take a detour, going completely around bombsite A through the train tunnels, as the main entrance to the train platform has also been cut off. While rearranging the map to fit these routes back in will be tricky (as the remainder of the map will still have to be cordoned off nonetheless), these are pathways that are vital to Train’s flow, and they must be re-introduced, one way or another.
Apart from that, the SMG’s have received some improvements. Previously, they were damn near unusable, which goes against the principles Valve has for CS:GO’s weapon arsenal. But now, they work a lot better, and they have been balanced appropiately. In addition, recoil grouping has been tuned for the first few shots in both burst and automatic fire, making for suppressed recoil spread. Many other bugfixes, gameplay alterations and all sorts of new changes have also been added, and a new wave of beta keys has been sent to all beta survey applicants.
And as an extra treat for you guys – for the first time in Counter-Strike history, the Counter-Terrorists and the Terrorists alike will have all-new voice acting for the different in-game factions. Here are all of the voice lines for three in-game factions (out of many others due to appear in CS:GO) – the CT’s FBI-Hostage Rescue Team, and the CT’s SWAT unit; and the T’s Professionals faction. The dialogue is recorded for the following maps: cs_italy; cs_office; de_aztec; de_lake; de_dust; de_inferno; de_nuke; de_sugarmill; de_stmarc; de_dust2; and ar_baggage. Interestingly, a “bombsite C” is mentioned – what are you up to, Valve?
Absolutely terrific voice acting, and with Chet Faliszek’s clever writing to boot – you’ll hear no complaints here, as this was practically long overdue anyway. Let’s take a listen: