Valve just dropped a major update for CS:GO, including a new map, an amalgam of gameplay fixes, and a new weapon case of 17 skins.
Valve’s last relatively significant update included the replacement of the fan-favorite Dust II with a revamped Inferno in the Active Duty Map on Feb. 3. Here’s everything you need to know about the patch, which Valve is calling “Take a trip to the canals.”
Canals, the newest addition to the reserves map pool, is a historic Italian city that features an open boardwalk for the Counter-Terrorists’ spawn (Seal Team 6) and a branching of narrow pathways from the waterside leading toward the Terrorist (Phoenix) spawn at the heart of the tourist city. The B site is held on a small bridge between two buildings, while the A site is crammed onto a small outdoor porch of a bell tower structure.
At first glance, the map appears to be CT-sided. Both the compact corridors and tight angles require consistent corner checking from the Terrorist side and lack passive post-plant positions. In a stream last night, Cloud9’s Mike “shroud” Grzesiek described the map as “weird.”
“There’s so many levels,” shroud said. “I’m trying to understand what would be the protocol [for AWPing].” He added: “This is going to be a super sneaky map, and also a wall hacker’s dream.”
The open river lane running through the middle of the map could be an issue as Terrorists can spot Counter-Terrorists crossing the bridge to the B site from spawn. Dust II may have had this same issue at mid door, but it was still possible to block off the cross with a smoke. It would take two smokes for a team to safely cross to the B site without being spotted or killed, which is highly problematic for the Counter-Terrorist team attempting to defend the B site. The only feasible technique for reaching the other side unhindered would be to smoke under the bridge and cross in exchange for travel time to the bomb site.
The patch adds an upgrade to the Terrorist (Phoenix) player model around the same core principles the company implemented in the Counter-Terrorist model – “character legibility” and “overall visual fidelity.” Changes to the Counter-Terrorist model were shipped on Dec. 13, before the ELEAGUE Major Qualifiers. The optimization of the Counter-Terrorist model was helpful for spotting enemies that would blend into dark terrain and surfaces.
Valve also tweaked/created several developer console commands to enhance the user interface and heads-up display. Most notably, Valve implemented a feature suggested by the game’s Reddit community: cl_show_team_equipment will display teammate equipment above their heads after the 15 second timer in between rounds.
– cl_drawhud_force_deathnotices can have three values: -1 to force draw no deathnotices, 0 default, 1 to force draw deathnotices even if other HUD is disabled.
– Added option to Game Settings to set Team ID to Always On ( cl_teamid_overhead_always ). Server can disable with sv_teamid_overhead_always_prohibit.
– Added binding to Show Team Equipment ( +cl_show_team_equipment ) that will show teammates’ full Target ID, including equipment. Server can disable with sv_show_team_equipment_prohibit.
– func_rotating objects no longer freeze and spam server console after rotating 1000 times
There are map improvements, too. A change to Nuke is a direct response to a mishap during the IEM Katowice quarterfinals last month, when Denis “seized” Kostin of Na’Vi died in B site tunnels to the bomb explosion from A site—a site seldom seen at the professional level. Valve even responded to community outrage over a map feature that’s irrelevant to gameplay.
– Thinned out corner when coming into hut from lobby, making it easier to peek into A site
– Bullets now do more damage when shot through walls in hut
– Raised rollup door in Mini, making it easier to see towards rafters
– Removed three boxes on top of blue container near garage
– Reduced C4 explosion radius from 500 to 400 units (Thanks NaVi!)
– Made water outside the map deeper (Thanks hollandje!)
– Raised arch on CT side of long A
– Fixed some boost exploits
– Railing on top of boost position near T bridge no longer blocks bullets
– Various bug fixes
Valve fixed more than gameplay. It also added a new case named “The Spectrum Case.” The Case contains two Covert skins, three Classified skins, five Restricted skins, and seven Mil-Spec skins. As for the toy with the cereal box (AKA the “Rare Special Item”), a new generation of knife Chroma finishes have been added to the Butterfly Knife, Huntsman Knife, Falchion Knife, Shadow Daggers, and Bowie Knife. Those skin variations include Damascus Steel, Doppler, Marble Fade, Tiger Tooth, Rust Coat, and Ultraviolet.