CS:GO Winter Update balance changes to rifles and pistol aim are being rolled back

Thank goodness. I feel like I've talked about this topic to death but ever since the CS:GO Winter Update the game's balance took a heavy shift downward. In a single patch they nerfed rifles by making them more random while adding a completely non-random one-hit kill revolver. How any of that actually got through testing is still beyond me.

Now, a few days later Valve has realized that their patch isn't having the impact they wanted so they are rolling back the rifle change and pistol changes to where they were before hand. Here's what Valve had to say about the whole ordeal:

"In CS:GO, spraying is generally the most popular way of firing a rifle. We can see this pretty clearly in the rifle data that we collect internally, and it’s something we hear the community discussing frequently.

Because we think it’s valuable for players to have choices when they’re thinking about how to engage an opponent, we looked at ways to make tapping/bursting a bit more appealing. The hope was that by encouraging more deliberate firing, we would add something skillful that players could use to their advantage.

As a first step toward this goal, we increased recoverytime for the AK-47, M4A4, and M4A1-S. For a detailed breakdown of the change and its impact, check out this excellent community post by lalush.

Unfortunately, our implementation failed in a few ways.

For one thing, increasing inaccuracy while spraying also comes with reduced accuracy for all forms of firing. Proportionally, spraying was the most impacted, but we underestimated the impact that the change would have on players who were already firing in shorter bursts.

As it turns out, the adjustments didn’t really achieve the goal either – our rifle data shows that players in all skill groups are still spraying more than tapping or bursting.

     What’s next?

It’s difficult to measure the impact on gameplay when too much changes at once. The Winter Update came with some really huge changes to gameplay, including a new weapon, an adjustment to pistols, and the rifle change. Since we likely changed too much too quickly, in today’s update we’re rolling back both the rifle and pistol adjustments to their pre-Winter Update state."

This is the most relevant part of their post but if you want to read the whole thing I'd suggest you head over to the CS:GO blog.

I love Valve and I've talked about this before but they really couldn't test this patch through? They mention further down in their post that they are surprised at this reaction from the community when they went ahead and changed rifles that stayed basically the same for 10 years by making them more random thus less enjoyable to use. These are massive changes with long term impact, this is the sort of stuff you should at least test on a public test server for a week or so, just to see if anything breaks.

On the other hand I'm surprised they're reverting the pistol change because I didn't see many people complain about that one. There is little tactical gameplay in running around with the Glock blazing and having both sides forced to stop for a moment before firing accurately seemed to have made pistol rounds more exciting, at least on my end. 

If there is any positive note in all of this it is that Valve have now realized the importance of communication and community feedback because compared to their usual self they've been extremely chatty lately. That is something I would definitely like them to continue with, Valve tends to be far too silent for a company of its size but when they do speak they offer some good insights in to their development process.

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