I question Valve's testing methods and give my opinion on how it should be done

If you've been paying attention to the PC based news sits the past few days you would have noticed the utter confusion many, including me, felt after Valve added the R8 revolver in CS:GO's Winter Update.

Even my relatively mediocre self after 10 minutes of play could see that the gun was busted, yet it still launched along with the rest of the patch to a crowd of around 700k daily CS:GO users. Why was this allowed to happen?

One reason I've seen mentioned on why this might happen would be that Valve was in some sort of rush but the history of CS:GO updates indicates that they are more than lenient with their schedules. There were many months in a row where the game would receive only the most bare-bones of updates so to think they were rushed on this one seems like a weak argument at best.

Especially when you consider that as far as actual new features go this patch was pretty light, adding only the R8 revolver and death cam. It was instead a heavily balanced focused patch whose implication will take quite a while longer to fully grasp as people slowly adjust to the new pistol and rifle aiming.

And that is what scares me the most, this patch has some of the biggest balance changes in CS:GO's history yet somehow in an update that should've been tested extensively for weeks, if not months, a completely broken weapon gets through. Not to mention the myriad of bugs, some of which are really easy to spot such as the revolver actually costing 700 despite saying more.

The revolver got quickly nerfed, as it was expected, but the nerfs to pistol and rifle aiming remained. I don't have an opinion on them either way mostly because my spraying was never good enough to score headshots at long distance but given the outcry from pro players it would appear Valve never even consulted them which is quite strange.

Just look at Dota 2, the reason the patches there are almost universally well received is because Icefrog spends a lot of time on them and consults pro players at almost every step of the way in order to ensure that the changes accomplish exactly what he wants without too much collateral damage. It doesn't always work perfectly but it is close enough.

In CS:GO however, the Valve guys took it upon themselves to single-handedly change some of the core mechanics Counter Strike had for nearly a decade, namely the bomb timer and how the aiming functions. I don't mean this as an insult because I really do respect Valve but that is one hell of an undertaking to take on alone

CS:GO is carrying on the legacy of a game 12 years old now

Its easy to forget that CS 1.6 has been around for about 12 years now

Its a real shame the revolver was so overpowered on release because a lot of discussion on the new rifle aim simply got buried in a sea of revolver complaints. And yet, these changes are set to be one of the most impactful ones in CS:GO's competitive scene. Will the "random" long ranged spraying of the AK and M4 lead to a resurrection of the SG and AUG? Who knows, not even the pros do.

This is the crux of my message. Valve have gone ahead and changed significant parts of a game many people have been playing for over a decade without a single word of consultation and to make matters worse they released a patch with clearly untested features and plenty of new bugs.

But I'm not an unreasonable man, I am aware that there needed to be changes to the game in some shape or form because 3/4 of the weapons are almost never bought or used. If Call of Duty released with that sort of weapon balance it would be roasted alive. So what should've Valve done when they were planning these massive changes?

First and foremost they should've consulted the pro players. I can't say for certain they haven't but given how many of the tier 1 teams spoke about the patch with surprise I feel I can safely assume they didn't. Well they should have because these people are the ones that live and breathe their game. They know every nook and cranny, every minuscule detail about it and most importantly of all, they spend a lot of time playing it in a highly competitive environment.

Now I'm not saying that Valve should leave all of the work to the pros but passing ideas by them and asking them for feedback on specific issues could go a long way towards narrowing down where exactly the problems are. You might get some biased information because some of these guys play CS:GO for a living and are interested in keeping the status quo but that should be fairly easy to filter for seasoned developers such as Valve.

And finally, what they really needed to do is send patches like these through some major beta testing. CS:GO doesn't receive important updates often enough that there would be a "testing burnout" among the community so by hosting a beta test week for important changes they could've intercepted a lot of these issues before they entered the game.

In the end that is what everyone wants, both Valve and the community, a game that is as balanced and as fun as possible. So it would be nice if they allowed the rest of us to get involved or at least have our opinions heard before any earth-shattering patches go through to live and make a mess of the place for a couple of days before finally being addressed.

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