Valve has banned many CS:GO Community servers over modified items and skins

In a move that made a lot of people very angry Valve has decided to ban CS:GO community servers that were found to be providing custom skins (such as guns and knives) or emblems/rank tags.

This decision wasn't aimed at servers running various texture replacement mods (such as the popular zombie themed one) but rather at those that specifically "misrepresented" a player's skill group/rank or the items they own. Here's a short summary of the whole event:

According to a recent blog post by Valve they had already asked the server operators back in July 2015 to cease their free and/or paid services that offered players items, skins and emblems they didn't have access to. Given that these servers with paid skin packs are fairly common and make a non-insignificant chunk of money from such transactions its easy to see why Valve's warning was ignored.

And after a couple of months of waiting it seems that the time of action has come as Valve has banned every server found to be violating the following rules:

– Allowing players to claim temporary ownership of CS:GO items that are not in their inventory (Weapon skins, knives, etc.).
– Providing a falsified competitive skill group and/or profile rank status or scoreboard coin (e.g., Operation Challenge Coins).
– Interfering with systems that allow players to correctly access their own CS:GO inventories, items, or profile.

If your server provides any of the above services then we request that you disable them. If for some reason you are unable or unsure of whether a particular plugin should be removed, feel free to contact us.

Aside from the bolded part which is just as likely to yield results as evoking the powers of Thor to help you out Valve's demands seem mostly reasonable. Or do they? The big problem here is that while I find it completely sensible to stop servers from selling skins Valve has in the process made modding CS:GO essentially "impossible". Which is quite ironic since Counter Strike started out as a mod itself.

Valve realized quickly what sort of problem they've created as not long after the blog post itself did Brian Lev come to Reddit to further clarify their rules. When asked whether the zombie mod servers were still ok he had this to say:

"There hasn't been any change in the stated policy, though admittedly the clarification in that post made it seem that way (so we'll update that sentence).

Innovation is awesome and almost every mod we see is fine. Our only concern, as the community correctly understands, is with mods that specifically misrepresent a player's skill group/rank or the items they own."

Which as far as clarifications go is fairly poor as I'm still confused. Because when you think about it even a mod that changes Counter Strike in to a Jedi Academy clone will still be "misrepresenting" a player's items given that they would be wielding lightsabers instead of standard knives. Would such a innovative and awesome mod be allowed?

I am assuming that these rules only apply to Valve created items & skins and that custom models, textures and other features are safe but no one, not even Valve seems to be able to give a concise answer. And thus we come upon the heart of the problem and why many people over on the CS:GO subreddit and official forums are so angry, misinformation is rife.

And how wouldn't it be when even Valve isn't capable of giving a straight answer to a question that should've came up instantly when they were deciding on what course of action to take with these community servers.

I highly doubt Valve is out to destroy CS:GO modding so I do think the community outrage is a bit extreme right now but, as usual, Valve needs to be a lot better at communication as this whole mess could've been stopped with a single sentence.

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