On the 20th anniversary of the birth of Counter-Strike, the CSGO developers having given most, if not all of the pro scene a birthday present they desperately wanted. The AUG, the scoped menace that has apparently ruined CSGO for a lot of luminaries, has finally been nerfed, taking it beyond the point it was at prior to the original price reduction that brought it into fashion.
Before we look at the changes, there is a point that needs making. The gun is now worse than it was when everyone used the M4A4, or A1s, and costs the same as it did back then, too, showing that professional players were basically sleeping on the gun. At the price point it had last week, which was the same for the M4 years, no professional realised how good it was, yet as soon as it went down in price they all decided it was broken.
This is just another example of people who are insanely, almost supernaturally good at something not entirely understanding the way the metagame works, and has been seen in multiple esports this writer has covered, including Smash, Rainbow Six and even Dota. Of course, professionals should have a voice, but the idea being amazing at a game equating to your opinion being worth more should be challenged in future.
So what changed?
Onto the changes, and for the in-depth stuff we really want to thank SlothSquadron, who posted a great breakdown of the details of the nerf on reddit. It’s easy to say a gun gets worse, but defining what it is that was good, and what has changed, lets us see how the nerf will actually effect the gameplay experience. The AUG nerf in this CSGO update has the potential to dramatically change the purchase rate of a gun that made up 77% of the CT rifles purchased at the last count.
The main change is the rate of fire reduction, from 667RPM to 600RPM. The AUG's fire rate was the same as the M4A4 pre-nerf, but now matches the M4A1-S and AK-47. This means that the DPS (damage per second) drops from 279 to 251, rounded up, compared to the M4A4 at 255 and the M4A1s at 231.
Combined with a nerf to accuracy, both with and without the scope, it seems like this is the change that will really put the AUG in its place. One interesting note is that crouching accuracy has not been nerfed yet, although we don’t know if that is an intended change, or something Valve just overlooked. All in all, the gun seems to have gone from meta-defining to situational at best, which can’t be too bad a thing.
With any luck, the AUG will become more of a situational choice, which would put it in line with the SG 553, the scoped gun on T side, but the chances are we’ll go back to a world where you use an AK on T-side and an M4A4 on CT, with the odd exception. The nerfs to the AUG, combined with the price, will sadly mean all we’ve learned about the value of scopes over the last twelve months will go away, and be replaced by the same meta we had for years. But at least the game looks a bit less like Call of Duty now…