Operation Shattered Web: The shot in the arm CS:GO needs?
There is a meme online, that those clever young folk employed in social media know about.
If you want to be clever and appear self-aware, while in reality being the same as everyone else, you use the "announcement of an announcement" format, to show that you know you are being annoying, but still need to prime your audience for a big bit of news.
However, it seems like if you are really big enough, that is very last year, and the new way is to drop bombs out of the blue.
First we had Fortnite turning some server downtime into the biggest event in gaming, then Riot decided to announce they were taking over the world with the release of a FPS, fighting game, and giant laser designed to blow up planets.
It seems as though that all got to Valve a bit, as Gaben has been stomping around his office and trying to remember the number for the CS:GO department.
When he finally did dig it out of his rolodex though (he hadn’t phoned since the invention of mobile phones), it seems like Gaben was able to put the fear of God into the team, who delivered their biggest update in some time.
Operation new content
The headline of what was a significant change to both the casual and competitive side of CS:GO is undoubtedly the first new Operation the game has seen in a couple of years.
Shattered Web may sound like the sort of book you’d see retirees reading on the beach in Torremolinos, but the content in Valve’s latest addition to CS:GO is at least keeping players happy, for a bit, which is not surprising given how starved they had been for so long.
The levelling system in the Operation is all about hitting pre-defined targets in different game modes, which has seen a surge of elite players into places you’d never normally see them, like the Casual part of matchmaking.
Whether this is intended, or a happy accident is hard to tell at this point, but there is no doubt the company will be happy that the great and the good of the game have taken to the new content like ducks to water.
It must be said that shoxie isn’t exactly your average CS:GO player, and might be able to get parts of his progression done a little quicker than you or I, so let’s just focus on how great it is to see a top-level player so enamoured with the new content that he burned through a week’s worth in a single night.
All in all, Operation Shattered Web looks like the shot in the arm CS:GO needed, so let’s now have a look at what came with it.
Nerfs, skins and other changes
There were changes outside of the Operation, with the controversial SG 553 increased in price in an attempt to balance out the gun meta, as well as a few new maps and other cosmetics.
The introduction of new character skins will have to play out a bit before we can judge how much of an effect it will have on gameplay, but there is one change that apparently had an immediate impact.
Alongside the nerf to the Krieg, Valve have made small changes to two of the more derided and abused weapons in the game, the FAMAS and the Galil. Both have been made cheaper, and had their spray accuracy improved, leading to an immediate upswing in usage according to some players that had ventured online in the hours following the changes.
These are probably the biggest swathe of changes we’ve seen introduced in a single hit for some time, and it’s going to be a while until we can judge the full effect on CS:GO as a whole, as well as just the competitive side.
If Operation Shattered Web brings in new players and reinvigorates the casual side, that is a massive win for Valve, making this one of the potentially most important changes in recent history, but only time will tell if it really has changed the game for Valve.