Valve Corporation, the renowned game developer, has released an exciting new patch for the highly anticipated Counter-Strike 2 beta, introducing a range of updates and enhancements. The patch brings significant changes to maps, workshop tools, weapons, sub-tick movement, volumetric smoke, animation, sound, rendering, input, and VAC (Valve Anti-Cheat) systems. Let's delve into the details of this latest update.
Maps: Mirage Replaces Dust II as Official Map
In a surprising move, Valve has replaced the legendary Dust II with Mirage as the official map on the limited test matchmaking servers for Counter-Strike 2. This change is expected to offer a fresh and exciting gameplay experience to the dedicated Counter-Strike community.
And we're swapping out Dust2 for Mirage. This and many more Release Notes are here: https://t.co/Adnv0anig4— CS2 (@CounterStrike) June 6, 2023
Workshop Tools: Empowering Community Contributors
Counter-Strike 2 now introduces Workshop Tools, enabling community contributors to unleash their creativity by designing weapon finishes, stickers, and maps. These tools can be easily enabled and downloaded from the in-game settings menu, fostering a collaborative environment where players can actively contribute to the game's evolution. However, it's important to note that uploading CS2 maps to the Steam Community Workshop is not currently supported.
Hammer Editor: Accelerated Lighting Preview and Baking
The level editor, Hammer, has received a significant upgrade by leveraging GPU accelerated raytracing. This enhancement allows for faster lighting preview and baking for CS2 maps, resulting in significantly reduced compile times. However, to fully utilize these accelerated capabilities, a GPU capable of raytracing is required. The minimum recommended specifications for Hammer are an Nvidia 2060Ti 6GB or an AMD 6600XT, with the Nvidia 2080Ti+ and AMD 6800XT+ being the recommended choices.
Revamped Player Loadout and Buy Menu Interface
Valve has revised the player loadout in Counter-Strike 2, offering players a more versatile and customizable experience. Players now have 1 Starting Pistol slot, 4 Pistol slots, 5 Mid-tier slots (formerly "SMGs" and "Heavy"), and 5 Rifle slots per team. This change allows players to assign any side-appropriate weapon to any slot within its respective category, and the redesigned interface fits all options on a single screen, supporting drag-and-drop functionality.
The in-game buy menu interface has also undergone a significant overhaul. The traditional buy wheel has been replaced with a grid layout that simultaneously displays all purchase options, making it easier for players to quickly navigate and make informed decisions. Additionally, teammate purchases are now visible on the buy menu, enhancing team coordination. Furthermore, weapon "stats" have been replaced with simplified and straightforward descriptions, ensuring clarity during the purchasing process. Players are now able to refund any purchase made in the same round that has not been used.
Inspection of CS:GO Items on Steam Community Market
Counter-Strike 2 allows players to inspect existing CS:GO items listed on the Steam Community Market. This feature provides players with the opportunity to closely examine and evaluate items available for purchase within the game.
Sub-Tick Movement and Shooting Improvements
Valve has fine-tuned the sub-tick movement system in response to valuable player feedback. The movement has become more precise and less "floaty," enhancing overall control and responsiveness. Releasing movement keys now accurately conveys their timing within the sub-tick system, enabling smoother gameplay.
Furthermore, adjustments have been made to the weapon aim punch recovery, ensuring it is latency-independent during sub-tick recovery on the client. The view punch camera shake effect during shooting has also been refined, becoming both latency-independent and
synchronized with other sub-tick shooting effects on the client.
Enhanced Volumetric Smoke and Animation
Valve has introduced improvements to the rendering and lighting of volumetric smoke in Counter-Strike 2. Overlapping smoke with multiple distinctly lit regions now showcases improved lighting and rendering, enhancing visual clarity for players. The effect duration of the HE grenade on smoke has been reduced, adding an element of tactical decision-making for players. Shotguns now create larger holes within smoke volumes, potentially offering new strategic opportunities for gameplay.
Animation-related adjustments have been made as well. The viewmodel 'inspect' animation has been refined to eliminate animation popping, resulting in a smoother and more seamless experience. Various viewmodel and blending animation fixes have been implemented, along with improved traversal animation. Additionally, the game now differentiates between jumping into the air and running off a ledge, allowing for more realistic character motion.
Latency-Independent Sound and Responsive Rendering
Valve has implemented several audio improvements in Counter-Strike 2. Players' own footstep sounds are now predicted on the client, ensuring a latency-independent audio experience, contributing to more immersive gameplay.
Rendering performance and responsiveness have been enhanced, particularly in windowed and full-screen windowed modes. Valve has also addressed several bugs and rendering artifacts, resulting in a smoother and more visually appealing gaming experience.
Input Refinements and VAC Enhancements
The latest patch introduces several input refinements to Counter-Strike 2. A bug causing input to become permanently broken when multiple commands were bound to one key has been fixed, allowing players to utilize multi-binds once again, except for jump-throw binds, which have become a skillful part of CS. Commands bound to mouse wheels now execute reliably, providing greater precision in gameplay. Another bug causing input to execute incorrectly after taking over a bot in practice mode has also been resolved.
Valve has made significant improvements to the VAC system, which detects and mitigates cheating in Counter-Strike 2. VAC will now issue live bans and gracefully terminate matches at the end of the round if a player is found to be cheating, except in cases where it is the final round and the cheater loses. These measures are aimed at preserving fair play and maintaining the integrity of the game. Importantly, the match outcome will not affect the Skill Group of participants who were not lobbied with the VAC-banned player, ensuring a fair and balanced competitive environment. Furthermore, players who were not involved with the banned player will still earn XP for the match.
Counter-Strike 2 continues to evolve and innovate with each update, addressing player feedback and introducing exciting features. Valve remains committed to providing an engaging and immersive experience for Counter-Strike enthusiasts, and the latest patch reflects this dedication to the game's evolution. Players can look forward to more updates and improvements as Counter-Strike 2 progresses towards its full release.