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The new operation has struck the counter-strike community like a storm, everybody seems to be talking about it, and while a minority might not have liked the idea of the operation following a battle pass format, it has been welcomed by open arms. There are of course some bugs and other such discrepancies related to the operation that community is actively reporting about, but along with this, there seems to be a growing difference between users when it comes to one of the biggest features of Shattered Web, the modified character models.
The character models are certainly an interesting addition to the monotonous T and CT-sided characters we are all used to by now, but though they might be visually appealing with some suave voice lines, they are also a cause of concern when it comes to certain users along with having an impact on the competitive circuit and ranked matchmaking.
Certain aspects of these modified character models are not in line with the primary models, giving users who equip these character models a slight advantage, which can go a long way when it comes to high-level matchmaking. A few points brought forth by the community since the release of the operation are as follows,
One half of the community believes that the hitboxes of the new agents might differ from that of stock agents due to the level of detailing on them, their model structure, and various additional pieces of equipment on them. This can work for or against a user and can be potentially game-breaking.
But then the other half argues by saying that this is no different than when the new ‘Elite Crew’ or ‘SAS’ were introduced, they were different agents too, the difference was just that you could not choose them as those changes were mandatory. They say that none of the agents seems to be massively different when it comes to how the skin matches the hitbox. While also justifying how all the new agents have muted colours and no weird gimmicks, apart from a few of them having a fancy haircut and a moderately average fashion sense.
Opinion: I have personally not done any sort of professional testing to see if the theory about the hitboxes on the new agents being non-uniform when compared to the stock agents is true or not, but taking one look at the models I can definitely say that the T-sided character design looks minimalistic and simple when compared to some of the CT-sided characters like, Seal Team 6 Soldier, ‘TwoTimes’ McCoy, Buckshot, and Lt. Commander Ricksaw.
I don’t know if the above observation has an impact in-game or not, but as long as these characters don’t provide any sort of in-game advantage or disadvantage to a user and are consistent with the stock agents, everyone stays gucci. Otherwise, an immediate balancing might be required.
The Ability To Choose Your Agent
The freedom to choose your own character model is something which CS:GO has been missing out on, but the new operation took care of it pretty well, giving everyone a bundle of characters to choose from after they acquire them, but we all know that with great power comes great responsibility and that is where the problem lies.
The concern with this freedom to choose the character is straight as an arrow. What if all the players in a team choose the same agent making it tough for the opposite team to figure out which player they spotted? It would certainly be not in the spirit of the game as it basically translates to obscuring the passage of proper information.
Though this is not a problem general players will be facing it will certainly have an impact in the competitive circuit and really high-level matchmaking.
Solution: The simple solution to this problem is that the option of choosing separate agents can be locked when playing a competitive game. And similar rules can be placed by the tournament organizers as well for their events.
Blending In With The Environment
This is by far the most crucial point put forth that the whole community agrees upon. Many of the new agents blend too well with the background, making it difficult to spot them when they are holding an angle or missing out on them when a user checks a corner.
Maps like Mirage and Nuke that have a lot of shadows and such only worsens the problem with these new characters. With complaints also coming in that these new agents are not optimised properly, giving many problems of various degrees to the players.
Colour-blind people are also voicing their opinions stating that they did not face any problems with the primary characters, but are unable to spot some of the newer characters at various angles and spots, making it very difficult for them to play the game.
Solution: The solution can be the addition of a colour blind mode which has not existed till now, but even if implemented it might take a lot of time testing and optimizing it before they decide to roll it out.
Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski has also voiced similar concern towards colour blind people but has come up with a better solution, something which has been used in the past as well during CS 1.6, the usage of the “cl_minmodel” command.
This is a client-side command that has no impact on anyone else besides the user. The user sees all the T and CT-sided agents as they normally should in their factory character model while the other players pick and play with whatever model they want.
In all honesty, this is a great solution to a lot of the above-listed problems and in my opinion, Valve should really consider this.
These are some of the biggest talking points around the newly introduced agents, and while the whole community is raging on about the new operation, Valve needs to consider its next move so as to solve these problems, while profiting out of it as well.
What is your take on the above-discussed situation? What steps would you recommend Valve should take in order to even out the odds?