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#1 Posted by Rorie (5403 posts) -

Maybe you're thinking the same thing I did: "Wow, how was Counter-Strike not already free to play?" I guess people have been paying for it all this time, but no more. They also detailed some of the new Danger Zone (Battle Royale) mode, which sounds like they had to work pretty hard to shoehorn it in as it caps out at 18 players. That combined with CS's pretty quick time-to-kill makes me think these rounds are going to be pretty short, but what do I know.

The last time I played Counter-Strike my team had all but won the round but then I forgot which button to hit to place the bomb so everyone was yelling at me as time ran out because I was standing on the spot just looking around with no time to explain my predicament. I haven't played since. Not directly related to this story but hey!

How many players are in a match?

If you queue as a solo player, you'll enter a 16 player match. If you queue as a squad of two or three, your match will have up to 18 players.

How do I play as a squad?

You can play with friends by joining their lobby in the main menu. Play Danger Zone as a two or three-player squad, and you'll be matched against other squads.

How long do matches last?

Danger Zone matches typically last about 10 minutes.

Do weapons behave the same as they do in other CS:GO game modes?

Yes. CS:GO's guns have the same behavior and damage in Danger Zone as in other CS:GO game modes. However, since Danger Zone players can have up to 120HP, they may survive encounters that would otherwise be deadly.

How is XP earned?

You can earn XP in Danger Zone by looting your environment, killing enemies and trying your best to survive.

How do I get the Souvenir MP5-SD | Lab Rats?

To earn a Souvenir MP5-SD | Lab Rats, you need to have Prime Status and earn 250 XP in Danger Zone. The souvenir is available for all players until 2019-01-09

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#2 Posted by TheHT (15751 posts) -

Surprised this didn't happen sooner. Everything that seems to be at the heart of battle royale (tension, scavenging, teamwork, pull towards conflict) I got my fill of from CS. Maybe those sound vague enough to apply to a great many games, but I'm not so sure there would be such an equal split of those qualities to actually be right in doing so.

I suppose the scale was always missing. CS would never be able to match that early chaos of 100 players dropping into chaos. That doesn't seem to be a thing here either.

Ah well, hope people like it.

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#3 Posted by Gundato (50 posts) -

The lack of a giant map might be enough to make me play it. This sounds more like a FFA last man standing mode than anything else, and the addition of side objectives (hostages) sounds fun

One of my biggest issues with pubg (and all its predecessors) is that my options are:

  • a complete clusterfuck at the School equivalent: At which point I just want to play (T)DM with a good shooting model
  • wandering around in the middle of nowhere until someone inevitably snipes me from behind

So while I feel as though my childhood, and adulthood, died a little tonight, I am looking forward to this mode. I love CS gunplay and nice tight maps with a fast hopper sounds wonderful. ~10 minutes with one or two kills per match sounds like the right balance between tension and time wasting.

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#4 Posted by ameliaharry654 (4 posts) -

Agree with Gundato

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#5 Posted by Gundato (50 posts) -

Played this on and off over the past few days. I think the most recent patch(es) fixed matchmaking, but I only had the patience for three. Waiting two minutes to get kicked out because one person didn't click "accept" is just rudimentary shit that has been solved for years. Especially when two players will get kicked for VAC bans during the long loading screen for the map

Anyway. That is all easily solvable infrastructure shit. The game itself is very okay. Gunplay is great because it is CS:GO and I feel the engagement ranges make things feel really good. The time to kill just feels a lot better than PUBG (way too short) and Fortnite (way too long with the winner decided before the first shot is fired) and the first or second fight of any game makes me want to love this game (and is why I love CS in general).

Unfortunately, ammo is complete shit. I think each pack contains sixteen bullets. Not mags, bullets. So after the first few kills you see hordes of drones flying ammo drops to people. Which actually would be amazing if you didn't want two or three drones to be "ready" for a fight. I've not made it to top 4 yet, but top 10 is very much people grabbing wrenches and knives to finish each other off.

Same with gun collection. Finding a chest that needs a weapon to open it is just a giant punch to the crotch.

Similarly, I love not having the plane. Just let me pick where to spawn, watch a rappelling animation, and get going. And if people actually start playing this that should go fast, meaning I can get in and out of matches in a minute or two.

I don't know how to read the map to find the danger zones, but no match has lasted long enough for the rockets/mist to matter.

I think that if this can get a playerbase (here is hoping the winter sale encourages it) then all of this is fixable:

One ammo box is one full magazine or 16 bullets (whatever is more)

All crates can be punched open. Hatches just speed stuff up

If Valve fixes that I'll be playing at least four or five matches of this every week. But I'm pretty sure this is just going to be a joke people pull out to say that Valve lost their way and failed (and that may be true...)

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#6 Posted by norm9 (24 posts) -

So I take it this isn't coming to the 360 version of CS:GO? Figured I'd ask.

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#7 Posted by fisk0 (6801 posts) -

I still haven't managed to get into a match, give up after waiting for 3+ minutes multiple times, isn't the whole point of this mode that it should only take you a couple of seconds to get into a new match?

Seems like there's no way to disable the "Only match with other CSGO Prime players" option, which I guess limits the number of players I could be matched against, even though for this mode you wouldn't think there should be any difference between free and Prime players?

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#8 Posted by deckard (282 posts) -

After seeing the demo on UPF I stopped reinstalling CSGO. It looks like a fan-made BR mod.

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#9 Posted by Panfoot (264 posts) -

The game itself is fun and has enough small things to differentiate from the other BR games, but I feel like of the hour or so I played, at least half that time was waiting to find a match/waiting in the warm up round.

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#10 Posted by e30bmw (649 posts) -

As someone who has played a ton of CS:GO, I'll be interested to see how much they add/tweak this. Right now, it definitely seems like a side mode to the game, which is probably preferable. But they might put more resources into it than the other side modes, which are pretty stagnant.

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#11 Posted by AlexW00d (7570 posts) -

@fisk0 said:

I still haven't managed to get into a match, give up after waiting for 3+ minutes multiple times, isn't the whole point of this mode that it should only take you a couple of seconds to get into a new match?

Seems like there's no way to disable the "Only match with other CSGO Prime players" option, which I guess limits the number of players I could be matched against, even though for this mode you wouldn't think there should be any difference between free and Prime players?

Sure it limits it, but it limits it to the what, 50+ million prime enabled accounts that exist, maybe more. Probably more likely your internet settings at play.

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#12 Posted by e30bmw (649 posts) -
@alexw00d said:
@fisk0 said:

I still haven't managed to get into a match, give up after waiting for 3+ minutes multiple times, isn't the whole point of this mode that it should only take you a couple of seconds to get into a new match?

Seems like there's no way to disable the "Only match with other CSGO Prime players" option, which I guess limits the number of players I could be matched against, even though for this mode you wouldn't think there should be any difference between free and Prime players?

Sure it limits it, but it limits it to the what, 50+ million prime enabled accounts that exist, maybe more. Probably more likely your internet settings at play.

I would agree with you, I haven't had any issues getting a match today (they all pop within like 30 seconds). I did get my first win too!

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#13 Posted by Acura_Max (724 posts) -

How much did people pay for this game? I had always assumed that it was free to play after a few years after launch like Team Fortress 2.

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#14 Posted by e30bmw (649 posts) -

How much did people pay for this game? I had always assumed that it was free to play after a few years after launch like Team Fortress 2.

It was 15 bucks, every single steam sale it would be half price.

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#15 Posted by fisk0 (6801 posts) -

@e30bmw said:
@alexw00d said:
@fisk0 said:

I still haven't managed to get into a match, give up after waiting for 3+ minutes multiple times, isn't the whole point of this mode that it should only take you a couple of seconds to get into a new match?

Seems like there's no way to disable the "Only match with other CSGO Prime players" option, which I guess limits the number of players I could be matched against, even though for this mode you wouldn't think there should be any difference between free and Prime players?

Sure it limits it, but it limits it to the what, 50+ million prime enabled accounts that exist, maybe more. Probably more likely your internet settings at play.

I would agree with you, I haven't had any issues getting a match today (they all pop within like 30 seconds). I did get my first win too!

I never had any problems getting into matches in CSGO before it went free to play, nor with current Team Fortress 2 or any other game (despite Jeff talking about having trouble getting into Battlefield V matches, I've never had to wait more than 10 seconds for one there, usually about 3 seconds), but so far I've been totally unable to get into any CSGO Danger Zone matches. Also, it lists about 10k other people looking for matches at any given point, certainly no millions.

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#16 Edited by Gundato (50 posts) -

Maybe one of the two or three patches in the past few days did it, maybe it is just that Sunday morning is a lot more popular than Friday night, but I managed to get two games in this morning with about 30 seconds of queuing each time before the ready-up phase started.

Further solidified that I actually really like this mode. First match I didn't notice that someone took my spawn right as I clicked so I ended up getting placed randomly. Had to frantically look for weapons but still had time to get a pistol before I got gunned down by someone with an AK. Contrast that with Fortnite where, in probably 10 matches over the past year or so, I've been gunned down while unarmed three times.

Second game I got my first chicken dinner (didn't pay attention to what they call it, but I am sure it is something like "tofurkey snack"). Got a bit sidetracked rescuing a hostage (rescue zone was actually in the fog by the time I got there) but managed to get the semi-auto shotgun pistol and a machine pistol. Ended up getting three kills and my concerns were mostly confirmed. First was a nice shootout. Second was me with four shotgun shells and a flashbang ambushing someone who had just gunned down a different opponent. Then me and the last survivor spent about a minute and a half calling in supply drops to get enough ammo to actually murder each other.

Which gets to another issue with the system. Using your tablet you know where enemies are. That is great when you are scavenging and don't want to get murdered or are looking to do some murdering. But it meant that the final two knew exactly where each other were (... ignoring the stream of drones carrying 16 bullets at a time) and there was no need for anyone patient to not camp a crapper with a good view of whatever sector the enemy is in. As I have no patience I just charged head first and managed to make him use a good chunk of his ammo before spamming a shotgun (it IS CS).

I don't see this being successful and I am pretty sure this is the end of CS as a whole. But I am finding I really enjoy it. All the tension and tactics of a BR without feeling like I am wasting time. Outside of matchmaking, of course

---

Still no idea what gets you the MP5 skin. Knowing Valve it is broken and I'll never get it. But I now got over 240 xp in a match I won, so I'll be cranky when that happens

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#17 Posted by e30bmw (649 posts) -

@gundato said:

I don't see this being successful and I am pretty sure this is the end of CS as a whole. But I am finding I really enjoy it. All the tension and tactics of a BR without feeling like I am wasting time. Outside of matchmaking, of course

---

Still no idea what gets you the MP5 skin. Knowing Valve it is broken and I'll never get it. But I now got over 240 xp in a match I won, so I'll be cranky when that happens

As the base game that has been popular for almost 20 years is unchanged, why do you think this the end of CS as a whole?

Also, I got the MP5 skin drop yesterday. The "bonus" xp that you get when leveling up doesn't count, it's just the base. So maybe that's why you haven't got it yet?

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#18 Posted by Gundato (50 posts) -

@e30bmw: Possible, but pretty sure I had well over 240 in earned for that last win

And while CS has always "ripped off" other games, it spent largely the past decade (or two?) as being its own thing with diminishing returns. Going F2P largely means Valve doesn't care anymore (we're in TF2 regime). And having done so blatant a userbase grab AND in such a half-assed fashion not only hurts (possibly kills) the CS brand value but also demonstrates how weak it became.

This was one of those "go big or go home" moves. It either would have worked and revitalized CSGO or, more likely, failed and transitioned all of that CS brand recognition and value into being comparable to H1Z1 or PUBG (holy shit that was fast).

CoD ran the same risk this year, but they managed to take PUBG and make it their own by adding a shit ton of polish. So people poke fun at it and do comment on what that means for the series going forward, but they still like it.

CSGO have something that seems like a usermod. I for one really enjoy it, but they didn't make it their own and it just feels "lazy". And with CS in such a precarious place that can EASILY be the death knell. If Valve were focused on CS they could pull it back out but... they aren't.

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#19 Posted by e30bmw (649 posts) -

@gundato said:

@e30bmw: Possible, but pretty sure I had well over 240 in earned for that last win

And while CS has always "ripped off" other games, it spent largely the past decade (or two?) as being its own thing with diminishing returns. Going F2P largely means Valve doesn't care anymore (we're in TF2 regime). And having done so blatant a userbase grab AND in such a half-assed fashion not only hurts (possibly kills) the CS brand value but also demonstrates how weak it became.

This was one of those "go big or go home" moves. It either would have worked and revitalized CSGO or, more likely, failed and transitioned all of that CS brand recognition and value into being comparable to H1Z1 or PUBG (holy shit that was fast).

CoD ran the same risk this year, but they managed to take PUBG and make it their own by adding a shit ton of polish. So people poke fun at it and do comment on what that means for the series going forward, but they still like it.

CSGO have something that seems like a usermod. I for one really enjoy it, but they didn't make it their own and it just feels "lazy". And with CS in such a precarious place that can EASILY be the death knell. If Valve were focused on CS they could pull it back out but... they aren't.

https://www.reddit.com/r/GlobalOffensive/comments/a4w7si/psa_you_can_check_your_remaining_exp_needed_for/ I just saw that post, which would be a quick way to check and see if you have enough yet. I thought I only got like ~100 xp for my win, but I'm not sure how much kills and stuff factor into that.

And I guess we just have different perceptions of what the state of CSGO was before this update. The playerbase has been fairly stagnant for a while now, and it's usually the third (sometimes second) most played game on Steam. It just seems like if Danger Zone doesn't go anywhere, the game will be just about the same.

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#20 Posted by TGJessie (441 posts) -

I'm not a big CS person, but I'm quite enjoying this new mode. The small size of the map is supplemented well by the tools you have to roughly track the other players, so engagements feel well-paced and balanced in a way that other BR games just aren't. I always thought CS's gunplay and movement would be a good fit for BR, and it is! Even the limited ammo, which although it takes some getting used to, helps discourage wildly spraying or relying too heavily on a single weapon. The drones are an interesting touch, providing resources on demand in exchange for the risk of someone tracking you down via them.

I feel some of the opinions here are a little dramatic about it seeming cheap or mod-like. It's kinda weird, granted, but it is enjoyable.