What If We Could Sprint in CS:GO?



Thu 12th Oct 2017 - 1:38pm

Disclaimer: This article is just a theorycrafting piece by the author for the sake of discussion.

Take out your knife and just run as fast as Valve developers would allow, until your character would run out of stamina in his coded legs and lungs.

One of the many frustrations of newer players coming from other First-Person Shooters is the lack of sprinting mechanic in this game, claiming that it makes the game slower than it could be. But would that mechanic be any good for the competitive aspect of CS:GO? The game would change massively, more than any of us could imagine initially. Let’s imagine that situation and make an analysis on what could change and how much that could impact the game we all know and love.

The map timings would change

A lot! If you’re playing this game for more than a few hours, you know that in a competitive match most of the maps are designed in a way that both teams, with the right spawns, can arrive to choke points or important areas at around the same time, making those first few seconds important to get map control, as most of the time the team who gets a player first on a highly contested area will get control of it and most of time get the entry kill.

If players could sprint, those timings would change. The combat would start sooner. But what if the time you could sprint depended on the main weapon you have? It would add another layer of strategy to the game. Maybe even force players to buy SMG’s on full buy rounds to surprise the opponents that were expecting a slow approach with an AWP or even a Rifle.

The round timer would need to be adjusted as well, to compensate for those seconds every player could save while sprinting. I would say that reducing 5-10 seconds in each round would the ideal, depending on the movement speed a sprinting character could achieve.

Time would be won on clutch situations as a CT

Imagine the opponent team plants the bomb and you’re still in the other bombsite all the way across on the other side of the map. Those precious seconds you would lose rotating would be greatly reduced, maybe to the point where sometimes where you would normally save the gun because of the lack of time to work on the clutch would be situations where you actually had the time to work and try to win the situation for your team, thanks to those few seconds you saved sprinting.

The Terrorists could also benefit greatly in these situations: they could try to play mind-games with their opponent, forcing them to stay in what would be the most obvious bombsite to be attacked while sprinting as fast as they can to the other one, leaving less time for the CT to think and act on a possible rotation.

New, previously unreachable, places would be found on several maps

If the sprint mechanic was to be implemented in CS:GO, it would probably allow the player to jump further, reaching distances you couldn’t before. Anyone who is familiar with KZ maps know that, with practice, you can do really long jumps with the aid of bunny-hopping and strafe jumping. For those unfamiliar with these terms, KZ are a set of maps where the goal is to get to the end of the map, recurring only to the movement available to you – jumping, strafing, etc. – and bunny-hopping/strafe-jumping are skills that involves making jump after jump with the right timing (and direction, in case of strafe-jumping) to allow your character to get a higher movement speed than intended.

Allowing the player to jump further would allow for new spots to eventually be found in maps that could bring an unfair advantage to the players. It would give an immense amount of work to Valve and other map-developers having to revisit finished and fully polished maps, making sure that everything would play well with this new mechanic and that there were no spots such as the ones I described, that could unbalance the game.

Although new players might enjoy it, older players would probably hate it

Most of the newer players come from other First-Person Shooters and most of those games, if not all, have a sprint mechanic in it. The players are used to it and it will feel strange not having it, almost as if their CS:GO character just runs really slow. They would eventually get used to it, as with all the other movement mechanics that exist in our game, though.

But what about those older players? Having to relearn the game they have been perfecting for years on end, all those timings that they know so well would be changed, for something that was never asked for, could be, at the very least, very discouraging.

All in all, it is hard to understand if it would be a good or bad change to the game. It could bring a lot of new players in, but at the same time it could make a lot of older ones to give up on playing. Not being able to sprint it’s just one more mechanic that distinguishes the Counter-Strike franchise from other games in the same genre - it is something that is embedded deep within the competitive and tactical aspect of the game and all its players.

Another idea would be for the mechanic to be implemented in the game, but banned in competitive play. In fact, it may already exist as a mod created by players of our community, intended for specific server and map genres. This would be something I would like to see: having more options and features in our game, even if they’re not intended for competitive play is always good and I personally see no disadvantages. We need to remember that it was because of the freedom of choice and tools that Counter-Strike came to exist – it was originally a mod from Half-Life created by players.

If applied correctly, it could be a breath of fresh air for those older players looking to have a different kind of fun in the game that they have been playing since they were kids and it could be something that would fill community servers with new players.

In the end, it is something that most probably will never be implemented in CS:GO, at least officially and developed by Valve and surely not for competitive play. We will probably have to continue to rely on our knives to run as fast as we can, hoping to not get caught off-guard and get that infamous line in the round-end screen - “ghazz brought a knife to a gunfight”.

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