Since the end of Operation Shattered Web in March, players have been waiting for the next CSGO operation to launch.
When Valve released Shattered Web in November 2019, CSGO players had been waiting almost two years for Valve's next CSGO operation. While games like Apex Legends and Fortnite introduced seasons and battle passes to the competitive shooter world, Counter-Strike players waited patiently for the game's developer to release the next chapter in CSGO's in-game events.
Now, players are starting to get antsy. While Shattered Web introduced a few coding changes to make it easier on devs to create the next CSGO operation, fans haven't heard much since Shattered Web ended. With many people trying out Riot Games' Valorant and some even switching over entirely, now could be the best time for Valve to release another event for their flagship shooter.
Here are the top things fans and players want from the next CSGO operation.
Operation Hydra brought some ingenious game modes to CSGO, including one where every shot a player missed hurt them while every bullet they landed healed them. Limited-time game modes like these can attract new players to the game, and their arcade style can help them stick around for longer.
For veteran players of CSGO, different game modes can be a great way to break up the seriousness of CSGO's ranked play. Game types like flying scoutsman, in which players faced off against one another on maps with low gravity while armed with the SSG 08 sniper rifle, are both good fun when playing with friends and a potential way to hone a player's aim. The mix of practice and fun make flying scoutsman popular to this day. While Shattered Web didn't ship with any exclusive game modes, the coding for all of Operation Hydra's game types still remains in CSGO's files. All it would take from Valve is a quick tick to enable them again.
Shattered Web was CSGO's first battle pass, and judging by the game's player count it was an instant and significant success. For players used to the old journal system, however, it was a little bit of a letdown. Instead of a map of quests that users could move through as they pleased, Valve decided to cap the amount of progress players could make by offering specific quests each week and either a randomized drop table from Shattered Web's three new collections or a weapon case drop.
In games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Fortnite, and Apex Legends, players' rewards are clearly laid out from the start, and users know exactly what they'll receive for leveling up their battle pass and when they'll get it. Something similar to that could work in the next CSGO operation. Shattered Web had randomized rewards, which sometimes caused players to get the exact same unimpressive drop multiple times in a row. That's never fun. Neither was getting a Shattered Web case drop, which required players to buy an additional key on top of the original price of the battle pass to in order to unlock it.
The next CSGO operation needs a clear path to specific rewards to give players something to chase. A change like this would not only draw more players to the game, but it would also feel much more fair. This is particularly true for developer Valve, who have already developed something of a reputation for squeezing money out of its customers.
Guardian missions are the closest CSGO has ever come to a single-player mode, and Shattered Web's Strikes were fantastic. Since they took place on a tweaked Sirocco map that players were already familiar with, the game mode felt grounded in Counter-Strike but featured its own story and engaging gameplay. Valve needs to give players more of that.
Shattered Web only had two Guardian Strikes, called Phoenix Compound and Virus Outbreak. While Phoenix Compound started off CSGO's operation with a bang when it released in the first week, players had to wait another three months before Virus Outbreak was released in the operation's final weeks. Both strikes were voiced, scripted, and made players think, especially on the harder difficulties. There were even environmental interactions, like putting out fires with smoke grenades, and a cliffhanger story that gave some background on CSGO's battle royale mode, Danger Zone.
These are the types of things that keep players coming back. With CSGO's historically high player counts dropping slightly after the release of Valorant, Valve needs to do everything they can to keep players hooked. And the easiest way for them to do that is to actually create a world for their players to experience. More Guardian Strikes that flesh out CSGO's backstory could do just that.