The New Dust 2— A Scrupulous Audit

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On the fourth quarter of 2017, precisely on October 9th, the CS:GO development team assigned to supervise the development and maintenance of the game revealed an image pertaining to the remodeled version of the much anticipated remake of Dust 2, an iconic map heralded by many in the community as their favourite.

The following day, Valve delivered the the map to the beta version of the game(1.36.0.7-rc1) that is specifically developed for testing changes implemented into it. By the end of the week  the CS:GO development team had patched multiple exploits and fixed the glitches reported to it by the community and drafted it for release on the next day.

Whether the new map is suitable for e-sports or not is a much debated topic on the internet. The administration of redefined textures brought with it myriads of performance related issues.  Valve was immediately met with unrelenting backlash from the nostalgic players of the community and the low-enders while on the opposite end of the sphere many players appreciated their efforts and found the map much more convenient and balanced. The matter is rather thought provoking.

Nostalgia and development are two contrasting terms that serve a different purpose. CS:GO has come a long way. From a plain fun to engage in shooter to a global e-sports, it has come across many moments wherein it has experienced a gradual loss of public support and many moments where it experienced an escalation of its player base. When Inferno was redefined, people from both sides presented conflicting opinions. A much heated controversy stirred up in the midst of cloudy calmness and away from the more reasonable bone of contention, the VAC, but to little effort. The ones who were against change were forced to bury the hatchet and accept what was endowed to them. Only later, after several e-sports events was it discovered that the new Inferno played out much better first one in various aspects. Critics from around the corner instantly altered their opinions and started defending the very map they were inclined to see rolled back to its original state. The dispute regarding the new Dust 2 is but a tiny fraction of the same.

While people are judging the new Dust 2 by its guise we have tried out the new map and have formed conclusions based on its architecture and the changes applied to the same from a positive standpoint. A listicle has been provided underneath recording some of the most important changes in the new Dust 2 map and the roles they would play in the coming tournaments:

1) BOMB SITE A, LONG A & SHORT A

The mundane textures from the previous version of the map have been superseded with ultra-modern textures and impressive decoration, vividly glorifying its middle eastern setting. Among all the other parts of the map, A long has received a major overhaul. From what seems like one of the most quintessential segments in the entire map that has delivered some of the fanciest and smartest plays in e-sports history, Long A’s renovation aims to properly balance the map by turning the favours against the Terrorists, thereby making the area more CT sided.

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The Long Tunnels have been made taller, albeit the height of the double doors remain more or less the same. The boxes against the walls of the building outside long on the opposite side of the cab now has a shed above them, rendering it impossible to chuck smokes or flashes like in the old map. In order to flash/smoke the CT side of long, new line ups have to be followed.

The date palm tree conspicuously planted on the right behind the whitewashed wall has now become an important line-up for smoking and flashing. ‘A stroke of genius’ as was quoted by 3kliksphilip who pointed it out in one of his comprehensive youtube videos.

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Long A has been made more spacious and the road that rolls down to A site has been widened, provided that there is a certain lack of cover on the T side, only to the advantage of the CTs. A small ledge that ran along the wall on top of pit has been withdrawn. Further more, pit platform that used to be an important location for T snipers to camp in has been cropped and moved further backwards leaving a road that runs to the right until it comes to an abrupt end, blocked by a fence. Buildings positioned upfront serve as cover to shield the Ts from incessant shelling. The lamp post next to pit can now be used to bounce grenades off it. Car has been majorly improved and provides full body cover for both the CT and the T player models. During an A long rush, this position will play a big role in holding off terrorist push.

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The A Site remains more or less the same except a few minor changes. The box underneath ramp has been shortened as opposed to the one in the previous map. It can only partially hide the player model of a T or a CT now. The gap between the two barrels placed at the further end facing the wall has broadened making it a vulnerable locus for CT AWPers.

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Short is all the same. The much loved cat boost used to peer into lower tunnels remains identical to the former, a two man boost. The area next to the flight of stairs that leads on to Short A which was used intelligently to conceal the player models has now been shortened significantly. The player model can no longer stay hidden beside the staircase without exposing one third of their body.

2) BOMB SITE B, LOWER TUNS AND UPPER TUNS

Bomb site B has not received any major updates. It is a replica of the old map with modern textures. The only change that caught my attention was that window was smoothed. In the old version of the map players would often be obstructed by an invisible clipping while passing through window or be stuck there while crouching. The new version shows no signs of defect so far.

The entrance from upper tunnels into B site purportedly appears narrower but is merely taller. This will provide the Ts with a wall to bounce grenades off of to smoke or flash B site. One of the many changes in Upper Tunnels that was expected to have been implemented was an open ceiling. This would allow the terrorists to toss grenades into the site without any complication. Realising that it would be flagrantly overpowering the Ts, Valve decided to exclude it; instead they replaced the ceiling with a different ceiling with lots of open gaps in it that allow light to pass through them(just to add to the visuals, this serves no gameplay purpose ofcourse) and at the same time acts as a solid object that would deflect anything thrown at it. The sky-boxes around B tunnels are also closed down and hence would not allow nades to be thrown inside or outside bomb site B(except from CT mid).

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The Lower Tunnels has been left untouched. The only modification undertaken is a complete graphical reconstruction.

3) MID, T BASE AND CT BASE

Around the T platform area, a car has been added to provide full-body cover from CTs rushing out of upper tunnels. This is an ideal location for shrewd snipers and would play a major role in upcoming tournaments.

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Mid is pretty much the same as well. The gap between the double doors of mid seem to have been expanded a bit, or so they say. We haven’t been able to spot any difference however. One of the more interesting adjustments was made around the Mid and Catwalk area. X-box is now taller and could no longer be used as a sniping spot as it hides the player model behind it completely. What used to take a single running crouch-jump to climb on top of X-box now requires two with an additional one to ascend Catwalk.

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CONCLUSION

One thing in particular that I wanted Valve to do was to create alternative routes to facilitate quick rotations, this would debar the game from becoming repetitive as well as encourage new play styles. But they are not to be blamed for not complying. We certainly do not expect them to completely revamp one of their most iconic maps. That would eliminate the value of Dust 2. It would not be Dust 2, but something else. Either way, Dust 2 has always been a perfect map and hence the overwhelming support surrounding it. The renovated Dust 2 is visually attractive and has a lot of potential. With insignificant changes been imposed, these are sure to motivate players to adopt different play-styles. All that is left now is to wait and observe and let time do its job.

Do you agree with us? Is the new Dust 2 to your liking? Do you think it has a promising future for forthcoming tournaments? Or is it just a malicious undertaking to sell more stickers? Let us know in the comments.

2 Upvotes
  • Pras

    I think that it was not a very good idea because a huge proportion of people play on Dust II because of its relatively higher frames. As of what I’ve heard many people are complaining because of their fps in the new Dust II with posts like, ‘I can play because Dust II existed, now the lagg is killing me’. Despite the fact that this could attract people, I think they might end up losing a lot of its already dropping players.

    • Ishan Dey

      Your frame rates is not their concern. I would have said that but you simply cannot expect to play games on potato rigs anymore. Its 2017, every game is going to require a powerful combo of CPU and GPU.

    • On the other hand, if the new Dust 2 finally forces you to upgrade your system, I think its a step in the right direction. Because I can’t fathom a system which struggles with a CSGO map in this day and age.

      • Ishan Dey

        Agreed Ayush.