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[CS:GO] Valve's Poor Support For Community Servers And Lack Of Communication (Reddit Thread/2016)


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  • Superuser

Hello everybody, I would like to address a few ideas/suggestions for CS:GO along with discussing the current state with community support. Recently, I have been thinking about how to improve CS:GO. However, we first need to list the current issues with Valve’s support for community servers.


Custom Weapon Model Bans & GSLT System
In the last couple months, Valve started banning CS:GO game servers if they violated their guidelines posted here. Back in the summer of 2015, we did provide stock CS:GO knives. At the time, this was allowed and it made players happy. When Valve notified all the server owners on the CS:GO servers mailing list that these plugins will result in a GSLT ban, we immediately removed the specific knife plugins. However, a few months later, somebody developed a plugin that gave players custom weapon models (not sold on the CS:GO market). Seeing this opened up a lot of potential and customization in the game and thus we added this plugin to our servers. Originally, we thought this wasn’t against the guidelines (it shouldn’t be). Nonetheless, it sadly is. Valve, why is it against the rules to provide players with custom knives not sold on the CS:GO market? I can understand the stock CS:GO knives being against the rules, but custom weapon models? These should definitely be allowed, especially when Valve’s public image is a company that highly supports community-made content. Currently, Valve’s public image is highly false and misleading to me.


With that said, the banning system they have developed is poorly made as well. Honestly, they most likely spent a total of two hours developing this system. Here is a list of things wrong with the banning system itself:


  • Doesn’t tell you which server triggered the detection and the reason for the ban.
  • Permanently bans your account from hosting servers again. The first ban should definitely be temporary.
  • No warnings ahead of time.
  • Finally, the CS:GO developers themselves failed to communicate properly on the subject. Important questions about this system are still unanswered to this day. Overall, this system is a joke in my eyes and it is an embarrassment to Valve. Server owners definitely deserve better.


Exploits Left Unpatched For Months
Recently, there have been occasional server exploits going around. A specific exploit existed for around two months and was mentioned to the CS:GO developers multiple times. Moreover, it wasn’t patched until a couple months after the original report. This isn’t the first Valve game that delayed exploit patches. Older Valve games had exploits that were left unpatched for months and possibly years after the original report.

Most of the time, exploits are patched when it starts affecting Valve’s servers or becomes a common thing (e.g. Popular Reddit thread). To me and many others, that is ridiculous. Security is very important and when exploits are left unpatched for months without any communication from Valve, there’s definitely a major problem.


Linux Limitation & Other Small Things
I’ve e-mailed Valve multiple times about a Linux limitation which highly decreases server performance on popular CS:GO Linux servers. Somewhat expectedly, I received no response as usual. There have been other things I and many others have suggested to Valve. It goes without saying that our thoughts have been ignored.


To conclude, I believe Valve’s support for community servers is at an all-time low and yet continues to wane. At this point, I feel as though Valve only cares about the amount of money they’re making from their games.


Now that my rant is over, it is time to start talking about some great ideas that will improve CS:GO. The ideas will be listed below.


Server Browser
I believe a new and improved server browser would really help out community servers in CS:GO. The current server browser appears to be heavily outdated and doesn’t match the CS:GO color theme. Currently, the server browser is gray which doesn’t match the blue-ish main menu theme. I also believe that making two separate layouts for the server browser would make it feel more modern. The two layouts will be listed below.


Complex Layout
In the complex layout, community game modes will be listed. When you click on one of said game modes, the menu will expand to show all the servers running the specific game mode. Some examples of game modes include: Zombie Escape, Zombie Mod, Surf Timer, Bunny Hop, etc. This would be similar to the Garry’s Mod server browser. However, instead of relying on a text file for the game mode, it would depend on the map prefix.


  • Ze_ - Zombie Escape
  • Zm_ - Zombie Mod
  • Surf_ - Surf Timer or Surf Deathmatch
  • Bhop_ - Bunny Hop
  • De_ - Defuse (or whatever you call it).
  • Cs_ - Hostages.
  • Etc…


Simple Layout
The simple layout would basically work as the current server browser, although the color scheme and style would need to be changed to fit CS:GO’s.


There is currently also a ~5000 cap on the amount of servers the server browser can display. On paper, this does sound relatively high. That being said, there are around ~50K community servers. I believe uncapping the ~5000 cap would be beneficial and would increase the chances of the players seeing every server on the server browser (as it should be).


To conclude, a new and improved server browser would be a big step in strengthening the support for community servers. This idea has been proposed before, but as usual, nothing has been done by the CS:GO developers. We are currently looking into making the server browser using HTML, JavaScript, etc. If you are interested in helping us in this project, please reply to this thread!.


Quick Play For Community Servers
First, quick play is the traffic from players using the “Find a game” option in CS:GO (which a majority of the player base chiefly uses).


The next thing I want to talk about is quick play support for community servers. Currently, community servers do not receive traffic from the quick play system. Even if your server runs vanilla game play and even a better gaming experience than Valve (e.g. 128 tick), you can only rely on players finding your server through the server browser, friends list, or connecting through the console.


From what I’ve heard, an option to be put into community servers using quick play did exist initially, although it has since been removed. I am estimating around 85% of the CS:GO player base to only be using the quick play system (most likely haven’t discovered the server browser).


With that said, I would like to address another concern for community servers. Currently, players do not gain XP while playing on community servers. This also serves to drive players away from community servers. The only valid reason I can think of not allowing players to gain XP on community servers is the possibility of farming XP. However, farming XP is difficult and considered pointless due to CS:GO’s current way of handling XP (e.g. XP is already limited and the more the player plays CS:GO, the less XP they will gain). Even so, simply enabling XP on community servers running stock maps would aid said community servers.


Small Issues
I want to address a few small issues that I believe would strengthen CS:GO upon being fixed. These are mostly issues that have existed for a long time (I have sent Valve most of these issues in the past, though, no results).


Player Names Not Showing While Aiming On Large Servers
When you aim at players, it should display their name (just like the old CS games). However, in CS:GO, this feature is broken for servers with above 32 players. It doesn’t matter what mp_playerid is set to; the feature eventually breaks. This appears to only break with teammates. Feel free to watch this YouTube video to see the issue itself.


Linux Limitation
As mentioned in the past, CS:GO linux servers perform poorly, especially for large servers. This is due to CS:GO linux servers not using the networking thread like Windows does. More information can be found in this mailing list thread. Many server owners would prefer to use Linux instead of Windows (me included) for personal reasons. With the aforementioned limitation, most cannot use Linux if they are hosting large servers due to the bad performance.


New Skeleton/Hitboxes Performance Issues
To be honest, I cannot confirm this is the issue because I am not a modeler myself. However, a couple of modelers I have spoken to said that player models compiled with the new skeletons/hit boxes do decrease performance on large servers especially when these newer models are taking damage (bullets penetrating the player). I’ve tried testing this myself, although I cannot find a difference when testing with bots. Though, when we replaced our player models compiled with the new skeletons/hitboxes with player models compiled with the older skeletons/hitboxes, server performance increased by 15%.


Valve’s support for community servers is at an all-time low and still decreasing. Since Valve is apparently listening now, I just wanted to throw out suggestions and ideas that would most likely improve CS:GO. I hope we can get some constructive discussions going, and hopefully get a response from Valve, so that we may see a better community experience. Remember, the game developers aren’t the only ones to blame in Valve for this mess.


Feel free to give feedback (e.g. better ways to improve the server browser, etc)!


Thank you for reading.

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