In a move that I think is really positive for the game, Valve has decided to make the prices for weapons in Counter-Strike: Source be determined by how much people buy them. For the uninitiated, Counter-Strike: Source is a terrorists and counter-terrorists game where one team is pitted against the other; the terrorists typically have to blow up something, and the counter-terrorists must stop them. The more each player kills and/or achieves this objective, the more money he gets to spend on juicier weapons.
“The cost of weapons and equipment that you purchase in Counter-Strike: Source are now based on an algorithm that calculates the global market demand for various weapons. As more people purchase a certain weapon, the price will rise and other weapons will become less expensive.”
Since Counter-Strike’s birth around the beginning of the millennium, the prices of the weapons have basically been decided by the game’s developers based upon a variety of things such as power, effectiveness at certain ranges, etc. However, just like with any balancing system it can be a pain to get right. Certain weapons end up used all the time because they’re the best trade-off between price and effectiveness, and often a lot of weapons are simply discarded. The new system will be much smarter in my opinion, even if purist fans of the game who’ve religiously played for the past several years are unsurprisingly taking offense at the change.
I really like this idea because it adds a kind of massively multiplayer angle to the game. It’s not quite as in-your-face as Battlefield 2’s system of allowing players who earn a certain amount of medals/points/kills to use more powerful weapons than those available to most players, but it still adds a sense of continuity to the thousands of Counter-Strike: Source servers out there. It’s also adds another touch of realism.
All in all, good move, Valve. There was once a time when fairly dramatic changes to the Counter-Strike formula were made often, but those days largely came to an end once Counter-Strike: Source hit the streets, save for extra maps. It’s good to see things moving again, what with this new change due to go live on October 11th and the recent revamp of the radar system. I just hope those who’ve grown used to a couple of years of staling don’t have a heart attack.
Although it’s not live yet as mentioned in the previous paragraph, you can browse the Counter-Strike Weapons Market right now. Soon to be a very popular page with Counter-Strike: Source players I’m sure! It’ll be very interesting to see how this system performs in a live setting though, and even more interesting will be seeing the ways that players try to game the system and make delicious weapons a lot cheaper than they really ought to be — and how Valve try to prevent it!