The latest patch for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive brings back a long absent feature: graffiti and sprays. They are now a consumable item that can be purchased. Fans lobbying for their return are displeased to say the least.
Sprays have existed in Valve based shooters as far back as the original Team Fortress Classic and Counter-Strike. Players could even upload their own designs or pictures. The feature lasted all the way up to Counter-Strike: Source before being removed in Global Offensive.
Graffiti is returning with some major changes. Much like gun skins, they can be received from ranking up, gained randomly from loot boxes, or bought directly on the Steam Marketplace. Boxes average close to $4.00 at the time of writing while individual spray costs on the market fluctuate. The highest costing spray I found initially sold for $100 before settling towards $30.
These sprays consumable items and good for 50 uses only. After that? You’ve lost your spray and better pony up more cash to buy another. This monetization has many players angry.
“Is anyone else upset or mildly enraged that Valve literally took away a feature that was in the game for over a decade and are not chanrging us money for it?” Reddit user djdevilmonkey asked in a post.
“Paying for sprays is absolutely fucking ridiculous,” user tylercobra replied.
“Valve isn’t a Game Studio anymore,” esrev309 declared. “It’s purely a profit-seeking company...”
In addition to anger over the pricing model, many players are pointing out how the graffiti can be used to gain an edge over their competition.
The sprays have transparency issues, for starters. In the above picture, a player has used a spray to effectively hide behind a window on cs_office. They can see through into the courtyard but the other player can’t see if there’s another player behind the spray. Twitch streamer and YouTube personality AnomalyXd outlined another potential use for the sprays.
Placing sprays in certain positions might confuse your opponent, leading them to fire at little more than a spray-painted wall, wasting ammo and giving away their position. Plenty of people stack up behind this barrel on de_dust2; I probably would shoot at that spray thinking it was someone guarding the bomb site.
Because this feature did not exist in the game, pro rulebooks like the one used by the ESL currently have no policy for sprays in a competitive setting. It remains to be seen how competitive CS:GO will handle the update.