CS:GO – History of Operations 2


In part one I covered the first 4 CS:GO operations,
which were like temporary DLC for the game. They got increasingly elaborate, and only
continued to do so in later ones which I’ll cover now.
The fifth was Operation Vanguard, released on November 11th, 2014. Previous operations,
like Breakout, would give you missions to do. But Vanguard elaborated on these by visualising
them, creating campaigns that you could battle your way through. You’d start at a certain
point, then could choose which missions you wanted to complete. As you did these it would
unlock more, until you eventually reached the end of one of the paths which would award
you a certain number of stars. For a silver coin for Operation Vanguard, you needed ‘3
stars’, and for gold, you needed 4. The more difficult the route, the more stars you
got. 2 of these campaigns were initially available, with 2 more being purchasable. These two,
Maghreb and Eurasia Theatre, were like DLC for DLC, each costing $2.99 extra.
You could only do a limited number of missions a week: 2 with the base pass, with 1 extra
for each additional DLC you bought. In other words, if you had all 4 campaigns, you could
do 4 missions a week. These missions were a mixture of casual and competitive matches
and objectives, which gave players a reason to try gamemodes they otherwise wouldn’t
have bothered with. Armsrace also played a part and got some updates
of its own, having its weapon order shuffled about a bit, and gaining 3 maps (Lake, St
Marc and Safehouse), which were previously only playable in demolition mode. It also
majorly punished whoever was first on the server by showing everybody where they were
at all times. Valve pls fix. And of course, this operation came with an exclusive Operation
Vanguard collection of community-made skins. There were 6 community made maps featured
in the operation: Backalley, a hostage map that was originally developed alongside Train
for a beta version of Counter-Strike by Barking Dog Studios. Workout was the only other hostage
map to be included. You may know this one as it returned to the game for a while more
recently. There were also 4 defuse maps. First was Bazaar, made by Skybex- who has done rather
well out of the operations, having also had his Chinatown, Workout and Cruise maps featured
at some point or another. Façade was a map made by Tophattwaffle, who you may know for
his mapping tutorials. Marquis was a beautiful, colour-corrected and extremely large level
situated somewhere in Paris. FMPone got another one of his maps, Season, featured in this
operation- a very clean and modern looking map that I think the community thought might
officially be added to the game for a while. As well as these 6 community-made maps, a
month into this operation, the new version of Train was added back into the game and
bundled into the operations map group. If you google Operation Vanguard, you’ll
see that it’s the name of a real thing… … though in this case, CS:GO did it first.
Operation Bloodhound, the 6th operation, was released about midway through 2015. It featured
2 campaigns, now with stories and character voice-overs and everything. Players of Counter-Strike
will be familiar with the experience system, which now serves as a barrier of entry for
new players and as a thing to level up your annual service medals with. But this system
was first introduced with Operation Bloodhound, and at the time was simply there to unlock
free drops. While past operations immediately gave you stuff for beating missions, the ones
in Bloodhound instead just gave you experience and reaching a new level would give you a
new drop! Limited to one a week. A bit like with the previous operation, to
rank up the Bloodhound coin you needed to collect stars by reaching them on the campaigns,
but more stars were required- 9 for silver, and 14 for gold. To slow progress down, you
could only do one mission a day, though these stacked so if you didn’t play for a week
you’d be able to do 7 right away. There were 6 community-made maps, 6 exclusive weapon
collections, and a falchion knife only obtainable from the falchion weapons case. One of the
mission types was to ‘assassinate’ a particular person in casual games, which played in with
Bloodhound’s story in some way. I don’t know if anybody really cared too much about
it. Operation Bloodhound also introduced the ‘coop’ gamemode, where 2 players have
to defend against increasingly difficult waves of bots. A new ‘Crashsite’ guardian map
was made specifically for this gamemode. Fun fact, the video I made about it was the first
on this channel to be made in full 4K! Map-wise, Operation Bloodhound featured Agency
and Season again. Then there was the colourful jungle defuse level, ‘Log’, a cold, worn-out
map situated in an abandoned rail yard in Detroit called ‘Rails’, and then 2 maps
part-developed by Yanzl, the first being Resort, which was set around a luxury hotel in a tropical
setting, and the second being Zoo, which became a fan favourite and returned to the game again
later. There was also the map ‘Crashsite’, for that guardian gamemode where players defended
against waves of bots. After a lengthy gap of 139 days- more than
twice as long as we ever had to wait for a new operation before that point- came Operation
Wildfire, in early 2016. This 7th Operation came with a new Blitz mode- which gave increased
experience on specific competitive matches at set times in the day. Getting everybody
to play the same games at the same time I think was used to reduce queue times- which
for a while was a major complaint with the game, though I personally never had a problem,
being in Europe. Wildfire also came with 2 campaigns. The first
was aptly named ‘Wildfire’, and functioned similarly to previous ones- it comprised of
a series of missions across a number of casual gamemodes. Clearly, the community didn’t
like the earlier update that made the leader on arms race glow through walls, so this was
removed again for this operation. While this campaign was similar to past ones, Wildfire’s
second campaign, called ‘Gemini’, thought it was time for something completely different.
Most of these missions were on the Guardian gamemode, first introduced in the previous
operation. You’d play these with a friend against bots, on cut-down versions of the
7 featured community-made maps, as well as official Valve creations. But at points through
this campaign were special, one-off missions, all hosted on the Valve-made Phoenix Compound
map. Although not the ‘guardian’ gamemode, it retained the coop theme against bots, but
as you passed through the level you were met with various objectives and set-pieces. The
health kit and wallhack grenade were added to the game specifically for the missions
on this map, though the health kit has since been added elsewhere, like to deathmatch and
dangerzone. Identically to the 6th operation, you needed to collect 9 stars from the campaigns
for a silver coin, and 14 for a gold. Operation Wildfire came with just one hostage
map called Cruise, where you had to battle across a huge great cruise ship. There were
6 defuse maps included. Coast is based in an almost tropical-looking Italian village
by the sea. Empire is based in New York and… has the Empire State Building in the skybox.
Mikla is a very colourful defuse map situated in a Mediterranean city. Royal is an almost
black and white map situated in snowy Scotland. FMPone got yet another one of his maps included:
Santorini is based on a real place on the coast of an island in Greece. And Tulip was
made by Catfood and I think has always confused me by having an extremely similar thumbnail
to Ruby, also made by him. Oh and he did Log as well. And Shipped. He’s made lots.
This operation also came with the ‘Phoenix Compound’ map, which to confuse things was
given the file name ‘cementplant’. There had been community-made coop missions on the
workshop for years, but Phoenix Compound was Valve’s first. This housed 3 separate missions
which could be played cooperatively with a friend. It was really cool- you were rated
for how well you did in the missions, with points awarded for doing it quickly and for
collecting coins scattered across the level. The map was later uploaded to the workshop
by Valve, so can still be played to this day. Valve has even added a little mission select
bit at the beginning! Operation Wildfire’s map group later added Nuke, when it was rereleased
in March of 2016 with a sunny facelift. Operation Wildfire came with its own weapon
case featuring these skins, as well as a case-exclusive Bowie-knife.
And last is Operation Hydra, the 8th and most recent operation the game has had. The gaps
between the operations had steadily grown, but it was almost a full year between Wildfire
and Hydra- the longest yet! (Until now). It came with 3 new gamemodes which could be played
by anybody. The first was ‘Wingman’, which has been in the game ever since. The second
was ‘weapons expert’, which was a 30-round match where you could only buy each weapon
once. Both of these modes came with their own ranking system. And the third new gamemode
cycled through different twists on casual play every week. There were all kinds of weird
things- you could buy a $6,000 suit of heavy armour in casual mode. There was a headshot
only deathmatch. You’d collect dogtags from fallen enemies, would have knife fights and
rechargeable zeuses. There was a really rubbish mode that hurt you every time you missed a
shot, which kind of rewarded players who hid from the action until the end of the round.
It sucked. And then there was flying scoutsman, which has remained in the game ever since
as well. You could play on these modes even without buying the operation pass, but getting
it gave you additional unique drops from participating in the new gamemodes, and unlocked a coop
campaign full of guardian missions against bots.
To get a silver coin required 5 stars. Gold needed 18(!) and a new diamond rank of coin
required 25. To manage this you needed to complete the coop campaign, AND to get 2000
experience from the casual gamemodes every week for the whole 18 weeks the operation
was active for. When compared with past operations, getting the new diamond coin in Hydra was
a pretty big commitment. Operation Hydra came with its own case, featuring
these weapon skins. Of its 7 community-made maps, you’ll already
be familiar with its hostage ones: Agency and Insertion had both already been featured
in the game by this point, as had its defuse map ‘Black Gold’. Austria is a defuse
map set in a mountain village and it later returned to the game again. It also featured
Shipped, set on a cargo ship. This map worked well with the guardian gamemode! Lite was
the second map officially included in an operation to be made by Ted, following Season. I also
know him for porting Mirage to Source. And the last map, de_thrill, is also linked to
Mirage, having been made by Mirage’s maker, BubkeZ. This theme park map was originally
titled Mirage 2. Operation Hydra also contained the Flying Scoutsman map, Dizzy, and wingman
map, Rialto. In total there have been 41 community-made
maps featured in the operations. 9 have been featured twice, Seaside 3 times, and Agency
has managed to be included 4 times! FMPone has been the most successful, having
had almost every one of his CS:GO maps included at some point or another. He’s had his maps
featured 7 times across 6 operations- but on top of that he’s also had Cache officially
included into the game. This means that at least one of his maps has been playable during
every operation so far. Not to mention Subzero for a few months since the last operation
ended. Operation Hydra ended on November 13th, 2017.
CS:GO has since had other major updates, like going free-to-play and getting a new Dangerzone
gamemode. Valve still adds new community-made maps to the game from time to time, but it’s
normally just one or two, and they’re quietly bundled into an existing mapgroup, whereupon
they’ll receive some changes, may jump between mappools a bit, and then most eventually get
removed again. It has now been 732 days- and counting- since
the last operation ended. Have Valve moved on from the idea of operations? Only time
will tell.

86 Comments on “CS:GO – History of Operations 2”

  1. bruh you did not just make a 2 part documentary about csgo operations and valve just dropped a new operations after years. time for part 3

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