After playing the CS:GO iteration of de_train, I immediately saw the potential of moving the outside bombsite while also being able to reintroduce several popular gameplay mechanics that defined the essence of the map over the past decade.
de_train_ve draws inspiration from de_train in CS:GO, CSS and 1.6 along with the introduction of several new features as well. Improving player enjoyment and balance on the map was paramount for this new version. Some ways in which I determined that this could be achieved were by:
- Increasing the size of areas where players were being funneled
- Increasing player readability
- Reducing the number of areas of danger in certain positions
- Allowing for a more even distribution of action across the map
By looking at the heat map, the areas where players are being funneled into tight spaces is apparent.
Reduced Player Funneling
The above picture shows one example of a player funnel on the current de_train in CS:GO.
By removing the pillar, increasing the space between the train and the back wall and removing the green trash container, movement in this area is more fluid.
Several other player funnels around the map were improved as well by:
- Removing the pillar bisecting alley on the CT side
- Moving 6 train further from entrance in T middle
- Increasing the size of the ladder room
- Adding extra space between the trains and the entrances to the back lanes
- Widening playable space between train lanes
By referring to the heat map above for each of these scenarios, it can be seen how these implementations will help to mitigate the effect of player funneling.
White paint and white boards were added in key areas of the map to improve player readability
Areas of Danger
This scenario from the original de_train is overwhelming for an attacker as a defender can appear from any of these areas of danger. In several of these locations, only the defender’s head will be visible.
Balancing the Map
According to the statistics from HLTV.org, CT’s have a slightly larger advantage on de_train in CS:GO than they do in 1.6
The above image shows the location of the bomb train in three versions of train. de_train_ve moves the bomb train under the center lane, different from both CS:GO and CS 1.6
- The new location of the bomb train is closer to the terrorist choke points compared to its prior position in 1.6 which was closer to CT spawn.
- Attacking the bomb train from alley is now much more viable than in any other iteration of de_train.
- This new location is enclosed providing more cover for terrorists planting the bomb rather than being out in the center of the yard.
- Moving the bomb train under the arches promotes the utilization of the entire outside yard. The heat map at the beginning of the article demonstrates how the back lanes rarely see any action in the current iteration of de_train in CS:GO.
- Terrorist spawn points were slightly improved allowing for effective rushes.
- Areas of danger in the outside bombsite were reduced so attackers are less overwhelmed by a multitude of defensive locations.
The revamped alley is more spacious and provides more cover for terrorists staging an attack.
- The removal of the pillar transforms two small funnels into one large choke point for more fluid gameplay.
- The alcove on the right was widened allowing reprieve for terrorists staging an attack as well as an additional aggressive vantage point for CT’s to utilize.
Due to the placement of the bomb train in the back lanes and balance changes made to the alley, the spawn ramp area will once again be an important defensive location
- This area will once again see important battles taking place. The heat map from the current de_train indicates action rarely ever occurs here.
- The ledge along the right side of the wall by CT spawn ramp was removed. Players are no longer able to hide on the ledge in this location.
- Defenders are no longer able to obscure themselves behind the boiler units due to the placement of pipes.
Several improvements were made in the new version of T middle.
- A duel from T middle to CT middle is now possible but can be easily avoided due to the small size of the angle.
- Once a player crosses the small dueling angle in middle, they can attempt to pick off an alley defender or exit the middle behind the safety of the 6 train without being seen from CT middle (shown in the above picture on the right).
- The train is further away from the T middle choke point reducing the player funneling effect apparent in the CS:GO version of the map.
- Compared to 1.6, the train is closer to the T middle choke point allowing terrorists much easier access to the top of the train as well as the cover provided by the train itself.
- The top of the 6 train can be cleared from safety inside of the terrorist choke point.
The CT Tower has been retained and balanced in de_train_ve.
- The depth of the tower was reduced to prevent players from hiding out of sight from players on the yard.
- Removed physical cover which made eliminating a hiding defender extremely difficult without going up into the tower.
- The intermediate roof leading up to CT Tower was also removed as it caused troublesome firefights where the player on the roof only had their head exposed during combat.
- Compensating for the lack of cover, mobility has been increased as the player is now able to jump out of the tower onto the ladder train as well as the ledge underneath the tower.
The new ladder room on de_train_ve
- The new ladder room divides the action into more than one section. The heat map above shows how saturated the action in this room was beforehand.
- In order to watch for players coming down the ladder, the defender must be more committed to watching the position since the ladder is tucked away behind a wall.
- The dimensions of the ladder room are larger in order to lessen the effect of player funneling.
- Snipers can no longer pick into the ladder room from the yard.
A homage to the bathroom halls
- The heat maps indicated that the bathroom area in the white halls was almost never the host to any action. Since there are already two parallel routes in the white halls leading to the same location, the bathroom hall was superfluous.
- By removing the bathroom hall, the map is slightly more straightforward as the bathroom added unnecessary complexity to the layout. This also makes defending the flank as a terrorist more manageable since this is one less route to be concerned about.
The train models received a visual face lift while also allowing players to crawl underneath them thanks to the work of Lenz ‘penE’ Monath. Eliminating all visibility and clipping concerns between gaps in the trains was a top priority. Gaps allow players to spot and shoot their enemies while being virtually impossible to distinguish. Players have trouble distinguishing when they are safe or exposed through gaps in the train models on de_train in CS:GO.
The original train models from de_train have gaps and clipping issues
- It is possible to spot opposing players underneath the trains while it is impossible for them to return fire as shown in the picture above and to the left.
- There are large gaps all around the train model exposing enemy players through them.
- The collision models do not accurately match the gaps in the train model.
The new train models on de_train_ve allow players to crawl underneath
- There are no gaps or collision model issues on the new train model.
- Players are able to crawl underneath the trains.
- The configuration of the ladders on the back of the trains allows for players to deploy advanced ladder movement techniques to their advantage.
coL.tr1p utilizes the ability to crawl underneath the trains to pull off a stunning clutch vs Lunatic-Hai at the Electronics Sports World Cup in 2005
- Being able to crawl underneath trains allows players to duck out of the line of fire due to the straight lane layout of the bombsite yards.
- Players can perform stealthy maneuvers providing them an additional aspect of the game to master and utilize.
- Since the main source of cover on the map are the trains themselves, being able to interact with the trains in as many ways as possible allows for more strategies to be deployed. Players can choose to play from underneath the trains to reduce their exposure to enemies and flashbangs but the trade off is reduced mobility.
- Increased brightness underneath the trains so players are not obscured by shadows.
- With the distance between the bottom of the train and the ground large enough to crawl under, all scenarios where a player is visible to the enemy underneath a train without being able to return fire are eliminated.
Bomb Plant Spots
Players can plant the bomb underneath, on top of and also beside the bomb train. This offers safety from a variety of different angles so planting the bomb should be straightforward task. The wide variety of bomb plant locations opens up the potential for interesting after-plant scenarios.
- Planting on both the front and back sides of the train is safe.
- The new electrical box provides cover from CT middle while planting the bomb.
- Planting on both the front and back sides of the train is safe.
- It is possible to plant on the back side of the train using the box car train as cover.