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Saving as a viable play, an exploration: CS:S

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First a quick review of the money system:

Round won:
$3250 always for CTs

$300 for every kill

Bomb plants:
If terrorists get a bomb plant and lose, they get
+$800 dollars, plus however much for losing

If terrorists get a bomb plant and win with all the CT's dieing, they get:

If terrorists plant bomb and there is a CT at the end of round, terrorists get:

Prices of the important weapons: Ak = $2500, M4 = $3100, AWP = $4750, Deag = $650

Second a disclaimer: I know what server rules are towards saving and idc, thats not what this post is about, the only thing I do care about are the players general attitude and opinion towards saving and that is what this post is attempting to gear itself towards.

Third an intro: The general opinion of saving here is quite bad. People get quite passionate in expressing their distaste towards savers thinking they're cowards only concerning themselves with their kd ratios and honestly I understand why. The goal of the game is to complete the objective, the bomb (whether its the planting of, or defusing of, or preventing the planting of), and to delibrately ignore it seems pretty counter-productive. Even so we will see why saving is a viable play in source.

Fourth the entry: To take a look at why saving is a respectable play we'll suppose a situation, 1v5 (or 2v10 as a more realistic situation in TPG pubs) in favor of the T's. Bomb's down and its staying down safely long enough for all the Ts to pick a spot and hold. What's a CT to do? Well according to the general populace you just have to make a play for the bomb. But how often does that work out? Could you say you see it work out more than 50% of the time? I'm sure we all imagine different percentages based on our own experiences but I believe we can agree that odds are stacked against you. Yet this is what is done the vast majority of the time and teams are worst off for it, and here's why.

We don't have to rush off to our deaths when we estimate our chances of victory close to zero. We have other options, yet they aren't considered here because of the lack of recognition the secondary objective of the game receives. There are two sides of playing source, the practical and the economical. Obviously practical is the way to go whenever it is at all possible. This means getting the bomb down or defusing it and thus winning the round for our team. Yet when the practical approach is not within our grasp we still continue to pursue it and this often results in putting our team in a worst position than how it started in. When victory is not within our grasp (and it takes experience and a little luck in determining when it is or is not) then the best play for our team is the one that sets us up for success the next time around. This is done by playing the money game.

Recall our hypothetical situation and suppose the player takes the direct approach and decides to go for the defuse. Assuming Ts know how to play, this probably and typically does not end well. The CT loses his equipment after his death costing his team however much money the CT had on him and the majority of the Ts survive having escaped the explosion. The Ts would be up theoretically $16250 ($3250 times 5) for winning the round plus $3500 worth of equipment (assuming an ak and armor) a piece. A total of $33750 in net favor towards the terrorists if they all survive is what the terrorists get for that round. So what are the (typically) better options?

If hes carrying a good deal of cash such as $4750 in an awp, $1000 in armor, and + some amount of cash if he can get his hands on deags, nades, or a kit then hes carrying over $6k on his person. The typical save play for this player would include definitely not dying but for the save to really be effective then he needs to grab exit kills as well. This player could sit outside of site and wait for the explosion while picking off Ts that run out that way trying to escape from the explosion. For this scenario assume the CT survives and gets a single exit kill. Ts win $17500 for winning the round plus $3500 worth of equipment for four players. The Ts get a total of $31500 minus the $6000 that the CTs escape with. This time the Ts only get $25500 net favor for that round. That save affords the CTs an extra $8250 in the money game.

If hes not carrying a good deal of cash then the typical save wouldn't do much good. Another economic play is a very high risk/high reward play compared to the typical save. The player can turn his focus towards getting as many people as possible inside the explosion as possible. Meaning the player would feint the bomb either early on or pretty late in the bomb's lifespan to make Ts nervous and force them to stay in site until its detonation to ensure the CT doesn't get the defuse. The intended result would be for everyone to die in the explosion so that the Ts get $17500 for winning the round but without keeping any equipment for the next round. This eco play affords the CTs an extra $16250 versus the worst case scenario that suicidal runs make possible for the Terrorists.

Making the best play in source involves recognizing that a lost cause is a lost cause occasionally. CSS is a deceivingly complicated game and to paint it in black and white simply is not a correct way to approach the game. To outright deny eco plays as ever being the most feasible play is simply wrong as I've demonstrated above. Granted the above scenarios involved specific assumptions, you can still draw general conclusions from it. For the three plays I described above the outcomes can of course be better or worse than my assumptions, however I believe the odds generally favor my predictions (save for the last one, its just a risky play and I wanted to demonstrate it's purpose). But to completely embrace eco plays as the best plays in any given situation is also incorrect. We also have to recognize that saving when the other team has 14 rounds is stupid and if the leader says he wants/needs you to make a play then you need to make a play. If saves are made with the best interests of the team at heart then they have to do so intelligently.

For players not sure how to incorporate eco plays into their game here's a checklist for uncouth situations.
1. Do I feel like I can salvage this round? Can I clutch? If you feel good about your chances then go for it, obviously the best play is always to win the round if its ever at all possible.
2. Do I have things worth saving? If so you should probably save (as in avoid death). To further improve your teams financial situation then you should make an attempt to get exit kills.
3. Nothing worth saving? Well you can try and make a play towards getting something worth saving and go with that, or you could feint out the bomb and try and take as many Ts with you as possible in the explosion. Do something though!

Fifth, final thoughts: To admins reading and comparing to the current server rules who may be thinking "I don't want to wait 30 seconds watching retards sit in the opposite site as the Ts with their plant." I would say then please don't lol. For your sake and mine please: kick, slay, ban, slap, and molest in any fashion you want. There's a difference between a smart player who saves and a dumb one who watches those players and think "oh I can be scurred and sit around dark corners with my p90/auto and call it 'saving' and not get yelled at!". :D So slay away!

To admins thinking "I don't want to wait 30 seconds watching smart players make boring (although smart) eco plays for my team", I would say well I'm sorry that's source. Its also boring as a CT sitting in site and holding it when the Ts make a "slow play", but its the smart thing and the right thing to do. Source isn't always action-packed, that's just the nature of the game.

"Keep in mind, we are NOT asking you to run off into your deaths. But we ARE asking you to play CS."
That's a quote from the CS Rules and Policies thread in the forums. I'm just pointing out that this line exists and that it honestly is not true. I don't mean to offend I'm just sharing what I believe is true.

That's it. Wow I just took a dump. Sorry I was bored. :P

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    Mango_Attack's Avatar
    I've never heard any negative connotations to saving, personally. & you forgot about the price of the P90! DUH--must be 2400 or something.

    Oh, never mind, you mean saving your guns. Well here's what I think.. If I'm horrendously outnumbered and they have the bomb down.. I must defuse or die trying. Now..let me elaborate here. As per the rules of the server, I've got to make an attempt. Now, if I feel I might die trying to get in there, what my next move will be is to try to get as many kills as I can, as quick as I can, without dying. I don't want to die because I want the defuse or the terrorists to die with the bomb and lose their equipment. Assuming that all the terrorists are in front of me defending, I can basically guess where they might be camping. What I want to do is peek in and shoot to kill, and if they see me I will hide and probably choose a different entrance if I can. If my initial peek is clear and I know it, I'll walk the corner (or strafe peek).
    Mango_Attack's Avatar
    I walk the corner because the Ts most likely have an idea where I am and are looking there, walking gives me a little advantage of not having my whole body seen.

    In the scenario that I am outnumbered 9 to 1, I will show myself, try to get the first kill, and then retreat!! Hopefully the enemies will follow me around a corner and I can take some down with me. This actually happened once. Contra. 9v1, Ts planted at A. I choose to come from sands. I turn the corner and they're already waiting for me. I kill one and back off to the furthest corner. I then wait for them to come, and surely enough, 8 Ts run at me, and I lay down the fucking P90 hellfire killing them ALL. of course I go for the defuse, distraught at the awesomeness that just happened, and against better judgement get killed from the upper A camper. I remember vafa or someone from the Ts saying, "and we all wanted you to clutch too." wouldnt that have been nice
    Mango_Attack's Avatar
    Anyway, my point is you can still strategically fuck with the enemies' cash while abiding by the ever so strict rules of TPG. Take your time if you're outnumbered. Go for kills. You know they're waiting for you, so try to get that 300 and force them to rebuy. If you must, retreat from your angle and try a different entrance. You're still making an attempt, yet buying time.

    Nice post, n thanks for providing your outlook. Oh and I think the rule exists just because we're all trying to constantly play the game. Waiting for someone to hide out when he could be attempting to go for the objective is a little against courtesy, especially when all that money is at stake
    Updated 06-05-12 at 01:14 AM by Mango_Attack
    austiN-'s Avatar
    Oh really? I've gotten bashed for just defending savers so I thought the hate was that widespread. :P And I don't care about changing the server rule i get it, go ahead and keep it, I was just bored and hoping to make at least one person rethink the hate for the savers. :) Thanks for reading though I personally get intimidated by such walls of text. I don't even know how I wrote it. :P
    Toad's Avatar
    Having the rule set like TPG does also takes a gray area and makes it black and white: Defuse or die trying. Even with the current very clear rules, some players who have been playing CS:S for years will go for the very-slow-defuse-attempt and get exit kills instead of trying to defuse. If you keep the rule in the gray area then you're going to have even more teams with players hanging back on the defuse even more making sure that the area is "secure" instead of trying to get in there and actually win the round. I'd rather have some assurance that my teammates will help me try to defuse the bomb instead of sacrifice our chance as a team when it's odds that aren't quite so bad, like 3 on 6.
    Toad's Avatar
    There are always players who have played for awhile who think that they are smarter than everyone else and don't need to follow the rules. If you give them a way to be even weaker little shitstains, they will take it.

    Also, we don't win prizes for T or CT winning the map. Why not have a server where the team actually tries to STOP THE BOMB FROM BLOWING UP like CTs actually would (I hope).
    Ace22's Avatar
    Good read. Thx Austin.
    Pickle's Avatar
    Very interesting to read bro!
    austiN-'s Avatar
    To follow up on the post I found where I saw the bomb feint eco play.
    Juan Source Forums
    You will need to register a normal account to see this commentary on juansource and those are free so register and forward the video to 17:50. There are other things here that CSS players will find interesting so don't think that the hassle of registering isn't worth watching this little part of the video. I remembered being pretty impressed with his play here, in my opinion I think he really made the best out of a bad situation and this idea stayed with me.