Hey Quakers, Fab here 🙂 I had the pleasure to chat with a variety of high-level Quake Champions players and get their thoughts on a few topics, hope it’s an interesting read!
Question 1: In duel, are there particular champions that stand out to you as under-powered in the current season? If yes, what type of change would be ideal to increase their power level
- K1llsen: “Deathknight and Eisen, but Eisen did receive a buff lately. So there is only Deathknight right now to name as under-powered Champion since he got his ability changed a few patches ago that standing on the flame trail is not dealing any damage anymore. Would like to have it back the way it was, even that it made being on fire a little inconsistent.”
- Maxter: “In the current season, maybe Eisen is standing out a bit more and visor as well, Athena went back to her usual amount of grapples and she is powerful for duels. I am not looking for any kind of changes”
- Aaron: “We don’t see Sorlag being used that much anymore. I feel with its hitbox and weak acid it doesn’t offer much viability as Anarki. I’d like to see the spit more effective and maybe add knockback as with Scale :)“
- ZenAku: “I think all the champions feel balanced in their own ways at the moment. The speed nerf for slash/anarki may of seemed not-warranted, but it’s a nice change for online play. I’d like to see DK and Sorlag feel a bit more useful with their abilities and movement, but as it is, they can feel a tier under in certain matchups.”
- Vengeur: “I don’t necessarily think there are ‘under-powered champions’ right now, for sure the latest patch, nerfed Scale heavily and he is less viable, at the same time i feel like tanks got a bit buffed because of the new ‘5 ammo’ when you pick up the railgun. But overall I think every champion is viable to play at any level right now in Quake.”
- Bukster: “I didn’t had a chance to play duels on a PRO level with the current patch, so it’s hard to state with 100% certainty, but from the first glance I don’t see any major shifts in champions balance, but i would always welcome some Galena buffs in a future.”
- Keltz: “Regarding the champion balance I don’t have much to say as some of them are very hard to balance as they would often be too strong or too weak but in general most champions have a place in the meta or can simply be utilized well depending on specific map or playstyle.”
- Yup: “In my opinion the champions are pretty much balanced right now, haven’t play too much in this season tho but the champion balance always seems on point imo, I really really would like to see a new champion instead!“
- RMV: “In my opinion Sorlag and Death Knight are still under-powered, Sorlag simply because of her size and the fact that she feels easier to hit than clutch. DK on the other hand is weak because his ability is so broken, it is pretty much a flip of the coin to decide if your flame will set the opponent on fire or not.”
Question 2: Are there any champions that are particularly under/over-powered in 2v2 or Sacrifice but are balanced in Duel?
- K1llsen: “The only Champion to name here is Strogg who can feel really strong and this comes down to 2v2 AND 1v1, just his package as a whole is very strong compared to other Champions. Just one ability/passive to much. But overall very often it’s the champions with the most ability’s that can feel the toughest to play against.”
- Maxter: “All the champions are pretty useful for every mode, but with the 60second ability i feel clutch as been nerfed to the ground so bad for team-modes”
- Aaron: “I feel like Strogg is very beneficial(OP) in Sacrifice with it’s stroyent drops it makes it must have for Sacrifice matches.”
- ZenAku: “I find Nyx and the light champs with the new 25AP starting spawn make them feel a lot stronger. It was a necessary change, although when they’re on a good roll, they can be hard to stop. I think Scalebearer took a big nerf with 425 base walking speed now. He still feels okay to play, but not with the same power as some other S-champions (athena/anarki/strogg)“
- Vengeur: “I think any champion that give easy access to burst/hp/information are very good in 2v2 (ranger, galena, visor) but for example visor is perfectly balanced in Duel.”
- Bukster: “I didn’t notice anything like that. Depending on a map, any champion can be played.”
- Yup: “I only play duels so I can’t speak on that, but at the same time is impossible to balance all the champions for ALL the game modes, Team Deathmatch and Duels should be the priority.”
- RMV: “I think that eisen and strogg are probably the best duo in 2v2, and whilst eisen is good in duel he is just far more powerful in 2v2 due to the ability of just being able to sit in one spot.”
Question 3: In the recent season, starting rail ammo has been lowered to 5. Do you like this change, or would you have preferred a higher number (6 or 8 ammo)? Would an alternative nerf like 80dmg rails have been preferable, or would no change have been ideal? Or maybe a 100dmg rail?
- K1llsen: “I think no change would have been better, specially for Duel. Since rail has been a good way to fight out of position when not in control. If you want to make people run around the map more we need a smaller ammo cap on all weapons not just rail, but it will harm the flow and with the rail ammo it did hurt the flow a little already. Since it’s what used to be fun about Quake Champions, being able to shoot your opponent from left and right. You not gonna win championships with only a rail anyways, that’s why I don’t understand the change at all. It’s like removing AWP 1 hits in CS. Duel became a lot more difficult out of control with that change. The damage of the rail is balanced if you compare it to a HMG or some good Tribolt spam.”
- Maxter: “The starting rail ammo and maximum capacity was something that I brought to QPL back in the days but it wasn’t taken at the time, as any changes to the game that pro players ask, would impact the general audience, one thing is the view from the pro (aka 0.01%) vs the general audience. The balance could have had a negative impact to the general audience, as it is not only reducing the capacity, you have to also think about the ammo boxes, which some new rail boxes were added in several maps due this change”
- Aaron: “I like the change, since it’s brings something new to the game and changes the gameplay just a little bit. I wish we had more changes like this more often, but I know it’s not easy. I would like to have the limit at 15 and not 10, now it seems a bit low compared to other weapons and makes the game revolve about rail ammo too much.”
- ZenAku: “I would’ve liked to have seen an 80 damage rail, or potentially a rail connect but with 0 push back on hit. At the moment it does feel like a game decider when you’re hitting them, just because it has such an impact on 90 damage, but it’s been fun to play since the change from 10 to 5.”
- Vengeur: “I think the change itself is fine, maybe 5 is a little bit too much, something like 6 or 7 ammo would have been the sweet spot, but we will see how things will play out in the long run. 90 dmg is perfectly fine, 100 is way too much.”
- Bukster: “My personal opinion is that I welcome any change in games balance and I prefer to adapt with time to this change. Regarding rail ammo, I think now you have to count how many rails your enemy fired. Is it a good change or not, I am not sure yet.”
- Keltz: “The rail ammo change is good as it pushes players to become less reliant on rail, as they added rail ammo boxes to the maps that didn’t have it previously you can just cycle that to have a high amount of rails, it just forces the player to move around more which is good for the flow of the game. For most top players it wouldn’t be a big deal to implement it into their game. But it’s a nice change since you wont be snowballing as much with rail by just standing still at the top of the map after getting a frag. I don’t think lowering the damage of the rail is necessary or increasing it as it feels balanced for lights, mediums and heavies.”
- Yup: “I think that the rail change was not necessary, always being on low ammo is really annoying and bad for the flow of the game, it really feels off especially when you are out of control.”
- RMV: “As a lot of people know i use the railgun a little too much :D, and personally i think the change to the ammo is perfect if you try hard enough you can still play a rail heavy game, however it also allows for more versatility in play styles.”
Question 4: A personal preference of mine is that a 10-100dmg Super-Shotgun would feel more consistent and less frustrating to play both with & against (current is 4-125dmg). Would this be a change you’d like to test or is the SSG already optimally balanced?
- K1llsen: “SSG should be the go to close range, so it needs to deal more damage then 100, otherwise you can better use a Rocket Launcher. There are many games out who struggle to really balance out a shotgun in-game. But in the end the only question is, are you using it in the right moment and prepared for it as chaotic as fights can be sometimes.”
- Maxter: “Due how the game works online, ssg its super inconsistent and you could get surprise as it is a distance-based damage, and you are not expecting so much damage from a distance that YOU SEE on your screen vs the real distance that the other client is seeing.”
- Aaron: “SSG was never balanced in my opinion. How can shotgun do more damage than a direct rocket? It should be 100 Max.”
- ZenAku: “Super shotgun feels good as it is. I think a lot of people don’t like the feel, as it’s very quick to hit 120 to 0 damage by a short mouse movement. As for accessory guns (nail gun, tribolt, machine gun) they should all feel as they are. Effective in their moments, but not as universal as the trinity (LG, rockets and rail)”
- Vengeur: “The biggest problem about SSG is the inconsistency, i have games where i can’t miss full shotgun blasts and others where I’m 1 pixel away from the enemy and my shot does 4dmg, so I don’t know how it can be fixed because usually when the game is played on LAN those kind of things happens way less. Maybe changing the min and max dmg could be a good change to try.”
- Bukster: “I don’t remember when they buffed SSG, but it became super unbalanced, I think this weapon should be very situational and if you rush with it, you should be punished. How they can achieve this I honestly don’t know.”
- Keltz: “I think the ssg is fine, if the max damage was reduced to 100 there would be very few scenarios where you would prefer the ssg over rockets. However a change like that would make it better for midrange chip damage, especially on a map like corrupted keep.”
- Yup: “I think it’s fine as it is right now”
- RMV: “I have no idea what to do with ssg if I’m completely honest, it seems that throughout all the variations of it i still can’t get consistent damage from it. However I don’t think this is a bad thing as it should mostly be used for finishing a weakened opponent off anyway.”
Question 5: How do you like the 60 second ability timer in duel? How do you like it in team modes?
- K1llsen: “Another Change that makes Quake Champions fun are the abilities, it’s giving you more possibility’s to get back into a game. Now with 60s Cooldowns + the rail ammo change, a little less risks for the in-control player.”
- Maxter: “I like this change, it leans the game more towards map control and item control rather than abilities. Same for team modes, now hourglasses are a bit more important. I mean its not that much as the hourglasses work percentage wise, not time wise, so taking the vials will decrease 10% each (6s) so its not a big of a deal.
- Aaron: “I like the change, so you cannot spam abilities that much anymore. (DK fire with each fight) I’ve been playing with Athena recently and 3 hooks seems perfect for her. (When it works correctly).”
- ZenAku: “60 second ability has been a nicer refresher to not feel like you’re doing the same thing every item cycle. A small change like that has meant players who don’t get time shards can’t actively keep pressing every rotation. It’s put more emphasis on good ability usage, rather than using it 10 times in a match.”
- Vengeur: “I think it’s good, too many players are just abusing abilities and timeshards nowadays and the game is way more RNG than it should be, with this change we will actually see some ‘tactics’ instead of the “I’m ranger and I’m gonna push and do 300dmg in a split sec, and repeat in the next 30 seconds”. In team modes it is fine, I actually like it more this way.“
- Bukster: “I think it’s not a bad change. Will it change the gameplay somehow? I don’t think so. Maybe some timings for certain champions will change, but not by much.”
- Keltz: “The 60 second ability timer in duel is a good change as it influences the meta a bit since you need to be more tactical with the ability usage as you most likely wont have it every fight if you were to cycle the time-vials with fast champions like clutch for example. Overall a good change as it rewards having good fundamentals than relying on a specific ability too much. For team modes it becomes even more important to save it for power-ups or crucial major items.”
- Yup: “60 seconds for the abilities is not that bad, I don’t mind the change and I think abilities are really good for quake it makes everything more dynamic”
- RMV: “I think it is really good in duel, it has slowed the game down a lot which makes for more intellectual duels, similar in 2v2 however it is hard to slow the game down in 2v2 on certain maps just purely due to the spawn points.”
Question 6: In Pick/Bans, how would you feel about more than 7 maps in the pool (e.g. 9 maps with either an extra ban per-player, or leaving excess maps unbanned/picked.
- K1llsen: “I don’t really mind if 7 or more maps in the pool, as long as the maps are playable maps. I do favour the way it is now, since the Pick&Ban moment can feel like a little chess match at times and if you have to many options to completely deny your opponent strength, I think it would game the Match quality if there is too much pick&ban or maps involved.”
- Maxter: “Its not a bad idea to have more maps, but I don’t like the idea to have left overs, all maps gotta be picked or banned”
- Aaron: “I don’t like this idea. 7 Maps is more than enough, just wish we would have more new maps. We still playing Awoken? I wish we could have some community competition to make maps. Maps are the most important for me in AFPS. I think maps should be played 2-3 years max.”
- ZenAku: “Extra maps are always welcome in the pool, so we’re not seeing the same rotation over and over. It does mean people have to be a bit more prepared, but variety in the current state of Quake Champions is a welcome change.“
- Vengeur: “I think the current system is the best by far with only 7 maps.”
- Bukster: “If pick/ban system ( ban ban pick pick ) won’t change, I don’t mind how many maps are in a map pool, because let’s be honest, some maps with current respawn system are very bad, so I prefer to remove them and not see them again. With 9 maps in map pool it increases the chance of bad maps being played. So I prefer the current system.”
- Keltz: “Becoming good and consistent on all 7 maps with a lot of different champions can already be very time consuming and adding more would be tough on the players, especially since many already have maps that they don’t practice or play at all. But what’s important is having changing the map pool every now and then because if not then eventually every map will be solved and everyone will simply play the meta.”
- Yup: “I think 7 maps is the sweet spot for competitive play, otherwise practising everything will be impossible, but I would like to see new maps so we can remove the older ones like dm6 (Blood Covenant), same goes for Blood Run (but that should be remove from the game), I’m always hype for new stuff in quake :D”
- RMV: “I would be open to trying any map pool, there are only 1 or 2 maps i dislike and they are Blood Run and Koth. However I understand that some people like these maps so it could be a good idea to make some sort of rotation so that every map is in the pool at some time or another.”
It seems that the majority of these players are quite happy with the overall champion balance, which is nice to see. The new 60s ability timer is also almost universally like by these specific players. The rail ammo change alternatively seems to be a bit more controversial. Many players don’t seem happy with how Super Shotgun feels but, are uncertain the best way to go about improving it
As always, keep Quake’in 🙂
Note: Some answers were slightly edited for grammar & clarity.