1. How did your adventure with Quake start?

It started in 2001 when a friend of mine shared a Quake 2 CD with me. We ended up playing quake through www.zone.com on 56k. I basically played free-for-all on q2dm1 (The Edge) non-stop for about a month. It was an amazing experience playing with your friend who isn’t even in your house, which is something that everyone takes for granted these days.

2. Why have you chosen this game over other FPP games?

A few reasons:

a) It is Quake. My all-time favorite game.

b) I am only interested in games today from a competitive perspective. So, the fact that Quake Champions is a new e-sport title is exciting to me.

c) Given my age and time constraints, it is unrealistic to pursue an already-released game where I have to catch up to the current professional players in skill. At this point, I need to rely on the skill I have built up over the years and keep the momentum going rather than learn a completely different game that has been out for some time.

3. Based on your experience in previous Quakes - what do you miss about previous parts? Is there something you miss?

Interestingly, a lot of what I miss has been brought back into Quake Champions. For example, I really enjoyed crouch sliding in Quake 4 which is now back. I do not really miss anything from a gameplay perspective since I love Sacrifice (more than CTF as it is much more dynamic) and do not enjoy the same maps being played for decades. Also, I suppose I miss the players who no longer play as there have been so many I have crossed paths with over the years.

4. Is there something then that Quake Champions is a lot better in?

Quake Champions is a lot better in 4 vs. 4 than previous quakes in my opinion. While more balance changes are needed for the champions, the 4 vs. 4 format allows for teams to get creative and experiment with team compositions which was never possible before. I think strategizing team compositions for a given map is really cool, and it adds a whole new layer of depth to the game.

5. Let's talk specific - Duel mode - what would you change, what you do not like and what is well thought through?

Honestly, the format (rounds vs. a ten minute time limit) itself doesn’t bother me either way too much. I prefer a time limit style, but I see how the use of champions makes the round format a little more straight-forward in the context of this game.

I do not like the current item timings for duel though, which I think should change. It is quite easy to time a mega health or a heavy armor on a :30 respawn timer, so I do not like reducing the mental aspect of the game with simplified timings. Also, it is too easy for weak opponents to fall back to health bubbles and light armors which are up every 15 seconds (now 30 sec - author). My understanding is the duel format and some item timings will change, so we will see what is in store.

Another thing I am not a fan of is the fact that old maps continue to be played in tournaments. I really hope for actual LAN tournaments there will no longer be maps that were made in the 1990s. After the World Series of Videogames died for Quake 4 in 2007, I was considering playing Quake 3 in 2008 but decided against it since every single map in the competitive pool was many years old. Now, some of those same maps are used competitively another decade later.

6. Sacrifice - what about this mode? Is there something Quake Champions could take from Quake 2 CTF for example? What do you like and dislike in this mode?

I absolutely love Sacrifice. I have spoken with many pros and the feedback is almost always the same…they love to play it but it is difficult to watch. Only one of a few dozen players on sacrifice teams I spoke to actually prefers straight TDM over sacrifice. And While Quake2 CTF is a very special form of CTF, I do not think the grappling would fit too well in Quake Champions overall. Maybe if only one champion could perform this ability 😉

Sacrifice is basically CTF but you will always be changing your position based on the circumstances of the map. In CTF, you traditionally have a flag defender which may be the actual role for the player for 90% of the map. In Sacrifice, everyone has to help with everything (offense, defense, supporting a soul run, etc.)

The only thing I dislike about this mode is the inconsistency of soul respawn times when the soul is thrown off the map. I would prefer it always be on a set timer of like 10 seconds for example. Right now it can re-appear in 1 second, 3 seconds, or 20 seconds (I do not have exact times, but after playing countless games this appears to be the general idea).

I also think for spectating the camera should not be switching so much. The logic to switch to the soul carrier or player with quad damage makes sense, but since people die so frequently on top of this, it is like the camera switches every 3-5 seconds which is just too chaotic for spectators. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with watching a single player for 30 seconds or more, regardless of circumstances (as long as they are alive). I even think it could be interesting in some cases to watch the person’s point of view when they are dead, and you can see what decision he makes immediately after respawn (is he cutting the enemy off, going for power up, etc.).

7. Why do you think new players are getting interested in Quake Champions and from the other hand why some of them will not even decide to install it?

Well, some players have their favorite game and simply will not try Quake. For example, I have never played PUBG and will never play it. Gamers already enjoying a game they are playing plays a big role in whether they will stray or not.

I think many other folks are always looking to see what the next big or next fun game is, and Quake is such a historic franchise that hopefully it attracts a lot of new players. Once it is free to play there should be a lot more content, a smoother gameplay experience (which has already improved quite a lot since Summer), and more features like messaging friends within the menu.

8. What do you think will be the greatest obstacle for new players to get addicted with Quake Champions and continue playing?

The game needs to be fun at the lowest skill tier. There needs to be proper matchmaking that shows your rank/elo, and also more “fun” gametypes like clan arena. Then, hopefully new players do not regularly face opponents that are so much better they do not enjoy their experience.

9. What is your advice for new players?

I would say play a lot of Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch. Focus on movement rather than aim. Also, if you are really looking to improve watch some streams of good players and see what they are doing differently. Like anything, it takes time to improve so do not get discouraged.

10. What is your advice for Bethesda?

Balance – do not hesitate to make very small balance changes and tweaks, as long as they are in the right direction. For example, just increasing a champion’s soft armor cap by +5 may be appropriate.

Continue to make updates that make the game attractive for new players. It could be a matter of slowing the game down slightly movement-wise, “fun” gametypes, and incentives (cosmetics? 😊) to continue playing. Of course, to make improvements to map loading time, netcode, and overall performance.

Host online tournaments. Quite a lot of money was dished out in the last half of 2017 for LAN events. If only a small fraction of this is put toward online events I think it can help the community grow substantially. Also, do not make the prizes so top-heavy for online tournaments. It should pay out to top16 but 1st place maybe only gets 15% of the total prize pool as an example.

The game is so much better now than it was 6 months ago, so I look forward to what is in store for the future.

(Interview dated on: 18.12.2017)