Vea spoke to some of the pros and streamers in the Quake Champions scene, discussing the April update.

What do you think of new Champion?

phaze: I really enjoy playing Strogg. I was very skeptical at first due to how his ability was introduced but thankfully, drone's movement has been altered after people complained how easy and overpowering the ability was. At the very moment, I like where Strogg stands. Good stack, very mobile and only used on certain maps.

d3th: Fun to play, good stack, good speed. Still a bit early to see how he plays in duel and a legitimate team mode.

DraQu: I was hesitant about Strogg's active ability at first but he's pretty fun in public games & I like seeing him picked in 2v2. The different skins are cool looking, as well.

nvc: It’s fun to play. but potentially a little stacked out of the gate. I haven't put in enough time to really gage his position in the hierarchy, but I’d hazard a guess that he’ll be incredibly strong on maps like Blood Run in 2v2… and a potential pick for his burst potential against players such as Nyx on maps like Campgrounds in Duel. I don’t think every champion needs to be viable at all times though and I’m a firm believer that it’s okay to have certain champions so incredibly bad that they’ll never be picked outside of public servers too. I mean, they’ll have 18+ champions to balance in three different game modes, some can be bad. If they have to nerf something to that point that it’ll never be picked at QuakeCon then nobody should complain… after all there will be 17 other champions to choose from. In that respect, I almost wish they’d experiment with a Classic Duel mode and timers, in order to put all their focus into balancing champions and cvars for a flagship team mode because don’t think they’re making it easy for themselves. That said, I welcome change and I’m not against it, I just hope it doesn’t end up creating two mediocre modes in Duel and CTF instead of two great modes with a format that has proven to work.

k1llsen: It's something different with the Peeker ability - and fun on pub games to play him with his passive ability. I don't think there is way to make him viable in 2v2's or Duel without making him to strong but i can see him a little in CTF.

Xhep: I like that id software is willing to think outside of the box. The champion brings new mechanics to the game with its drone and it just goes to show what can be possible in this game. I'm not sure how viable he will be yet in especially duel or 2v2, but in 4v4 or sacrifice/ctf I think he might have a spot in the meta. He can have a great stack once he gets going with kills and collecting all those pills and although I don't think his drone will be used much for its offensive abilities. The fact that enemies he can see are visible to all your teammates will be a really strong mechanic.

GaRpY: The new champion seems pretty interesting, not overpowered in my eyes but viable for some duels map and 2v2 maps. So all in all a nice champ to the list.

How about new map? Do you think it will be playable?

phaze: It is still quite early to judge the map for me since I have only played 20+ times but there are definitely some known issues; mainly the positioning of the items. The heavy armour part of the map gives a huge advantage to whoever has the position as they can easily control either major item as well as having the higher ground over the enemy in both circumstances. This makes the map a lot harder and trickier to play as it makes the player rely on one position rather than thinking outside of the box.

d3th: I do enjoy the new map in duel and 2v2, although I do have concerns with item placement (particularly the rail). So far it seems to play well though.

DraQu: I haven't played Awoken in duel yet, but it's enjoyable in 2v2. I don't mind the smaller size, although in public 4v4 it's quite messy.

nvc: I hope they don’t remove it from the public map pool for Free-for-All, as they did with the last map. I won’t speak on behalf of Duel and 2v2 players – as that is what the map is designed for - but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a bit of hectic FFA on occasion in a public setting… especially for warm-up. What they should do is deploy a Mario Kart style voting system where players can instead vote for ANY map that they want to play (considering there’s just 5-7 maps available) and then it simply randomizes between those chosen by everybody on the server. That or players could place maps in the order they’d prefer to play them (aka 1-7) and the server decides between those maps the players actually want to play... maybe giving 2-3 to vote on afterwards. This current system means you can potentially play Awoken five times in a row if you’re unlucky… since it just picks whatever two it wants… and then it’s too much to bare. I think this same issue can apply to Ranked Duel and 2v2 too… which is not good because every player has their best and worst maps... so giving the players more power over what they play in ranked would be nice. My only real criticism with the map is its lighter textures in some areas, and the gaps around the two-way teleporter should perhaps be removed.

k1llsen: The map itself is much better than Vale of Pnath, BUT it's still on a bad layout for 2v2 and Duel. Feels like it's all about controlling the top Area at the Rail that gives you quick access to MH or HEAVY. The Item respawn time makes it even worse once you did more damage and force your opponent to back it's really difficult to stack up again.

Xhep: Awoken is going to be a great duel and 2v2 map but I personally think for other gamemodes the map is a bit on the small side. The flow of the map is also kind of weird to me, as an anarki main I would like to have multiple options as far as paths throughout the map that I can move around fast. I think because there is a lot of jumppads and jumps that you can't make unless you're nyx with walljump or doom with double jump slows the map down for all the other champions.

GaRpY: I actually really like the new map, played it mostly for 2v2's and it works great, better than some of the ones we already have ;) duel I'm not sure on but thats because I've only really played it a couple of times in that mode, but still didn't see big flaws in it while playing. So all in all a really decent new map in my eyes...

What do your think about movement changes?

phaze: People complained, id/bethesda listened to a certain degree. They have increased the champion base speed from 300 to 310 which was great. I still do believe that we might need a slightly faster base speed but right now, I don't find it to be much of an issue anymore. In this patch, you are finally able to dodge a bit more (not the rockets, duh). I am very glad that they are carefully tinkering with the changes rather than make them drastic which could result in the entire gameplay being altered.

d3th: Movement changes were good and I think are in a good place. My primary concern at the moment is with Anarki and his stack. With his current movement, he really needs a stack increase. All that being said, it’s good to see more tanks getting picks and more variety in duel.

DraQu: The movement changes are a step in the right direction, but then again, anything is better than the last patch. Anarki & Sorlag don't feel as fluid as before, which is poopy. #FreeAnarki

nvc: I think movement is in a good place right now for almost all champions. That said, I’d still rather they create four normalized movement styles in the form of VQL, PQL, Q4 and UT of which they simply apply to different champions… rather than continue to introduce differences between similar styles which is just confusing to anybody trying to learn the intricacies. Anarki might need a little tweak too, but I’m at least happy with Slash now (although I do think they need to consider adding little ramps for her to gain additional height from for certain jumps… which would also be good for CTF). The only thing I’d like to see them add – in general that is - is a little forward acceleration/momentum when taking vertical bounce pads. I do think that has been nerfed too hard in the last few patches… or maybe it was holding crouch that’s spoiled my opinion on this?

k1llsen: The barely better change we got including the lower rocket speed, but still there are rockets where you think you dodged them and they are clearly out of your face from your POV, but they hit somehow. So the Problem of the undodgeable rockets still exists Winz had a really good clip about that. Overall the movement speed feels better again, but there is a to big advantage for the Medium Champions compared to the Heavy and Light champions.

Xhep: I think most champions now are at a speed that I think they should be at. Sadly the only one missing right now is Anarki. I don't agree with the fact that they seem to want to completely remove anarki's abilities to escape quickly by not giving him much acceleration nor the ability to circlejump.

GaRpY: I love the new movement changes, after playing the PTS then going back to live build it was like the game was in slow motions, so now they and put it in the live build it feels great! I actually think it could be faster but its defo a step in the right direction :)

In general how would you comment the new patch? Is that a step in the right direction?

phaze: Yes, this patch is definitely showing that the game is heading in the right direction, unfortunately, the process is taking way too long. I am quite positive that id/Bethesda/Saber is capable of updating PTS every two weeks with the balance changes (champion, movement and weapon wise) that the community has asked for and allow them to give them feedback straight away.

d3th: The last few patches have been steps in the right direction in terms of champion balance, movement and overall game optimization. The one glaring issue has been Anarki’s playability in Duel and (now) the matchmaking queue.
In the previous patch you could at least enjoy playing Anarki in public TDM or DM because of his speed and maneuverability. Yes, he was hard to hit, but with a 75/25 starting stack and all the potential ways to receive damage (with strong starter weapons and very strong item pickups) you had to be creative and mechanically sound with movement to dodge.
With current movement, you really can’t dodge incoming damage. The initial CJ is just not fast enough to make quick movements. Again, this change is fine, but his stack needs to be increased.
I would like to see a starting stack increase of either Anarki’s health (100/25) or maybe test an increase to his starting armor (75/50).

DraQu: Overall the new patch is good enough. Performance didn't get worse, like in the past, and I'm having fun playing the game again. That said, the user experience took a hit and the game balance is too skewed in favor of medium champions.

nvc: This is the smoothest and most enjoyable patch so far, a definite step in the right direction for sure. I hope this is the turning point where they can stop making tiny little tweaks to the game and start providing us with some real content like maps and – more importantly – bi-weekly timed events ad modes. I realise different people work on different things, but they need to keep existing content fresh outside of competition. I think Freeze Tag is THE PERFECT game mode for a public setting in Quake Champions. Ranger to perforate frozen bodies. Clutch to protect frozen bodies. Nyx to get to frozen bodies. Scalebearer to launch frozen bodies off the map. Sorlag to melt frozen bodies. Slash to shut down entrances to frozen bodies. Visor to see who’s potentially a safe bet to unfreeze… and then there’s the element of swapping champions in a 2v5 situation to bring some of your teammates back. If they add Clan Arena before they add Freeze Tag… I don’t know what I’d do... but sarcasm aside we should be seeing fun game modes every few weekends to keep the current content fresh, especially until CTF launches with dedicated maps (which will understandably take time). Team Rabbit, which is a fun take on TDM, would have the carrier of the soul enable double points for every frag could also be another great option.

To close my thoughts on this patch, the only thing I’d really like to see them experiment with is weapon damages outside of Duel/2v2. I do wonder how MG damage will fare in CTF for example as it’s still incredibly powerful. But anyway, I look forward to the future and the recent Dev stream was a good sign of things to come. I love Quake and believe in SyncError to bring us to a good point this year – he loves CTF after all!

k1llsen: It's a step, but not in the right or wrong direction. It's an adjustment that been necessary since almost 4 months.

Xhep: I think as of late, every major patch has improved the game. We are definitely heading into the right direction. Especially after last week's devstream (the one with the new gore system) I am really positive and hopeful about the future of this game. The devs are showing us more and more that they know what they are doing and I am really excited to see what the future will bring.

GaRpY: In my eyes this patch is probably one of the best patches they have released yet. With the new champ the new map, movement speed increases and the game in general just feeling a lot smoother, only issue i have is they need to work out on how to get one of the cpma movement champs back into meta with out making him completely useless or stupidly overpowered, because at the moment i think if someone wants to slow the game down and camp you cant really do anything against it other than play the same way. But all in all an amazing patch

Players' social media links: icon_twitter nvc, icon_twitter GaRpY, icon_twitter k1llsen, icon_twitter d3th, icon_twitter phaze, icon_twitter DraQu, icon_twitter Xhep
Author's social media links: icon_twitch vvea, icon_twitter Just_Vea