Vea once again spoke to some of the pros in the Quake Champions scene, this time discussing the the latest patch as well as gathering their thoughts about future patches.

How would you comment on the champion changes?

serious: I don't necessarily agree with most of the changes made this patch, but I think of it more as an experimental update. They obviously wanted to create more balance and make more champions like Anarki, Nyx, Slash viable. I like that everyone has equal HP and the armor varies depending on the type of champion, but I still feel like this patch didn't bring much diversity, at least for duel and 2v2.

Spart1e: Been so many balance updates of champions and weapons for many patches. But every time they make a big change like this one, it's hard to keep somewhat balance to all characters. I both like and dislike the stack changes. I like 125 starting hp, ticking down to 100 - But at the same time too strong starting weapons make this bad since it's so easy to just rush opponent when you just spawned. Huge change on Galena, I like it but at the same time it makes her too strong with the overheal thing.

HELL: Balance changes are decent, I think this is the only patch where more and more champions have become viable. Okay, some are still stronger than others, but you can still make a strong case for other champions that you wouldn't have necessarily picked in previous patches. You're definitely seeing more variation in terms of what is being used and what can be used, dependent of which map or mode you are playing of course.

Silencep: I think Keel is nerfed to hard with slower grenades so he is not that viable for competitive play anymore further I think Galena got a huge buff with the health overstack. And the rest stayed the same.

vengeurR: I think that the changes to the champions in the last patch were really good, now we have a more vastness choose for what champion to pick, it feels like there aren't really that much overpowered character but i still think that for a 2v2 meta Visor/Galena will still be a little bit stronger cause of healing and piercing sight, overall it's really much better than last patch.

psygib: I loved the idea of having all the champs being classified under light, medium, or heavy champions under this new armor system. Although, I think the lights are a little still weak. I, also, disagree with making Anarki's HP decay at 3/sec; it is way too fast and should definitely be 1.5 or 2 second.

Effortless: The changes that were made to the make distinct difference between classes was a decent change, but the previous balances seemed to be great overall except for a few things that needed tweaks. Overall though I think that this has allowed a few new champions to be brought into meta, while keeping previous champions still useful or even stronger (Galena). We now have Anarki, BJ, Doom, Galena, Keel, Ranger, Slash, Sorlag, Strogg & Peeker, and Visor as all potential picks depending on maps and players ability to use them effectively.

phaze: I think the change to unify the stacks was good. It a lot closer to what other Quake’s were like and it was a formula that always have worked. It is also nice to know that some people will not get away in certain situations with lower stacks whereas previously, the escape was always too easy.

Xron: Nothing changed much in champion balance, Galena/Visor still top tier in 2v2 and Visor overall is strongest champion in the game. But gap is closer now and more surprise picks are viable.

pikawa: Most of the changes would be definitely positive. In the end, the larger champions pool is available to play what could not be said about previous builds. That patch is definitely the best of all in Quake Champions, which bodes well for the future. Feedback from players is not wasted. It may be even better in the future so I am looking forward to the next patches, especially since the more champions will be available to play, the game will be much more interesting.

Xhep: I am obviously an anarki main so knowing that Anarki was going to receive changes got me pretty hyped. I am very glad that they increased the initial circle jump acceleration.
I think they found the sweet spot and I wouldn't mind if Anarki is kept here. When it comes to viability of Anarki I am not entirely convinced yet, I think it heavily depends on the gamemode you're playing. The normalization of the stacks of squishy / medium and heavy characters works out nicely I think. It opens up the meta to a lot more champions and it helped the diversity of lobbies greatly.

What do you think about changes in item timers?

serious: Honestly I'm glad that health bubbles are back to 15 seconds, now I don't have to keep pressing the "respawn" button every time I get down to low HP in deathmatch haha, I also love the fact that the light armors now give you +50, they could be crucial for the teams/players that are out of control so I guess top tier players will start timing those also. Can't say much about the weapons, I'm fine with railgun being 90 damage, however the nailgun definitely still needs a nerf and I don't even want to comment on the tribolt.

Spart1e: I guess everyone agrees that something had to be done with tribolt. But it's way to strong right now and just makes the game way more spammy. It doesn't feel like the game is around the Quake trio weapons anymore( rocket, shaft, rail), cuz every weapon is so strong. Personally I would like weapons weaker so smart plays would mean more, but maybe if every weapon is OP it's easier for new players? I never liked 30 seconds on every item. 15 seconds on health bubbles are way better, wouldn't mind 20 seconds on light armours either(But then they can't give you 50 armour points).

Effortless: I do really like the 15 second health respawn for 2v2, mostly because it seems the weapon changes are meant to make other guns much stronger. A super shotgun does 140 dmg direct, which can one hit any light champion. The railgun being tested from 80 to 100 with zoom to 100 fulltime to the current dmg count of 90 per shot zoomed or unzoomed seems to be the best option. I wasn't very opposed to the 80 with 100 zoom that it was, but the 100 flat was extremely strong. Then we have the Tribolt. It seemed like an interesting idea when proposed, but now that it has been layed out, they desperately need to change knockback, dmg, and potentially even ammo. It's absolutely insane as it is, and cannot stay. The game has become more spammy than ever, even more than the nailgun meta. Playing Bloodrun with two players spamming tribolt makes the game extremely less skill based and fun.

HELL: I like certain changes, especially the armour and health change but in terms of weapons, which I think one in particular will be highlighted more than others is the Tribolt, that really is too strong and needs changing immediately. To be fair I really haven't played this patch a great deal yet, but that for me stands out a lot.

Silencep: I think the health bubbles respawning faster and armour giving 50 are positive changes so you can restore health a lot more easier then before after fights. Weapon wise in general it is in a good balance expect for the tri-bolt being to strong.

vengeurR: I think that the way items now work is perfect, you can rely on playing a bit more out of control without having to always worry about the main items, the respawn change helps players too to try to get back in fights sooner and i still think anyway that heavy and mega are important so the changes are really good, because they help in some situations but don't take the scene away from the big 2 items.

psygib: Tribolt is too powerful. John, please fix. The HP bubbles being at 15 seconds is pretty nice, it allows Galena to be removed on some maps.

phaze: I am not happy with the weapon changes at all. First of all, there has been no change to heavy nailgun, machine gun and heavy machine gun. Those three guns have been an issue for a long time because of their damage output. Most of the players have complained about that. Now, if you look at it from a logical perspective, if the stacks were bigger and people complained about the damage of the weapons, you would surely decrease the damage on those weapons too to match the stacks. Unfortunately, now those weapons are even more overpowered than they used to be.
Another change that I am not happy with is how they made shotgun stronger even though it was probably one of the most balanced guns in the game. It required you to use it more situationally rather than ‘get away with a free frag’ weapon.
When it comes to Tribolt… I don’t have to say much. It is ridiculous in the most stupid way possible.

Xron: Yes, this changes made 2v2 and public game modes more enjoyable.

pikawa: Nailgun and Heavy Machine Gun are still very strong weapons. It is possible that too strong. I would try to slightly reduce their damage. Also, Railgun, in my opinion doing 90 damage, is too much. All these changes promote the + back game, which I do not like very much and in it does not help that since the last build armor give +50. It is very easy to regenerate. Control of major items in my opinion is even less important and so far everything was very limited. I am counting on some interesting changes in subsequent builds promoting a slightly more aggressive and creative style of the game.

Xhep: Tri-bolt is obviously heavily overpowered right now and needs to be addressed in the next patch. I like the idea in principle that they have with the tri-bolt but I think they need to do something with the blast radius and the damage. Health bubbles back to 15 seconds is something I am very pleased by. Before all the timers were on 30 seconds and in duel it was very easy to walk certain routes and deny a lot of health bubbles to your opponent. It was made too easy to control the map. Rightnow the player that is in the disadvantageous position has a bigger chance at making a comeback then before, which I think is a good thing.

What do you think about new matchmaking?

serious: I'm not really sure what they tried to accomplish with this, I prefer playing deathmatch so I'm not fond of waiting in the queue for 20 minutes only for others to vote instagib.
Also there's the fact that you can't queue for both solo and team playlists which I think is ridiculous, I simply don't get it.

Spart1e: Bots helps alot with faster loading times. It was really shit when a FFA match could end up with only 2 players left on server before. Good work with bots, now just keep improving them :)

HELL: I don't like how matchmaking is now separated into two categories. I like choice, I want to be able to select specifically the mode I wish to play, not let it randomly be determined for me. If I want instagib and instagib only for example, I should be able to select that, not just give me a choice of Solo or Team. And I'm seeing the higher tier you are, the longer you're waiting for matches, which is a shame.

Effortless: The changes made to matchmaking I would asses as very positive. The changes allow newer players to get games more quickly. The timing of this change, along with the Bethesda E3 F2P announcement, is allowing those players trying the game to not be thrown into games vs the best, day one.

Silencep: I think for new players it's good not so for high lvl players because of the longer waiting times to find games on pubs.

vengeurR: I would prefer to have it like last patch actually, where you can choice between instagib/tdm/ffa and sacrifice, i like the fact that there is some hidden elo so pro players don't really meet someone who is in game from 10 minutes, this helps every player to find nice mates and opponents to play with.

psygib: I don't have a problem with the playlists, but I can see why that some people do.

phaze: The entire matchmaking infrastructure seem to perform and work very well for the new players as they are able to be finally matched with people of their own skill which makes them want to play the game more and learn. They are not thrown onto the deep water with good players, they can finally develop their skills in their own time.

Xron: It's annoying to search game sometimes for a 10-15 minutes for me. But if new people are playing and having fun it's good, so I think its positive change.

pikawa: I definitely preferred the previous solution where I could choose the mode that I wanted to play, although I understand the intention of developers to try to reduce the waiting times of players in the queues. However, I think that after the last considerable growth of players, they will withdraw from this.

Xhep: I don't like the fact that they mashed everything together even though I understand the reason behind it. Obviously they knew they were going to announce on the E3 stream that Quake Champions was free to play and they did not want to split the community up too much so they lessened the amount of queues that you can choose from. This is probably also the reason why all of a sudden the duel maps are back in the rotation for all casual playlists. I am hoping this is just a temporary thing and they will revert these changes in the next patch.

Gore style - what are your thoughts?

serious: Can't really comment on this, It's not something I was hyped about or cared much about, I just have it "off" since I don't even notice the difference, except in the performance.

Spart1e: I guess it's cool. Personally I don't care, but some do.

HELL: Gore is good, for a casual. I think the majority of professional Quake players will disable this feature if I'm totally honest, for me, I don't want added sounds or visual effects when I'm playing in a serious match, its an added animation that I don't need personally.

Silencep: I think it's a really cool future giving more satisfaction after killing someone.

Effortless: I think Gore could be a cool addition for players that desire such a thing, but I personally have not turned it on and don't plan on using it.

vengeurR: I think that it looks really cool, from a competitive point of view i don't really use it cause i want my game to be as smooth as possible but i think that its a really nice feature since this game is 'Quake', so gore is needed! And i heard that a lot of players that are new to the game loves it too, so is really good!

psygib: I think it's a great addition; it's doesn't affect performance and looks really cool.

phaze: I really enjoy the gore but there is one thing missing; shooting the body and making it explode. This is a must have mechanic!

Xron: I like it and as long as it's not affecting performance and so on, i'm okay with playing with it.

pikawa: Interesting, nice-looking addition, although it is not very important for me. At the moment I would prefer if time was invested in other things (balance, maps, etc.). Additions of this type should be left to the Quake Champions with Early Access.

Xhep: Quake = Gore. Quake has always been kind of a pulp game when it came to gore and this new gore system is absolutely amazing. Even more so knowing that this is not even the final version. There is nothing more satisfying then shooting an air rocket and seeing the corpse explode into giblets.

In general, is Quake Champions heading in a right direction?

serious: Quake is definitely going in the right direction, the game is completely different than what it used to be, and I mean that in a good way, even though I disagree with a lot of changes made in the previous patch, I'm still happy for how this is all developing. I used to say "every patch is 1 step forward, 2 steps back", but nowadays it's definitely the other way around and I look forward to every new patch.

Spart1e: Yes. With this patch it really feels like Quake Champions has a future. Just keep working hard on it Id Software.

HELL: I believe so, for sure, they're slowly getting the balance right especially when it comes to the champions, I think they made a slight mistake with the Tribolt this time round but it won't take long for them to rectify that. But I'm sure they have a long term goal or plan in place of which they are slowly implementing, cautiously but calculated.

Silencep: Yes a lot of online cups going on and player base is growing giving me the feeling its going in the right direction.

vengeurR: In my opinion yes, game is really a lot much better than previous patches and i feel like the player base is really growing, i can see it even from how the italian community earned a lot and a lot of players in just 2-3 weeks, numbers are really good at the moment so let's hope that they don't go down too much and that we can have a nice playerbase to start from for tournaments and other activities, so yes quake is heading in a really good way, there is still something to fix but compared to where we were 1 year ago, now is really amazing to have a game like that.

Effortless: With all I've said, I think the game is actually headed in a great direction. I'm more than excited for ctf to be coming, I only wish it were sooner. I'm enjoying the game quite a bit and hope they keep taking the feedback of the top players for changes.

psygib: Of course, it just keeps developing. It has come a long way from the CBT's and I look forward to wherever else it is headed.

phaze: Yes, aside of the weapon balance that is completely bonkers, I know for a fact that Quake is heading in the right direction. At the end of the day, developers do what they think is the best for the game and it is for us, community, to decide whether some particular changes are good or not. So far, so good. Simply put, Quake is more enjoyable for the newer players than it ever was before which is already showing in the steam charts where the amount of players playing blew up as well as Quake managed to retain those players.

Xron: I think that it's heading into a right direction. But I wish to see 4v4/5v5 team mode in the future.

pikawa: Definitely. The best patch so far. However as I mentioned earlier, it can still be much better. QC is more and more likely to be successful, especially since there are almost no such games on the market. Devs can not rest on their laurels. They must keep moving forward. I have a good feeling about it tho.

Xhep: Yes, every patch is a step into the right direction. Sometimes they take a step backwards in certain areas of the game, but the overall direction of every patch is still a major step forward in my opinion. I think the developers have shown that they know what they're doing and I am happy that we have the developers that we have for this game. I am excited about the future of Quake Champions and I can't wait where this game will take us!

Players' social media links: icon_twitter Xhep, icon_twitter Spart1e, icon_twitter Xron, icon_twitter HELL, icon_twitter pikawa, icon_twitter phaze, icon_twitter Effortless, icon_twitter psygib
Author's social media links: icon_twitch vvea, icon_twitter Just_Vea