Bethesda and more specifically id Software have a large convention coming up on Thursday August 24th – QuakeCon. To celebrate the convention’s namesake or perhaps capitalize on the finals for the Quake Champions World Championship $1 million dollar tournament that is coming to a close at QuakeCon, Quake Champions will leave open beta testing and appear on Steam for the first time since the game’s announcement.
Let’s get the bit of news that is probably going to polarize possible new players before diving into the meaty details of the first Early Access patch – Quake Champion’s monetization model. Originally Champions was advertised as a free to play title and it is clear from the titles core design that this is still the case: renting champions, multiple forms of currency and loot boxes are all still in the game. What is changing with the Early Access release on Steam is that Quake Champions will not be free to play right out of the gate.
Returning closed & open beta testers can still play the tittle for free in ‘free to play mode’ (meaning Ranger only with rentals via ‘favor’ or in app purchases) but only players willing to fork over $29.99 USD (increasing to $39.99 USD once Early Access ends) to gain access to the game, all 11 Champions currently available and any future champions released in 2018. New free to play players who did not participate in the beta phase will be welcome into the game but it is unknown when that will occur – Bethesda simply says ‘at a later date’.
So what will the first Early Access patch bring to the game? First and foremost is a brand new champion in the form of Doom’s DoomSlayer protagonist. Clad in his UAC green armor from last year’s excellent reboot, the Doom Slayer joins the original cast of Quake Champions and B.J Blazkowicz from Bethesda’s Wolfenstein franchise in the arena. Quake Champions players can also look forward to the release of two new maps, brand new Rune Challenges, in-game voice chat and an in-game Lore browser that will feed players in-universe tidbits of information just like Doom (2016) did.
Here is a summary of the new features coming to Quake Champions:
- Two New Maps: Church of Azathoth and Tempest Shrine
- Rune Challenges: Players will be rewarded for completing new Rune Challenges found in Backpacks
- Lore System: Players will find Lore Items hidden throughout Arenas in vases. By collecting all 10 Lore Items for a specific Champion, they will unlock that Champion’s high-end Lore Skin.
- Improved New Player Onboarding: New features to help get fresh fraggers up to speed include a movement tutorial, shooting gallery and the ability to choose a skill level
- New Customization Options: New options include new Champion skin sets and weapon shaders
- In-Game Voice Chat
I’ve covered Quake Champions extensively over the past couple months and participated in both the closed and open beta test phases. You can read my impressions of an early Closed Beta build of the game right here and I’ll be posting up to date impressions from the Early Access build of Quake Champions later next week.