Tag Archive

Major Quake Champions Patch Makes Fundamental Changes To Loot System, Adds Bots

Posted on June 8, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

Sabre Interactive and Bethesda released a brand new patch for Quake Champions yesterday that adds many features that the community have been asking for since the Open Beta last summer. Bots, further Champion adjustments and a fundamental redesign of how the tribolt weapon works. Despite all of the positive additions the one thing that’s been widely panned by the QC community is how skins are crafted and what “shards” can be spent on. 

Positive: Bots Now Exist But Not Like You Think 

Veterans of previous Quake games have always had offline bots as a fallback option for when a stable internet connection isn’t available or to spend countless hours practicing against in order to hone those twitchy fragging reflexes. QC’s developers have spent a lot of time working on the fundamentals of QC and while bots have always topped the list of requested features, only now nearly 12 months after the Open Beta are we seeing playable progress on them. 

For those hoping for offline bots to practice against will be disappointed that not only is Quake Champions still not playable without a connection to the central server but the first stage of QC bots cannot be used in custom games or parties. 

On the positive side, Quake Champion’s bots are pretty challenging. You can face off against one of them in the brand-new tutorial. Bots wil also be used fillout the roster of games where another player disconnected or there isn’t a high enough population to fill out a team roster. Bethesda has promised that adding bots to Custom Games with selectable difficulty levels will come in a future patch. 

Here’s Bethesda’s official description of bots:

BOTS GALORE – Want to hone your skill? Did some quitter bail from a game mid-match, leaving your TDM crew a bit short? Well, now Bots are here to save you. That’s right, the same kind of AI that will soon reach singularity and grow into our apocalyptic overlords now powers (optional) enemies in-game! Featuring a scalable skill level to help players practice and improve in training mode, Bots will also automagically fill slots in live games where needed. This small, first phase of the impending robo-pocalypse – in Quake form – supports Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Instagib modes. More exciting updates on our road to Matrix-style Armageddon are scheduled to come soon!

Positive: Champion Stats Are Now Aligned 

Individual champion statistics are no more! Instead all of the available characters are divided into Light, Medium and Heavy and the heroes within these categories will share the same armor, health and speed statistics. 

Here’s the rundown: 

Balance Changes: In addition to the more on-the-surface improvements, Quake Champions is receiving some under-the-hood tweaks to improve the overall balance of the game. These changes include alterations to movement speed, health and armor stacks for Light, Medium and Heavy Champions as well as changes to certain weapon statistics and specific Champions abilities. 

Negative: Skins Can No Longer Be Crafted, Shards Are Only Usable For Loot boxes 

Oh dear… so this change is not “controversial”, it’s downright removing player’s ability to choose what kind of rewards that they want to work towards. Prior to yesterday’s update duplicates found within Backpacks or Chests (loot boxes) would reward players with “shards”. Saving up between 300 – 600 shards players could purchase pieces of a given skin set. While very grindy and still reliant on RNG loot boxes – which are predatory – did provide players with some agency on the type of things they could unlock through play. 

Under the newer system duplicates no longer provide shards at all and individual pieces cannot be crafted at all as well. Want that really cool Scalebearer skin or want to relive Quake III with the classic machinegun skin? Better hope it drops from a chest which you can only get with real money or by leveling up after a couple of hours. It’s all RNG.

Are you enjoying this latest Quake Champions patch? I’d love to hear thoughts on this latest update to Bethesda’s soon to be free-to-play online shooter in the comments. 



Quake Champions Next Update Brings Quake 2’s Strogg and a New Arena

Posted on April 9, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

Bethesda and Sabre Interactive has released a brief tease about future content coming to Quake Champions. Future patches will that bring forward a classic Quake enemy – the baddies of Quake II, The Strogg – as a playable champion.  Also introduced in this latest patch is a brand new map called Awoken – this ruinous labyrinth is sure to be home to many bloodbaths when it is finally released.

Here is the official description of the upcoming champion the Strogg and its drone companion, Peeker:

Half metal, half decaying flesh, and 100% ready to rage, the primary enemy of Quake II and Quake 4 is back as Strogg fights to be freed from the Dreamlands and reestablish contact with his ruthless warlord, Makron.

Players will also be able to take control and fight as Strogg’s drone sidekick, Peeker, who can fly around the battlefield, shoot at enemies and deal damage with its explosive self-destruct attack. Enemy kills are turned into a nutritional paste called Stroyent that provides 25HP, but players need to act fast – other Strogg players can steal your Stroyent!

New Weapon: The Plasma Cannon

Quake III’s face melting Plasma Cannon will finally find its way into Quake Champions in a future update. For many Q3A Veterans the lack of a proper Plasma Canon has made the available arsenal feel a bit bare.

Here’s the official description:

A blast from the past, the Plasma Gun from Quake III Arena finds its new home in Quake Champions! This high-powered cannon melts unwitting foes with bursts of pure energy and is sure to shake things up when it joins the Quake Champions arsenal later this month!

Last month’s March Update also brought a number of new modes and enhancements to Quake Champions, which unfortunately I did not have time to write about at the time of release. That patch saw the implementation of the much requested insta-gib mode where players are killed in a single hit as well as a brand new 2 Vs. 2 Ranked Mode.

Here’s the official description from those two features from last month’s patch:

NEW GAMEPLAY – Everyone, meet Instagib – The fast-moving, gib-tastic classic will finally make its way to Quake Champions, introducing a fun, fast and casual game where every shot is a one-hit kill. Players will start each match with the only weapons available – the Rail Gun and the Gauntlet – and there will not be weapon, health, armor, or power-up pickups. Champions will still be able to use active and passive abilities, and cool-down hourglasses will spawn on the map.

NEW RANKSIntroducing 2v2 TDM Ranked Mode – In addition to the head-to-head intensity of Duel mode, players will be able to grab a buddy and face off against teams from around the world in deadly 2v2 showdowns. Finding the right Champion and ability combinations will make the difference in the fight for the top spot on the leaderboard.


Getting To Quake Champions Hasn’t Been Cheaper With New $4.99 Entry Level Pack

Posted on March 19, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

The arena FPS genre hasn’t exactly been a hotbed of activity – especially with games like Battleborn and Unreal Tournament 4 seeming to cease development. Bethesda’s Quake Champions might be the last true arena deathmatch FPS game in production, not counting the AFPS indie offspring like DUSK and TOKIK.

Previously access to Quake Champions was divided between the previous closed beta test players who are able to play the game in “free to play mode” through the Bethesda Launcher or by purchasing the $29.99 USD “Champions Pack” which provides access to the Quake Champions client and all of the released / future champions.

Now players on Steam have the chance to get access to the base game for $4.99 USD which includes unlocks for two champions – Ranger and Scalebearer. Ranger will be unlocked for all players by default whether they’re playing in F2P mode or this newly released $5 pack. Scalebearer is an interesting choice to provide at a low cost – he’s a giant hulking tank class champion who has a plentiful health pool and is able to obliterate enemies in his way with his charge ultimate. Truth be told Scalebearer is probably my favorite champion in the game with the versatility that his kit can provide.

Quake Champions exited closed beta last August and has been available in Early Access ever since. It does make use of micro-transactions and blind RNG boxes (both provided for “free” and paid with in-game currency for real money). We’ve covered in the past why RNG boxes in AAA games can set a bad precident and be harmful to players in general but also those with addictive tendencies.


December Quake Champions Patch Detailed: New Champion Incoming

Posted on November 20, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

The next update to id Software’s competitive shooter, Quake Champions is set to arrive sometime before the holidays. In a livestream last week developers from id outlined a lot of the bigger changes coming to the fast-paced arena shooter with the next update. Players can look forward to the reveal of a brand new playable Champion, increases to health and armor for better player uptime and a major adjustment to how the Tribolt weapon works. 

Below is a brief summary of the changes mentioned in the stream based upon community input. Please note that this is a summary only and not official patch notes from id or anything like that. 

December’s patch should include: 

  • Customizable crosshairs with different color options. 
  • 2 Vs 2 Team Deathmatch support. 
  • Small armor packs will respawn faster. 
  • The inclusion of a currently unrevealed champion. 
  • Tribolt’s rounds will no longer explode when hitting the ground. They will instead stick to walls and detonate as if they were proximity mines, giving players area of effect control. 
  • All champions will receive an armor/health increase to allow for longer survivability. 
  • Player selections for starting weapon (shotgun / nailgun / machinegun), as well as their preferred datacenter, are now saved client side. 
  • Anarki and Slash max speed reduced slightly. 
  • Doom Slayer’s berserk ultimate ranged reduced. 
  • Frames per second cap will officially be supported, alleviating issues with game upload speeds being tied to high framerates. 
  • A new, smaller map, similar to Lockbox coming for Duel Mode. 
  • Capture the Flag supporting coming in 2018. 
  • Character mesh/hitbox fixes coming in January or Feb 2018. 

Quake Champions was released this past August from open beta into paid Early Access. Since then the game has struggled a bit, especially with the previous October Update which brought significant performance issues early on that were fixed with a series of hotfixes throughout last month.  

December’s patch will bring a new injection of content with the new duel map, small group TDM support and Frames Per Second tied to upload fix. Hopefully, this will entice some new players as well as those who might have left the game to come back and check it out. 

Quake Champions is expected to enter free to play sometime in 2018, it is currently available to play for free on the Bethesda Launcher for anyone who participated in the Closed or Open beta phases. According to Steam Charts Champions averages about 550 players per hour during any given 24 hour period. 

Watch Developer Stream w/ Tim Willits and Adam Pyle from QuakeChampions on www.twitch.tv


Small Hotfix Patch Released For Quake Champions Early Access

Posted on October 17, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Yesterday Sabre Interactive & id Software released a small hotfix for the Early Access version of Quake Champions. These fixes come just two weeks since the latest game update which brought with it new content & champion adjustments but also had players reporting increased lag during matches / other performance issues and problems with the game’s’ social functions.

In addition to performance fixes related to the loading & unloading of characters, this hotfix also addresses problems that may occur when a player has a large number of friends on their contact list. Also added to the game is a brand new vanity item for Ranger, “The Keepers Head”, which ties into the upcoming The Evil Within 2.

Here are the full patch notes:

  • Fixed crash some players were experiencing on loading/unloading from game
  • Fixed crash some players were experiencing in customization screen when buying item with both platinum and shards at the same time
  • Fixed crash some players were experiencing on purchasing vanity items in customization
  • Fixed issue where players were being kicked from match while loading into Burial Chamber with the exception of the Spectator
  • Fixed in-game Contacts list so it properly shows player’s online/offline status and no longer causes performance issues with larger Contacts lists
  • Fixed issue when Spectating a player that died did not show the death animation and instead showed the player select screen
  • Fixed issue where Sorlag’s acid spit ability was doing double damage at certain distances
  • Improved double landing sounds for all Champions
  • ‘The Keeper’s Head’ vanity item added for Ranger. Instructions on how to obtain it can be found here: http://steamcommunity.com/game



Quake Champions Developers Discuss Network Improvements & Future Content

Posted on September 14, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Every week developers from id Software take to Twitch.TV to discuss upcoming content, balance passes and other changes coming to Quake Champions. They also dedicate a good amount of time to answering questions from the community – whether these questions have been gathered from the Bethesda forums, official GC discord or social media. 

Last week’s stream, held on September 8th, featured a number of questions surrounding the possibility of new content – specifically themed seasonal events akin to those done for Overwatch and purchasable shaders. Other questions of interest included what the devs are working on to combat “rubber banding” (other player avatars moving erratically or not playing the correct animations) and Rockets which seem to still be registering 0 DMG randomly. 


In regards to Shaders it doesn’t sound like the devs will be making them purchasable with Shards anytime soon. Looks like they will be staying as challenge rewards and lootbox drops: 

  1. Willcolour-shadersbe purchaseable with favour?
    No, probably not. The reason is that we think that the lootbox makes a good case for us. We talked about it in a previous written AMA in the form of “premium shaders” (purchasable premium shaders), but the “standard shaders” we have now is a good way to ensure there are things to earn. If you could buy them individually, there’d just be a lot of content you wouldn’t want anyway. 

New announcers may be added in the future in the form of “Announcer Packs” after Early Access has concluded:

8. New Announcers
We’d like to introduce Announcer Packs, but Early Access is not the time for it. From our experience, it’s very easy to find you need to add new announcer lines for new modes, for example, and if we record them now, we have to go back and re-record those sets, which is costly and difficulty.
Once more things are settled, we’ll get to work on them, however. 

New music is on the roadmap for future updates – with one developer even floating the idea of unlockable “music packs”. To be fair it sounds like a lot of this stuff is preliminary: 

  1. More ambient tracks, more music.
    Yes, a great idea. We have it planned, and definitely, a feature coming online soon. Music drops in packs, or something?

Network related issues with Quake Champions have been widely reported among the community. At one point during the Closed Beta Test it wasn’t uncommon to see your foes “stutter” up stairs and other elevated objects with no animations. Since then the devs at id & Sabre have worked to move QC from a client side damage model to a server simulation model. 

Here is a bit about that change and how internal testing works for QC: 

Road ahead:
When we design QC and architected the network code, we designed and programmed it for every system we possibly could, but for a game as complex as QC we have servers across the world, different ISPs, and millions of PC configurations, so we do run into issues we had no idea we would run into. So, we try to identify and crush those. This is why we started in Beta and moved into Early Access – but we’re still working on all these aspects. 

If you, at any point, feel you are rubber-banding, your ping fluctuates, etc., then we are actively trying to identify those issues and their solutions, trying to fix it — we’re actively working on it; we know we need to fix the net-code! 

Some improvements will be small, some will be large, but there isn’t one big fix-all. 
We have to find the issue, solve it, and test and hope it works in the real world. 

We’re for example about to do an internal tests in regards to compression methodolgy, and we hope that it will give a huge boost in performance, but it’s a slow process. 

A lot of the comments online are about net-code, which tend to become a big bucket. But there are these isolated events and issues that get lumped together – we’re trying to break them down and test them, so we have some topics we want to cover: 

Previously the game worked – in regards to hit-detection – by being able to shoot the actual model, while the server would calculate all those animations you saw. The server was trying to synchronize the exact shape on both ends, but it is too CPU intensive, and a bit less forgiving, as just a minute discrepancy is enough to desync the client and server. So we’re moving towards static hit-meshes. In essence, giving the models a static mesh that could be hit – imagine putting a sheet over the character, it encompasses everything they “take up in space”, but without gaps (e.g. armpits, etc.).

As time goes by, we’ll include more animation states (more sheets).

Special thanks to Santiak of the Quake Champions community for providing the above-paraphrased quotes from the official live stream. QC entered Early Access at the end of August and it sounds like the devs have a lot more planned in terms of content but also network and hit box registration in the coming patches. 

I’ll continue to monitor developments with Quake Champions and report any major developments in upcoming blog posts. 


Quake Champions Releasing On Steam Early Access As A Paid Product This Coming Tuesday

Posted on August 17, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

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.



Partial Player Data Reset As Massive Quake Champions Beta Patch Drops

Posted on August 3, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

The first patch for Quake Champions in nearly a month has finally arrived and with it comes a partial data reset for existing players. Beta testers should be familiar with the practice by now but since this is an open beta sometimes players are caught off guard by data resets and progression loss. Developers do this for a number of reasons: testing new systems, getting feedback on progression changes or deeply rooted system or data changes that necessitate players be taken back to square one.

As for what was reset: any challenge progression for challenges left incomplete and the overall statistics data for players accounts have been wiped. Unlocks like shaders/skins from Loot Boxes and purchasable vanity items have all been reset as well. Individual nicknames and skill ratings remain intact alongside unlocked champions.

Here is a segment from the recent patch notes:

Player content that will be reset include:

  • User States (Armors, Weapons, Attachments, Shaders, Currency)
  • Challenges

Content that will NOT be reset includes:

  • Champions
  • Friends
  • Skill Rating
  • Nicknames

Currently, the Quake Champions community is in the midst of a $1,00,000 world tournament on the road to this month’s Quake Con. Id Software and Sabre Interactive have said that they don’t want to shake up the game’s meta too muuch while the tournament is ongoing but there have been a number of game breaking bugs including rockets that do 0 DMG and stuttering lag that hamper the online experience. With that being said this patch is more of a collection of long requested fixes and tech tweaks – you’ll see very little Champion balancing happening during the Regionals.

Previously Quake Champions only had a very basic friends list with CBT 13 a whole number of social options including spectating friends, ignoring players and a reporting system to root out abusive players.

New Social Screen

  • Player can observe all current in-match players and blocked players
  • Player can now blacklist players, which blocks invites from unwanted users
  • Player can now ignore user invites
  • Player can now report users

On the tech side of things id & co have fixed several issues with system auto detect, implemented a new “play now” screen and introduced some fixes for the ever present memory leaks which have plagued the game since the first Closed Beta but this issue has been steadily improving with each major patch.


  • Fixed an issue that could occur when the game would not revert to the player’s native resolution when changing to Borderless mode with a lower aspect ratio.
  • Fixed a localization text issue
  • Updated the list of supported video cards for a correct auto-detect
  • Fixed an issue where killed players could become stuck in place and invincible
  • Fixed an issue where local configurations would not be saved properly when including Cyrillic letters
  • Fixed an issue where Champions were not synchronized with moving objects


  • Optimized various memory leaks

New Play Now Screen

  • New screen layout integrated
  • Player can choose multiple game modes in quick match and match-make between them randomly
  • Tutorial videos available from Play Now screen

Clutch has seen the most adjustment of any Champion in the game. Originally positioned as a Tank class hero with a strong barrier shield, Clutch was later on adjusted to include the ability to float through the air while deploying its shield. This was later patched out and now Clutch is the focus of the majority of the Champion adjustments – with a new acceleration icon and several small statistics changes.

Perhaps the one bug fix everyone in the Quake community has been finally implemented: Rocket Launchers finally work again! No more Nyx players taking three rockets to the face without taking a single point of damage. Rockets also no longer penetrate Clutch’s shield.


  • Clutch’s “Advanced Shielding” passive has been removed
  • Clutch’s Active Ability cool-down has now been set to 40 seconds
  • Clutch’s Health and Armor stats revised: Health from 150/150 to 100/100; Armor from 50/100 to 100/150
  • Slash’s Starting Armor increased +25 ap
  • Profile Progression: XP requirements tweaked
  • Random Drop: Rebalance of drop rates in Backpacks Crates and Reliquaries
  • Crafting: Item prices in shards and dismantle values changed


  • New effect for Ranger’s Dire Orb
  • Fixed a light effect issue affecting Anarki’s Banner vanity item
  • Fixed an issue affecting audio during Anarki’s hover board movement
  • Fixed issue that could occur with BJ Blazkowicz’s shooting animation while dual-wielding
  • Fixed a twitching animation issue with BJ Blazkowicz after being shot while idle
  • Enemies within 120u of the player are outlined
  • New Clutch acceleration icon added
  • Fixed an issue where rock and drill medals pop without hitting the 1000 damage requirements
  • Fixed an issue when RL damage through Clutch’s shield



Quake Champions Will Be Live On Steam ‘Soon’

Posted on July 26, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Sabre Interactive and id Software’s reimagining of the Quake franchise, Quake Champions will be pushed to Steam ‘soon’ according to a community post made by Community Manager Iker_A. Quake Champions has been in an all but in name only Open Beta since the announcement of beta keys on the games’ official website during E3.

In a thread titled “ The thing that will kill this game” Iker_A gives the community an update on why matchmaking wait times are so long – low server populations. In addition, it has been revealed that major patches are coming down the pike and that a second advertisement blitz should accompany Quake Champions’ emergence onto Steam.


One of the main reasons of matchmaking problems now is the limited player base. The game is in Beta and the devs are making progress to improve the game as much as possible before going really big, that’s one of the main reasons of this testing period. The game will be pushed to Steam soon and we have big plans to promote it, so this issue will be improved drastically in the future. Thanks for your patience!”

It has been a while since I wrote about Quake Champions – for a rundown on the basics of the game make sure to check out my preview from this past April during the Closed Beta. Sadly since Champions became publically available a number of issues have persisted with the game including upload times being tied to frame rate, persistent lag and the god-like ability for any player to take rockets to the face like a champ; because rockets currently do zero damage.

Here’s hoping things can be cleaned up before thousands of people descend upon Bethesda’s servers due to the soon to come Steam release.


Massive Quake Champions Patch Adds B.J Blazkowicz From Wolfenstien

Posted on June 14, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Id Software and Sabre Interactive rolled out a massive patch for Quake Champions that should make returning testers and new players very happy. The E3 patch adds a brand new champion – the nazi slaying B.J Blazkowicz from the Wolfenstein series. Alongside B.J’s debut in QC this patch also adds 3 new maps for various modes, the much requested “custom games” option for parties of players and so so much more content than can fit into a single paragraph.

B.J’s kit includes the ability to dual wield any weapon in the game by using his ultimate ability. While the ultimate ability timer counts down BJ will spawn a copy of whatever weapon he has active. This duplicating effect carries over to any weapons he might pick up while the ultimate is active or have in his inventory. Want to run around with two railguns, killing everyone in sight? With B.J you can!

Here is a breakdown of B.J’s abilities as they appeared in the patch notes:

NEW Champion: 

B.J. Blazkowicz added to the Champion roster! 

  •    Dual Wield (Active) 

BJ calls for back-up and answers his own call. Double [censored] weapons, BJ takes turns firing them in rapid succession to lay down some heavy fire, but he will burn through some serious ammo to do so. 

  •    Regeneration (Passive) 

BJ can regenerate any damaged health inside one 25 HP block, if he doesn’t receive damage for 3 seconds. 

  •    Stats: 
  •    100 / 100 HP 
  •    25 / 50 AP 
  •    310 -> 560 ups 
  •    Customizations includes 3 outfits and 1 vanity item. 

If you’ve got a whole party of friends who want to play a specific mode or map with a different time limit, frag limit or default team size then perhaps the Custom Game mode is for you. Right now the custom game options are quite limited and there is no server browser or matchmaking for custom games. This isn’t exactly a replacement for dedicated servers, for those that care about that sort of thing. 

The following options are available for custom games:

Custom Game:
–          Party with friends to play private matches on the arena and game mode of your choice!
–          Party Leaders can pre-configure teams in the Match Lobby by dragging players between pillars.
–          Start Match button will be disabled if the amount of players present is lower than required
–          Start Match button will be disabled in Duel mode if players don’t have 3 Champions available

Also added in the E3 patch is the ability for visitors to a game to spectate. Friends who join a custom game can either be assigned to either Red or Blue team or in the “Spectator” role. Those in the spectator role can freely switch their camera either from room to room or between players regardless of which team those players are on.

The patch notes describe the spectator mode thusly:

NEW Spectator Mode: 

  •    Spectator mode added within Custom Game!

o    Invite friends to your party and drag them to the Match Lobby Spectator Box to allow them to spectate the match. 

o   Spectators can toggle camera modes between players, rooms, and free-float by pressing [L. SHIFT]. 

o   Players can cycle through players or rooms with [LEFTARROW] and [RIGHTARROW] or by pressing [1]-[0] number keys for specific players or rooms. 

o   Spectators can press [X] to toggle x-ray outlines to see players locations through walls to help follow the action.

So much more content makes up the large E3 patch than I can cover in one news article – including the three new maps, small bug fixes, a new tutorial system and some menu changes. If you’ve watched the B.J reveal trailer embedded above make sure to head on over to the Quake Champions forums to read the patch notes in their entirety.  


Quake Champions Open Beta Impressions

Posted on May 14, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

The Quake franchise was once a multiplayer staple during the early 1990s and while the franchise has tried to reinvent itself twice in the mid-2000s it has been almost a decade since we heard from this formally prominent frag fest. Now id Software in collaboration with Sabre Interactive and publisher Bethesda are preparing to bring back Quake for a new generation with the open beta of Quake Champions which launches this weekend.

Bethesda was courteous enough to invite me into the Closed Beta Test for Quake Champions and over the past five weeks, I’ve been able to experience multiple builds of the game – each iterating on the last. As well I’ve been able to participate in feedback & discussion with other Quake enthusiasts and developers to help improve the game.  I figured with the public tech test happening an overview of how Quake Champions works, identifying what aspects set Champions apart from previous entries in the franchise and some tips/tricks would be welcome.

Multiplayer – Past, Present & Future

At its’ core Quake Champions is a multiplayer shooter with a higher skill ceiling that the competition. The game may have a heavy focus on e-sports later on down the line judging from the promotional materials released by Bethesda thus far. Knowing when to move, strafe, jump and activate abilities are all key concepts that players will have to master if they want to see their names at the top of the leaderboards.  QC isn’t really a game where you can stick to a single weapon and charge around the arena with no situational awareness and expect to come out on top. Maneuvers like strafe jumping (pressing movement keys before making a jump to maximize velocity) and circle strafing (running in a circle around an opponent to avoid oncoming attacks) are not only valid strategies but have ben part of the franchise since the days of Quake II multiplayer. When playing a team based mode knowing where allies are in relation to objectives can make the difference between nabbing the Quad Damage and becoming a pile of giblets.

The titular Champions are front and center as soon as the game’s splash screen and opening menu present themselves. Each player no longer have the same in-game avatar, as seen in Quake II or simply a different model with the same hitboxes & statistics like Quake III’s multiplayer. Each champion brings a unique aesthetic, distinct personality, their own ultimate ability, and statistics.  Fans of Quake I can step into the boots of Ranger, the protagonist from that game. His statistics are all around rounded and his ultimate ability Dire Orb allows players to either send a blast of energy at enemies or warp a long distance across the room. Players looking for a little more brute force can choose Scalebearer – a large hulking tank who has a large health pool, giving him a good amount of survivability, a slower movement than other agile Champions but an Ultimate that allows him to charge forward at a great speed instantly killing opponents below a certain health level. Ranger & Scalebearer are only two of the eight selectable Champions that players will have at launch and each of them certainly invites experimentation as well as a fresh reason to hop into a match.

Weapons receive some tweaking in Quake Champions when compared to previous iterations. Mainstays like the machinegun, gauntlet, rocket launcher, railgun, nailgun and lightning gun are all accounted for but Quake veterans may notice some omissions. The grenade launcher, plasma rifle, and the Big Fucking Gun are all missing in action but once you’ve played a few rounds of Champions it can be easy to see why some of these weapons might have been omitted. Having a projectile based weapon like the grenade launcher could result in splash damage kills which is antithetical of the skill based slaughter discussed earlier. Same goes for the Big Fucking Gun, while weapons like the railgun deal excessively high amounts of damage it is never enough to kill a player at full health in one single blow, even the rocket launcher is capped at 100 DMG when a direct hit occurs.

Monetization & Free To Play Experience

Before you run away, yes, Quake Champions will be free to play but as the developers have mentioned time and time again – they aren’t aiming to split up the multiplayer community into tiers. If a player chooses not to purchase any additional champions or loot boxes they will still have access to the core Quake Champions experience in the form of Ranger being permanently unlocked for use. If Ranger’s search for a slip-gate home becomes too exhausting additional Champions can currently be rented for 5000 ‘favor’ – the F2P currency earned at the end of matches. These rentals do come with some caveats, however. Paying 5000 favor will unlock a single hero for 24 real world hours, meaning that the clock begins ticking after you click purchase. It can also take some time to earn the required 5000 favor depending on the Daily Challenges presented to you and whether or not they are obtainable. Some challenges can be as simple as competing in 3 matches and earning enough favor for a free rental. Others, like getting 3 railgun kills in a row, can be more difficult especially for newer players. In my experience with the game – without using challenges it can approximately take an hour of game time to earn a free rental.

With id & Bethesdsa providing so much of the core game experience including maps, modes and one character entirely for free Quake Champions is monetized in three different ways. First and foremost is the ability for players to purchase random unlockable cosmetic items through three different types of loot boxes. Single items can be unlocked for 1,000 favor through the purchase of “backpacks” while two other chests that can contain 3 items of rare quality or higher, however, chests can only be purchased with real money. Individual champions will also be able to be purchased for real money as a permanent alongside a “champions pack” that will provide unlockable access to every character but not all cosmetic items.

In all honesty, I have mixed feelings about random loot boxes in games. It is well known that they exploit the dopamine bursts (the happy hormone released in the brain) that come with flashy rewards. These same centers of the brain trigger when players win at a slot machine and with the inclusion of a random element in terms of what is unlocked loot boxes can feel a lot like gambling. In the eight hours I’ve spent with the game prior to the tech test I was able to unlock enough red gems (the currency used for cosmetics) to purchase one of the classic Quake III weapons. The inclusion of Q3 weapons is absolutely awesome and I think it is a great nod to fans but I am sad that they are locked behind either hours of grinding out backpacks or until your wallet has been exhausted until you have enough red gems from duplicate items to purchase the cosmetic you want.

Quake Champions has a solid foundation that Bethesda, id Software and Sabre Interactive could mold into something fantastic. There is enough action, weapon variety, and skill ceiling to keep players coming back for matches for weeks – and in all honesty that is a good thing. It is clear the inclusion of the 1 Vs 1 Duel Mode, e-sports promotions and free to play model indicate that all three parties have sky-high ambitions for Quake’s return. In its’ current state Quake Champions strikes a unique balance between what defined 20+ years ago and elements that a newer generation of shooter fans have come to expect. Here’s hoping that the recipe id and Sabre have cooked up will be well received when it is released later this summer.


Ranger Outlined In New Quake Champions Video

Posted on May 3, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Bethesda and id Software bring fans of the quake series (as well as newcomers) another look at one of the Champions featured in the upcoming Quake Champions, Ranger. This particular champion showcase should be interest of players who want to try out Quake Champion’s free-to-play option as Ranger will always be available to players regardless if they’ve spent real money on QC or not.

Inspired by the original Quake’s protagonist, Ranger’s special ability is the Dire Orb which he can launch at enemies to deal damage or use to warp to other points on the map provided that his orb doesn’t collide with another object or champion. Like all the other Champions in the game Ranger will start with a basic machinegun but will be able to pick up deadlier weapons, like the rocket launcher or railgun, if he can make it to them before his opponents.

Ranger is certain to be a character that free-to-play players will become acquainted with during their time with the game. Additional champions will be able to be rented with ‘favor’ – a special in-game currency earned by completing matches or by purchasing them with real world money.

Quake Champions currently does not have a release date but it is in  closed beta testing.


Quake Champions Newest Hero, Anarki, Is Totally 90s

Posted on March 31, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

The latest champion revealed for Bethesda / id Software’s Free-to-play FPS Quake Champions is Anarki – a hover board skating, transhumanism punk who appears to embrace the 90s surfer attitude alongside old school FPS action.

Anarki’s active ability is health injection which allows him to gain a temporary health boost, which would be great to use right after taking a rocket to the fact. His passive, Hoverboard Air Control appears to allow him to traverse small distances on his hover board at an increased speed. Other tactics that might be useful when playing Anarki include rocket jumps, which are featured prominently in this brief one minute introduction trailer.

Hoverboards, surfer slang and rocket jumps – it doesn’t quite get much more 90s FPS – unless you’re offered a Jolt Cola, of course.

Quake Champions will be entering a “rather lengthy” closed beta period soon before being released presumably later this summer for free. Players can sign up for the beta at the game’s official website.


Six Minutes of Quake Champions Footage Reveal New Hero Details

Posted on March 12, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Quake Champions was playable this weekend at the Penny Arcade Expo in Boston and fans had the chance to try out the game for themselves. Included in the demonstration version of the game were playable heroes who have been confirmed but not fully revealed on the game’s official website.

One such hero – Clutch, described as the “Awakened Automaton” is briefly shown on the character select screen of Youtuber CamerBOwen’s seven minute off screen video taken at Bethesda’s booth. This brief glimpse of Cluth’s abilities give us a better sense of some of their statistics but some vital information still remains obscured.

What we’ve learned about Clutch from this footage:

  • Their base health statistic is 150.
  • Their base armor value is 75.
  • They will move at 280 speed.
  • Players can select between a machinegun, rocket launcher or nailgun as their primary weapon.
  • Clutch will likely have a large hitbox given its size.

We still don’t know what Clutch’s heroic ability is as the text is either too blurry in the off-screen video or it was purposely greyed out in the PAX East build to prevent too much new information from leaking out before the planned information rollout.

Here is a blurry screengrab of Clutch on the Hero select screen. From this screengrab we can also tell that there will be nine total heroes in Quake Champions at this point in development. This is noteworthy as the official website for Quake Champions only lists eight confirmed heroes. Each hero is set to get their own debut trailer, similar to the one that dropped for Nyx last week. Here are the trailer dates as currently listed on the site:

  • Nyx – Out now
  • ScaleBearer – 03.15
  • Anarki – 3.29
  • Cluth 4.12
  • Galena 4.19
  • Ranger 5.3
  • Visor 5.10
  • Solag 5.24

This points to a possibly open beta date sometime in early Junem, as Bethesda / id Software are already accepting sign-ups for the closed beta that is expected to launch in the next couple of weeks. When Quake Champions launches later this year it will be free to play with only Ranger selectable and the other heroes rentable with in-game currency or via one-time purchase unlock.


Quake Champions Confirmed To Be Free To Play, Two New Trailers Released

Posted on March 11, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

More Quake Champions news has come out of PAX East in Boston with the reveal that the game will be free to play. Also unveiled since I last wrote about the game a couple of days ago were two new trailers – one covering the arena Blood Covenant and the other covering the champion Nyx.

Tim Willits, the creative director behind id Software’s Quake Champions revealed to Polygon earlier today that Quake Champions will provide all players access to one champion, Ranger, with the remainder of the champions behind a real world currency paywall.  Free to Play users can earn an in-game currency easily to rent other champions for a limited time. The price of the unlock pack or how much in-game currency is required to rent a champion have yet to be revealed. All players will have access to the same modes, maps and ranked ladders regardless of how many champions they have unlocked in-game.

Here is a quote from the original Polygon article describing id Software’s decision to go free-to-play with Quake Champions:

“But then we also understand that we want to get as many people into the game as possible, especially outside of North America and Western Europe, where we have a massive fan base. So we want to have the flexibility to have a free-to-play option for those people.”

Also unveiled was the debut trailer for the female hero Nyx, who also appeared in the E3 trailer last year. Her passive ability allows players to run along walls, giving them a height advantage over their ground-based opponents. Her active ability grants her a brief window invisibility allowing her sneak up to her opponents to land the killing blow.

As I reported several days ago, Quake Champions is currently accepting sign-ups on their official website for the upcoming closed beta. The games open beta and eventual release will, of course be open to everyone – regardless of monetary commitment.



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