Quake Champions buffs (almost) everyone except Sorlag

Quake Champions

Thursday was patch-day for early access arena shooter Quake Champions [official site]. Tons of changes in this update, but there’s something for everyone as it’s raining buffs: BJ Blazkowicz gets a buff! Clutch gets a buff! Doom Guy gets a buff! And everyone’s favourite scary alien lizard-lady Sorlag gets… a nerf. Two, in fact.

Poor Sorlag. At least there’s a Double XP event running this weekend. That’s something, right?

Not only does Sorlag’s acid spit ability now do 30% less damage, but she has to wait a little longer before she can resume shooting after spitting. But it seems that the big lizzie is the only one to roll snake-eyes and get down-scaled, so no more crocodile tears. Here’s some of the notable tweaks this version:

While not technically everyone, a lot of characters have seen upgrades. Big angry robot Clutch is now 25hp beefier, and no longer suffers a penalty to his movement speed while using his Mining Drill power. Slash can now do her dashy Plasma Trail move in any direction, and BJ Blazkowicz has been working out in preparation for his new game, and can use his dual-wield power a little more often and fire shotguns, rockets, tri-bolts and railguns faster while doubling up.

On a universal note, the starting Nailgun, the Super Shotgun and the Tri-Bolt have all been buffed. The latter in particular seems far deadlier now, with direct hits now dealing both impact and immediate explosive damage. While not a balance tweak, rockets are now governed by better, fully deterministic netcode, so they should behave a little more predictably.

They’ve also client-sided a lot of audio effects, meaning that nobody else will hear that you’ve just picked up a lore scroll (which are now only awarded after match completion, to reduce farming), or be able to overhear the background hum of your fancy alternate weapon skin.

On the technical side, it’s the usual slew of small bugs squashed. The devs also reckon that they’ve got a few memory and netcode-related gremlins locked down now, which should help reduce the game’s footprint on both hardware and upstream bandwidth. Jump pads now also make a noise when you actually jump on them (fancy that), and the end of match podium screen has victory/defeat music, as appropriate.

It’s a big update and with a lot of interesting and positive changes, so long as you don’t main Sorlag. This update is topped off with a double XP weekend and a price drop on vanity items. The game is also cycling out a variety of cosmetic bundle packs from the store and replacing them with a few new ones.

Quake Champions will be free-to-play when it properly launches but, for now, it’s playable in early access by buying a £20/$30 ‘Get all characters unlocked for the lifetime of the game’ bundle from Bethesda or on Steam.

13 Comments

  1. Dugular says:

    And this kind of news is exactly why I’m put off by Quake Champions.

    If you’re nerfing or buffing different characters, it isn’t Quake. Everyone should always be on the exact same playing field. Characters should be a cosmetic choice only.

    I can understand fine-tuning weapons through patches, but characters? Ugh.

    • Hunchback says:

      Being 33 years old, i see where you are coming from.
      I too am kind of put-off by the “champions” approach, especially the part that different characters get different starting and max hp/armour.

      However, i see why they are doing it – pure, 100% arena shooters are kind of… out of style, i guess. MP shooters have done a sort of a “come-back” lately, but they are different from what we (old people) are used to. There’s classes, skills, unlocks and all that jazz and if you make your game 100% “old school” you’ll probably hit an economic wall and eventually fail.

      If it was up to me, i’d keep the skills/powers part of the new Quake, passive or active, it gives some “spice” and fleshes out characters, but i’d DEFINITELY remove the different hp pools and move speed, this is really not “Quake”. Still, other than that, imo the new Quake is quite decent, they’ve managed to keep the general feel of the weapons, movement etc. And the new Duel mode is actually an improvement, having 3 “characters” to go through, rather than just get the most frags in a time-period.

      Finally, there’s always Unreal Tournament, which so far has been practically 90% true old-school UT we all know.

    • pigy33 says:

      Mainly this put me off because a mass buff is implying that character skills will matter more so people will get free kills off of using them instead of using actual skill!

      • Premium User Badge

        Phasma Felis says:

        Using character skills effectively does require actual skill.

  2. int says:

    I didn’t know Sorlag was a lady lizard!

  3. thischarmingman says:

    I can’t get EA to work anymore, I think you need to wait for release to p4f

    • particlese says:

      Yeah, that last paragraph got me excited to give it a free go this weekend, but it looks like that’s currently not the case: If you were in the closed beta, you should still have access, but otherwise, you’ll need to pay now or wait for the f2p option at some point. And the linked page in this article currently only says “buy! :>” (to paraphrase) Not saying it needs to be free, by any means, but the current state of its freeness is apparently not quite what was mentioned in this article.

  4. Jalan says:

    I get the feeling they’ll be going back and either removing that “shoot after spit” penalty or lessening it. That they even did it after nerfing the damage dealt by the spit is a bit of a joke and really dumps the fun out of playing the champ at all.

    Also, though I may regret writing it later, the most positive thing they could do with the Tri-Bolt is remove it entirely. I appreciate the effort someone put into thinking they were making a “cool” weapon, but good heavens just put the Quake grenade launcher in and call it a day.

  5. ocdmonkey says:

    It’s about time they nerfed Sorlag! I actually like Quake Champions, though Q3/Live will always be the definitive version to me, I feel that so far they are handling the heroes tastefully enough to not disrupt the underlying game too much, but Sorlag was always the worst character to fight against to the point where out of principle I refused to play as him.

  6. Pizzzahut says:

    I guess the real question is, why spend money and resources on a product that will be DOA?