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.