Quake Champions updates with bots and detailed gibs

Quake Champions

The game has hit some bumps along the way, but arena shooter revival Quake Champions has made steady, sure steps towards its goal to revitalise the genre over the past few months. Today’s update brings the game just that little bit closer to the ideal, introducing bots for practice play (and to fill empty slots if someone bails from your team), and a gratuitously detailed gore system worthy of Doom 4. Rockets, chainsaws, machineguns and more will have visibly different effects on your now-mechanically-separated opponent’s body. Squishy.

Right now the bots are apparently in ‘Phase 1’ (with little indication of what Phase 2 will entail) , and are used in training mode, which has been bulked out somewhat in this patch. They also fill empty slots in over-long match queues, and hold spaces when a player drops out of a team match. The new gib system is entirely cosmetic, and comically over-detailed, with each character model having their own set of body part chunks that can be removed in a variety of ways once their health hits zero.

While there’s no new trailer to accompany this particular update (odd, considering how momentous it is), here’s the remarkably upbeat one that was posted back in March. Can’t say the music fits the visuals, but I can dig it. It has energy.

Beyond bots and gore, there’s the usual slew of balance tweaks – too many to list here, though you can see the full patch notes for this update here. The Tri-Bolt weapon’s behaviour has been changed so that you can detonate its shots in mid-air, the amount of time it takes to level up and earn more loot boxes has been decreased overall, and the drop rate of duplicate items has been reduced. For those who got a more limited version of the game in a key giveaway, you can now also purchase new characters using Favor, the standard in-game currency.

While there are plans for the game to be free-to-play a League of Legends-esque business model (free heroes on rotation, or buy to keep), those who want in on the early access/public beta can buy in for £20/$30 on Steam or the Bethesda store. This pack follows the Overwatch model of giving you all gameplay content present and future, while loot boxes and currency are used purely to get dress-up items for your space-gladiator of choice. Probably a better option for the arena shooter old-guard.

Apparently the servers are quite full today. I might be stopping by for a quick frag later. Come on in; the lava’s great!

9 Comments

  1. EthZee says:

    Bots and gibs are both things that need to make a comeback in a major way, so I welcome this greatly. Any game could be improved with bots and gibs, I’d wager.

  2. Hunchback says:

    This patch changed a lot more than just “gibs and bots”. To be honest the other changes are much more important – You get a “free hero rotation” now, with 1 of the heroes being free every week. The whole economy changed as well, you can actually buy heroes with ingame currency (before you could only buy then with real money or win them as a drop on a box). There’s also a tiny “tutorial” kinda thing that gives you a ton of cash + 1 free hero for spending ~3 minutes in it. This is important because to be able to play competitive you need to have 3 unlocked heroes.

    And probably most importantly – there’s a HUGE hero balancing part of the patch, removing all the big differences in hp/armour/speed between the heroes and basically splitting them in 3 groups (light, medium, heavy) with every hero having the same HP and only the starting and maximum armour being different, and move speed changing by 10 points per “class”.

    This is much less “overwatch” and much more “quake” now.

  3. Hoot says:

    I’ve personally never liked playing this type of game VS bots. Maybe because when I was a kid the original Doom was the new shit and since then I played every FPS going. Half-Life and the original CS mod were revelations and UT was good for a laugh but I always went back to Quake 3.

    Quake Champions is very good. Some rough edges right now and although I’ll never use the bot feature if it helps brand new players get used to the game without getting put off by being smashed immediately online then sure, why not have it as a feature?

    The major obstacle this type of game has in today’s market is that it is a high skill ceiling game and requires actual mechanics. It’s the FPS equivalent of Starcraft 2 in terms of mechanics. The current modern military shooter games, or these BR games are essentially mechanically skill-less, which is great for being able to pick up and play but ultimately provides a fairly shallow experience.

    • Hunchback says:

      I have to disagree on the mil sim games (not talking about CoD, more like Squad, BF in hardcore mode, Arma) – They are not mechanical-skill-less, it’s a different or sub-set of skills, mostly flick shots and accuracy. There’s no “tracking” and few prediction shots (even though Arma and Squad have huge maps where you actually have to with lead-shoot with seemingly “hitscan” weapons). Positioning is also very important, even if it’s not the crazy aerial/vertical combat of Quake/UT.

      It is true that Quake is “limitless skillcap” game, you can always get better and most people are usually better than your average player (even if that sounds stupid). Sometimes the skill difference you can get in a match is so staggering that you feel completely spawn-raped. It’s somewhat fun tho, but i can see how it can be very off-putting for newcomers. As much as i hate ranking systems, i do believe Quake will benefit of a WELL made ranking system though, allowing people to play with and against similarly skilled people. It has to be a really damn good system tho, not like that bullshit SR thing Overwatch is using.

      • Hoot says:

        Oh I was definitely referring to things like CoD / PUBG in terms of being mechanically low-skill ceiling.

        The individual things you mention though all come under the “aim” category. Twitch shots, tracking, predication and overall accuracy, but in Quake movement is as important as any of those things. If you can’t increase your speed and traverse the map efficiently, while also working around item timers, you will likely lose even if you have superior aim.

        I just wish there was a more widespread appeal for this type of game, but comparatively few people wanna get invested in a game that takes tens of hours of play to reach a “beginner” level of competitive skill, compared to the more instant gratification offered by games like CoD / Overwatch / PUBG.

        • Hunchback says:

          Yeh… in the end, games are for fun, so whatever floats each-ones respective boat i guess. I play Quake, Squad and Overwatch online, i enjoy all of them (well, except OW with which i am quite fed up tbh) quite a lot.

          Still, i find the new Quake quite populated, it’s faster to get in a game in it than it is in Overwatch, curiously enough. Maybe there IS some hope for the arena shooter of “old times”. (Man, this is scaring me, to me “arena shooters” are actually just shooters and they are not “old school”, they are from my childhood but i can’t be THAT old… right? O_o )

  4. vukos says:

    Making this yet another hero shooter forever turned me off from this game

    • Hoot says:

      If you think that’s what it is then you have either never played a Quake game before or you have and were terrible at it.

    • Hunchback says:

      The last patch vastly reduced the “another hero shooter” part of it. Yes, there’s still “abilities” and slightly different max armour levels and move speed, but it really is nothing to frown at right now.

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