Chances are if you play twitchy arena FPS Quake Champions, you take your shooters a little more seriously than most. It's an uncompromising game where knowing the ins and outs of every map is nigh essential. Enter the heatmaps section, added today to the Quake Champions site. Not only is it neat to poke around the living history of each map, seeing where players lived and died, but it's genuinely informative, especially as you can filter by both kills and deaths to a specific weapon.
Update: While we were busy monkeying around with heatmaps, Id announced a bundle of new features and modes in this developer stream recap. We take a peek at some of that below.
The value of the heatmaps is immediately revealed when you filter by railgun deaths. Particularly dangerous hallways and vantage points where players get sniped suddenly light up. Invert the view to show railgun kills, and it'll show you the mathematically proven best spots to snipe people's faces off. Now you've got your tactics worked out, all you need to do is get there and keep a steady aim. Plus, it's nice to see where the most players just fell into pits and died.
— Quake Champions (@Quake) July 20, 2018
Accompanying a skill rating reset yesterday (probably for the best after so many rebalances), AI bots have been axed from quickplay matchmaking. Deathmatch, Instagib and Team Deathmatch are now humans-only playgrounds. Thankfully, this is just a brief pause before the real rise of the robots. Id will be rolling out "Phase 2" of their AI arena-fighters program next month, including smarter bots, custom Vs AI matches, and a 4v4 'comp-stomp' mode for training.
As mentioned, Id dropped a surprise development recap just as I was writing this. Among the new stuff coming is several new playmodes. Fan-favourite Capture The Flag is returning, but the new Slipgate mode sounds most interesting - a 4v4 game of attack and defence with no respawns. It's like Counter-Strike, but much, much twitchier. Arcade Mode promises somewhat more anarchic fun - a playlist of mixed, more playful game-types, cycling from round to round.
Quake Champions will eventually become free to play, but it's £20/30/$30 on Steam or Bethesda's own store to buy in and unlock all characters present and future, or £4/5/$5 for a starter pack to just get you into the action. According to our man Rich, it's well worth a try, especially after its many updates since launch.