This is going to be Smango’s final thoughts and Quake Champions Review. Smango has been playing Quake Champions for a LONG time now it seems. Seeing as it’s 2022 and the game was announced in 2016. It is one of the main reasons Quakefans.net even existed and I started making websites.
But, we will get into all of that this is going to be a long post and a nice video to go alongside it to summarize Quake Champions as a whole.
Quake Champions Closed Beta
Quake Champions Closed Beta was announced and I had just gotten an invite around April 27th, 2017. For some reason in my head. I thought I had played the game in 2016, but I can’t find any pictures that proven that.
So here we are. The closed beta, was the thing that started my addiction back to Quake. It had been so long since I played Quake. I remember playing Quake Live whenever it was in a browser but I thought to myself it was just Quake 3 updated a bit so I never stuck with it. I did get a sub at one point in time because I got Quake Live free on steam for doing so whenever it merged. Anyways, Quake Live ended in 2013, or at least around that time. All I’m saying is I’ve played Quake Live more since support ended than I did when it was fully active.
Quake Live just didn’t have a fresh coat of new on it, it really was just Quake 3 but with all the addons, updated slightly and modified engine. It was good and probably the best way to play Quake 3/Live is to just play Quake Live these days.
It just wasn’t enough to get me hooked again.
Then came along this little video.
Holy crap, it still gives me chills to this day. Quake is Back. This is what we’ve all been waiting for right!?
At least that is what I was thinking, this is going to be the biggest game in the franchise. This is going to put Quake back on top, this was it. For a brief moment in the internet realm, people who had played Quake before. Thought so as well.
Playing Testing the Beta
Right off the bat, I noticed that all the models (champions now) had special abilities and movement. This was brand new to me, at least until I started covering Quake even more and learned the PS2 Version of Quake 3 had different healths and armors.
It also became quite apparent to me that in my mind I thought I was good at Quake. From playing Quake III Arena many, many nights as a kid with Dial-up and then DSL. I remember playing nonstop and thinking I was good. That wasn’t the case at all. I forgot how to strafe jump, I had no idea what in the world armor and health timings were. I became self-aware that I wasn’t good at Quake at all and had to relearn everything.
Finally, after some minor training, being able to carry a little bit in a TDM. I was addicted to quake once again and I wanted more…
The Closed Beta sometimes would last only for a weekend, they would make all kinds of changes and release it out once again. Till they finally released it to the public and then offered it on steam.
Being extremely excited about the release of Quake Champions and my first article to remotely hit #1 on google. The Best Champion in Quake Champions over on my original website Kentuckynerd.com. I thought it would be a good idea to Niche down and focus on Quake, I wanted to be the ultimate Quake Champions Fan, and provide people with information, training, and everything. This was a NEW QUAKE game what is there to lose? I wanted to start a podcast, I had everything written out. I said this is the game to focus on for sure!
Good thing I decided on the name Quakefans.net instead of QuakeChampionsFans.com or something. Too much to remember and really it’s a mouth full. If you want to know why I chose Quakefans.net and not Quakefans.com because at the time the Domain was for a Soccer team. Now the domain is open but every domain provider wants a stupid amount of money. So I finally decided on Quakefans.net, which is now this website fulltechpodcast.com for various reasons.
At first I solo wanted to focus on Quake Champions and no other Quakes or FPS of the same feel. Quake Champions was going to dominate when it hit big. Quake Champions will be Big and Quakefans.net will be huge because of it.
Boy was I wrong.
Quake Champions started off strong…
Quake Champions started off strong, like most games with big names. Whether you agree or not, Quake has been important to the First-Person scene at least in the Computer Gaming world for as long as I can remember. You bought video cards, sound cards, etc… To play Quake. If you didn’t know Quake invented Deathmatch!
Now I get Quake hasn’t been in the spotlight of popularity since the end of the 90s with games like Halo, Half-life, Call of Duty, etc.
But, Quake Champions was going to put Quake back on the map. I was ready, everyone was ready.
All the big-time streamers on Twitch.tv were playing Quake Champions.
There was only one problem though.
They weren’t good at the game.
Not a single “BIG” streamer was good at Arena First Person Shooters.
Known for their First Person skills people like Shroud, Dr. Disrespect, and probably the best of them all Summit1g could not compete in duels. Summit even said in a stream he didn’t want to put forth the effort to learn the game, learn to duel, timing, maps, etc.
The Streamers Influence
If you can imagine for a brief moment, in our day and age. The big-time streamers want to showcase a game and they aren’t good at it therefore it doesn’t make them want to play. This is exactly what happened at first. The big named streamers tried QC at the peak and then never touched the game again.
Now, I’m not saying that’s automatically going to make a game fail. But, we’ve seen what Among Us a game that was not even thought of in anyone’s head revived and made popular on YouTube and Twitch.
Quake Champions had a strong start and buzz about the game at launch.
The Last Champion – Eisen
The Quake Champions Patch of November 2018 introduced what appears to be the last Champion to be introduced into QC.
Athena and Eisen always felt kind of off to me. They got terrible Champion Trailers, and for whatever reason, they look blander than you know the other psychopaths that are in the arena. Maybe it’s their “normal-ish” look that throws me off.
Every Champions Patch for QC usually brought back a ton of player base for at least a month or so until everyone got tired of it and waited for something fresh. The sad thing after this patch is there never was another Champion added.
No Quake Pro League Team Modes
I believe without the Quake Pro League, Quake Champions would’ve 100% been shut off easily by now. It is single handily keeping the game on life support. Some of the pros are just amazing at Quake. It is a true spectacle to watch them play and listen to some of the great announcers that love Quake as much as we all do.
Unfortunately, the most popular games on the planet are usually team-based. I mean that’s why they focused on adding “abilities” in the first place right? To be more like Overwatch?
Anyways, the QPL decided they weren’t supporting 2 vs. 2 anymore and Sacrifice.
I still cannot for the life of me figure out why they would do such a thing. Imagine a Team Myztro Vs Team Liquid matchup in 2021! It would be nuts to watch them play for some money!
Sacrifice easily showcases the good portions of Quake Champions. Champion abilities and different movement styles really shine in that mode. Different armor stacks and health works great in that mode.
Sacrifice was rotated out of the normal matchmaking, and QPL went directly to Dueling.
3 Round Duel vs Time Limit Dueling
uake Champions changed even more getting rid of the 3 round duel. 3 Round Duel wasn’t perfect but for a game like Quake Champions, a game with different characters that do different abilities and movements. I think it fits better with the game.
I know a lot of hardcore Quake/ArenaFPS duelers are probably not going to agree with me here. 3 Round Duel was way more popular than Time Limit. Again, 3 Round Duel Showcased the good parts about Quake Champions. It really shined that you had to be good with at least 3 different champions and if your best one died, you were forced to focus on the other 2.
Now don’t get me wrong 3 Round Duel had problems. It wasn’t as easy to get back into control.
But, again a game like QUAKE CHAMPIONS with different champions, with different movements, abilities, armor, hp, etc. It just worked better. It was easier to cast for, it made every single moment of Quake Champions exciting to watch.
Time Limit Dueling Continued…
I don’t have a problem with Time Limit Dueling. It makes more sense whenever everything is on an equal playing field. QC isn’t Quake Live, Quake III, or even the original. Quake Champions is different, no one starts off equally as in the QPL you couldn’t choose the same champion, and there were bans.
No mirror matches, now if QPL was forced to play all Ranger to do their duels Time Limit Duels would work better. With that being said the game has changed SO much since 3 Round Duel was dropped that everyone does have a better balance to it.
That simply wasn’t the case at first. It was a mess and it changed the Ranked mode completely. A duel was no longer Casual Friendly anymore with the changes. With a lot of the pros wanting to return to 10 Minute long duels and much of the Quake veteran community wanting the same. Time Limit Duel eventually took over.
QC was still fun to play Ranked duels. But, with that said I think it was still missing something.
State of Quake and In The Keep
Eventually, some jerks named Unkind and Slip started their State of Quake Podcast (I’m just kidding I love these guys). With me still figuring out finances and someone to even do a Podcast With they had beat me to the punch with a great Quake Champions-orientated Podcast.
I was still figuring out even how to host my own web server even so I could have multiple domains etc. Little did I know I could’ve just used my KN website and pushed out a Quake Podcast with Simply Podcast but it is what it is. They had done a great job staying up to do and running a podcast.
Eventually, I met up with a Young man many know as TheMotherLoad. TML messaged me on Discord one day interested in everything I was trying to do and eventually, a friendship sparked up from that. The Motherload started his podcast series on the State of Quake as they had almost stopped podcasting altogether and eventually started hosting small community-driven tournaments.
In The Keep Podcast
With that, all being said TML decided to start up his own Podcast as we widdled down the name to In The Keep from Cthala’s Keep cause dummies like me can’t spell and it was just easier. This spawned many nights of Quake, us growing the Discord and even abandoning the small one I had made just for Quake Champions.
This was great cause I was making connections, and I didn’t have to run a discord by myself anymore which I actually hate doing.
Since this time State of Quake got screwed by Diabotical and Quake Champions by not becoming the official streaming channels for either one. In The Keep has grown and kind of does its own thing now with a killer podcast interviewing Indie Developers.
State of Quake hasn’t seen a podcast in years and the lack of community-driven tournaments now is little to none.
The Mother Load saw the writing on the walls way before I ever would admit it, alas I still had my carriage hooked to the Quake Champions horse.
Capture the Flag
Quake Champions was released without many considered a staple of any Quake game. #1 is Capture the Flag.
CTF and Quake go together like bread and peanut butter if you ask me.
However, QC released CTF in basically an unplayable state. With CPMA players literally just dominating capturing the flags almost instantly and literally no way to defend it. You would think a game with Abilities that it would be easy to counter a bunny hopping Lizard going the speed of light. That wasn’t the case at all.
If you attack a CPMA champion while they are moving… they got even faster. So a 4 stack of Sorlags in matchmaking was a thing constantly… because why not. If you want to win… that’s going to be your best bet.
The CTF mode died just as fast as it came out. It was all excitement and then nothing.
Currently, the game mode is in a better state, but it’s too little too late. The Flag drag does make a great difference, everyone has moved on since though.
Twitch Integration Removed
Quake Champions at first at least gave some incentive to stream the game, even if you were a small streamer like myself.
While waiting in Queue for your next match you would pop over and watch some other people streaming live. This was awesome, this also was great for streamers and growth as you could in-game rewards (don’t worry we will get to that in a second.)
I’m still baffled today on why this was removed it was great and one of the many things QC has done right in the modern era. Now it is just a husk of its former self only allowing the official Quake channel on the page. No more extra views or anything related to twitch at all anymore.
This forced a lot of the small twitch streamers to stop streaming Quake Champions and streaming altogether. They had lost tons of viewers from this small change.
Loot Boxes, Battle Passes, and In-Game Rewards… Oh My!
If done correctly Loot boxes scratch the itch of the smallest gambling addiction you have. The problem with Quake Champions is there are no more rewards to be had in the loot boxes! Nothing new has ever been added for as long as I can remember now. It’s been years since I got anything else but a SHARD.
I’m not sure why that is, there have been new skins, new weapon skins yet I still only get shards. The loot tables have never been fixed with the latest stuff.
This hurts the game, and I just let my loot boxes rot away now. I don’t have an incentive to buy more or earn more anything. they are just there cause they have to be now I guess I’m not sure what the reason is.
QC Battle Passes
The Battle Passes have always featured 1 or 2 skins that someone might want. The rest is regurgitated avatars or old skins from when the game was first released to the public. It’s really sad.
You also use to be able to earn the battle pass simply by playing a lot. At one point in time, you could’ve bought the battle pass and earned enough coins to keep around to buy the next one by just playing. Good idea! This happens in all the more popular Battle Pass-type games like Fortnite. That’s because Fortnite does something extremely well. That is they just want people playing! They make it as easy as possible for anyone to pick up and play!
I’d argue that a battle pass is almost useless in a game like QC. I’ve seen battle passes done pretty well on Call of Duty and Paladins. I’m not sure any thought is put into the battle passes anymore on Quake Champions other than to show off the new 2 weapon skins.
QC is not on a Quake Engine
This one has always bugged me probably the most. Quake has always made a great FPS engine. Since you know… The original.
For whatever reason Quake Champions is run on the Saber Interactive Engine. Also, I want to note that Tim Willits left id software. Someone that has been designing maps for the Original Quake to go work with Saber in 2019, I also found this weird. I’m not saying this is what happened but the rumor is that Tim worked with Saber and used Quake Champions to leverage his way to his new position at Saber.
The Saber Engine is beautiful. Some of the games that this engine has produced have been graphical-wise amazing. To be fair Quake always pushed hardware even in the golden age. Being the first 3D rendered FPS was no small feat.
However, Quake has always been moddable, or something left up to the community at least somewhat. To produce maps, changes to the gameplay, and more.
The Saber Tech engine doesn’t allow users to host their own servers, there is no server browser just match-making. You can have private matches but there is simply no browser which makes no sense.
That’s not all the engine is missing
I hate to keep sounding negative about QC. But, whenever you have so many things to pull from previous titles and it’s literally missing all of them. It’s hard not to be a little negative.
No Server Browser, No Continuous matches (although they did try, for some reason, we didn’t have the technology), No Mods, No custom maps, 3rd Person only Clan Arena perspective.
For an Engine that was supposed to be modern, it sure felt like it was lacking quite a bit of the essential for a Quake title.
The Quake Pro League
When it comes to QC the highlight of the whole game to me is simply the Quake Pro League. I’ve said previously that it has single handily kept the game afloat.
I want to really focus on that point now. It’s awesome.
The production quality is great, there are great casters, and there are tremendous players. Overall it is a great experience.
That was until Covid hit in 2020. Since Covid ruined LAN tournaments all of the games have been played over the internet for over a year now.
This has sent the quality down, but the crew has done the best could do with what they have. I also believe this is why they have prolonged the QPL into 2022 and didn’t renew it straight away. Maybe it will give the world a chance to catch up and we can get back to in-person LANs.
We may never know the true results of the 2020/21 Quake Con Champion results cause someone was always playing with a ping advantage. I think going onto the next QPL season will settle all the scores and see who really is the best at the game. So we at least have that to look forward to.
Quake Champions Review: Conclusion
I want to make a note. That I really do think Quake Champions at points in time was a good game.
However, I can’t be honest with myself and everyone else that it just completely felt mishandled along the way. Syncerror does the best he can with what budget he has and the skeleton crew that we are aware of.
Quake Champions did one great thing, and that got me back in love with Quake. If anything at all I owe it that much gratitude as I’ve met some really cool people since starting this whole site.
Will QC ever get out of “Early Access” I cannot tell you but it doesn’t look like it will anytime soon?
Overall Score | C-
I don’t really like giving games a score but I’ll do my best here. Really I feel like the game is mediocre overall.
- Graphics – 10/10 – the graphics are easily one of the great things about the game.
- Sound – 7/10 – Weapon Sounds, Music all of that is great. Maybe it’s the design of the engine that gets the most complaints. (EX. Not hearing footsteps.)
- Gameplay – 6/10 – The core of this game is solid Quake. However, the game drops the ball everywhere else. If you are expecting to pick the game up out of the box and go online and win as you do on Call of Duty, think again.
- Marketing – 1/10 – Quake Champions gets little to 0 marketing. For a game that is supposed to be a Game as a Service no one even knows it exists. Sure the core Quake crowd already knows it’s around. Upcoming gamers don’t have a clue what Quake is and don’t care.
I expect QC’s servers to be shut off within another year or so. With no community servers to keep the game up and active like many of the other titles. QC will be a forgotten mess of a game that had potential but never delivered.
5 Simple Suggestions for QC
These are my 5 suggestions for Quake Champions, to bring people back and to fix the game.
- Server Browser – It’s really embarrassing to me that there is no server browser for a Quake title. This seems obvious but, games like Diabotical & Overwatch, for example, don’t have Server binaries but they allow you to host games.
- Marketing – I’m not sure how you expect anyone new to figure out this game exists. Doom Eternal never once mentions that this game is available and has a fun multiplayer experience completely for FREE. QC has mentioned Doom Eternal on launch for example. Why is this no lover back?
- Continuous Matches – Ever played COD or any other Modern Game? Ever notice that the group stays together for it to spin up the next match? You don’t actually leave that group of people unless you hit something else to go back. QC did try to do continuous matches but it was an absolute mess.
- Mods – No mods, no workshop items, no custom maps. Sound like any Quake you’ve ever played in the past? No. I get having it somewhat closed off because its a GaaS but if you are going to do that you really need to release content weekly. QC does not get weekly updates of new skins etc. Updates are few and far between. Allowing Mods and custom content would fix tons of problems. They need to take a page out of Team Fortress 2’s playbook.
- Team Modes – Duels are great, but you must leave that focus to the Pros and the highly skilled players. Gameplay and fun should always be the main focus of any game. A Pro Player is going to figure out how to be good at the game regardless of what changes you make. Not everyone wants to play Ranked to get the most out of the game at least the casual players.
These would fix a lot of the issues plaguing QC. At this point though it’s probably not even worth implementing. Join Discord and let me know what you thought of this Quake Champions Review and if you would like to see more.