The Howl #5 – Quake

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It’s time for another Howl! This time, we’ve got one of our Quake Champions players, Ola “Reknine” Magnusson, with us to talk about himself, the team but also about the state of the newest game of the legendary Quake franchise. Enjoy it!

Hello and welcome to The Howl! Would you like to introduce yourself?
Hi, my name is Ola Magnusson and I’m 34 years old. I’m living with my girlfriend and two daughters and currently playing Quake Champions for Wolves eSports.

You have played Quake for a very long time now. Tell us how it all began and why you decided to stick to the Quake franchise.
It began with QuakeWorld waaay back. It has hung with me ever since. Locally, we usually only LAN-played FPS games, some went the Counter-Strike route, others the Quake route. I guess I got hooked to the speed and movement of the game. There really were no other arena FPS at the time (still isn’t?).There also was a very strong and tight community for Quake 3 in Sweden – we arranged tons of scrims, tournaments and pickup games.

Besides of playing Quake, what else do you do in your free time?
I go to the gym 6-7 days a week. I’m having the intention to get on stage for the first time during 2019!

You and your teammate,  Mattias “Strydah” Ostrowski, know each other for a long time, too. How did you meet and when have you decided to play Quake competitively together?
I met Stry in 5th grade, I think. We have pretty much been in touch on and off since that. We played Quake 3 competitively right from the start. We had plenty of LANs together as well. Both of us are “in it to win it” most of the time. So it only came natural that we teamed up again for Quake Champions.

In August, Quake Champions became a free to play game. How did this affect the game experience? Do you think your competitors got stronger?
I haven’t thought of it that much. With a name like “Quake” attached to the product, I pretty much installed it right away. Coming in, I knew the game was going to be in early access for a pretty long time. It has been awesome to be a part of the game from the early stages. There have been a lot of errors and tweaks over the months but right now the game is in its best state yet – and it’s not finished yet! It has a lot of potential!

Sacrifice played a central role at the beginning of Quake Champions but with the rise of 2v2 and the popularity of Duel the 4v4 team mode disappeared from the spotlight. With iD Software announcing the well known mode Capture The Flag, what is your prediction on it’s popularity in the competitive scene and your personal opinion on the upcoming game mode addition?
I think CTF will be a huge magnet to draw more people into playing the game. Mainly casual players. Currently the player base is too low to estimate CTF’s success. Having 8 people on the same server, constantly, is going to be a challenge. A lot depends on how many players iD software are able to retain after the release of CTF.

The introduction of different champions with different hitbox models, movement and – especially – different special abilities make team modes a lot more interesting but at the same time duel players feel powerless when being overrun by DPS champions like B.J. or Death Knight. Do you consider the addition of different champions more as a blessing or a curse?
I consider the passive abilities to enhance the game A LOT! Though, most of the active abilities that do damage ruin the experience. There is light at the end of the tunnel though. During one of the latest Quake community streams, the developers announced that they are going to revamp/rebalance every ability. They now realize that it shouldn’t be a simple “win button” without thought.

Talking about champions: Who’s your favourite one and why? If you could ban one champion, who would it be?
Currently, I have no clear favourite. I’d love to play Slash more due to her speed and mobility – but the light champions are simply too risky to play currently. Death Knight, Ranger or B.J. are currently my bans most of the time. It kind of depends on the player and the mode as well.

Same question but this time for maps! Which is your favourite and which is your most disliked map?
My favourite map is Blood Covenant. Probably because it’s a remake of the old q3-DM6 map from Quake 3. It’s still so good and balanced. The worst map has to be Vale of Pnath. The layout is terrible for all modes. If you control the upper area, there isn’t much your opponent can do, unless they pull off a miracle.

If you could take one thing of the old Quake games to Quake Champions, what would it be? Maybe a certain map or even the grenade launcher? What is your biggest wish for the future of Quake Champions?
The old Duel format! Make it a time limit again! I’d also like to see them scrap the tribolt and introduce the grenade launcher again.. but that won’t happen. 🙂

Thank you very much for answering all the questions and taking part at this edition of The Howl! It’s your turn to say whatever you want to!
Thanks for the interview! I just hope that the developers manage to attract more players to play this game! They got something awesome to build on here. I’d just hate to see this as a missed opportunity! There really isn’t any other FPS like Quake at the moment. And, wish me luck in the Duel Tournament coming up – Dreamhack Winter 2018!