CHOOSING THE CLASS
Let's assume that you are playing GG2 in hopes of winning a match. The very first question you should be asking yourself is whether or not it's a good idea to play Q/C.When should I play Q/C?
The best times to switch into Q/C are when you have good teammates to work with, an enemy overweight or runner that should have their bullet spam blocked, an enemy healer that your team will want to be assassinated, terrain that is ideal for you to take advantage of with your knock back, and when you will be able to get near an objective that can be captured or defended (which should be most of the time).When should I NOT play Q/C?
Q/C does not function well as an independent class; he is easily countered and his bubblerís usefulness is not at its full potential if Q/C isnít guarding teammates with it. As such, you should not play Q/C if you do not have reliable teammates or are not going to be anywhere near them, and you ESPECIALLY should not be Q/C if the enemy team consists of multiple firebugs, constructors, rocketmen, and/or riflemen without teammates to help protect you against these weaknesses.
One thing Iíve also noticed is that Q/C is one of the most difficult classes to play if you have a latency > 100 ping. If you are finding it difficult to track with the blade under severe latency, try a closer server or a different class.
Firebug is the closest alternative to playing Q/C in terms of general playstyle; while you lose most of the powerful shielding and pushback abilities of Q/Cís weaponry, firebugís long range and indirect damage/utility makes him a more independent class and less easily countered than his close quarters counterpart. Firebug is also easier to play under high latency, although reflects will be harder to accomplish.Team Composition
There are only two true requirements a successful Q/C has as far as partner classes go: the team must have lots of class variation, and the team must have a healer. The less class stacking your team has, the less likely a certain weakness will be exploited.
The following teammates are recommended to compliment Q/C and maximize his effectiveness, in order from most important to least important:
Healer actually reduces the effectiveness of Q/Cís counter classes more than one would think, as most of Q/Cís problems come from classes such as rifleman and firebug doing long term damage in spite of Q/Cís bubble shield in place. Since the medigun provides a long-term HP regeneration which negates this problem, healer is a must-have to any Q/C player who plans on participating in the battlefield. Potentially, it is powerful enough to even out a conflict against an enemy
Firebug and Q/C naturally compliment each other as CQC classes and defensive utilities. Since your primary fear as Q/C is the rocketman, a competent firebug to reflect rockets at your side will help to make for a powerful barrier for the entire team. The bubbler shield will aid the firebug as well, since it will allow him to roam open environments without taking severe damage.
Although the deto is known to have problems in lots of rather typical situations, Q/Cís knock back can help to immobilize or push foes to help deto achieve maximum effectiveness, and Q/C can help keep enemies away from the detonator. Overall, deto benefits largely between this relationship.
Similarly, Q/Cís stalling and knock back ability makes it very easy for infiltrator to get reliable stabs in on key targets. Infiltrator can also dispose of an autogun, one of Q/Cís most notable weaknesses. However, infiltrator is a risky investment for a class slot, which puts him at a lower priority.
Before we get into the advanced and situational stuff, you'll need to understand how to use your weapon and stats for general combat situations. This sections will mostly cover blade usage and survivability.Blade Direction
Itís all about the push. Learn to work with your bladeís knock back if you want to do well with Q/C in combat; understand when knockback is a friend, and when it is an enemy. Rushing offensively while aiming straight ahead of you, even though it will give you maximum horizontal reach, wonít likely kill your opponent as much as it will push him out. Tilting up or downwards will usually lessen the knockback, allowing you to get more damage in on your foe; tilting downwards may come naturally as it encourages jumping and wonít involve as much forward push, and tilting up can lift an opponent off the ground slightly and prevent him from jumping. If youíre directly above or below your enemy, you can also hit them upward to lift and disorient them, or you can hit them downward to suppress them and hinder their jumps. Straight vertical is usually your safest option if you have it, both because players are not used to or expecting to have to aim in those directions, and because you can almost guarantee that they will stay within your range while you're attacking them.
Try not to just aim and shoot at what you want to kill; find out how you want to knock them around and get into the position to do so.
If your goal is to kill, itís a good idea to look at your terrain and try to pin your opponent to it so that he canít escape and the pushback keeps him in place. Sometimes I will refrain from attacking someone even when Iím in range, just so I can get on the other side of him and push him into a place that he doesnít want to be. This can be a good tactic for heavy classes and will usually catch them by surprise.Ammo Conservation
One of the unique aspects of Q/C's gameplay is his unorthodox ammo overheat, which, instead of disallowing firing when low, simply causes the blades to do severely reduced damage. This gives the player a little flexibility in how to handle low-ammo situations; if he still wants to stay in the fight, he can fight in spite of his low damage and push people around all the same... or he can choose to fall back on his bubbler to let the blade recharge.
How to handle overheat in a combat situation depends on your opponent's condition as well as your own intuition. If you feel your opponent is low on ammo or health, or is sure to be killed by a teammate if you simply lock the person into place, you will probably want to keep your blade out and finish the job. On the other hand, if you think your opponent still has high health or high ammo, you may want to retreat and start pulling up a shield while your blade recovers.Any time you are not firing your blade, you should be firing your bubbler.
Your bubbler is free and has absolutely no consequences to its usage, so spam it to your heart's consent whenever you are not using your blade. Who knows; the miniscule damage it does might just kill something!Area Denial
For your teamís sake, you should be looking to keep your enemy out of places where he doesnít belong.
Good places to deny area from runners and infiltrators are usually chokes and small corridors where they canít avoid running through without confrontation.
Good places to deny territory from everybody else are over crates or right next to a pit. For the former, you can stall them as they are trying to jump over the crate, and for the latter, pushing them into a pit can either kill them or force them to waste time climbing back up, putting pressure off of your team. Heavier classes usually have to make up for lost ground more slowly, which makes this method pretty effective and reliable.Dodging/Dancing/Mindgames
Dancing, dodging, and trickery will ultimately keep Q/C alive in and out of a firefight in 1v1s, even with his high HP and bubble shield in mind. Q/C has a small hitbox, which means that he can dodge single-projectile weapons such as the rocket launcher and revolver better than most other classes. This will be a major requirement against rockets, which go through your bubbles; but it will also be useful in close range conflicts, where you are no longer protected by your bubble shield. Jump only when you need to jump.
Read your opponents or watch the projectile so that you donít accidentally jump into a mis-aimed rocket. Moving left or right as necessary can also help you position yourself to where you will be able to avoid heavy damage from an oncoming shot.
Q/C ďdancesĒ sort of backwards compared to the runner. Moving all around the opponent is certainly involved, but Q/C is also responsible for moving the target itself around, which can be even more disorienting. Making use of upward, downward, and sideways knock back will help you be as unpredictable as possible while slaughtering your opponent.
As far as mind games go, you essentially want to avoid damage by tricking your enemy into thinking youíre going to do something that you actually arenít going to do. This applies against most classes, but is most crucial against the rocketman and rifleman, who hit hard and pierce bubbles, yet have heavy reloading requirements (and hence have more easily exploitable downtime).
So, we've been over the idea that Q/C is a team oriented class. What will most of his team roles consist of?Damage Sponging
The most common and the easiest application for a Q/C is to block damage for his team using the bubbler as a shield. This is most useful when the enemy team has lots of overweights, runners, constructors, or infiltrators gunning at your team. It's good to think of this as kind of like armor or a situational overheal -- although you can't heal wounds like the medic, you can help relieve pressure from your team, which may allow them to outlast the enemy team and push forward.Area Denial
The blade is most known for its constant stream of knockback, and this can be used to force an enemy into a bad position or away from a point of interest. The best example of this is koth_corinth, where the control point sits on a hanging platform and people can easily fall down to lower ground if pushed off. Using the blade for its pushback here won't likely kill a foe, but if they fall down the platform it will be a long climb back up, which can buy time for your team to capture the point or recover from an attack. CTF is another good example, where Q/C can prevent runners and infiltrators from touching the intelligence with his blade's knockback, or suppress a flagrunner from reaching their destination.Flanking
Q/C is a good flanking class due to his high speed, good protection against bullet damage, and potentially high reward for surrounding an enemy. Ambushing an enemy from behind can divert the enemy's attention or force them to be pushed into the enemy team due to your blade's movement controlling ability.Enemy Healer Pressuring
Q/C can use his blade to put pressure on an enemy medic. One good way of doing so is by getting inside the gap between an enemy healer and his buddy, in which you can use the blade to try to split them apart. This puts them in a very bad position for your team; if you successfully separate them, it leaves your opponents more vulnerable, but if they resist, they will effectively be trapped in place and forced to take constant damage from you.