Everyone seems to be obsessed with the LG dmg change , I don't mind the LG nerf, it's still a powerful weapon. I wanted to share some thoughts on the other changes.

Except in duel, this doesn't affect gameplay, most players already know how much damage weapons do. If anything, it's a positive change, new players won't have to look at a guide to learn how much damage each weapon does. It's also possible to disable this, which really should be forced (at least as a server option) in duels.

Item timers
This is actually a nice change. Initially my thoughts on this were, they're just dumbing this down...
However, the timers are vague enough that it still requires a bit of map awareness to show up on time, while at the same time making it less likely for one player to hog items. This is a nice balance.

Heavy Machine Gun
I get why this was created, I get why they didn't just alter mg dmg. But this gun is completely overpowered. I know, I know, it does less dps than lg. But lg has a falloff range, hmg is like a slightly less powerful lg that hits across a large map, use this weapon on an open map like hells gate and then try and tell me it isn't overpowered.

I'm not familiar enough with other game modes affected by this, so I'll discuss FFA. It's never before been possible to start a quake match with an advantage over other players. You all get random spawns, the same weapons etc. Now, selecting a different load out, far from levelling the playing field, is creating a huge imbalance in gameplay. With everyone spawning with powerful weapons, you're going to get fragged more often, giving you less of a chance to get more ammo or a decent weapon. But more importantly, depending on the map, one loadout might be more effective than another loadout, so there's an inherent imbalance before the game even starts. You might argue this is a new skill people should learn, which loadout to select based on the map, but then you're just making this more difficult for new players, not easier.

Both the ammo respawn time (10 seconds across all types) and universal ammo are poor design decisions.
This may not seem like such a bad idea, but it removes yet another skill from the quake players reportoire. You can no longer deny an ammo crate, or trap players going for ammo for specific weapons.

I'm surprised they didn't do away with health bubbles and switch to regenerative health. Keeping track of where hp is on the map, too difficult for new players. Of course, health bubbles can be used as a trap, if someone is low you might predict they'll make their way to a bubble, fire a rocket etc. Maybe this feature is next.

The classic rule set physics has been altered, it feels like pql lite. Movement is faster, there's stair jumping or whatever it's called. You can jump on top of another player when standing right next to them without any height advantage. I'm running around maps bumping into walls because the movement feels so different. Why wasn't this change mentioned anywhere? Is it a bug, is it intentional?

There also seem to be a few bugs in duel classic. Hells gate and asylum aren't regular duel maps, but there's no reason why these should be spawning the HMG in classic mode. You can disable hmg spawning, but then you're left with an empty spawn for RL (on asylum) and they've moved the SG on hells gate, which is in a less exposed position now.

If you want new players to stick with the game, let them learn it like everyone else did. With a decent single player progression with options for different difficulties. Surely this can't be hard to implement, and it would let you keep the game as is, without messing with a formula that's proven successful over 14 years.