All The Guns: Tribes’ Game Of The Year Update

By Nathan Grayson on February 16th, 2013 at 12:00 pm.

Huh. Wow. I’ll be honest: I’m a bit surprised. Hi-Rez has tied information about Tribes Ascend‘s single-purchase option to a searing ball of plasma and hurled it through our window, and it comes out to a measly $29.99/£20.99. For everything. VIPs, meanwhile, can instantly unlock all weapons, perks, and classes for $19.99/£13.99. That’s… um. I mean, I still had a wonderful time for roughly the same amount Back In The Day, but I certainly wouldn’t have minded an arsenal large enough to blot out the sun for the same price. Hm. Well, I suppose there’s no better time than the present. But, believe it or not, that’s far from all there is to this update. After a fairly worrisome dormant period, Tribes appears to be back with a vengeance. But not, er, Tribes Vengeance, because that wouldn’t be very good news.

Game of the Year! That’s a weird thing to call the distinct honor of being a twinkling star next to a celestial embodiment of Horace’s face, but oh well. It’s the incredibly specific thought that counts.

Anyway, the GOTY update’s nothing particularly groundbreaking, but there is quite a lot of it. A total of six new maps lead the charge, including a revamped Bella Omega (it was briefly removed due to balance issues) and an Ascendified version of the classic Canyon Crusade.

Weapon-wise, the Shocklance is the star of this one, boasting ridiculous close-range damage, especially when grilling up supple, succulent backflesh. Turrets, however, have also gotten some attention with the addition of regenerating shields that make them a slightly taller order to take down.

The update’s available now. It will probably continue to be available for the rest of time, but why wait? In this life, we must cease opportunities as they arise, lest they strap on jetpacks and flutter just out of reach.

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61 Comments »

  1. Dariush says:

    I jet can’t wait to get pack to the game.

  2. UsF says:

    I already spent more than that and was not happy after I did, so I will not be pumping any more money into this game. I really like the skiing though, wish there was a gamemode around that mechanic, without combat necessarily.

    • rb2610 says:

      Playing Pathfinder on CTF is essentially ‘go fast and don’t worry too much about shooting’

    • ThTa says:

      Rabbit mode is essentially about skiing around as fast as you can to chase someone or flee from said chasers. Combat is fairly minimal. (As soon as someone picks up the flag, they become the rabbit and are able to kill people, this gives you points, but it’s better to just hold on to the flag as best as you can by fleeing, since that earns you points over time. The rest of the players are then only able to kill the Rabbit and must improvise some shaky teamwork to catch it.)

  3. Exuro says:

    “we must cease opportunities as they arise” Pretty sure you meant seize.

    I’m so sorry.

  4. Klarden says:

    Tribes Vengeance had a pretty good story in singleplayer. I mean, Irrational Games do know something about stories. Shame it never got re-released

    • Ringwraith says:

      This is all I bought it for, not having the internet at the time, and enjoyed it massively. Managed to make a coherent timeline- & perspective-jumping story work.
      They also got the feedback on weapons just right, with the spinfusor having a satisfying reload sound and such.

  5. ThTa says:

    “a revamped Bella Omega (it was briefly removed due to balance issues)”

    No, it was removed nearly a year ago because a vocal minority couldn’t stop whining about it in beta, prompting Hi-Rez’ map department to revamp it some ten million times and somehow actually making things worse every iteration, eventually resulting in it emptying servers every time it appeared in rotation. As a result, they finally removed it entirely before the game’s release, citing a lack of constructive criticism. (A lot of its assets were reused in Sunstar)

    Anyway, I’m kind of annoyed that I can’t use my remaining gold to purchase this GotY thing.

    • Colonel J says:

      “Anyway, I’m kind of annoyed that I can’t use my remaining gold to purchase this GotY thing”.

      That is annoying. I’d consider doing that too if I could, I’ve probably got about half the gold cost saved up so it would only need a small top-up. I assume the GOTY includes all the skins and voices too, which would be nice to have.

      • ThTa says:

        Nope, it doesn’t contain any cosmetics, it doesn’t open up the additional loadout slots, either.

        • jayP says:

          I purchased the GOTY edition and it does open up all the loadout slots

          • ThTa says:

            As in the loadout slots within the classes? Because one of the devs on the forum said it wouldn’t.

        • Smarag says:

          It is confirmed that it does open up all loadouts slots on all classes.

    • Ringwraith says:

      Well, it was removed at least once due to terrible exploits on it like being able to put forcefields directly on top of the flag.
      It’s never been in a good place really, there was always something wrong with it (like back when people parked tanks in the flag room, back when it was a room).

      • mutopia says:

        You could place forcefields practically anywhere in the original Tribes games, and consequently they were used far more frequently to actually defend the base instead of just the flag (there the interior of bases were far more elaborate and beautifully designed mazes of functionality, I hope to see one of those in a new Tribes map someday)

        I do like the new maps, but I can help but feel this is the game they should’ve launched instead of what we got almost a year ago (which was not even half a game).

      • El_Emmental says:

        Forcefields directly on top of the flag wasn’t the reason they removed it: you could glitch the forcefield on almost all maps before they added a “no-forcefields” area near the flag.

        The biggest problem with Bella Omega is how it worked “okay” (the height of the flagstand was too strong and newbies couldn’t get up there without using the vertical tunnel) with beginners/”casual” (= once or twice a week) players like me (and probably, “you”)…

        … but in the hands of a proper team (= always a HoF, decent Sentinel and a Technician using his turrets -and- SMG) it was nearly impossible to get anywhere close to the flagstand in one piece.

        One reason: a giant structure above it, preventing any long range mortar shelling/any AoE weapon spam/any airstrike support.

        Then you might say “oh, let’s disable the forcefields/sentries/turrets by taking out the generator”. Too bad, it’s so much below and in a small corridor, that defending it is extremely easy (I know that for being able to very easily defend it alone against 3 enemies countless times).

        Still managed to take it down ? Flag defenders could then spam down (and use AoE on jetpacking-up enemies) the only generator-to-flagstand access that the vertical tunnel was, while the other “access”, outside, consumed all your jetpack energy and gave plenty of time for the enemy to score an easy direct-hit (or SMG spam on you). Disrupting the flagstand after taking out the genny wasn’t possible.

        Also, having the flagstand on a higher small plate was a terrible idea when combined with the “roof” structure above and the very large platform around: pathfinder had very little choice of approaches.
        -> no “stay low, jetpack just right up for the flag” move using a nearby hill
        -> no “hide in the sun, touch down and grab the flag” from high altitude
        -> no very hi-speed slow natural descent (barely reaching the flag hitbox) using a far away hill (the nearby hills in Bella Omega were too near and too high to allow that)

        By having 3-4 players on the flagstand, you could completely lock the game:

        - 1 Sentinel taking out enemies flying at medium height (= the only height available for approaching the flag and secure a grab) while being protected from any attack (using the corner blocks).
        Also, thanks to the 360° open platform, you were never safe when approaching the flagstand: no routes could hide you from the deadly Sentinel shots (both when approaching *and* leaving the flagstand).

        - 1 Doombringer putting forcefields and mines on the flagstand, both (almost) fully immune to flagstand clearing:
        * Mines require a very-close-range AoE weapon attack, because the flagstand is small plate higher than the rest of the platform (and therefore is protected from long range AoE or Mortar)
        * Forcefields require mid-range disc or mortar spam (= very exposed to a counter-attack defense) because the “rooftop” structure prevents long range mortar.

        - 1 Technician repairing the turrets, putting his own 2 sentries, making all the slow approaches (= through the vertical tunnel or jetpacking from outside) of flagstand disrupters nearly impossible, as the Tech can easily reduce their HP to 70%-50% with a single SMG magazine, then have his turrets/teammates do the rest.

        I think that the bold decision to have an indestructible rooftop for the flagstand *and* keeping the flagstand height (compared to nearby hills/generator room) killed the map.

        You can’t have these two and not get frequent lockdowns, you need to let newbie Juggernauts/Soldiers disrupt the flagstand with a standard “spawn -> move directly to the flagstand -> spam AoE attacks”.

        That’s why Sunstar wasn’t removed:
        - the rooftop protection was smaller and could be deactivated
        - the generator had:
        * multiple approaches (2, one being rather far away from the flagstand)
        * multiple accesses (3, the two sides and the extra one in the front with the short gap)
        - you could still clear/disrupt the flagstand from the side, both with curve-based weapons (such as mortar) and discs.

  6. Colonel J says:

    Is the half XP cost change still active as well? That would probably be enough for me, if I get back into it (and I really should sometime soon but I’ve been too distracted by other games in the last six months) then I’ve already got most of the unlocks I want, I’ve just got Raider class to get and a couple of the top-priced weapons to get that I was waiting on daily deals for.

  7. Text_Fish says:

    The problem I have with this and Planetside and ShootMania and a lot of other similar games is that their cliched sci-fi suits of armor render all the players so homogeneous I can barely be bothered to distinguish between teams and/or classes. I also find plasma/laser weapons really unsatisfying to fire. A company like Valve needs to come along and make a MMOFPS with interesting weapons, well designed player models and clever level design (i.e. not a bunch of sci-fi portacabins dumped on a bland open terrain) and the genre will truly explode. /rant

    • fish99 says:

      The laser issue can be solved by rolling NC/TR in PS2. You can also just tap the spot key if you want to know someones class, but really there’s very little reason why you should need to know what class they are.

      Completely agree about level design though. No thought went into it, and we have 3 rushed continents with more on the way, instead of one good one, and aside from Biolabs, no good infantry fights (and even Biolabs fights turn into a pathetic meat grind when there’s lot of players involved).

      • Text_Fish says:

        Perhaps it’s my newness to the game, but being able to differentiate between classes at a glance would make it a lot more accessible to me. I hadn’t realised there was a spot key though, thanks. I’ve managed to stick with it and have some fun, but there are still frequent occasions when I’ll have to duck out of the action and view it from afar to take stock of what’s actually going on. More distinct character design would help this.

        • fish99 says:

          I can only guess you mean you can’t distinguish which faction someone is, because I’ve played the game 300 hrs, and I’m struggling to think of many situations where knowing the class of an enemy is an advantage, and even in those situations that knowledge isn’t unlikely to change your course of action.

          The few I can think of – spotting engineers heading for sunderers with tank mines – being aware of LAs with C4 if you’re a tank driver – knowing if that distant spec is an infiltrator so you can zig-zag – and knowing if that guy heading for a destroyed generator is an engineer. That’s about it though, but in all those situations, you use spot, but even if you don’t know class they are, you’re still going to want to shoot them.

          Whether you shoot someone in PS2 is based on your health, your shield, and the effective range of your gun, not the class of an enemy.

          (of course I’m not including MAXs in this because they *are* visually distinct)

    • Cytrom says:

      Luckily there’s a game just for you. No gameplay depth, full customisation, shallow fps mechanics, authentic weapons that needed zero creativity to implement and small scale maps that feel completely unorganic and claustrophobic with headess chickens running around in it: CoD.

      (Also blood eagle and diamond sword have completely different armor designs and each class looks different, and complaining about a spinfusor is just baffling… maybe videogames are not for you. The maps are designed for skiing and gameplay and not for looking pretty)

      • Ricochet64 says:

        Nice job being an asshole. Just because you disagree with him doesn’t mean its okay to assume he’d prefer a game like CoD and that he just likes graphics.

      • jrodman says:

        Maybe conversing on the internet is not for you.

      • Text_Fish says:

        I’ll ignore the CoD comment because it’s completely unrelated to the conversation — perhaps you were suffering a minor stroke whilst you wrote it, who knows?

        If you look closely at the different armor there are substantial differences, such as the logos etc. but in the middle of a firefight everyone just looks like a fat Boba Fett (some fatter than others, I’ll give you that). The designer clearly just ticked all the boxes in the Sci-Fi Armor 101 Rulebook. It doesn’t keep me awake at night, but I do wish for better.

        At no point have I questioned the prettiness of the maps, by the way. Another stroke perhaps?

    • The_Great_Skratsby says:

      Which would absolutely ruin how a Tribes level is designed. Personally I’d rather it went back to the scope and fantastic strange bases of the first and second Tribes game. What PS2 needs is some sort of command chain or infrastructure / supply line – or something that makes the territory behind front lines useful, connected and active aside from passive benefits, as well as some base changes – among other things.

      • Text_Fish says:

        That would indeed be a good start. It seems like everyone just zooms off to the next base as soon as they’re done capturing one.

        Massive tank convoys are quite fun though, I’ll give it that.

    • killmachine says:

      actually, in tribes there are 2 completely different looking teams, 3 different body sizes and a lot of skins that change the look of the characters.

      weapon wise there is more than just the usual cod arsenal. you have a spinfusor that shoots explosive discs. the arx buster is so unique, it’s hard for me to describe it for you. then there’s the fusion mortar that is unique as well. tribes can be critiziced for a lot of things but the weapon variety is not one of those things.

      really, if you’re looking for something more complex than cod or even counter-strike, give tribes capture the flag mode a chance. it’s really as complex as it can be, you would be surprised.

      • mouton says:

        “the arx buster is so unique, it’s hard for me to describe it for you. ”

        Sticky mini-grenade launcher.

      • Text_Fish says:

        Different body-sizes are a start, but the silhouettes and general style are still just generic fare. They look like they were designed by four year old Michael Bay.

        I like the way “CoD” has become the standard ‘undesirable opposite’ in any FPS discussion. I didn’t even like the series when it was supposed to be good. When I talk about disliking lasers it’s not because I want CoD weapons, it’s because I want to fire a gun that has a real physical feel to it so when I fire it I feel like I’m not pinging elastic bands across the office. The Arx Buster has been done in a thousand Quake and Unreal mods as well as pretty similar concepts in Dark Forces II and Pariah and the SpinFuser is a sci-fi’ed up Rocket Launcher. I’m not saying they’re bad because of that, but they’re hardly unique.

        TF2 fulfills my CTF needs, though I’ll admit some larger maps and a jetpack would be welcome.

    • Phantoon says:

      I think you are hard to please!

    • El_Emmental says:

      Regarding PS 2, I agree everyone looks the same (beside the MAX), they could use some unique class style/distinctive element.

      Regarding Tribes: Ascend, I really can’t agree with you.

      First, after a few hours in you can spot the difference between a Light, Medium or Heavy armor from almost all distances, using two informations: size/heigh/animation, and movement/skiing speed.

      Second, (except for very few weapons) weapons are unique to each class: only a Juggernaut will fire a Fusion Mortar, only a Doombringer will use a Chain Gun/Cannon, only a Raider will spam bouncing smoking grenades/time-stickies, only a Pathfinder will shoot blue discs while being a Light armor, only an Infiltrator will shoot red discs, etc.

      With these informations, from a rapid glance you can identify the type of armor it is, bringing the “possible class” down to 3 different classes, then depending on the unit approach, or at its first use of a weapon/item, exactly know which class it is.

      Each armor type has an [ Offense (+ counter-defense) / Special / Defense ] class:
      - Pathfinder (Off/c-Def) / Infiltrator (Spec) / Sentinel (Def)
      - Soldier (Off/c-Def) / Raider (Spec) / Technician (Def)
      - Juggernauts (Off/c-Def) / Brute (Spec) / Doombringer (Def)

      Using the “meta” data (position, movement, speed, behaviour, etc) will greatly help you identify each class.

      Examples:

      - Light armor, far away, following a flag-grab route, skiing very fast ? Pathfinder.
      - Light armor, mid-distance, skiing fast, approaching base ? Infiltrator, expect him to slow down, cloak, head for the generator and/or the sides of the flag stand.
      - Light armor, moving away from direct combat, going for high vantage points or near the flagstand, using anything to be higher than the ground ? Sentinel.

      - Medium armor, mid-distance, skiing not so fast, approaching base ? Raider or Soldier, both have the same HP and similar weaponry (AoE + SMG). This is the only time you can mistake one for another. The Raider shoulder pads and very iconic weapons’ sounds (SMG laser pew-pew-pew, Arx Buster “tung tung tung”, Grenade Launcher “cachunk cachunk cachunk”) should give it away very rapidly at close range.
      - Medium armor, staying near its base, strafing in circle (a lot), facing known ski routes ? Technician.

      - Heavy armor, long distance, not approaching anymore ? Juggernaut, mortar shell incoming soon. Or, very rarely, a Doombringer having fun with the Saber Launcher.
      - Heavy armor, staying on his flagstand ? Doombringer (especially if there is Forcefields nearby, and not so much other flag defenders). If it’s a Juggernaut (not so common), he’ll give away his class with his frequent Mortar spam.
      - Heavy armor, closing-in and not stopping for mid-range harass ? Brute, expect disco grenades spam and Heavy disc spam, get ready for an annoying disrupt and/or a difficult generator defense. Or, a suicidal Juggernauts (should have already gave away his class with his first mortar shell).

      If these identification “profiles” don’t match, it’s VERY likely the enemy you’re facing is either: having fun not following a class role / disturbing you with an unusual class usage. In both case, his efficiency will be greatly reduced when compared to more “traditional” class roles.

  8. Megakoresh says:

    I like how I already paid 30 euros for this, then unlocked a ton of stuff with XP and now they say that people who paid 1€ will get the same discount as I will. HiRez never really managed to be fair when it comes to money.

    • killmachine says:

      the lowest price for gold was 5$ i think. so, if you spent this, you get the same discount for the goty edition as everyone else.

    • Hastur says:

      I understand the frustration, but Steam is regularly selling games for $10 that someone else paid $50 for. Fundamentally, how is this different? Games get cheaper.

      • Felix says:

        I was about to sympathize with people who had poured money into the game, but this perspective is a very reasonable one. I sometimes see a game I bought for $20 go on sale but days later at $10 or lower. It’s frustrating, but shows I should just wait more.

        Of course, Tribes never had this guarantee of getting nearly everything for a tiny chunk of change. And they aren’t letting people with gold buy the GOTY thing, so there’s that.

        Despite these little things, I still think that the perspective that the game will cost one less at a later time should be kept in mind, even for F2P games.

      • ThTa says:

        True, but on the other hand, this shows that Hi-Rez isn’t willing to go out on a limb for people who already spent lots of money on their game and people who already invested lots of time in their game and bought things with XP. Hell, they won’t even let you pay for the GotY thing with Gold, the Gold you already paid them for.

        • killmachine says:

          it would be a very nice step by hi-rez if they allow this but it’s not fair for criticizing hi-rez that they don’t. when you payed them cash, you did this in exchange for something. tribes gold in this case.

          so, you exchanged cash for gold and now you want to exchange this gold for something that you would otherwise have to spend cash for? cash, gold, cash again… hm. that’s ok in itself but it’s not ok to criticize.

          it’s like, you go into a shop, buy a pair of shoes, wear them a few weeks until you find out you want to buy something different with your money. or, you find out this pair of shoes go on sale a few days after you bought them for twice as much.

          to me it’s just like people complaining capitalist style because they did not get the best bang out of their buck. i’m feeling this, too. sure, i could have gotten more for my money. but do i have to blame hi-rez for that? :)

          • ThTa says:

            Like I said, it’s not that I disapprove, I just don’t like it. It doesn’t paint a very friendly image of Hi-Rez, especially after such a long time of neglecting properly supporting their game (beyond adding more things to buy and lolololMLGEsports) and reacting to feedback. It’s like they’re only now reacting to feedback they got a year ago during beta. (They even sent out a poll a month ago that asked about players’ opinions on several drastic changes (such as reverting to the old 3 classes system) that were proposed as soon as the closed beta started. Though from what I understand, they’ve basically chosen to ignore the feedback they got from that.)

            It does not incentivise me to spend more money or even put in more time, it just annoys me.

        • killmachine says:

          well, it shouldn’t incentivise you to get back to the game i think. if the game in itself is fun for you, you wouldn’t have left in the first place. for this reason i don’t know why you even comment about a game you won’t play anyways.

          also, the survey was last year november. only 1/3rd voted for the 3 bodytype class system. although even people who think this would be a good change voted against it, because they think it would be a too drastic change and would require “too” much work for hi-rez or something along these lines.

          • ThTa says:

            The game was fun for me, I played it for months on end. I just got tired of the game and the way Hi-Rez was handling it (and I come from Global Agenda, so I’m very much aware of Hi-Rez’ history with these things), now they’ve finally got a new patch out and seem ever so slightly more aware of what’s going on, but the way people who actually spent a fair amount of money on the game prior are treated is just putting me right back at “tired”.

      • Megakoresh says:

        This applies to paid games and ONLY paid games. The reason is that paid games have such aspect as “buying at release price”. F2P game does not have a release price. Whoever wants to, can waltz in at day 1 and play for free. Therefore I am not paying for the privilege of playing the game earlier, as I would with a paid game. I am paying for my time, essentially. There are no other privileges. So if I buy that pack, I will pay 65€ for the same amount of saved time as someone else will pay 35€ for.

        • Hastur says:

          I still think they’re comparable. Yes, you’re both paying different amounts for saved time. But you paid to use that saved time at a time of your choosing. That person who paid 35€ had to wait until the game was offered at that price, without guarantee that it would.

          It really is basically the same thing: a person who pays 65€ for a retail game on Day One experiences the exact same game as the person who pays 35€ a year later. So why don’t they wait? Because they are willing to pay a premium to play the game whenever they want.

          • orionite says:

            I think what you are ignoring that if I paid $65 for a game when it came out, I got the FULL game, i.e. all the features when I bought it. Then later someone buys the same game for $30 on sale. That’s perfectly fine.
            In the case of Tribes I paid to get part of the game and I paid more for that than people are paying now for everything.

          • Hastur says:

            You mean like when Civ 5 releases its GOTY Edition, and the person buying the GOTY Edition gets all the DLC for $30, when the first purchaser paid $65 for the whole game without DLC? Or like when Dead Island did it, or Deus Ex:HR, or Fallout 3, or pretty much any GOTY edition that’s been released since DLC was a thing?

            I mean, it’s even called the GOTY Update.

    • El_Emmental says:

      I paid money because I liked the gameplay experience.

      I paid money because I wanted to reward Hi-Rez for making Tribes: Ascend.

      I paid money because I think the developers deserved it.

      I paid money because I wanted to play Tribes: Ascend now, and not 12 months later when the game is no longer “fresh” (= less newbies, much more people abusing OP tactics/weapons).

      It’s been years since I stop thinking everything I’m paying for should come in the form of a direct, immediate and tangible product. Things like opportunity, timing and services have a monetary value.

      The Pay-What-You-Want bundles, and several years earlier, piracy, changed the way I see how I spent/give money to developers and publishers – the days of “I paid X money, I should get Y products” (products = physical or digital finite goods) are gone.

  9. Etherealsteel says:

    I took the long hard road of earning Experience to get a majority of the weapons in the game, this is before the price was cut in half. A few items/weapons I did get with free gold or paying $5 b/c I thought it was worth it and enjoyed the game. The new Lance weapon is situational to have much use and might be useful to some classes, but to me it’s useless. You giving up your pistol for a fairly short range weapon that you would need to be up close for it to be effective.

  10. Rognik says:

    The devs are incorrect about one thing: I purchased the GOTY edition and now have all the loadout slots for each class, which is great.

    Worth noting for everyone: if you’ve bought anything in the game before, you can get the edition for $20, but only through their web store at https://account.hirezstudios.com/orders/stores.aspx . You can’t get it on Steam or in-game (as far as I can tell) but your account will still get the stuff if you play through Steam.

    The one thing I never liked about Tribe’s F2P model was how gold was not purchased at a flat rate; you had to buy something like $50 to get a really good rate. It really took the “micro” out of the micro-transactions for me.

    Having every item all of a sudden is great but honestly kind of overwhelming. Call me stupid if you want, but I think if F2P games want to add a single purchase option, it would be better to just sell the player a permanent x5 (or similarly large) experience boost. Then you can have fun unlocking everything quickly without being overwhelmed… you know, like a normal single purchase game.

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