Hi-Rez Announce Big Tribes Changes

Sexy, sexy menus.
Hi-Rez have announced some significant changes to their beta of Tribes: Ascend. The next patch will overhaul the UI and change the class options, making the focus more on customisation and less on existing class-based loutouts. They explain: “We will be collapsing the total number of playable classes from 12 to 9, but adding the ability for players to unlock new weapons for each class and further customize their loadout. Three of the nine classes will be available right away so a new player will have access to a Light, Medium, and Heavy class in his or her first match.” These are some big changes to the ongoing testing of the game, and a sign that the devs are as responsive to feedback as they have been claiming. The full patch notes are here.


  1. N says:

    This game is such a grind. I thought I would get access to stuff like the spinfusor straight up. I guess this is a welcomed change.

    • Arcanon says:

      Well you do get access to the spinfusor…..Soldier class.

    • Antares says:

      Unfortunately you don’t Arcanon (or at least not straight away). The soldier and ranger were merged, and the default loadout for the new soldier class is now Assault Rifle / Pistol, with the spinfusor needing to be unlocked before you can use it.

    • rebb says:

      Wait what. Doesn’t one of the already unlocked Medium classes have a SpinFusor ?
      Or did they change this with a patch – i haven’t played in a while.

    • Dana says:

      Now you need to grind for spinfusor, enjoy :D

    • mouton says:

      Uhhh, you get a spinfusor for pathfinder and a spinfusor for juggernaut by default. If spinfusor for soldier is so elite, perhaps it is good it is treated as, you know, elite? Oh, and i had no problem unlocking it with the hundred zillion xp I was left with after conversion to the new system.

    • HermitUK says:

      By default, you’ve got access to a Light Spinfusor on the Pathfinder, and the Spinfusor MKD on the Juggernaut. Giving new players at least one rapid fire projectile weapon makes sense.

      And the customisation now is much more awesome. In particular, unlocking perks you want most straight off, instead of having to grind through the skill trees, is brilliant.

      Edit: Ninja’d by Mouton. Should have put down a jammer.

    • Suits says:

      Actually the “grind” to have the classes unlocked is WAY less now. So you get to play other classes relatively soon now and the only expensive unlocks are the secondary weapons/packs/belt items.
      Besides you’re supposed to play the game and have fun, just pick up some stuff along the way. If you think you’re grinding to get access to something you’re doing something wrong imo.
      It’s also a time/money tradeoff, if you don’t have enough time to get it you can always pay to get it faster, but it’s not necessary. If you’re not buying anything don’t expect to get access to everything right away you know Hi-rez is going to need some money for their work. Just remember it’s still the closed beta.

      Anyway pretty nice changes there, the menu navigation is a bit expansive, but it’s quick enough to make up for it. Good to see the costumization alot of people wanted.

    • ChampionHyena says:

      You all keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      Yes, there is an action you must repeatedly take to garner XP for unlocks, and that action is PLAYING MORE TRIBES. If that equates to a “grind,” I’m a little fearful people are missing the point.

    • Suits says:

      Thanks, that’s what I’m saying.

    • N says:

      I was talking about the previous version btw, haven’t tried this new update yet. And in comparison to BF3 this game is quite the grind to get to the good stuff.

    • HermitUK says:

      Don’t know what you were playing, N, but it clearly wasn’t Ascend. In all previous versions the Soldier class was unlocked by default, and had the Spinfusor.

    • Bungle says:

      45,000 XP to unlock a pistol for the soldier and people are saying it’s less grindy? The game is better than it was before, but I’m still not exactly excited about it. It’s okay.

  2. Esoteric says:

    I thought there were some Tribes Ascend fans on the staff, and expected this to be here two days ago!

    Anyway, if you haven’t played this awesome game, now’s the time. And if you have and stopped, now’s the time to try it again. It’s free, it’s fast, and it’s fun. I have a dozen awesome games in my backlog thanks to the Steam sale, but I find myself playing this game instead. SHAZBOT.

    • Skabooga says:

      Well, that beta invite is still sitting in my box, and it looks like they are making moves in the right direction. Time to jet!

    • Spakkenkhrist says:

      Yes I’ve been enjoying this too.

  3. iARDAs says:

    Should I even play this game?

    • Greg Wild says:

      With this patch taking a hammer blow to my biggest complaint, I now really have only positive things to say about it iARDAs.

    • mouton says:

      You can play it for free, just so you know.

    • Suits says:

      You shouldn’t not play it

  4. Eraysor says:

    It’s a very good game that looks like it just got even better!

  5. jimmm25 says:

    I already bought some tribes gold, what will happen to that?
    Edit: I should have read the patch notes first, it seems i get all my xp and gold back, to re-spend straight away.

  6. Arcanon says:

    Downloading at the moment, I’m pretty excited about the changes. This is, imo, one of the best shooters to grace the PC, it’s fast, gorgeous looking and highly skillbased.

    We’ve had enough “realistic” military shooters I believe.

  7. Antares says:

    This patch is a an amazing improvement in all aspects, and if you were on the fence before you should definitely try it now.

    I’ll note, however, that the new weapons are horrendously overpriced. the Juggernaut’s MIRV launcher costs 170XP. Non-VIP players can expect to get 1 or 2k XP out of your average 15 minute match. It’s something that’s being repeatedly brought up in the closed beta forums and they’ve already reduced prices before, so it’s definitely not set in stone, however

    • Dana says:

      What ? Im a VIP and I get 600-1300xp per game, so you got the numbers wrong. Non-VIPs will get half of that.

    • Arcanon says:

      That’s right, some loadouts are TOO EXPENSIVE, placeholders I hope. On the other hand, classes are now very cheap, allowing you to cover pretty much every role. I’m very surprised the Soldier’s Spinfusor is now an unlockable, but I get the mighty Thumper DX for free!

    • Tarqon says:

      VIP is a 50% bonus Dana, so normal players get two-thirds of what you are getting.

      I don’t think the weapons are overpriced though, you have access to equivalent options so it’s not a disadvantage, and there needs to be a bit of grind somewhere to incentivize people actually spending money if they want absolutely everything. First win of the day bonus makes things go faster than you might think though.

    • Aaarrrggghhh says:

      Just to get it right: it’s 170.000 XP for a weapon and per game an average (as in skill) unboosted VIP players makes around 800-1000 XP. A f2p user will be even below that. So even if you are a “good” player thats about 55 hours of playtime to unlock a single weapon.
      That’s just to much. But I think it will get adjusted. In beta forums there was the same discussions about laodout prices and Hi-Rez reduced them afterwards.

    • Moraven says:

      Hmm comparing to LoL, say on average you get 100 ip per game. All the new champions are 6300 ip. I eventually can afford the, I enjoy them during the free weeks. Games are 20-50 minutes typically.

    • NthDegree256 says:

      Just to note, for anyone basing their XP gain amounts on whatever they were earning before the patch – they’ve done away with tokens entirely, so I’m pretty sure that XP gain per match has gone up. 1k-2k per match sounds about right to me so far, plus an extra 1.2k every day (assuming you can win at least one match :) )

      EDIT: I have to recant a bit here. I played some more and XP gain seems to be about where it was – I might have been oversampling on one particularly good game.

    • Suits says:

      I haven’t noticed much of an XP increase myself. Those secondary stuff is indeed way too overpriced even for VIP players. ‘First win of the day’ seems to be bugged at the moment by the way. We might need more small present accolades like that maybe.

  8. Esoteric says:

    One thing you have to remember is that you don’t need EVERY CLASS and EVERY WEAPON to enjoy the game to its fullest. I only have 3 classes fully fleshed out right now, and I’m actually not that interested in the other ones. The free ones are great, and it doesn’t take long at all to unlock the upgrades.

    • Arcanon says:

      True, you can do pretty much everything with those 3, but after a while you’ll feel the need for more specialized classes: the Doombringer can’t cap flags like a Pathfinder or be versatile like a Soldier, but no1 defends the base and pops vehicles like him.
      Or guys who excel at “Generator fightning”, like the Infiltrator and the new Raider (with the old Scrambler Pack)…..I noticed how teams with specialists covering each role usually defeat “Jack-of-all-trades” squads, if they know what they are doing.
      OT: the new UI is SWEET :)

    • Dana says:

      Too bad that most of the new weapons are straight up upgrades, like Thumper for Tech, Spinfusor for Inf, MIRV for Jug or SMG for Path.

      Also, its an FPS not MMO or moba. I do want every class and every weapon.

    • MarvinPA says:

      Even if every class and every weapon were perfectly balanced, and lack of flexibility weren’t an issue somehow, I see from the patch notes that Perks provide strict upgrades and are unlocked via either money or grinding (and can be upgraded even further with more grinding!). So even if I were to pay for the game, which I certainly wouldn’t mind doing otherwise, I still wouldn’t be free from the grind. That’s what really puts me off. :(

    • mouton says:

      While the F2P model is regrettable and never too great, it is there to stay. Feel free to complain about it until it magically goes away.

    • Droopy The Dog says:

      While perks provide only bonuses and no drawbacks themselves, there’s only 2 slots and you have 2 perks unlocked for free, so you’re not disadvantaged from the start, just restricted to perks that might not match your playstyle.

      Yes, it does take time to unlock things or you pay (although not that long frankly, I have 3 builds maxed out already from 4 weeks of playing 1-2 games a day tops). It’s F2P they make money of people’s impatience, it’s not like they’re conning you by making it appealing to pay for things, you got the game for free. But I’d steer away from calling it grinding, since grinding usually involves doing something boring and repetitive, whilst you earn XP just for playing, and I’d assume if you want the guns so bad you enjoy playing the game for the sake of playing.

      P.S Scrambler pack is old hat, energy shield with arx buster, damage-to-energy perk, and maxed out efficiency is the bomb at base fighting now. Being able to carry an arx and SMG is also much fun.

  9. Lobotomist says:

    The game is very hardcore. Old school like Quake arena and such.
    You need real high player skill to do anything , let alone earn points to unlock something.

    • codename_bloodfist says:

      You really don’t. Don’t treat this game as BF2/BF3 and you’ll be fine. Never played the original Tribes myself, but got a hang of it a few games in. It’s not so much harder as it is different and requires an entirely different play style. That being said, I quite like it.

    • Smarag says:

      A game that is pay to win has no right to be called “hardcore”.

    • Talamira says:

      @smarag Good thing its not pay to win then.

  10. Tarqon says:

    Edit: all gone, more keys soon.

    Beta keys for those who don’t have facebook. This game is the best shooter I’ve played in years, give it a try.

  11. Unaco says:

    Sadly, for me I don’t think it’s going to be enough, changing a few of the mechanics on classes and loadouts… which is something they probably should have kept the same as in the previous games, and allowed muchos muchos customisation. Instead we have the grind or pay money model to get to any new equipment. My complaints will still be… It doesn’t do anything that the previous didn’t do, except charge money for equipment/loadouts. It’s the older games with shiny graphics, and that’s it. They haven’t introduced anything new (except the F2P model), nothing feels much different, there’re no changes to balance (except the need to pay for/unlock everything), no changes to gameplay, no new gameplay features… nothing new or different to make me want to play this (there was a reason I stopped playing Tribes 2).

    I was so disappointed in this Beta… I played a lot of Tribes, and was looking forward to a fresh new slice of Tribes action. Instead, I got the same stale old slice, but someone wants to charge me for toppings. I’ll keep looking in every now and then, when they make changes… but I think it’ll need a major overhaul to get me really interested.

    Go and play the older games that you (possibly) already own, or the one that was released for free and had a resurgence a few years back. At least then you won’t be paying for anything.

    • mouton says:

      Well, that’s how it goes, half the forums complains it is too much UNLIKE Tribes or that, lol, it is “not Tribes”, “CoD” etc. and here you complain it is too much like the old games. This is one of those “can’t please everyone” situations, I suppose.

  12. Garoshi says:

    The patch has already gone through, silly RPS

    Also you can now throw spinfusor discs as juggernaut

  13. SketchyGalore says:

    I friggin’ LOVED Tribes Ascend as it was and, even though they eliminated the name of my favorite class (Jumper; but you can still make the exact same load-out), now I love it even more! I was actually worried when I saw this because I think the class variation in the game is one of its strongest components. However, the new system actually makes each class feel even more like it has its own “flavor”.

    Also, since it seems to come up every single time anyone talks about this game, I really don’t agree that there’s a grind! It’s one of those “get new toys for playing more” kind of games, not a pay-to-win. However, I did purchase the beta tester’s pack for $30 (which is half what I think this game is worth) and played a reasonable amount during my EXP boosted month. I only got to rank 15 and I see many other players at 22 or higher now. However, when they made this switch, my EXP and gold pack (which were thankfully refunded when they changed) were enough to unlock every class, every primary weapon except one, every secondary weapon except two or three, and a handful of perks, packs, and specializations that I didn’t feel I needed right away. If they had given me everything available much more easily, I wouldn’t want to play as much to unlock things, there wouldn’t be people in the game who have more specialized roles, and, perhaps most sensibly, they wouldn’t make any money. I do think, however, that once the pending features like appearance customization and the addition of more weapons, items, perks and such will probably make them lower some of the more extreme prices on the weapons that are currently new.

    Oh, and lastly, I emailed this story to RPS, so I got kind of a kick out of it appearing! Thanks RPS!

  14. LionsPhil says:

    but adding the ability for players to unlock new weapons for each class and further customize their loadout. Three of the nine classes will be available right away

    They must have looked at Brink and thought “limiting the classyness of a class- based shooter sure worked great for them!”

  15. ThTa says:

    This update is utterly fantastic, if only because it shows they’re genuinely listening to their community and willing to implement massive changes at this stage. It’s easily the best multiplayer manshoots in years, but it does have its issues; though, currently, that’s down to only two real ones:
    -Persistent progression: in a game that puts so much emphasis on skill, why would anyone think to implement a system that offers people a direct advantage over others? (More ammo, energy, health, etc.)
    -The new weapon prices are absolutely absurd; I’m VIP and boosted, but at the rate I’m earning XP, I don’t think I’ll be able to buy one of the several 170K ones within a month. (I already spent the 1 million I transferred with)
    The rate at which you earn this hasn’t even gone up, despite them removing tokens.

  16. tyrrin says:

    I have played this game pretty hardcore for the last several months! The game is an old school shooter that requires skill and team work! Best shooter I have played in years!!! DEF check it out!!! Here are some keys:


  17. thaKingRocka says:

    I really love floating around in this game, but I am always so off with the spinfusor. I find its trajectory to be really unintuitive.

    • tyrrin says:

      The Spinfusor is a booger! You gotta lead your target to hit, its massive damage is offset by its difficulty! Use the new soldier class and upgrade the hell out of your assault rifle and your offhand weapons! I have not had this much fun in a shooter since the late 90’s!

    • ThTa says:


      No, really. The Spinfusor has no random spread whatsoever, but the weapons in T:A implement relative motion. Meaning that going sideways while firing your weapon forward makes the projectile go slightly sideways as well (relative to the ground). Going forward while firing forward makes it go faster, backwards slower, etc.

      Okay, it’s not quite “real” physics, since the momentum it inherits is only 50% of your velocity, as opposed to the realistic 100%; but still, it’s a neat concept. (One that was in the previous games as well)

    • thaKingRocka says:

      I guess I’ll just keep practicing.

  18. Tams80 says:

    I played a while and it just wasn’t might sort of thing. It felt a but like Halo, but more clunky and thus made me want to throw my mouse at my screen. Just not for me I guess.

    • NthDegree256 says:

      I was going to post something longer about this game, but I realized I’d really rather just play it. It’s great, if you’re whining about unlocks then you’re missing the point (that adding unlocks, even ones that do give a boost to player efficiency, doesn’t magically remove the need and reward for skill), and I’m too busy zipping along the ground at hundreds of KPH to care.

      In short, I love Tribes: Ascend quite a bit and haven’t touched another shooter since I got my hands on it.

  19. codename_bloodfist says:

    It’s good, but will require quite a bit of balancing. Right now some classes are outright IMBA (Raider) and others are absolutely hopeless against their newly revamped rivals (have fun going as an Infiltrator against a Tech with a Thumper and two turrets).

    • Suits says:

      Only the thumper is 170k and Raider needs to buy a jammer pack to be more effective which costs some too.

    • codename_bloodfist says:

      It doesn’t really matter how much it costs once every second Tech has it and you have absolutely no ways of countering it.

  20. innociv says:

    Not just announced, it’s already up since the 2nd.

    The changes are fantastic.
    Reduced classes to 9 to 12 by merging similar classes, and now you can chose between different weapons, grenades, and sometimes packs.

    But, they did increase the grind by like… three fold I think.
    It’d take like 1500-2000 hours to unlock everything. 1/3rd that if you pay some money.

    Some of the weapons are a little too expensive.

    There are now a lot of new balance issues, but I’m confident those’ll be mostly fixed.
    HiRez have been doing really well at improving their game.

  21. wazups2x says:

    I hate the new UI. It looks pretty but it’s a pain to navigate through. It feels like it was designed for a controller instead of a mouse and keyboard.

    There’s just waaaay to many sub-menus to go through. I really hope this is something that will be improved over time.

  22. JustAchaP says:

    Would play it again but it doesn’t run so well on my PC

  23. deadly.by.design says:

    How about adding levels that don’t feel like slope-y TDM or CTF? Maybe I didn’t play enough Tribes 2, but what I remember of the original Tribes was more about bases, defenses and two sides slugging it out across a vast terrain.

  24. Shooop says:

    Just what I wanted – another FPS with an equipment unlock system.