Hi-Rez Celebrates Tribes’ Launch By Reading Its Diary

The tenth class, immaterial multi-colored smoke creature, will be patched in at a later date.

Well, OK, a diary – largely of the development variety. Surely, though, it’s full-to-bursting its heart-shaped lock with celebratory guns and glory – or at least some juicy gossip about how Tribes is totally gonna ask that dreamboat from the football team to prom, right? Not exactly. But hey, here’s something to get excited about: servers! No, seriously.

After a quick bit about a classic map, this dev diary details Tribes’ custom server feature – which will roll out in full a few weeks after the high-flying F2P FPS launches later today – and it looks impressively robust. Hate all classes, vehicles, orbital strikes, and spawn settings? Disable them one-by-one and bask in the isolated futility of Nihilism Tribes. Or, you know, go with something a bit more practical.

After a heavily community oriented beta that – among other major changes – totally revamped Ascend’s class system, the game pretty much plays like a dream. Granted, experience gain is about as sluggish as in-game speed is blistering, but that’s hardly a first for free-to-play shooters. More importantly, I still felt competitive from the get-go. We’ll have a WIT up sometime next week, but until then, I wholeheartedly recommend Hi-Rez’s free game about skiing that’s not SkiFree.

And now I’m wondering how the immortal world-devouring nightmare yeti would fare against a spinfusor. Well, only one way to find ou– oh god. Everyone, the yeti’s taken the spinfusor. Prepare your ramshackle societies erected from sheet metal and hilariously depressing mementos of the world we once knew. I’ve doomed us all.


  1. Arcanon says:

    I really love this game!!! I’ll go as far as to say that it may very well be FPS of the year.

    • Gurrah says:

      Seconded, in terms of gameplay it really is outstanding but what I love most is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously like all the other manshoots out there. Those little freeze-frame poses in the menus are brilliant, how do they get so much expression out of men enveloped in clunky armour?

      • caddyB says:

        Yup! Great game indeed.

        Also that poses always look great. Makes you want to play.

    • Cytrom says:

      Planetside 2 could be a contender for that, or CS:GO (although i personally don’t like cs at all), but it is truly a great game with more depth than all the call of doodys and battlefields combined in the past 3-4 years (the fast paced genre was missing in action).

      Its not the prettiest game, but the gameplay is unique and very solid, I’ve been playing it for a few months now, and it doesn’t really get old… especially since the devs are constantly updating and expanding it.

      • Gurrah says:

        I am looking forward to Planetside 2 a great deal as well but I don’t think the two can be compared. There are similarities of course as every shooter shres something or other with his next of kin but in its essence the two are nothing alike. I just wish I still had some contacts from back in the day when I was hot-dropping bases with a couple of Swedes, I’d sure love to have a good group of people to play Planetside with when it goes live, or even during the beta.

    • Eclipse says:

      agreed, it’s already my fps of the year too

    • Phantoon says:

      “May be”?

      The only competition is Planetside 2, and that doesn’t go nearly as fast.

  2. RegisteredUser says:

    Five times I’ve been to the Hirez/TA homepage. Five times I didn’t sign up because all it had was a signup button, a download button and a youtube video.

    Zero info or tips about the game itself and, crucially, no info about the size of the download and whether the download is then already “click to play” or whether I am downloading yet another setup that needs to then install to another place.

    I am not exactly swamped with free diskspace and I hate unknowns.

    • Eclipse says:

      it’s around 4gb, you should try it, it’s the best online and fast paced fps since Quake 3 probably

    • Ogun says:

      Eclipse is right , it’s a great game. The website is ass-ugly and counter-intuitive – but it’s a website for a video game, almost all of them are awful. The art style/UI is very dated and might not sit well with younger players.

      You don’t really need to buy ‘gold’, once you’ve learned how to play then you can batter lesser players who’ve paid for the unlocked kit and not yet figured out how to use it. I bought the 20 or 30 quid pack because I wanted to give Hi-Rez some money, but was disappointed by how little I could do with that on unlocks. Maybe I shouldn’t have spent it all by randomly clicking on anything that looked interesting, but it still seemed overpriced.

      If you can get over the crappy website then Tribes really is worth playing. There are a lot of semi-literate whiners once you get into the game proper, but nowhere near as many as you’d find in CoD, BF3 or other mainstream titles.

      • El_Emmental says:

        imo you should have spent it on Boosters if you were going to play it a lot.

        1) Prices :
        – $30 / £20 / 25€ starter pack = 3000 Gold + 30 days booster + VIP status
        – 90 days booster : 2400 Gold => 26.6 gold per day.

        2) Average XP gain per map (match lasting 15 minutes, victory/defeat ratio 0.5, finish 6th, VIP status) : ~750 XP per match.

        3) Unlocks :
        – important weapons : 100k XP / 780 GP = 128.2 XP per gold
        – less important weapons and packs : 42k XP / 240 GP = 175 XP per gold
        – perks : 18k / 160 GP = 112.5 XP per gold

        With the 90-days booster, you spend 26.6 gold per day.

        => To match the 128.2 XP per gold (for the important weapons), you need to play 3 matches per day (and win one of them for the 1200 bonus) (3*750 + 1200 = 3450 > 3410.12 = 26.6*128.2). You’ll spend 1 hour per day (3*15 minutes + 15 minutes of logging/loading/etc).

        => To match the 175 XP per gold (for the packs/less important weapons), you need to play 5 (4.6) matches per day. You’ll spend 1 hour and a half per day.

  3. pkt-zer0 says:

    Great game, I just wish F2P games weren’t so bloody expensive. Hopefully renting custom servers will be affordable and let you bypass the unlock requirements.

    • Eclipse says:

      I paid around $5 in gold during the beta to unlock few classes and have a VIP account (at time there was no custom loadout), now I have a maxed out Soldier class and a very good Juggernaut class, and I just unlock stuff only with xp, by playing.
      Having a vip account possibly helps but I’m finding no problems at all with unlocking stuff

      • pkt-zer0 says:

        Well, time isn’t cheap, either. And XP costs are rather large, too. For comparison, Steam says I’ve played 460 hours of TF2 over the years – and that’d almost be enough to pay for the unlocks with a VIP bonus.

  4. sneetch says:

    It’s fantastic, I find flying and skiing are a bit tricky to get the hang of again after all this time playing ground based FPSs but it’s a brilliant Tribes game.

  5. nibbling_totoros says:

    Such a fantastic game… the fact they have an FOV slider and an option to adjust gun model size simply sells the game completely for me (obviously it has amazing gun play as well).

  6. Kinch says:


    The game is OK but it’s a pain to unlock anything worthwhile without resorting to buying the in-game gold or using the referrals system. That’s how they incentivise you to actually pay for the game. It’s a frecking grind, which is why I stopped enjoying the “pew-pew lazorz” part.

    People keep arguing it’s not a pay-to-win game, but IMO essentially it is. A guy with no unlocks will simply play to slowly gain access to new items/classes, only to be obliterated by a dude with full unlocks. I’ve seen games in which a single player dominated the entire opposing team – due to uncloked perks, extra items, etc.

    You could say, “well, go spend that 49.99 and use everything”. But no, games with so many unlocks I just can’t tolerate. Bid BF3 adieu for the same reason.

    Plus, the skiing and jump-pack mechanic gets old pretty fast. After a while you just start playing “shoot the hopping bunny” game. ;)


    • tangoliber says:

      You would only get obliterated because other people played a lot more and are better at the game.
      For Capture the Flag, the starting soldier loadout they give you is as powerful as it gets pretty much. All you have to do is play a few hours to upgrade that equipment and you are on equal footing with everyone.
      The starting pathfinder loadout is perfect for deathmatch. And for CTF, all you have to do is earn the LAR to replace your secondary shotgun, and you have a great loadout.
      Unlocks give you different ways to play. They don’t make it easier kill people. Having the classes helps so that you can fill different team roles, but unlocking classes doesn’t take long at all. Only unlocking alternate weapons/items takes a while.

      • Meneth says:

        The upgrades do straight up upgrade you, though. You can get another 100 (or was it 200?) HP from armor upgrades, as well as a bunch of other neat stuff. A guy with a lot of unlocks can have 4 grenades, while someone starting out will only have one. A guy starting out won’t have a spinfusor, and little ammunition for his Thumper, while someone who’s been playing for a while will have a Spinfusor with plenty of ammo.

        Someone who’s just unlocked the Infiltrator won’t have the Stealth Spinfusor either, and will as such be almost completely useless at combat.

        While few of the upgrades are huge, someone with all upgrades and unlocks will still have a considerable advantage over someone who’s just started out, beyond the mere experience advantage.

        • Zanpa says:

          Just play a few hours and you will have all the upgrades for a class.
          The Spinfusor is not any better than the Assault Rifle (and arguably a lot worse for most uses: there’s a reason it is not used at all in competitive play).
          The Stealth Spinfusor is better indoors, but the default SMG is better outdoors. And the main weapons for the Infiltrator are its sticky grenades and melee weapon anyway.
          The Infiltrator might be the one class that relies the most heavily on upgrades though, you are right. (And you should have talked about the Jackal instead of the SSpinfusor, that’s the overpowered weapon)

          The only “essential” unlock would be the mine for the Doombringer IMO. Playing HoF without those cripples your efficiency a bit… But nothing too bad.

          Edit: also, perks. The two perks you are given at the start are outright terrible for most uses.

          • marcusfell says:

            I thought they nerfed the Jackal.

          • El_Emmental says:

            the Jackal was partially nerfed, but it’s still OP in too many situations, it turns the Infiltrator into an AOE damage dealer class inside base, not a sneaky ninja taking down enemies one by one after cloaking his way behind the defenses, it’s now a Raider with a cloaking device.

        • caddyB says:

          I don’t like the stealth spinfusor and I destroy people with the default smg or the silenced pistol :P
          Just whatever works for you, I guess.

        • Irregular Peanut says:

          The item upgrades cannot be bought with gold however, only experience. Sure you can buy that MIRV with the money but if you want to upgrade it then you need to play.

          Any starting non-bought weapon that is upgraded over someone else is only done so because the other player has played more.

        • El_Emmental says:

          Someone who just unlocked the Infiltrator will have mines and the Rhino SMG, who’s actually the most efficient weapon against Heavy classes.

          Why ?
          * Stealth Spinfusor = 700 (direct hit), 429.44 DPS
          * Rhino SMG = 75 (*36 bullets in the clip), 789.47 DPS (2700 DMG per clip, can kill any class in one clip – exception : Shield pack using targets)(with reload : 584.42 DPS)

          Stealth Spinfusor is only good at deep indoor firefight, Light classes, taking down Light Turret. Something Raiders are supposed to do, with their Jammer pack (to sneak inside the base).

    • DevilSShadoW says:

      I’m sorry, what?
      “I’ve seen games in which a single player dominated the entire opposing team – due to uncloked perks, extra items, etc.” Are you sure you’re talking about tribes here? Are you sure you’re not, you know, just bad at the game?
      It’s one thing to nitpick at things and another to just rant on about things that make no sense and to be perfectly honest aren’t even true. Maybe you should play the game a bit more then revise your comment.

      • Kinch says:

        Love how any criticism about an FPS gets the “you’re a noob” feedback. Even here, on RPS. Seriously, smeg off.

        Agree with Meneth above. The game doesn’t treat everyone fair. To be treated in a fair manner, you need to grind / buy gold (by the way, they could have named the currency otherwise, “buying gold” has such bad connotations ;)).

        • Dominic White says:

          No, seriously – a guy with full upgrades has maybe 10-15% higher stats that somebody with none. They’ll still die in two light spinfusor hits, unless they’re in heavy armor. Then you might need 3.

          If someone is completely dominating your entire team singlehandedly, they’re either bloody good at the game, or your team are idiots.

          • Phantoon says:

            Usually a combination of both. In practice, pretty much every weapon is OP in the right hands. Some weapons are superior to others, but in almost all cases, you start with that weapon for the class.

    • Droniac says:

      A fully decked out player with every class, unlock, and upgrade in the game only has a marginal advantage over someone who has just started out and has no unlocks or upgrades whatsoever. The only advantage you gain is flexibility in class selection / loadout and a mild boost to your ammo, health, and energy. That’s it.

      More importantly, a fully decked out player is never going to be matched against rank 1s who have just started playing. The matchmaking systems works very well and pits you against players of your rank, particularly at the lowest ranks. As such, you won’t really start running into players with tons of classes and upgrades until you’ve already fully upgraded several classes yourself.

      And then there’s the fact that fully upgrading a class, including selecting alternate perks if you want them, only takes about 5 hours of play. And you can make that about 2 hours if you have a VIP account. And that gives you a selection of mild boosts to your statistics that don’t really equate to much of a real performance boost. Now compare that to other free to play games like League of Legends, where it takes several weeks of playing 4 hours a day to get a full rune page, which has a massive impact on your in-game performance… Not to mention the fact that you need to play for months to get to level 30 in order to be able to compete with the top players, whereas in Tribes it only takes the aforementioned 5 hours in order to be able to take on the top players on even footing.

      So it’s fairly safe to say that if someone dominates a Tribes Ascend match singlehandedly then they’re either extremely skilled, or the opposite team is utterly atrocious. Having dominated a few matches of my own – and seen more than a few heavy / medium classes ignoring enemy defenses – I can safely say it’s usually the latter. Upgrades really don’t come into play unless both players are (almost) equally matched in every other regard, which is very rare until you hit the higher ranks.

      • pkt-zer0 says:

        And then there’s the fact that fully upgrading a class, including selecting alternate perks if you want them, only takes about 5 hours of play.
        Uhmm… what exactly is your definition of “fully upgraded”? Base XP gain is 50 per minute, so for a single weapon that costs 100K, that’s 33 hours of play. Factoring in various other bonuses, that’s 20 days at 1 hour a day, even with VIP. And even unlockables aside, I think there’s 100K worth of upgrades for each class.

        • Droniac says:

          My definition of fully upgraded is exactly that: every upgrade for the class. Different weapons, perks, and items aren’t upgrades, because they don’t inherently improve (upgrade) the performance of the class. They’re options for flexibility, but not actual upgrades.

          The base XP gain is hardly your only source of XP, especially when you’re starting out and unlocking loads of badges and badge levels. And in addition to badges you also get up to 50% bonus XP depending on how well you play, not to mention the 1200 XP first win of the day bonus.

          That being said, the upgrades are a little more expensive than I thought. Getting all the upgrades for the primary, secondary, belt, pack, and armor of the Soldier requires 59000 XP. That means you might be able to upgrade it in 5 hours if you have a VIP account, otherwise it’s closer to 10 hours.

          Although about half of that time is invested in the final upgrade levels, which offer relatively little benefit. The soldier’s 5th armor upgrade costs 12000 XP but only offers another 50 HP, which on a class with 1250HP at that point isn’t a particularly enticing upgrade.

        • mouton says:

          He meant class upgrades – little bonuses to armor and weapons you got – not weapon unlocks, which are the expensive part. All basic weapons allow you to murder people efficiently, if you know what you are doing.

        • Phantoon says:

          If someone is fully upgraded and you’re just starting out, then they’ve played the game a lot more than you have and will have the experience, know the maps, know the tricks.

          This isn’t a Modern Warfare game where you’re crippled without unlocks- it comes down to skill a lot more. In fact, the Pathfinder was just modified so that his energy regen pack would start with more regen and get less per level to end at the same amount.

  7. WebFusion says:

    Not a fan of the F2P model, and there are still numerous annoying balance issues, and far too many “automatic” weapons that are far too accurate at range, but hopefully we’ll be able to balance those issues out ourselves with some more fine-grained custom server settings for our own server(s).

    This IS the best (and most faithful) Tribes game since Tribes 2. If you ever suffered through a few rounds of that abortion that was “Tribes Vengeance”, you’ll appreciate that someone else finally got the skiing mechanic right.

    Now what we need is a map editor, so we can create some maps that aren’t so damn tiny. That, and everything needs to be FASTER (skiing speed, energy regen, shrike speeds, etc.).

    • Irregular Peanut says:

      At the least, energy regen needs to be increased across the board, playing the remade Raindance shows this pretty well, it’s pretty difficult to navigate as a heavy because of their pitiful regen, they can’t recreate old Tribes maps without problems unless they make changes to game mechanics, otherwise they will need to change the map drastically.

      • Phantoon says:

        What? I ski just fine as a Brute with shield pack.

      • Reefpirate says:

        I’m actually quite happy the heavy has been humbled mobility wise. That was the one thing I didn’t like about the original Tribes is when I would see Heavies zipping around at insane speeds.

  8. Iconik says:

    I have faith in Hi Rez Games. They seem to be great folks. I’ve enjoyed their past games. I had fun in the beta, for the most part. Was let down by a few items but, again, Hi Rez listens to their community. Time and time again.

    I’ll be playing this when BF3 has be raging.

  9. nyarlathotep-88 says:

    I never really got into online shooters, but this one is a blast. Spent a whole weekend playing it :) Just couldn’t pull myself away.

  10. El_Emmental says:

    Nothing beats the jetpack-fueled ballet of dueling players.

    So many possibilities :

    – Jetpack all the way up, hoping you’ll be able to take down that enemy in that one go, or to force your enemies to look up, while your teamates finally arrive and blow them up

    – Or pretend to do that, while keeping some energy to stay in the air a little longer than needed, to force your enemy to use his one-bullet weapon (spinfusor, thumper, mortar, etc) at the wrong rhythm (<= the most important part of duels)

    They HATE that :D you see them hesitate, then finally shoot their weapon to not stand there frozen, only to find out it was the WORST moment to shoot it : the delay to shoot it again allows you to recharge enough energy to jetpack again out of the splash damage of their next shot. This is where you notice the skilled players : they never get fooled, not even once.

    – Don't fire your weapon right now, to keep it ready for the moment your enemy will make an error and run out of energy at the wrong moment ? I made so many kills waiting for the correct shot, after my enemy spammed 2 or even 3 attacks.

    – Pretend you're going to ski down that slope to run away, only to abruptly stop (= walk) and change direction, confusing your enemy

    – Throw your long-fused grenades slightly behind you and jetpack ahead : your enemy jetpack up too to avoid being hit, and instinctively jetpack forward (since it takes a lot of confidence to jetpack into the unknown), and will either blow up on your grenades or suddenly see it and waste all his energy jetpacking away from the grenade

    – when chased (having the flag), do not take the main route, nor a secondary route, make several tight turns (sometime even 180° in one air-trajectory) not making any sense, like running away from routes and your base, to confuse the chasers.

    • Phantoon says:

      Yeah, duels in the field turn into a sort of ballet.

      Also if you’re being chased with the flag, don’t stop unless you have a Sentinel pinging you. It’s a lot easier to avoid getting killed when they actually have to chase you at 200+ KPH.

  11. Mordsung says:

    I love this game, but at 29 years old with my herbally handicapped reflexes, I fucking SUCK at Tribes.

  12. Oddballs says:

    So…. how do I play this game?

  13. RegisteredUser says:

    Ok, tried today. Turns out the unlocks really are _insanely_ slow to achieve and you have to play for days to get a new class unlocked, sadly.

    Game itself is okay, but the whole play to unlock could be more joyful I guess.

    I don’t believe a word about people saying 10-15% difference only though; I read through some of the upgrade descriptions and perks, and being able to float longer, recharge faster and heal with less delay makes a _major_ difference cumulatively for a team(especially people moving out of rotation to heal with less downtime).

    Then again not one of the upgrades will make you be able to shoot more precisely while skidding along at 100 mp/h, so there’s that.

  14. thebigJ_A says:

    I like the game, but I think the real money cost of some things is too high. They’d make more money off impulse buys, and twenty dollars is not an impulse buy.

    *I get all my opinions from TotalBiscuit. ;)

  15. raptorak says:

    Just save up 18k exp for the raider and you have the most overpowered class in the game with very little effort, buy potential energy later and you are sorted.

  16. tres says:

    Terribly grindy, it takes forever to unlock just one another weapon for one class.