Skiing Double: Tribes Ascend’s Twinfusor Update

Obviously, the Twinfusor's favorite game of all time is Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

Can you remember when the last Tribes: Ascend update came out? I can’t – at least, not well. I mean, I recall a few hazy images of youthful innocence, but it’s as though they’re being beamed in from another lifetime or a place with an overabundance of haze. In reality, however, I just have vaguely worrisome memory problems probably stemming from the fact that I fell out of many trees as a child. Even so, it has been a while in Tribes time, but Hi-Rez has definitely made the Twinfusor update worth the (relatively) lengthy wait. In addition to the titular double-firing death-dealer, you’re also looking at two new CTF maps, a party system (finally!), improved matchmaking, and a billowing list of largely great balance tweaks.

You’ll also find full patch notes here, if you’re feeling so inclined. I would, however, like to discuss a few highlights. For one, I’m digging the general idea behind Permafrost. On paper, it sounds like generators will be more important than ever, so maybe my team will finally defend them for once argh jeez. I also like that it stands to create a dynamic of multiple optimal approaches to flag capture and defense. It’s a little thing, but I’m excited to give it a go.

Balance-wise, I’m quite pleased by what I’m seeing here. Many tweaks (for instance, increased projectile collision size) go toward making Spinfusors and other explosive weapons more appealing, and the Twinfusors – which come in light, medium, and heavy flavors – open up all sorts of possibilities at the expense of a bit of raw firepower. Also, the Brute’s Fratcal Grenade has been seriously toned-down, which will hopefully put an end to infuriatingly obnoxious base spammers. Perhaps a bit more troubling is the Doombringer, who’s seen reductions across the board. I honestly don’t know the class all that well, though, so I can’t render a verdict on how significant the changes really are.

And that’s only the tip of an iceberg that’d probably be a joy to ski down while screaming “wheeeeeeeeeeee.” There is, in other words, a whole lot to dig into here. And if you think I’ve been speaking in gibberish for the past couple paragraphs, well, you should go play Tribes. According leading experts, it’s equal parts great and beautiful. Just like you, dear reader. So it’s a match made in heaven, and who are you to disappoint god?


  1. faillord_adam says:

    Sad, I enjoyed spamming homing missles as the Doombringer

    • Hallgrim says:

      Not sure why you couldn’t continue to do so. Doombringer seems strong to me (as a newb to tribes in general)… minor damage nerf and substantial ammo nerf feels ok for the chaincannon/chaingun.

      • theallmightybob says:

        doom bring is strong when he dosent have to move much and can just sit on a point. try to ski against a light with him and you will likely get killed. atleast thats been my experiance, i allways take out all the doom bringers as a path.

        • Froibo says:

          Chain gun is pretty OP against light, it does 100 damage per bullet which means you only need 8-12 hits off with damage falloff. At about 10 shots per seconds this is pretty easy as long as you stay at medium range.

    • Dark Nexus says:

      No changes to that weapon, so you can still spam away to your heart’s content.

    • Bruwin says:

      And as a path, I enjoyed turning around and shotgunning every single one of those missiles out of the air.

  2. mouton says:


  3. marcusfell says:

    I’m actually most excited about the voice packs than the Twinfusor.

    • Phantoon says:

      Yes! I hope the voice packs are the hero voice sets they had, earlier on.

    • Dare_Wreck says:

      Yeah, but did you see how much they cost each?? Good grief! Why aren’t they included for free? No way am I paying nearly $5 just to hear a different voice speak.

    • Flimgoblin says:

      And doing their bit to make gaming just that little bit less of a “boys only” club they’ve introduced a female voicepack… except you have to pay for it…

      *slow clap*

    • ZephaniahGrey says:

      I turned off all the voices anyway. Since Tribes decided not to implement any ant-spam features, it was easier to remove them completely. Only way I could stand to play the game.

      • arccos says:

        You can mute players, as well, which is nice. But it could be better documented.

  4. YogSo says:

    “On paper, it sounds like generators will be more important than ever, so maybe my team will finally defend them for once argh jeez.”

    I predict multiple cases of ‘over-defending’ the generator and forgetting that the important thing is keeping the flag out of the hands of those cursed sandrakers… I mean, it already happens quite a lot now.

    • Mattressi says:

      Yeah, I was confused when I read this. I mean, right now, most maps are just a giant genroom party for both teams, with a handful of people actually worrying about, you know, capturing the flag in a capture the flag game.

      • arccos says:

        To me it seems like too few people work on flag defense and chasing carriers. I guess those are two of the less visible jobs. On many maps, all a defender has to do is drop down a force field in front or behind the flag, and you prevent 50% of the fast grabs. Two at different angles, and it gets really tough for the attackers.

        I’m always surprised over half the team aren’t Pathfinders. The sense of speed and the high you get from a fast grab with turrets pounding you is amazing. Not to mention they are stellar duelists.

    • Anzcm says:

      The Tribes games have always been games with plenty of irrelevant stuff to do and things to play with that trick players into believing that they are contributing.

      But Tribes Ascend certainly takes it to a new level, with its XP rewards and scoring that rewards this kind of behaviour. Even killing people is more or less pointless (or even counterproductive) when everyone spawns fully equipped.

      • arccos says:

        Yup! Don’t stop and attack someone unless they are an actual threat. As a Pathfinder, I might lob a spinfusor round at someone to slow them down, knock them off course, or distract them on my way to the flag. But there’s absolutely no reason to stop and engage a random enemy in the middle of the map.

        They aren’t a threat, and there should be people in better positions to take them out when they get closer to either base.

        That said, I do appreciate the players that can tie up two or three enemies for a minute or two with some aerial acrobatics. Makes my runs that much more likely to succeed.

  5. Alexander Norris says:

    Defending/retaking the generator is actually a newbie trap – you are either wasting your time down there when you should be working with the flag, or you are wasting your effort attacking an easily-defensible position, dying and giving the enemy credits to spend on orbital strikes. Retaking the generator won’t last long unless a significant part of the team stays there to defend (meaning you don’t cap and you don’t defend, i.e. you lose); and furthermore, the base defences don’t actually do much in the long run (certainly nothing against players good enough to not move in a straight line).

    Basically, defending or trying to retake the generators is a complete waste of time and you should not do it. Just defend the flag stand instead and let the quarter of the enemy team who want to go lock themselves under your base instead of contributing to the game rot there.

    Now, if only HiRez would do something about the over-abundance and over-poweredness of bullet weapons. :(

    • MasterDex says:

      I call BS. In all the time I’ve played, I’ve found most success when the generator is running and the sensors and turrets are working. At the least, it means flags can be defended using the Jugg’s shields, the technicians mini-turrets can aid in defence and all those active machines provides a distraction to incoming enemies. Defending a flag without the backup that generators provide, especially in a pub game, is much harder – even more so since many pubs have a bad habit of all going on the attack when there’s only a couple on defence.

      • SexualHarassmentPanda says:

        It’s because it is BS. Playing without a generator is like playing down 3 extra players. Anyone who would tell you not to even bother repairing the generator has not played Tribes long enough to know what he is talking about.

        • trw says:

          No, anything the generator can do another person on flagstand could do better on most maps. The only things that the generator really affects is turrets/forcefields/radar and vehicle station. If the generator can be repaired by one person on the defence sure it might be worth it, but 2 or 3 people on generator instead of on flag is just a huge net loss and doesn’t help your team at all.

          • MasterDex says:

            I agree with everything you said. The generator room should be left alone and only defended when it needs to be defended. Granted, competition is a different story but in most pub games, the generator being active can make the difference between a win and a loss. Trying to tell pubs to defend the flag doesn’t work as effectively as the two guys that are defending the flag having help from turrets, sensors, forcefields and mini-turrets.

      • Decimae says:

        It’s a bit harder, but having 2-3 more people on the flagstand makes it a lot easier. Even if they suck at stand D.

      • Mistabashi says:

        I’ve won enough matches where half the enemy team were throwing themselves at the gen and it spent most of the game down to realise it’s not necessarily as important as people seem to think. Ultimately, the radar is no substitute for a half decent HoF with their eyes open and team-mates who spot properly, and base turrets do little to stop a Pathfinder travelling at decent speed, and they can be taken down in no time by a half decent Juggernaut anyway. Forcefields are mostly useless for actually defending the flag, it’s the mines that really shine and they work regardless. The TCN’s light turrets can be pretty useful, but they’re so fragile that any class can take them out with ease.

        In short, there’s nothing the generator can do that can’t be replaced by half-decent players, and if the other team is wasting too many bodies attacking the gen then you have more players on the field actually working at winning the game.

        • Ergates_Antius says:

          I’ve won enough matches where half the enemy team were throwing themselves at the gen and it spent most of the game down to realise it’s not necessarily as important as people seem to think

          The problem with this argument is: If nobody is defending/retaking/reparing the generator, then you won’t have half the enemy team attacking it – they’ll take it down, it’ll stay down, they’ll quickly ignore it and start attacking the flag instead.
          If it serves no other purpose, the generator works well as attacker bait.

          I’ve spent an entire match tieing up 3 enemies by repeatedly trying to repair our generator. I never succeeded as there were 3 of them and 1 of me camped down there (and tbh. I’m not the best dueler anyway) – however it meant that the 3 of them did nothing else. Our team was, effectively, 2 players up. We won.

      • Snidesworth says:

        It depends on the map. Having the generator up is never useless, but its priority varies. On a map like Crossfire having turrets (both types) and shields up is invaluable since combat tends to slow down around the ships and there’s few chances for flag runners to avoid obstacles. On something like Katabatic, where the flag stand is cramped, open and usually under constant bombardment it’s far less important, especially once you consider how long it takes to move between generator room and flag stand. If you can bolt down to the generator and get it fixed up then it’s generally worth keeping it up. If it’s a minute’s round trip or so then you’ve got to weigh your options more carefully.

        This isn’t even mentioning sensors, which can give you that extra bit of awareness required to mount a good defence, and the ability to spawn vehicles.

      • D3xter says:

        I call BS on your BS, I’ve found the best way to “win” a game is to keep the generator running and upgrade the turrets and sensor to MK IV and change my class to a Technician often when I see people “not bothering”.

        The difference might not be “obvious” to anyone immediately (and MK I+II turrets seem rather worthless), but it’s the difference between your base being overrun by the enemy, “spawnkilling” people and them taking the flag whenever they please to actually being able to properly defend it.

        • Mattressi says:

          And likewise, having half your team partying in your gen room might seem like a good idea at first, until the other team takes flags with minimal resistance and isn’t even chased back to their base, while a handful of your team even attempt to grab the enemy flag.

          Generators are important, but aren’t the game. The game is CTF, not DFTG (defend the gen). If the other team is able to keep your generator down with minimal effort, while many from your team try to stop, you’re better off accepting the loss and playing the rest of the game. Trying to defend the generator with too many people puts your team on constant defense. You can’t win a CTF game without attacking.

    • Phantoon says:

      New to the game, huh? Try going Brute and defending the generator. Then your misconception of “giving them dosh for orbital strikes” turns into “hey, I have enough dosh for an orbital strike!”

      Bullet weapons aren’t OP. The Assault Rifle has been nerfed twice since its original incarnation. Aim better with your spinfusor.

      And the generator is invaluable, because it also powers deployables. You know, the TCN turrets, DMB force fields, and SEN jammers. Want to see an impenetrable flag defense dissolve in seconds? Take out their generator.

      When it comes down to it, the skill curve of the game is almost a loop. In the beginning, before anyone learns how to go fast, base defense will win you the game. Then, going fast. Then, when people are familiar with all assets of the game, base defense against those that can go fast will win you the game. You CAN’T protect that flag without a radar against highly skilled PTH. It doesn’t happen. But with one, you can see them coming, and get in their way.

      I suggest you play more.

      • trw says:

        Against a really good pth you need a good sen that spots for you, that’s a lot better than a radar and the reason why no team that plays competitively uses a technician more than as a gimmick or a rather specific thing for a specific map or bothers to repair the generator. It’s not a loop, it’s just a straight line – the better you are the worse base defence are. There is a little difference on public servers though and if you are only one/two flag defenders you really need the radar but that’s only because the team isn’t helping out as they should but rather more often are at the genroom.

        • mouton says:

          Forcefields are the only thing except sentinels that can actually stop super sanic cappers. Especially those 2-seconds back to front caps, like on Tartarus.

          • trw says:

            Doombringers themselves with either Super Heavy or Titan Launcher kills those pathfinders in one hit. As long as the dmb knows where the enemy is coming from and isn’t preoccupied by spam he should be able to stop him. But that requires a team that spots for him and kills juggernauts/raiders that will try to disrupt him, not someone in the gen room. Even if the gen is up the forcefield is easily taken down by a class with any type of long range gun as long as they know when to strike. Forcefields are just something that is nice to have in case you fuck up, but if you rely on them you really aren’t playing well.

  6. MasterDex says:

    Sweet! I just so happen to have been saving my experience too! The Brute’s fractal’s were definitely too hard-hitting. There are some that believe they should be removed all together but I’m of the opinion that they’re the perfect counter to infiltrators. Firing off shots here and there to find a cloaked infiltrator can work but a fractal in the right room works so much better.

    • Phantoon says:

      “be removed altogether”

      And replaced with what? Brutes have to fight multiple opponents at once, and they’re a slow heavy armor class. They need an item that punishes people for fighting in areas the Brute doesn’t want. The Fractal is exactly what it needs.

      Or need I remind people that certain anti-personnel grenades used by SOME people can one shot upgraded medium class armors? (And I’m not even talking about stickies, because they can’t do that anymore)

      • mouton says:

        Removed, no, but I wouldn’t cry if fractals stopped working when their owner dies. Suicide brutes are ridiculous.

    • mouton says:

      It is strikes that should be removed, or at the very least made much much MUCH more expensive. What’s the point of defending a flag after constant strike spam starts around half-time? And don’t even start on those “pro-cappers” who call the strike when they are flying fast towards the flag.

    • HermitUK says:

      Saying this as someone who plays a fair bit of Brute, I think removing them would be harsh, though I agree they still need a rethink. The nerf hasn’t been huge, and they still work near enough as well as before.

      Their purpose should be to deny/make it difficult for an enemy to enter an area, not kill them outright – You should be trading off on actual damage for area control.

      Perhaps further reduce the damage, but increase the laser frequency and/or knockback – The idea being you don’t get many kills with them, but they disrupt enemy movement (i.e. towards flagstand or gen) and soften them up for the Brute to finish off himself. This means they’d be useful, but not a Brute’s main source of kills (and would greatly reduce the effectiveness of suicide Brutes, unless other members of his team arrive to finish off anyone being bounced around by the laser knockback).

      • MasterDex says:

        Having been playing a fair bit of the Brute class myself recently, I think I can agree that they still need a bit of work as far as balancing them goes. I think a further 10%, or even 20% decrease in damage coupled with an increase to knockback power would help matters. Doing so, I believe, would define them as tools for blocking captures/gen attacks, etc and less as tools for killing. I think that’s the right place for the fractals. It keeps them useful for both defence and attack without risking an overnerf.

    • Derppy says:

      The damage nerf wasn’t that bad, fractals are still the absolute best weapon for fighting indoors.

      With upgraded survivalist and looter perks you get health, energy and two fractals from each ammo drop. The key is to stay indoors and attempt to trap the enemy between the fractals, shooting at the roof if they attempt to jetpack out.

      Once you handle it, you can pretty much hold the enemy generator down alone and stay alive, spamming ridiculous amount of fractals against a continuous waves of technicians.

      The fractals are also ridiculously effective at clearing flag stands and keeping them cleared. If your pathfinders are having trouble taking the flag, just ski around enemy base, throwing a fractal at the stand every time someone attempts to HOF or set up defenses. There’s usually ammo drops all over the place to keep you supplied with fractals.

  7. frenz0rz says:

    Blimey, I was looking forward to this patch but I’m not liking those changes to the Doombringer’s chaingun. Since, y’know, thats the only weapon (aside from the Tech’s SMG) that I’ve ever been any good with. I cant yet say how much a 5% damage reduction will affect it, but the ammo reduction is brutal.

    • theallmightybob says:

      ive been playing around with it, and it littraly transilated into having to hit someone with like 2 or 3 extra bullets depending on their class. and since i spend most of my time defnding as a fatty doom bringer I ususlay have ample ammo. but yeah it definatly makes it a bit harder to be an assult doom bringer.

    • DuddBudda says:

      I loathe you

  8. AlwaysRight says:

    Nerfed Impact Nitrons… Shazbot!

    Increased self-knockback on explosive weapons…Woohoo!

    So, in total SHAZHOO! (or should it be Woobot?)

  9. asshibbitty says:

    Wish my ISP hadn’t decided to have an outage an hour before the update, leavin me on 3G with 180ms to nearest server. Tried the duo disc gun in training mode, feels kinda like that plasma thing without the projectile size. Would still rather use the normal ones with soldier/brute (or is it raider? the heavy) handguns. No default female voice, that’s lame, of course there’s a toxic thread about this on official forums.

  10. caddyB says:

    Female voice pack is nice.. but boobs would be nicer.

    • jonfitt says:

      Maybe the padding on the inside of the armour accommodates any variation in torso shape.

      • caddyB says:

        That makes sense, but it’s no fun. I want my fictional warrior women to look good. Not chainmail bikini, mind you, but some curves on the armor wouldn’t be too bad. You know, just enough so I can suspend my disbelief while still having a bloody good time looking at them.

        • PleasingFungus says:

          Personally: I am very, very glad we don’t have Space Boobs. They’re unrealistic* and gratuitous.

          The female voices, on the other hand, should’ve been in the game since the beginning, and it’s very very dumb that there aren’t any default female voices; I understand that voice acting is expensive, but it’s pretty damn shortsighted to alienate 51% of the human race that way.

          (The rest of the update sounds really cool. I haven’t been playing for a while, but I might get back into the game now!)

          *Armor is designed to deflect impacts; “boob plate” would actually channel impacts directly toward the center of mass. Dumb! Just… dumb.

          • Flimgoblin says:

            Yeah the armour suits could be either gender, it’s a big metal plated armour suit – could be anyone inside it.

            Yay for female voicepacks (finally), and “oh ffs” at the fact they’re charging (real money) for all of them.

        • Phantoon says:

          Yeah? Well I want you to leave.

          Tribes doesn’t need sexualization. You’re a midget for even considering that every game needs boobs.

  11. The_Great_Skratsby says:

    Hooooo we’re getting closer to Tribes 1 and 2 like levels, and even alternate voices. Hng.

  12. dontnormally says:


  13. killmachine says:

    this patch really brings some awsome stuff. indoor flag stand with importance on generator (community request), increased pushback on all explosive weapons for better disc jumping (community request), a little thing like the removal of the screen cracks when hit (you guessed right, community request).

    twinfusors look awsome but are just too damn expensive like all the other weapons. 500tribes gold or 88000XP. 500gold are roughly 5€. for a single gun.

  14. Jezebeau says:

    “it’s a match made in heaven, and who are you to disappoint god?”

    Fantastic turn of phrase.