Hi-Rez Studios gave up on Tribes Ascend [official site] for a couple of years, but a few months back made the unexpected announcement that they we working on a big ole update for their F2P jetpacking FPS. And they did release it! The ‘Out of the Blue’ update (or version 1.1, if you have no romance in your heart – if you wouldn’t pash with a plasma rifle) arrived last week, with new maps, new weapons, exploit fixes, and a whole hovershedload of balance tweaks.
One big change is an overhaul of the class system, going from nine distinct classes to three armour types – light, medium, and heavy – with customisable loadouts. New battle arenas come in maps inspired by Tribes 1’s Rollercoaster, Tribes 2’s Damnation, and Ascend’s own Katabatic and Arx Novena, which are all playable in CTF mode and in either Blitz or TDM on the side. And… yeah, it adds and changes a whole load more. Check out the full notes over here for all the numbers on balance tweaks and whatnot.
As the update changes a whole load, Hi-Rez have undone all in-game purchases:
“Due to the dramatic changes to the underlying game, all in-game purchases have been reverted and all Tribes Gold and XP refunded to your account. If you have previously purchased the Ultimate Weapon Pack or Game of the Year it will be re-added to your account. If there is any Tribes Gold on your account you will be automatically gifted the Ultimate Weapon Pack.”
I suspect this update is partially to assuage some fan concerns that Hi-Rez might abandon their MOBA Smite for new MOBA shooter Paladins, like they stopped working on Tribes to focus on Smite. After the Tribes patches stopped, Hi-Rez said that Tribes had been “break-even at best“, but Smite does seem to be doing better so I wouldn’t worry about that. Anyway, they say they’d like to keep this revived small Tribes team going for a while, so that’s grand?