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Bikers With Jetpacks: Tribes' 'Raid And Pillage' Update

Ah, raiding and pillaging - two activities that, like adorable kittens and cuddling, go hand-in-hand. Tribes: Ascend's Raider is, of course, extremely proficient in both of the former areas (and possibly kitten cuddling as well, though there's a perplexing lack of discussion surrounding the topic), but he's now cruising toward handing out even more bruisings. In tomorrow's update, the Raider will gain the Plasma Gun, the heavy hitting NJ5-B SMG variant, and base-clearing Cluster Grenades. Also en route: a new "Griever" skin that makes him look like an incredibly disgruntled space biker. Sure, he'll bust some generators and play a crucial role in a flag capture, but will it finally bring him peace?

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Now, the part of me that's been known to take a Raider for a spin every once in a while is about as close to salivating over this prospect as one can get without it being weird. The Plasma Gun looks like it'll be oh-so-satisfying to nail mid-range targets with, and Raiders were already ticks burrowed deep within the flesh of opposing bases even without Cluster Grenades. But that's sort of the problem here: between the old SMG, the shield pack, and these new toys, the Raider's looking to leapfrog his way to the front of the pack. Here's hoping Hi-Rez either brings other classes up to speed forthwith (perhaps even fifthwith) or tweaks a few things to make the Raider a teensy bit less monstrous.

Even so, this is all a bit curious, seeing as straightforward attack classes already hog the spotlight on the battlefield. Team-oriented classes like the Technician, meanwhile, aren't nearly as prized as they should be, given that they're locked by default and not as evidently "fun" to play. Don't get me wrong: I love Tribes. But there's some serious room for improvement, and I'd like to see Hi-Rez start making moves in its general direction.

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