For being the developer of a game all about lightning-quick reaction times, Hi-Rez could be accused of reacting rather, um, glacially. More or less since day one, Tribes Ascend's free-to-play pricing model's taken flack for making new items prohibitively hard to come by, but recent months have finally seen the reigning king of Jetpack Mountain come down and deal with it. First, Hi-Rez halved XP costs for all unlocks last month, and now it's focusing its Fixification Beam on the other side of the fence. The one that pays for things. In short, those people will soon be able to pay less for the same amount of things - and all at once, no less. Which is much appreciated, but I can't imagine long-time players are enjoying the stinging red outline of a hand that's now plastered across their faces.
Hi-Rez posted about the basics of Tribes new single-purchase option on its official forums:
"In response to community requests, we are going to introduce a Single Purchase option for Tribes: Ascend. If you enjoy the game as free-to-play, nothing changes. Additional maps for free. But for those wanting a single purchase - this package will unlock all classes, all weapons, and all perks in the current game; everything except the non gameplay affecting items like cosmetics."
"We'll price it in the ballpark of other PC multiplayer shooters. And if you are a Tribes VIP we'll give an additional discount."
So probably expect something between $40 and $60. That, of course, is quite a marked decrease from the well-over-$100 it's possible to spend if the objects of your trigger finger's affections aren't bundled together. That said, I had a joyous time after only spending somewhere in the realm of $30, so this isn't quite Hi-Rez attempting highway robbery.
The current plan is to roll out the new purchasing option on Friday, just in time to coincide with a new content patch that's been in the works - in various forms - for months. So that's exciting, but also somewhat poorly timed in the grand scheme of things. I mean, it's certainly better late than never, but this approach would've been much more appreciated oh, I don't know, a year ago. It is, however, something I'd like to see more F2P games at least try in the future. I mean, I don't think F2P's inherently bad, but the ability to essentially buy a complete package with very little hassle would be nice. I'm sort of shocked more games don't do it already, to be honest. But hey, here's a start. Hopefully others will soon follow.