Tribes: Ascend update adds two maps, bug fixes

Tribes: Ascend has added two more maps and a host of bug fixes and balance adjustments with its sixth update.


Tribes: Ascend continues to progress at a steady clip, as Hi-Rez Studios has added the sixth update to the game. This latest update adds two new maps, one of which will be familiar to Tribes fans, along with various bug fixes and game adjustments.

PC Gamer reports that the new maps are Stonehenge and Miasma. Stonehenge was a popular map from the classic Tribes, and it's currently in beta. Miasma is already in the Quick Play rotation, and features a brightly colored forest with luminescent bugs. Other highlights include a "lock to player view" in the spectator mode, the addition of high-intensity music to Tartarus, and various other weapon balancing and bug fixes.

From The Chatty
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    June 25, 2012 3:00 PM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Tribes: Ascend update adds two maps, bug fixes.

    Tribes: Ascend has added two more maps and a host of bug fixes and balance adjustments with its sixth update.

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      June 25, 2012 3:51 PM

      I feel bad for any Tribes fans who refuse to try this simply because of its business model.

      Given the complete disinterest by publishers for the IP, I think Hi-Rez did a phenomenal job producing a product that not only nails the Tribes feel but also manages to make it work in an era when these kinds of games are almost completely ignored by the under 20 crowd.

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        June 25, 2012 4:17 PM

        It's pretty fun!

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        June 25, 2012 4:40 PM

        The game is really damn good. Totally nails the Tribes feel.

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        June 25, 2012 5:06 PM

        It's awesome!

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        June 25, 2012 5:23 PM

        I dont think ive seen anyone here ignore it based on the business model. Its surprisingly well received by the shack.

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        June 25, 2012 7:10 PM

        It's win win if you ask me. I've spent no more than 10 bucks on Tribes, I have a great time playing the game, there's a solid community BECAUSE it's free. I'm fairly confident this model will end up being more profitable for Hi-Rez too. If this thing was a US$60 title, the community would be significantly smaller (particularly here in Australia). Small community begats smaller community begats dead community. It would have all been over in 6 months. You can either have 10 people pay $60 flat, no more, or 100 people pay $10, more coin, more chance of even more coin for Hi-Rez

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          June 26, 2012 9:01 AM

          Agreed, I think the F2P model, while maybe not ideal from a gameplay perspective for this game, is playing a big factor in keeping it alive. Unfortunately it's also pissing a lot of the more competitive players off if you follow the community at all.

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        June 25, 2012 7:20 PM

        I tried it and hated it because of its business model. I really wanted to like it, but the fact that I had to grind to unlock a lot of gameplay modifying stuff turned me off too much.

        Grinding XP/Paying might make sense for games like Battlefield or LOL. But games like tribes that are supposedly meant to be about fast, purely skill based play, it ruins the game. I wouldn't have minded if the unlocks were cosmetic only, but when most of the functionality (classes, weapons, kits/packs) is unavailable to you from the start in a skill based game, it instills some serious doubt.

        I might give it a shot again, I'm glad that it is keeping some portion of the tribes community happy, but for now I'll just stick to Quake Live (for which I'm happy to pay an optional subscription fee that does not give me any in-game advantage, just lets me create custom servers etc.).

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          June 25, 2012 8:54 PM

          I couldn't get into Quake felt like they took Quake 3 (which was already more bland than QW or DOOM2 DM) and they made all the weapons even weaker/less interesting and exaggerated everything I didn't like about Q3 to a huge extent. Its ok..its just not the best Quake it could be.

          The system in Tribes Ascend doesn't bother me. It doesn't feel like its pay to win or anything...hell; most of the important stuff for the class I play (Pathfinder) is unlocked from the beginning and its just a matter of getting a few things. My view is that if you drop 30 bucks you can get everything you'd really need to be competitive with the classes you want to focus on and have a bit left over...and I think the game is worth 30 bucks.

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            June 26, 2012 8:31 AM

            I will disagree with you there on QL being bland. It might seem bland but its deceivingly well balanced and has a lot of depth as far as a being twitch shooter is concerned, especially when it comes to perfecting and leveraging fast movement (just like tribes). Of course, I remember tribes for its twitchiness and speed, and not for an abundance of unecessary artificial constraints.

            If I wanted an artificially *deep* shooter I would just play battlefield or call of duty where they formalize things like skill and experience into actual game mechanics (player levels and unlocks) that you must grind through.

            Ideally in a perfect skill-based shooter everyone starts with a clean slate, and each player on the field has an exactly equal amount of initial energy and capability in terms of mechanics. Creating asymmetric starting conditions, while perhaps making the game initially seem more "interesting" and "choice based", actually introduces extra uncertainty and randomness to the game.

            From a player vs player point of view, this lack of perfect (or near perfect) knowledge dilutes the purity of the match. For example, in any competitive real world sport, such as basketball or football, you do not see players with vastly different gear and equipment. It is kept standardized and uniform so that player skill can shine through because the game is about the player skill, not their equipment configuration.

            In this light, hopefully you can see what I'm trying to say by "artificially deep". While you might judge QL as bland, I will argue that it is in fact very well balanced (due in large part because of the LACK of weapon/kit configurations and permutations), and provides opportunity for a lot of depth especially as your skill level improves.

            I'm not trying to prescribe this as how every game should be, nor am I trying to compare QL to Ascend (as you were). All I am saying is that there is a price that is paid by adding too many combinations in initial player state (in the context of a skill-based competitive game), and in a business model that promotes this. Once you break the gameplay down into its core primitive, you might be surprised by what is deep and what is not, and by what is bland and what is not.

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              June 26, 2012 8:36 AM

              Asymmetry is what makes multiplayer fun, though. Without it, responses become rote and mechanical after a few hundred hours with little room for different play styles and improvisation.

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                June 26, 2012 9:08 AM

                Yes, but asymmetry in player skillset and mental state is what makes a competitive PvP type MP game fun.

                Asymmetry in mechanics is also fine as long as it is deterministic (e.g. asymmetric maps).

                Dont forget, I am talking about a competitive MP game, with the context being that the game is geared towards competitive types - the type of gamers that subscribe to the "playing to win" mindset.

                In street fighter, when you are playing competitively against an opponent using a different character, thats cool, because you know that characters abilities, even if they are different to yours. But if your opponent uses a character that they have done some custom modifications to, and you have no way of knowing what their capabilities are (and vice versa for your opponent), then the game becomes non-deterministic from a player skill point of view by introducing chance into the game in the form of randomized initial player state but without perfect knowledge.

                In chess, you start out the same way each time. If you were to start with a random configuration instead, then you will ask the question "am I losing because of chance, or skill?". In every competitive sport I can think of, the starting configuration is always even and the same every time. There is a very good reason for this, and these games have lasted centuries with very little (if none) changes.

                You might think it is less fun, but it is by no means shallow; If the basic mechanics of the game are well balanced and fine tuned enough, the depth comes with player skill, not from convoluted mechanics or forced randomisation, and this results in a high ceiling.

                In a competitive context, "fun" is the journey of outwitting the opponent, and beating him. If you are not a competitive type then you probably don't enjoy this kind of "fun".

                Of course what I have said so far does not apply to everyone, but understand that it is in the context of competitive, purely skill-based games (which are ultra rare these days anyway).

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                  June 26, 2012 9:54 AM

                  You must not have liked the other Tribes then because they allowed you to customize your loadout even further

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                    June 26, 2012 5:44 PM

                    I played the hell out of starsiege tribes (tribes 1) with shifter mod (which add a huge amount of deployables, kits and weapons) and enjoyed it too.

                    The main difference was that everyone had access to the same set of capabilities from the very start, and could switch to any kit/weapon/combo from an inventory at any point in time.

                    You obviously misunderstood me.

                    Its not about customisation, its about deterministic and non-deterministic customisation. If you are versing someone whos character has vastly different in-game capabilities to your character, its perfectly fine, granted that everyone is on equal grounds in terms of being able to select from the same set of skills.

                    When this is not the case, it increases the "noise" in the competitive purity. Player A has to make guesses about player B's re-gearing options. A lot of competitive play is based around reading your opponents (both inside a round, and in-between rounds).

                    And also, I just hate grinding in a competitive context. It dilutes the purity of the skill-based factor, and people win because of a mixture of skill and time spent grinding XP/virtual gold. In a F2P model the ratio of grinding that contributes to success will undoubtedly be higher.

                    This has nothing to do with having options in gameplay, and everything to do with artificial limitations getting in the way of actually playing a game competitively on even ground. (Once again, "even ground" means not that the players have the same exact weapons/kit, but that they have the same amount of options about these weapons/kits.)

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        June 25, 2012 7:23 PM

        Couldn't agree more, this is a great game and Hi-Rez has done a phenom job

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        June 25, 2012 7:55 PM

        Tried it. Got bored. Left.

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          June 25, 2012 7:56 PM

          And I'm over 30, and was an avid Tribes/Tribes 2 player.

          But after playing those types of games for many many years, I've grown up with my gaming tastes.

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        June 25, 2012 7:59 PM

        I think it's pretty fantastic. There are some issues that bring it down a bit for me, but I really like it overall.

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        June 26, 2012 8:57 AM

        I'm completely addicted to it right now, have more time in it than I do BF3 which I paid $40 for vs the $10 I've dropped on Tribes so far. It's great to have a an old school style team based FPS where individual player skill AND teamwork play a big part. It's certainly not without its flaws but I think they're doing a good job overall, I see myself playing it for a while yet.

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      June 25, 2012 4:23 PM

      Dear everyone who hasn't played this game: Go play this game.

      Use this referral link to tell 'em I sent ya:

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      June 25, 2012 4:54 PM

      Fun game. But putting more money into it after the initial purchase (if you go that route) isn't a great idea. I'm not entirely happy with that, but apparently they sped up the pace of earning money/points by just playing. I'm not going to spend more money on classes/weapons and yet you'll probably need those classs/weapons at some point.

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        June 25, 2012 6:55 PM

        i dropped $30 on it and with the month of double xp you also get with it i bought pretty much everything i need.

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          June 25, 2012 11:05 PM

          Actually, by purchasing gold you get a permanent 50% XP bonus. Boost will then double that, so by buying a boost you are actually earning 3 times the normal XP. During that double XP weekend, I was earning 6 times normal XP each game.

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            June 26, 2012 1:00 AM

            yeah it does really pay off people who drop even a little money on the game, it's just not obvious enough about it.

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        June 26, 2012 7:05 AM

        What do you mean "initial purchase"? It doesn't cost anything to play, initially.

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          June 26, 2012 9:15 AM

          "[A]fter the initial purchase (if you go that route)". If you go that route. If you go that route. If you go that route.

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            June 27, 2012 3:50 AM

            What do you mean "if you go that route"? What is the default initial purchase route, which you are implying exists?

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      June 26, 2012 4:51 AM

      I keep wanting to play this, but I'm currently bouncing between so many games it's not even funny.

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