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Tribes: Ascend Announced

Hi-Rez Studios announces Tribes: Ascend, an upcoming game to precede the previously announced Tribes Universe, as they resume the series of sci-fi multiplayer first-person shooters started by Dynamix in 1998 with Starsiege: Tribes. The game will use the Unreal Engine 3, and is targeted for release later this year for Windows and Xbox 360. A Tribes: Ascend Website is already online, offering a pair of teaser trailers, a Blood Eagle version and a Diamond Sword version, which are identical save for the color scheme. We asked what this meant about the status of Tribes Universe, and were told the same thing that it says in the announcement: "We’ve had tremendous fun play-testing and realized the potential of a multiplayer focused title ahead of Tribes Universe." We asked for further clarification, and were told this will be more of a "traditional" multiplayer game, while Tribes Universe will operate more along the lines of an MMOG. Here's a bit from the announcement:

"Before Halo, before Modern Warfare, and before Battlefield, there was Tribes.", says Todd Harris, Hi-Rez Studios COO. "Tribes fans appreciate the game's essence - athletic FPS combat combined with teamwork and strategy. As we began development of Tribes Universe, we focused first on capturing that essence - refining and modernizing iconic elements like jetpacks, skiing, and vehicles. We’ve had tremendous fun play-testing and realized the potential of a multiplayer focused title ahead of Tribes Universe. The community has been waiting for a multi-player shooter that is the modern successor to T2. Tribes: Ascend is that game."

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77. Re: Tribes: Ascend Announced Mar 26, 2011, 19:36 Beaner
 
Sepharo wrote on Mar 13, 2011, 14:15:
I was one of the people who bought Tribes 2 and was never able to get any good at it. I loved all the mechanics though; the cameras and turrets , base generators, etc.

And thats probably why you stuck around to play it. Thats my point about all this stuff. The competition guys or long time players downplay it. But thats also why Tribes has never taken off. The game cant just cater to the hardcore crowd. It needs to include all the fun stuff that made this game such a blast for many different types of players.

With that said, its also VERY important they keep the core physics and gameplay intact. If you nerf it all to hell that doesn't help either because you will lose a large portion of the fanbase. The developers of T2 all admitted that was one of the biggest mistakes they made with the out of box release of the game. They got it right by adding the new elements, improving on vehicles and such, but they should have released it with the classic physics that came much later as a patch fix. Dont mess with the speed and momentum physics of the game and keep all the core assets that were in T1/T2.
 
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76. Re: Tribes: Ascend Announced Mar 14, 2011, 14:41 space captain
 
Morgan19 wrote on Mar 14, 2011, 09:05:
(EDIT) Well this is interesting... Another forum post (linked below) mentions that the Renwerx/Ascension team was acquired by a "major studio". It may be a leap, but given the similarity between the names Ascension and Ascend, I have to wonder if the former Renwerx folks are now working on Tribes: Ascend?

http://forums.renwerx.com/showthread.php?t=5351

if its true, then this new tribes might end up being awesome after all.. if they can resist all the new-school bullshit, which i doubt considering they want to put this on the xbox

at least its a bit better news than before
 
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75. Re: Tribes: Ascend Announced Mar 14, 2011, 09:05 Morgan19
 
also always wondered why the renegades guys didnt do their own game

They actually were working on their own Tribes-like game called Ascension (oddly enough). It looked like it'd gotten pretty far but after 6+ years of development they pulled the plug on it last January, I think due to lack of resources. The Ascension website was fully functional at one point with media and screenshots, but it's no longer live.

Here's a forum post detailing the game and its cancellation: http://forums.renwerx.com/showthread.php?t=5343

(EDIT) Well this is interesting... Another forum post (linked below) mentions that the Renwerx/Ascension team was acquired by a "major studio". It may be a leap, but given the similarity between the names Ascension and Ascend, I have to wonder if the former Renwerx folks are now working on Tribes: Ascend?

http://forums.renwerx.com/showthread.php?t=5351

This comment was edited on Mar 14, 2011, 09:38.
 
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74. Re: Tribes: Ascend Announced Mar 14, 2011, 08:35 Beaner
 
Suddenly_Dead wrote on Mar 13, 2011, 16:54:
And like I said, they have the source code to the engine. They can tool the netcode however they like. Of course they can do an awful job of it regardless, but so they could if they decided to roll their own or use another engine.

Even Red Orchestra, a smallish project, was able to tweak UE's networking code and I've heard that it ended up working quite well (apparently they did it without touching the actual core netcode, just the higher-level bits).

Not trying to be negative but you have to understand. That is exactly what Irrational games was saying when they were working on Tribes Vengeance. Everyone was worried about Irrational games choosing the unreal engine for TV. They would try and calm everyone down by telling them they are completely revising the engine and netcode. Well it was what many fans expected. A lot of choppy lag and non regs.
 
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73. Re: Tribes: Ascend Announced Mar 13, 2011, 21:30 space captain
 
Flatline wrote on Mar 13, 2011, 15:55:
The other awesome thing about T1 was that the maps and 90% of the mods were all server-side. The terrain was effectively a text file that you downloaded with building locations noted in it, and the game built the map off of that. Mods like renegades were simply server-side tweaks to all the weapons and armor classes, and you didn't have to download a damn thing to play. It was great.

yeh and server mods could open the console and edit the map while people are playing in the game

shit was crazy ..

also always wondered why the renegades guys didnt do their own game
 
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72. Re: Tribes: Ascend Announced Mar 13, 2011, 16:54 Suddenly_Dead
 
Beaner wrote on Mar 12, 2011, 23:19:
NoBS wrote on Mar 12, 2011, 14:20:
Suddenly_Dead wrote on Mar 12, 2011, 12:40:
And it's not like Epic has just been sitting on it doing nothing since the time of T:V.
Tribes: Vengeance should not be used as the benchmark for Unreal engine network performance. The build of the Unreal engine in Tribes: Vengeance predates UT2004 so it has none of the improvements Epic made for larger scale network games with vehicles. In addition Irrational made major modifications to the engine including adding Havok physics which affects performance. Tribes: Vengeance also never received needed fixes because Vivendi killed postgame support due to poor sales.

So should we use the chop and lag of unreal 3 as evidence? I have yet to see or play a large scale game with lots of action on any unreal engine that isnt full of shitty chop and lag. Thats probbaly why cornboy and the firefall guys are using their own tweaked variant of the project offset engine. I am more then willing to bet firefall will be capable of handling large maps with tons of action and very little lag. I doubt I could say the same about any unreal engine. Unreal engine is all about tons of eye candy and many of the games are optimized for consoles on smaller maps.

And like I said, they have the source code to the engine. They can tool the netcode however they like. Of course they can do an awful job of it regardless, but so they could if they decided to roll their own or use another engine.

Even Red Orchestra, a smallish project, was able to tweak UE's networking code and I've heard that it ended up working quite well (apparently they did it without touching the actual core netcode, just the higher-level bits).
 
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71. Re: Tribes: Ascend Announced Mar 13, 2011, 15:55 Flatline
 
Jerykk wrote on Mar 12, 2011, 04:55:
T1 players generally hated T2 because it nerfed the physics. Acceleration was slower, there was a cap on max speed and everything felt floatier in general. Just compare the T1 vids to the T2 vid I posted. Keep in mind that the T2 vid is using a mod called Tribes 2 Classic, which made the game faster. Dynamix' original vision of Tribes was one where vehicles played an integral role and jetpacks were simply a gimmick more than anything else (watch the demo recordings that came with T1 for proof of this). However, T1 turned out to be the complete opposite. With T2, they tried to remedy this by nerfing player mobility while making vehicles grossly overpowered. If Ascend does the same thing (after all, T2 fans tend to like vehicles), T1 fans will be left in the cold.

QFT

In T1, scouts were guided missiles you hopped out of at the last second, the light APC was almost never used, and the heavy APC was a heavy mortar platform and little else.

I never did really get into tribes 2. I was an *early* adopter (pre-ordered), and got hit with months of game-crippling bugs and issues. I wasn't even able to play for the first month or two, so I never got into it the way I got into tribes 1.

The other awesome thing about T1 was that the maps and 90% of the mods were all server-side. The terrain was effectively a text file that you downloaded with building locations noted in it, and the game built the map off of that. Mods like renegades were simply server-side tweaks to all the weapons and armor classes, and you didn't have to download a damn thing to play. It was great.
 
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70. Re: Tribes: Ascend Announced Mar 13, 2011, 14:15 Sepharo
 
I used to put a bunch of C4 in the back of a jeep and then ghost ride it into a tank and blow it up. Wait a sec...

I was one of the people who bought Tribes 2 and was never able to get any good at it. I loved all the mechanics though; the cameras and turrets , base generators, etc.

I remember going to the big yearly LAN (300+) and thinking man everyone is going to be playing Tribes 2 since the first game was so hardcore. But then I got to the LAN with my brand new copy and nobody was playing, it was all CS and Rocket Arena 3.
 
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69. Re: Tribes: Ascend Announced Mar 13, 2011, 12:56 Madoc Owain
 
Or jump-jetting into a heavy APC that had one open spot, watching the horrified occupants turn towards you as you jump back out, blowing up the whole thing and flying away again!  
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68. Re: Tribes: Ascend Announced Mar 13, 2011, 08:45 Jerykk
 
Not everyone is a capper.

It didn't really matter if you were a capper or not. Defense had to carry flares as well because heavy offense always carried and used the missile launcher.

Allow a player to carry grenades and flares.

Except the problem still remains that the flares only exist as a counter for one specific weapon.

The problem with Tribes especially Tribes 1 is that the ski glitch brought along with a higher skill curve in the game. New people jumping into a game of tribes the first time may get annoyed and quit all together. In fact skiing can almost seem like a cheat to them. You have missile launchers, deployables, teams grouping up with elf guns and suddenly the game becomes fun and interesting to the new player.

True, the missile launcher and overpowered vehicles did make T2 more accessible to new players. However, everyone was a new player of T1 at some point. They didn't need homing missile launchers to keep them playing. When I first started playing, I got my ass handed to me for about a month before I started to become somewhat capable of skiing. When I first saw someone ski, I didn't think it was cheap either. I thought it was awesome and I wanted to learn how to do it myself. It helped that there were a wide variety of servers with players of varying levels of skill. I simply found a server with people around my level, then moved to different servers as my skills improved over time.

Instead of introducing overpowered vehicles or weapons and then trying to balance them with otherwise worthless flares, Tribes would have benefit from a ranking system (based on things like flag caps, amount of time with the flag, kills, repairs, accuracy, number of midair hits, number of midair flag grabs & passes, average speed, average lifespan, etc). This way, players could see the average player rank on any given server and choose the servers that best fit their level.
 
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67. Re: Tribes: Ascend Announced Mar 13, 2011, 05:44 Beaner
 

Wow, I think you completely missed the point of my post. Yes, it's easy to escape missiles when you have flares. There's no skill involved, you just drop a flare as soon as you hear the missile lock warning. However, when you don't have flares, you're screwed. Therefore, everyone in T2 was essentially forced to carry flares at the expense of other grenades. What exactly was the point in having frag grenades, flashbang grenades and concussion grenades if flare grenades are the only ones used?

Not everyone is a capper. Your argument about flares taking up a spot to hold gernades was a popular complaint. And you have a point. I see an easy fix. Allow a player to carry grenades and flares. I don't think that throws off much balance. My point about the missile launchers is that they are an excellent gateway weapon. The type of thing that allows a newbie to enjoy the game and feel like they can contribute (on defense). The problem with Tribes especially Tribes 1 is that the ski glitch brought along with a higher skill curve in the game. New people jumping into a game of tribes the first time may get annoyed and quit all together. In fact skiing can almost seem like a cheat to them. You have missile launchers, deployables, teams grouping up with elf guns and suddenly the game becomes fun and interesting to the new player. I just wouldn't want all those things and to gimp the physics or speed. That would suck. I want this game to attract a huge following and not just a small niche following of fans.

And regarding vehicles. Its not like anyone can jump into a shrike and be insta ram kill. It does take some time and skill to be good at doing that. Both bombers and tanks require team work to use them effectively unlike the fisher price spam vehicles in TV.

This comment was edited on Mar 13, 2011, 05:54.
 
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66. Re: Tribes: Ascend Announced Mar 13, 2011, 03:26 NoBS
 
space captain wrote on Mar 12, 2011, 16:19:
btw - modders have fixed those network issues and added anti-cheat support as well.. so no more nonregs or rubberbanding vehicles on servers that run these mods
Interesting. Do you have any download links for these mods or at least specific mod names I could search for?
 
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65. Re: Tribes: Ascend Announced Mar 13, 2011, 03:04 Jerykk
 
And to the veterans who whine about the missile launcher and flare or vehicles. You are such pussies. Its so easy to manage flares to counter missiles. Ive seen many a good player easily fly through and escape misiles, turrets the whole nine yards.

Wow, I think you completely missed the point of my post. Yes, it's easy to escape missiles when you have flares. There's no skill involved, you just drop a flare as soon as you hear the missile lock warning. However, when you don't have flares, you're screwed. Therefore, everyone in T2 was essentially forced to carry flares at the expense of other grenades. What exactly was the point in having frag grenades, flashbang grenades and concussion grenades if flare grenades are the only ones used? When a weapon (in this case, the homing missile launcher) forces everyone to carry a certain type of grenade just to counter it, that's a pretty obvious balance issue. The flare grenades exist only because the homing missile launcher is inherently unbalanced and the homing missile launcher exists only because the vehicles were so unbalanced. You don't fix a balancing issue by introducing a weapon that's also unbalanced, which then requires that you create a new grenade type whose sole purpose is to counter said weapon.

Here's a conversation the Dynamix devs probably had when designing T2:

Designer #1: Hey bro, nobody used vehicles in T1. That's not cool. We wanted vehicles to be a focus in Tribes but that stupid skiing bug ruined that.
Designer #2: Totally. We really want players to use vehicles in T2 so let's nerf the physics and make it much faster to get around using vehicles!

*two days later*

Designer #1: So, the testers still aren't using vehicles even with the nerfed physics.
Designer #2: Crap. I know! Let's give vehicles shields! Regenerating shields! And lots of firepower!
Designer #1: Brilliant!

*two days later*

Designer #1: So, the vehicles are completely owning players without vehicles.
Designer #2: Hmm... I know! Let's give players a weapon specifically designed to counter vehicles! Something like... like... a homing missile launcher!
Designer #1: Amazing!

*two days later*

Designer #2: So, the homing missile launcher is completely owning vehicles, players and turrets.
Designer #1: Darn. Maybe we should stop adding poorly-planned counters to vehicles and just make vehicles less overpowered?
Designer #2: Nonsense! I know the perfect counter to homing missiles!
Designer #1: Orly?
Designer #2: Yarly. Flare grenades!
Designer #1: Oh snap! Flares are awesome! Can they do anything else besides counter missiles?
Designer #2: Nope.
Designer #1: Oh, okay. Still awesome! But what if everyone uses the homing missile launcher? Won't that force everyone to carry flares instead of the other grenade types?
Designer #2: Don't be ridiculous. Why would everyone use the homing missile launcher? It's designed specifically to counter vehicles and will only be used by heavy defense! I mean, why else would anyone use a missile launcher with lock-on targeting that does a ton of damage to players, vehicles and turrets alike?
Designer #1: True, true. So we agree: Best... Ideas... Ever. Let's ship this bitch.

Here's what Dynamix should have done.

1) Remove the shields on vehicles so that you don't need a homing missile launcher in order to destroy them.

Bam! Problem solved. Without the regenerating shields, vehicles would have been much easier to take out. Thus, there would be no need for a homing missile launcher. No missile launcher = no flares. Noobs could still use vehicles if they wanted to, but the rest of the game balance wouldn't have been affected.

For the guys who maybe cant chase or ski well, if they team up and work together they can make life hell for the cowboy lpb who thinks he can just jump into a full sever and control everything.

I don't know about you but destroying noobs gets old pretty quick. There's no challenge and thus, no satisfaction. The vast majority of skilled players played on servers with players of equal or greater skill. When I was a noob in T1, I had no problem finding servers with players at my skill level.

This comment was edited on Mar 13, 2011, 03:20.
 
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64. Re: Tribes: Ascend Announced Mar 12, 2011, 23:19 Beaner
 
NoBS wrote on Mar 12, 2011, 14:20:
Suddenly_Dead wrote on Mar 12, 2011, 12:40:
And it's not like Epic has just been sitting on it doing nothing since the time of T:V.
Tribes: Vengeance should not be used as the benchmark for Unreal engine network performance. The build of the Unreal engine in Tribes: Vengeance predates UT2004 so it has none of the improvements Epic made for larger scale network games with vehicles. In addition Irrational made major modifications to the engine including adding Havok physics which affects performance. Tribes: Vengeance also never received needed fixes because Vivendi killed postgame support due to poor sales.

So should we use the chop and lag of unreal 3 as evidence? I have yet to see or play a large scale game with lots of action on any unreal engine that isnt full of shitty chop and lag. Thats probbaly why cornboy and the firefall guys are using their own tweaked variant of the project offset engine. I am more then willing to bet firefall will be capable of handling large maps with tons of action and very little lag. I doubt I could say the same about any unreal engine. Unreal engine is all about tons of eye candy and many of the games are optimized for consoles on smaller maps.
 
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63. Re: Tribes: Ascend Announced Mar 12, 2011, 23:08 Beaner
 
Tony!!! wrote on Mar 12, 2011, 12:28:
Wrong wrong wrong Beaner. Tribes 2 was perfect. Maybe you forgot how over abused skiing became in Tribes? It completley ruined the team work aspect of the game. One guy gets the flag and he bullets across the map at uncatchable speeds. It was basically the equivelant of a misused glitch.
Tribes 2 got ride of that extreme, thus putting more emphasis on team work and making recoving a stolen flag possible.

Tony this is the deal. Tribes 2 was a good game. In fact I love it more than the original and I loved Tribes 1. You have a point about skiing being fast and all but thats the point about the skill base in Tribes. You cannot diminish that element of the game without killing of a large portion of the fanbase who grew up to love this game. Its like ripping the soul out of it. Yes someone new to the game may have a hard time dealing with experienced players who can ski well. With that said, that is why I like Tribes 2. Tribes 2 threw in a lot more elements that made the game fun and capable for new players. The vehicles, more deployables, cloaking, elf gun and yes even the missile launcher and flare. Those things helped even the game a bit. Sure veterans of the game may whine about those things. But I would much rather have those elements in game and keep the skiing fast and furious versus gimping the speed and slowing tribes down to a call of duty crawl or ground hugger game. THe immense popularity of tribes came about partially due to that skiing glitch. it is now considered a soul part of tribes gameplay and what makes it so unique compared to any other FPS.

And to the veterans who whine about the missile launcher and flare or vehicles. You are such pussies. Its so easy to manage flares to counter missiles. Ive seen many a good player easily fly through and escape misiles, turrets the whole nine yards. Thats the point to make you work for it. For the guys who maybe cant chase or ski well, if they team up and work together they can make life hell for the cowboy lpb who thinks he can just jump into a full sever and control everything. Its not 1998 anymore where you are god because everyone else you are playing is on a 56k connection. You are the type of people that have hurt this game more then help it.

This comment was edited on Mar 12, 2011, 23:13.
 
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62. Re: Tribes: Ascend Announced Mar 12, 2011, 23:04 Suddenly_Dead
 
They've been playing T2 (IIRC a lot on the Goon Haven server, which is on the one hand a Classic server, and on the other hand has some really questionable maps), so it's a good bet they're going vehicle-heavy.  
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61. Re: Tribes: Ascend Announced Mar 12, 2011, 21:51 Jerykk
 
The focus on vehicles in T2 just completely mangled the balance of the game. Dynamix wanted players to actually use vehicles this time around so they gave them tons of shields and firepower. But then they realized that vehicles were basically unstoppable unless an entire team focused on taking them down, so they gave players a homing missile launcher to compensate. But then everyone in heavy and medium armor used the homing missile launcher to take out players, vehicles and turrets alike, so Dynamix added the flare grenade to counter that. As a result, everyone ended up being forced to carry flares instead of the three other types of grenades, otherwise they'd get totally screwed by missiles.

Vehicles have always felt redundant in Tribes due to the player's mobility and firepower. After all, do I really need a tank when I can wear heavy armor and fly across the map at high speeds while shooting mortars, grenades and explosive discs? The only way to make vehicles useful in Tribes is to make them overpowered (as they did in T2), which then screws up the balancing and pacing of the game. If Ascend places as heavy an emphasis on vehicles as T2 did, I predict I'll dislike it about as much.
 
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60. Re: Tribes: Ascend Announced Mar 12, 2011, 20:35 Suddenly_Dead
 
Yeah, Tribes 2 base was all about vehicle capping. And there was nothing you could do when they were fleeing; someone tosses a flare, and that's it. Chasing wasn't easy in T1 and T2C either, but at least you could do something after the flag was taken.  
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59. Re: Tribes: Ascend Announced Mar 12, 2011, 19:58 Jerykk
 
Wrong wrong wrong Beaner. Tribes 2 was perfect. Maybe you forgot how over abused skiing became in Tribes? It completley ruined the team work aspect of the game. One guy gets the flag and he bullets across the map at uncatchable speeds.

Incorrect. There were many ways to counter the advantage that skiing gave to cappers. Body-blocking and mine-discing were the most effective counters. Skiing simply forced defense to elevate their game and that's exactly what they did. If both the capper and defense were equally skilled, the capper would not be successful without assistance from his team. And if a capper did manage to grab your flag, you could disc-jump to instantly gain tons of speed and momentum and catch up to him. Or you could just snipe him. Defense typically consisted of a shielded heavy, a chaser and a sniper, so the likelihood of a lone capper getting past that without support was pretty low.

Tribes 2 got ride of that extreme, thus putting more emphasis on team work and making recoving a stolen flag possible.

T2 put more emphasis on vehicles and if a capper got into a Shrike, it was basically impossible to stop him unless you were carrying the homing missile launcher or were in a Shrike yourself. There was just as much teamwork in T1 as there was in T2. The only difference is that T1 required more skill due to the speed of the game.

 
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58. Re: Tribes: Ascend Announced Mar 12, 2011, 16:19 space captain
 
NoBS wrote on Mar 12, 2011, 14:20:
Tribes: Vengeance also never received needed fixes because Vivendi killed postgame support due to poor sales.

btw - modders have fixed those network issues and added anti-cheat support as well.. so no more nonregs or rubberbanding vehicles on servers that run these mods

not much of an issue considering the online average for T:V is around 15 players or less (usually 0) at this point
 
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