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Tribes Ascend Q&A: Tribes Universe On Hold; Other Starsiege Games Planned

Soar With the Blood Eagles on PC PowerPlay Magazine is a preview of Tribes Ascend that includes a Q&A with Hi-Rez Studios CEO Todd Harris discussing the upcoming continuation of the Tribes multiplayer shooter series. Topics of the interview include lessons learned from Global Agenda, the return of the Blood Eagle and the Diamond Sword factions, the passion of the Tribes community, the loadout system, paid content, and more. They also ask about Tribes Universe, and the answer indicates that this is on hold at best, but they plan to continue to explore the Tribes universe, as well as the Starsiege series from which it was born:

Our studio is a huge fan of the previous Tribes games. So after we acquired the rights to Tribes our first goal was to get the movement and physics and combat feeling right. When we made enough progress toward that goal we decided to release a pure match-based shooter ahead of any MMO and that shooter became Ascend. We do still intend to further explore the Tribes and Starsiege IP with future projects, but right now our Tribes dev team is working only on Ascend.

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13. Re: Tribes Ascend Q&A: Tribes Universe On Hold; Other Starsiege Games Planned Jan 6, 2012, 03:28 Jerykk
 
Okay, I managed to get a beta key from Curse.com and play the game for a few hours. It's more entertaining than I thought it would be.

Pros:
1) Spinfusor is still fun to use.
2) Decent sense of speed if you have the FOV set to 120.

Cons:
1) Jetpacks feel pretty weak. They give you minimal vertical acceleration so you end up close to the ground most of the time, which is a pretty significant change from the T1.
2) Disc-jumping seems really underwhelming. It gives you a minimal speed boost. Handy if you're already going fast but pretty useless if you're moving slowly or not at all.
3) Skiing is weird. Feels kind of like T:V, which I wasn't a big fan of thing. In T1, changing direction was largely dependent on terrain in T:A, it's more dependent on holding left or right.
4) Having to unlock loadouts is lame, as expected. Having no ability to customize your loadout is equally lame. I never used my secondary weapon.
5) Grenade throwing is too slow. The grenade should be tossed as soon as you hit the key but there's a relatively long delay.
6) Performance needs work. Even when I drop the settings down to minimum, I can't sustain a constant 60 FPS. Considering that the graphics aren't all that great and I easily get 60 FPS in other UE3 games, this is dumb.
6) Unlockable skills and perks really aren't balanced at all. A player who has them all will have a significant advantage over a player who has none, on top of the inherent advantage of having much more experience playing the game.

Despite the fact that my cons list is three times longer than my pros list, I'm still enjoying it. Maybe I'm just desperate for a shooter that doesn't revolve around cover and hitscan weapons.
 
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12. Re: Tribes Ascend Q&A: Tribes Universe On Hold; Other Starsiege Games Planned Jan 5, 2012, 12:29 Jerykk
 
doesnt sound like you are playing this game... because the beowulf tank is exactly all the things you are describing here: really tough, really lethal, somewhat slowish... actually it moves quick enough to really be a pain in the ass to kill, IMHO it can change direction too fast and needs a bit of balancing

Actually, I thought the Tank in T2 had an extremely detrimental impact on the game. Unless you had the homing missile launcher or your entire team focused on destroying it, the tank was almost impossible to kill and really screwed up the balance of the game. The tank in T:V wasn't as bad, but it was still annoying and felt out of place.

Really, part of the reason why T1 was the best was the lack of focus on vehicles. The only vehicle that was used (in a few maps) was the Scout and that was relatively easy to destroy. Hell, you could kill the driver without even touching the Scout.
 
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11. Re: Tribes Ascend Q&A: Tribes Universe On Hold; Other Starsiege Games Planned Jan 5, 2012, 10:56 Prez
 
Don't be so hard on yourself, mighty Zardoz!  
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10. Re: Tribes Ascend Q&A: Tribes Universe On Hold; Other Starsiege Games Planned Jan 5, 2012, 10:53 space captain
 
what a dumbshit  
Go forth, and kill!
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9. Re: Tribes Ascend Q&A: Tribes Universe On Hold; Other Starsiege Games Planned Jan 5, 2012, 10:22 Prez
 
jdreyer wrote on Jan 4, 2012, 20:41:
Given that it's taking so long for Mechwarrior to come out, I wouldn't mind seeing a modern take on the old Earthsiege games. It has been a long time since we've had a good mech game on PC.

There has been a sequel to the Earthsiege games, called Starsiege (sans the "Tribes" moniker), and it was fantastic. I definitely agree the next game out of the universe needs to be a mech game regardless of what its called. Making a Tribes sequel is beyond futile anyway, as there is absolutely no way in hell to please such a hyper-anal community notorious for its penchant for complaining about EVERYTHING. If it isn't the original Tribes, it sucks. Hell, even the second game split the community into warring factions. There's good reason the Tribes name has been largely ignored for so long. Skiing is for weenies. Put me in a HERC and let me blast some Cybrids.

This comment was edited on Jan 5, 2012, 10:28.
 
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8. Re: Tribes Ascend Q&A: Tribes Universe On Hold; Other Starsiege Games Planned Jan 5, 2012, 09:34 space captain
 
Jerykk wrote on Jan 5, 2012, 02:34:
The issue is one of implementation more than concept. Presumably, mechs would be significantly tougher and more lethal than infantry, so only a few players would actually be able to use mechs per team while everyone else focuses on taking down the enemy mechs. It would be insanely hard to balance. That and inserting giant robots into a fast-paced CTF game with infantry doesn't work very well. Tribes requires steep and hilly terrain in order to accommodate skiing and that kind of terrain doesn't work well with mechs.

While Tribes with mechs sounds cool in theory, I don't see how it could work without sacrificing everything that makes Tribes so great.


doesnt sound like you are playing this game... because the beowulf tank is exactly all the things you are describing here: really tough, really lethal, somewhat slowish... actually it moves quick enough to really be a pain in the ass to kill, IMHO it can change direction too fast and needs a bit of balancing

but anyways, it could look like a mech and be exactly the same thing.., the tank has a bit of trouble on hills and mountains, but mechs would have less trouble, especially with jump jets

they would probly need to add a 3rd weapon for each class that is "mech-focused"... but it could work, and i agree it would be awesome
 
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7. Re: Tribes Ascend Q&A: Tribes Universe On Hold; Other Starsiege Games Planned Jan 5, 2012, 03:24 Esoteric
 
I've been playing the beta for a while, and I'm enjoying it very much. It's such a refreshing change of pace from modern FPS that are slow and clunky. It feels so much more skill-based than CoD or BF3. Not that those don't take skill, but in games like Tribes/UT/Quake one really good person can have a huge impact on a team.  
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6. Re: Tribes Ascend Q&A: Tribes Universe On Hold; Other Starsiege Games Planned Jan 5, 2012, 02:34 Jerykk
 
Think of Tribes meets Battlefield 3 with configurable Mechs. That could be VERY cool. Mechs are plodding b/c they are large, but they are still fast. And they can have jumpjets, too.

The issue is one of implementation more than concept. Presumably, mechs would be significantly tougher and more lethal than infantry, so only a few players would actually be able to use mechs per team while everyone else focuses on taking down the enemy mechs. It would be insanely hard to balance. That and inserting giant robots into a fast-paced CTF game with infantry doesn't work very well. Tribes requires steep and hilly terrain in order to accommodate skiing and that kind of terrain doesn't work well with mechs.

While Tribes with mechs sounds cool in theory, I don't see how it could work without sacrificing everything that makes Tribes so great.
 
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5. Re: Tribes Ascend Q&A: Tribes Universe On Hold; Other Starsiege Games Planned Jan 5, 2012, 01:58 jdreyer
 
Jerykk wrote on Jan 4, 2012, 22:59:
agreed. Even better, I'd love to see a combined arms SS game with both mechs and infantry (a more focused version of the Mechwarrior: Living Legends mod style).

If the infantry gameplay was anything like Tribes, I'm not sure how that would work. Tribes is defined by high-flying, high-speed action. Throwing a slow, plodding mech into the equation would just ruin the experience.

Now, if the infantry gameplay was more traditional, like in Planetside, I could see it being cool.

Think of Tribes meets Battlefield 3 with configurable Mechs. That could be VERY cool. Mechs are plodding b/c they are large, but they are still fast. And they can have jumpjets, too.

This comment was edited on Jan 5, 2012, 02:07.
 
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4. Re: Tribes Ascend Q&A: Tribes Universe On Hold; Other Starsiege Games Planned Jan 4, 2012, 22:59 Jerykk
 
agreed. Even better, I'd love to see a combined arms SS game with both mechs and infantry (a more focused version of the Mechwarrior: Living Legends mod style).

If the infantry gameplay was anything like Tribes, I'm not sure how that would work. Tribes is defined by high-flying, high-speed action. Throwing a slow, plodding mech into the equation would just ruin the experience.

Now, if the infantry gameplay was more traditional, like in Planetside, I could see it being cool.
 
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3. Re: Tribes Ascend Q&A: Tribes Universe On Hold; Other Starsiege Games Planned Jan 4, 2012, 22:34 Nate
 
A new Starsiege game would be cool.  
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2. Re: Tribes Ascend Q&A: Tribes Universe On Hold; Other Starsiege Games Planned Jan 4, 2012, 21:59 Hump
 
jdreyer wrote on Jan 4, 2012, 20:41:
Given that it's taking so long for Mechwarrior to come out, I wouldn't mind seeing a modern take on the old Earthsiege games. It has been a long time since we've had a good mech game on PC.

agreed. Even better, I'd love to see a combined arms SS game with both mechs and infantry (a more focused version of the Mechwarrior: Living Legends mod style).
 
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1. Re: Tribes Ascend Q&A: Tribes Universe On Hold; Other Starsiege Games Planned Jan 4, 2012, 20:41 jdreyer
 
Given that it's taking so long for Mechwarrior to come out, I wouldn't mind seeing a modern take on the old Earthsiege games. It has been a long time since we've had a good mech game on PC.

One thing I hope they do away with is the arbitrary ranges. Just make the speed and accuracy of the weapon determine the range, don't make it disappear at 1000m or whatever. Same with the mechs (or whatever they're called in Earthsiege). No arbitrary weight limits. You can put whatever engine the engine bay will hold, and whatever weapons specific hardpoints will hold. Speed should be a function of mech weight over engine power, not some predetermined speed based on a table.
 
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