On February 2 patch 0.1.742 released for Tribes Ascend.Â Before this patch, I was not impressed with Tribes Ascend (TA) at all.Â For some reason it didn’t feel like Tribes to me.Â Perhaps some of it was psychological trauma from the cash shop model.Â Post-patch, though, I’m completely taken with the game.Â The ‘feel’ is closing in on Tribes for me.
The patch brought 16 new weapons, a much improve UI, class customization, and upgrading kits.Â All of which are huge improvements.
I’m loving the Technician class.Â Right now I’m playing completely as a “free” player because I haven’t spent any real money to buy exp boosts or gold.Â I’ve played a decent amount over the last two days which has given me enough experience to unlock the Technician and upgrade his turret two times.Â As a Technician I can strategically place turrets that, on some maps, make it so that the enemy has to work very hard to cap the flag.
I love playing the “base maid.”Â Like it sounds, I take care of the base.Â I place turrets, repair our equipment, and protect the generator and our flag.Â Some players enjoy the mid-field fighting, some like being disruptors who just cause mayhem, some like being retrievers who wear light armor and chase flags down, and some like being the flag capturers.Â The variety of acceptable play-styles has always been a trademark of Tribes, and TA is beginning to capture the feel.
There are still improvements to be made in TA.
- Bigger maps are mandatory.Â The current maps are too small.
- Heavies should not be able to drive vehicles. They should rely on transports.
- More vehicles are needed. “APC ready to go, waiting for passengers!”
- Base design needs to be rethought, or at least different on future maps.Â Flags should be deeper in bases, not sitting out in the open all the time. Intricate base design was a hallmark of Tribes.
If Hi-Rez continues to make improvements like this most recent patch, I think TA will be a very fine game.Â I have to be honest, though, and say that Hi-Rez is on my list of developers I can’t trust.Â I fear for their ability to handle the cash shop properly.Â I’m currently sitting here wondering if I should get the VIP Starter Pack for $29.99 (which would let me unlock all the classes, etc), and the only thing keeping me from pulling the trigger is whether or not I can trust Hi-Rez.Â I’ll let you know what I decide.
Update: I went ahead and got the VIP Starter Pack.Â I’m enjoying the game enough right now to justify it.