Five Kick-Ass Weapons in Tribes: Ascend

Tribes: Ascend enters a new stage in its closed beta--and introduces new weapons in the process.

Tribes: Ascend is still in the closed beta state, but for a closed beta, it's surprisingly easy to join up and frag other players in this upcoming free-to-play first-person shooter. Yesterday, the game was updated to version 0.1.742.0, and the changes are significant. Let's see: a new user interface, three classes cut, a new upgrade system, overhauled perks, and so much more. If you want to check out all the changes, peek at the full patch notes. And if you want to join the Tribes: Ascend closed beta, we still have keys left to give away!.

Also included are a number of new weapons. After all, the theme of the patch is weapon customization! In the "old days," as it were, you upgraded your weapons via skill trees. Now, upgrades are weapon-centric. We caught up with executive producer (and Hi-Rez Studios' chief operating officer) Todd Harris to find out what his favorite weapons are in Tribes: Ascend. Looking to make a mark in this speedy shooter? Here are the tools you need.

The Stealth Spinfusor

The spinfusor is the classic Tribes weapon. It fires slow-moving blue discs, so you have to lead your opponent. (As Harris says, "you have to perform trigonometry in your head.") Tribes: Ascend includes a number of different kinds of spinfusors, the newest of which is the stealth variety. This version is equipped by the stealthy infiltrator class and fires red discs rather than the normal blue ones. Wanna feel like a badass? Come out of stealth and fire one of those puppies at the back of an opponent's head.

The Phase Rifle

Tribes: Ascend's sniping class is the sentinel. Until now, sentinels wielded a pretty traditional sniper rifle. Now, they can go with the energy-based phase rifle. Its rate of fire is a little lower than the sniper rifle, and it consumes energy, which you have to watch closely. But if you fire it at full energy, it does higher damage per shot.

The MIRV Launcher

What the hell is a MIRV, you may ask? Well, it's a "multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle." In other words, it's a single missile designed to hit multiple targets. In Tribes: Ascend, the juggernaut uses this bad boy. Normally, juggernauts have wielded the fusion mortar, which fires a green glob of goo that hits targets at quite a distance. The MIRV launcher is sort of a variation of the fusion mortar that does damage to even larger areas. It fires an explosive charge, which then has a secondary set of explosives. If you don't pride yourself on accuracy, or just like awesome fireworks shows, this is the weapon of choice.

The Thumper

Technicians are a stay-at-home defense class for those that don't necessarily wish to ski all over the battlefield. Their default build gives them a turret to place and a repair gun, along with a submachine gun that can be deadly in the right hands. Now they get the thumper, which is a like a handheld grenade launcher. The thumper fires a single grenade that does a good deal of area-of-effect damage, and it can be a real hoot to pull of some fancy kills with it. Try thumping an enemy flying through the air or time your lob right so that it hits the ground just as your opponent does. Explosive! If you play as a technician, you'll appreciate having a weapon with a little more range to it.

The Thrust Pack

OK, OK, so this isn't really a weapon in the traditional sense, and it isn't brand new. But really, anything that allows you to triumph in battle is a weapon, is it not? As in previous Tribes games, skiing up hills and jetpacking through the air in Tribes: Ascend is no less central than firing bullets and discs at your enemies. It takes time to master the sense of momentum, of course. The thrust pack gives the pathfinder class an extra burst of speed, so if you aren't good at disc jumping or just need an efficient way to reach top speed, this pack option is for you.

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GameSpot senior editor Kevin VanOrd has a cat named Ollie who refuses to play Rock Band because he always gets stuck pla

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Discussion

48 comments
MatrixKing
MatrixKing

@jedikevin2, I re-installed it & it's quite a noticeable change from before. I like that Hi-Rez kept the design of weapons, packs from the previous Tribes games. But Hi-Rez is still restricting loadout customization. The first two Tribes games allowed each class to have more handheld weapons and such. Light armor had 3, Middle armor had 4, and Heavy armor had 5. The Middle and Heavy armor also shared weapons; ex: chaingun and missile launcher. Now, skiing and mid-air spinfusor attacks are easier, so that's good... But to truly experience everything in Tribes, Hi-Rez overpriced the locked weapons, upgrades, and perks (40k - 100k in XP each). That's alot of grinding even w/ the VIP 50% booster. It'll cost hundreds to unlock everything in Ascend w/ real money. Modding gave past Tribes replay value for many years after it's last patch. It's great to bring Tribes franchise back, but it's like giving gamers and old Tribes fans a locked version. Want more weapons, upgrades right way? Fork over your wallet. No money? Tsk too bad, you'll have to grind forever then. Luckily there are other developers who are releasing their indie games with inspiration from Tribes that's not a "F2P." F2P shouldn't cost more than other $60 AAA game with content. My opinion could change when Ascend officially releases.

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

@Loegi -- The weapons were all chosen by Todd Harris; these were the ones he chose to highlight. I'm not an Ascend player, myself.

Loegi
Loegi

@Kevin-V Yes I read it, but by that sense everything could be included in this. I just think it's a bit weird to even consider it for this particular article, even more since there are still new weapons not mentioned.

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

Just give me weird and fun weapons like in BulletStorm & Hard Reset :P

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

@Loegi -- Did you even read the text? I quote: "OK, OK, so this isn't really a weapon in the traditional sense, and it isn't brand new. But really, anything that allows you to triumph in battle is a weapon, is it not?"

Grovilis
Grovilis

Also, skiing is just plain fun. They should really have a versus mini game based on the feature. :P

Grovilis
Grovilis

Just started playing the beta a day or two ago and I'm rather shocked that this is free-to-play. They give you a really complete experience even if you don't bother buying anything. Very nice, indeed.

jinzo9988
jinzo9988

I played more of the training than I did multiplayer. The combat is too sloppy because everyone's flying around everywhere and the weapons you get are laughably ineffective. No matter what settings I run it on I can't get it to go higher than 30 frames a second... which is retarded because Low and Ultra have no difference in performance. I'll stick to Quake Live I guess. Skiing and jetpacking are good fun though, I wouldn't mind playing a racer/shooter hybrid with these mechanics.

colt_a
colt_a

@strayrocket4 The customization of the previous tribes games is gone. No matter what you do, you can only have 2 weapons, and one of the new 'dumbed down' packs. They don't have anything cool like the sensor jammer, satchel charges, repair pack (repair pack is now a gun, uses up one of your two slots) etc. It takes months to unlock all of the armors and guns you want (even then, you feel unfulfilled, there are still less overall customizations). Vehicles are also extremely weak and take points to use. That's right, no more starting the map in epic fashion with tanks and bombers (RIP Bomber, not even in this game) rolling out and having an epic battle right away. Its only reserved to those who have gotten 1000s of points either capping the flag or killing people (that's right, more incentive for people to chase kills than properly do objectives). They don't have their own shielding to make them any sort of resilient. They usually die to a few grenades. I can personally solo a tank in my medium armor setup right now without much effort. As a former hardcore / competitive Tribes 2 player, I give this game the stamp of suck. It didn't need to be a T2 clone, but it should have taken a hint from Tribes Vengeance (the Tribes game that killed the franchise) and tried not to oversimplify things.

Loegi
Loegi

Why is the Thrust Pack in this? It isn't new, nor is it a weapon.

InfestedHunter
InfestedHunter

I got bored of the game fast because there was only like 3 maps that rotated over and over. And you can only be light armor until you level. Spin fusor was the only weapon that did any damage. The grenade launcher has no distance and the lag time was so delay as if the gravity of the shell was zero. I did like skiing, it was smooth and fast. I just dont like what this game has become. I wish they just combined 1, 2, vengeance and all the weapons and maps and vehicles and beefed the graphics ultra crysis mode.

zanelli
zanelli moderator

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Wahab_MinSeo
Wahab_MinSeo

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Tixylixx
Tixylixx

The game sucks but what did I expect? The developer is s**t.

Son_Jazrin
Son_Jazrin

Been looking forward to this since Tribes 2, can't wait for the full release.

Cataclysmm
Cataclysmm

i loved the first one,waiting to see how this one go,s.

jedikevin2
jedikevin2

@MatrixKing You are doing yourself a injustice by not playing. They changed the whole way experience is given and if you had a account before the switch over to the new gui, you get in essence every character to unlock or unlock a couple and max out all there item upgrades. Not only that but the experience per round has gone up. The customization is back now. The developers really took notice on that and this last patch was over 1.1gb and addressed exactly this. Its also what this article talks about and this just scratches the surface

MatrixKing
MatrixKing

The game is good itself, but because it is a FTP that limits free customization like it's predecessors, I couldn't continue to play it. It looks like Tribes, but it's not. I haven't played the beta in months. Any long time beta player know how many hours of grinding it takes to unlock everything?

FreedomPrime
FreedomPrime

Ive had the beta for about a month now, the game has evolved a lot in that month and so far the game is very good.

FreedomPrime
FreedomPrime

@colt_a fisrt of all, you are wrong, the beta was changed quite a bit. they overhauled everything, now you get unlocks a lot faster, you earn xp and money faster and each class has 4 weapons. Do some research before you start speaking about something you clearly know nothing about.

ColdfireTrilogy
ColdfireTrilogy

@megakick my fav class is the soldier, its already maxed out ... the game isnt built in a way where your starter class is crap and you have to continue to get better stuff, all the stuff is just different rather than better or worse.

megakick
megakick

Welcome to MMO games its a grind. Cha Ching! F2P makes it more so.

Firewarrior1200
Firewarrior1200

@colt_a, With the latest patch, you start with a light, medium, and heavy class, and they added back a little bit of the customization, a few classes have a couple choices for grenades/packs, not a lot but its something. And I disagree, T:A is a good and fun game, and while it may look bad in comparison to T2, its still a really good game. Besides, I payed for T2 when it came out, why not pay for T:A? The 30$ I spent on T:A, which is how much T2 was I believe, was enough to get all the classes and most of the weapons unlocked, along with a couple perks. And for the weapons I haven't bought yet? Having to earn XP to get items just feels like a additional challenge to me, adding to the fun.

jamccain
jamccain

colt_a@ your wrong about everything

colt_a
colt_a

Don't get too excited guys, Tribes Ascend is pretty bad. It captures almost nothing of the previous good days of Tribes (tribes 1 / 2 / classic). You can only buy vehicles based on your score, and they are all weak. You can only play medium armor unless you spend RL money or spend weeks playing to unlock them. And then you are stuck with the two weapons it comes with. How do you get more weapons? That's right, spend more money or time grinding. It takes a couple months before you can enjoy the game due to having stuff unlocked, but then many games are rofl-stomps because its people with unlocks vs. those that have none. Remember all those customizable packs (I think there was 18 or so in T2), nope. You get whatever comes with your class, I think there's 7-8 total. Remember having 6+ different types of grenades? Nope, gone. Customization that made Tribes awesome is gone. Its free to play, so go ahead and try it, but just don't do like I did in the beta and spend tons of time hoping it gets better, it doesn't. This game makes Tribes Vengence look good.

vishisluv7
vishisluv7

I don't know this franchise. Is Tribes another MW/BF3 game? If so, I have enough FPS. Looks neat at first glance, but i'm sick of FPS clones.

phillkillv2
phillkillv2

I can't wait. Tribes 2 is still a great game to pass time.

mehrdad19872010
mehrdad19872010

I wish I had a computer that could run it. The game looks amazing and it's a nice change of pace from Battlefield or Modern Warfare.

pelvist
pelvist

@666NightsInHell EVERYTHING is unlockable in the free version including all classes, all weapons all perks ...EVERYTHING. There is no limit. Just because you suck at it doesnt mean its a bad game... I think people like you should just stick to playing cod on XBOX.

6xSnake6x
6xSnake6x

I think they are really moving this into the right direction, even though it might not be perfect or whatever it IS still closed beta, and I never enjoyed a F2P game as much as this one before. Complaining does it's share of good but I'd like to give them some credit :D

666NightsInHell
666NightsInHell

Game is realy bad, its Global Agenda (good game, better they make GA clone)engine but all gameplay is by flying around all the time, you rarely stand on the ground, thats ruin all game,i predict , ame will be crowded of sniper class coz other classes have low rang and in these huge areas with no covers u deadmeat, free to play players cant enjoy game, its VERY LIMITED cant choos classes you should play most crap class etc, maybe they change something but for now its unlayable,Closed Beta crash all the time... game looks like flying simulater then mmo fps, too much flying, thats kiling thhis game

pelvist
pelvist

The article also missed out Prism Mines that the Infiltrator class gets.

pelvist
pelvist

The update was great but it lead to one unforseen and annoying side effect. ( especially for light classes ) ....The technition class is serverely over powered! The technition class now has a heavy version of the ThumperDX and that coupled with their machine gun turrets and their motion detector is just unstoppable. I was in a game last night where 11 of the 15 players on a team where technitions. So many turrets... I hope they fix this soon. Other than that, this game is the best multiplayer fps i have played since the Q3A/UT days. The free to play model is great, its not pay2win because everything can be obtained for free through normal play. Gamespot has beta keys left so if you havent played yet click the link in the article.

Lockedge
Lockedge

@InfestedHunter I think the mods certainly helped in the past, but they weren't necessary for me to have fun in Tribes 2. The only real issue was that many people hacked, which made for a challenge, but it was a bit unfair. I don't mind Ascend not having mods, personally, because if they can keep up with enough content, I think it'll have a similar effect.

Azzer_007
Azzer_007

The most awesome thing about Tribes, for me, was the modding - Team Air Combat (the gameplay and tactics changed dramatically!), and the Renegades mods (all those turrets, forcefields, blast walls etc. added a whole extra dimension to the game - how many other fast-paced FPS games can you also practically build a base in!?). I'd love to see a modern Tribes with full mod support.

InfestedHunter
InfestedHunter

I got into beta. The game is ok. I really don't like the free to plays. I hope that even though it's free to play, they will let people mod. That was the best part about Tribes 1. There was some awesome crazy maps people made. Awesome turrets to deploy. Awesome weapons people mod. If you take that all away, I am sure they will have a boring rotation of the same maps over and over again. The mod community is what made this game great.

Jedimg
Jedimg

Thanks for putting in the extra effort, kevin. I'm really happy you guys are covering what's going on with Tribes so closely and, in this way, making it more popular. I've been a Tribes fan since the first game and I'm very excited that Hi-Rez is bringing the franchise back to life (they're doing a darn good job too). It's a very original game, it's F2P so there's absolutely no reason not to try it.

UniversalPie
UniversalPie

Awesome game though, and thanks for fixing the article!

wexorian
wexorian

game is quite fun for free 2play and they are doing their best to improve so let's wait for MOre guns :)

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

@UniversalPie -- @eneloop -- I was basing my write-up on information from someone on the game's team. I have adjusted the feature based on the new information. Thanks for the heads up!

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

@UniversalPie -- So what you are saying is that what we wrote about the phase rifle was actually accurate? ;) As for the rest, I was going by an interview with the executive producer. I'll get things fixed when I can.

UniversalPie
UniversalPie

There are a bunch of inaccuracies in this. The stealth spinfusor does NOT do more damage than the original, It actually does less. The phase rifle does 10 more damage than the regular one, which is nothing when you consider a medium armor has 1200-1300 health, plus you've just used all your energy and can no longer escape. Thrust pack is not new either, it was on the jumper prior to the patch.

eneloop
eneloop

I spent less than a minute here. Thrust pack isn't new. It was a Jumper perk...

Bexorcist
Bexorcist

U can't compare QIII frag-gameplay to BF3 mate :)

RayvinAzn
RayvinAzn

Game's great fun, glad to see they're upping the ante when it comes to equipment and weapons. Reminds me of the days when shooters took a bit more skill instead of people arguing over which hitscan weapon is best to shoot slow-moving targets with. The old QIII pros must be laughing their heads off at how easy games like Call of Duty 8 and Battlefield 3 are.