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Published on June 12th, 2012 | by Brandon

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Tribes: Ascend Adds 27 New Weapon Variants, Changes Weapon Upgrade System

Today, Hi-Rez Studios released an update for Tribes: Ascend called “Accelerate” that brings about the most gameplay changes we’ve seen since the class system was overhauled back in February. Read on for some of the major highlights in this patch.

First off, the biggest change you’ll notice right off the bat is that 27 new weapon variants have been added (3 for each class–1 primary, 1 secondary, and 1 belt item). These variants are modified versions of existing weapons that have new skins and slight statistical trade-offs compared to the original. Check out the (admittedly lengthy) breakdown of all the new weapons below:

  • Pathfinder – Dueling Spinfusor: Variant of Light Spinfusor with higher damage on direct hit , but smaller explosion radius.¬†Costs 40 gold or 4,800 XP.
  • Pathfinder – Holdout Shotgun: Variant of Shotgun with higher damage per shot, but smaller clip size. Costs 120 gold of 14,000 XP.
  • Pathfinder – Compact Nitron: Variant of Impact Nitron that allows one extra nitron to be carried, but does much less knockback. Costs 160 gold or 18,000 XP.
  • Infiltrator – Arctic Rhino: Variant of Rhino SMG with higher damage per shot, but lower rate of fire. Costs 160 gold or 18,000 XP.
  • Infiltrator – Arctic SN7: Variant of SN7 Silenced Pistol with higher damage per shot, but smaller clip size. Costs 120 gold or 14,000 XP.
  • Infiltrator – Sticky XL: Variant of Sticky Grenade with larger blast radius, but lower damage. Costs 160 gold or 18,000 XP.
  • Sentinel – BXT-1A Rifle: Variant of BXT1 Rifle with increased clip size, but lower rate of fire. Costs 160 gold or 18,000 XP.
  • Sentinel – Nova Blaster MX: Variant of Nova Blaster with higher rate of fire and larger clip size, but lower damage per shot. Costs 160 gold or 18,000 XP.
  • Sentinel – Focused Claymore: Variant of Claymore Mine that has greater explosion distance, but smaller trigger angle. Costs 160 gold or 18,000 XP.
  • Soldier – Gast’s Rifle: Variant of Assault Rifle with higher damage per shot, but smaller clip size. Costs 120 gold or 14,000 XP.
  • Soldier – Thumper DX: Variant of Thumper with higher damage per shot, but smaller explosive radius. Costs 40 gold or 4,800 XP.
  • Soldier – Short-fuse Frag: Variant of Frag Grenade XL with shortened fuse time before explosion. Costs 120 gold or 14,000 XP.
  • Raider – Dust Devil: Variant of Arx Buster with larger explosive radius, but lower damage per shot. Costs 160 gold or 18,000 XP.
  • Raider – Desert NJ4: Variant of NJ4 SMG with higher rate of fire, but lower damage per shot. Costs 160 gold or 18,000 XP.
  • Raider – EMP-XL Grenade: Variant of EMP Grenade with larger blast radius, but lower damage. Costs 160 gold or 18,000 XP.
  • Technician – Rockwind TCN4: Variant of TCN4 SMG with higher damage per shot, but lower rate of fire. Costs 160 gold or 18,000 XP.
  • Technician – Long Range Repair Tool: Variant of Improved Repair Tool with longer repair range, but slower repair rate. Costs 160 gold or 18,000 XP.
  • Technician – TCNG Quickfuse: Variant of TCNG with shorter fuse time and larger blast radius, but lower damage. Costs 160 gold or 18,000 XP.
  • Juggernaut – Fusion Mortar Deluxe: Variant of Fusion Mortar with faster projectile speed and higher damage per shot, but smaller explosion radius. Costs 160 gold or 18,000 XP.
  • Juggernaut – Spinfusor MK-X: Variant of Spinfusor MKD with higher damage per shot, but smaller explosion radius. Costs 160 gold or 18,000 XP.
  • Juggernaut – Heavy AP-XL: Variant of Heavy AP Grenade with larger explosion radius, but lower damage. Costs 120 gold or 14,000 XP.
  • Doombringer – Chain Cannon: Variant of Chain Gun with larger projectiles and higher damage per shot, but slower rate of fire. Costs 160 gold or 18,000 XP.
  • Doombringer – Titan Launcher: Variant of Saber Launcher that fires a “dumb” missile in a straight line that detonates on impact or after a short time in midair. Costs 240 gold or 42,000 XP.
  • Doombringer – Defective Frag: Variant of Frag Grenade with larger explosion radius, but lower damage. Costs 40 gold or 4,800 XP.
  • Brute – Devastator Spinfusor: Variant of Heavy Spinfusor with higher damage on direct hit and larger explosion radius, but lower overall damage. Costs 160 gold or 18,000 XP.
  • Brute – The Hammer: Variant of Automatic Shotgun with higher damage per shot, but smaller clip size. Costs 120 gold or 14,000 XP.
  • Brute – Extended Fractal: Variant of Fractal Grenade with longer duration, but less damage per pulse. Costs 160 gold or 18,000 XP.

Along with all these new weapon variants is a significant change to the weapon upgrade system. Rather than having to spend XP to upgrade weapons, you will now automatically progress toward receiving weapon upgrades are you play with a particular weapon. For players that preferred the old system, you will still have the option to master an item immediately for 15,000 XP, and you’ll still own all your previously purchased upgrades.

But wait, that’s not all! For fans of the Capture & Hold gametype, two new maps were added: Tartarus and Sulfer. And lastly, a bunch of balance changes were made, aimed primarily at the competitive scene:

  • A new slot 2 perk for “advanced chasers” called Lightweight, which reduces your mass by 30 percent (allowing for stronger disc jumps), but triples the delay before health regeneration takes effect. Because of this new perk, Rage (a slot 1 perk) now only grants 10% mass reduction, but grants 50% health upon enrage.
  • Various nerfs to most automatic weapons, including reduction in the reload time upgrade from 30% to 15%, increased damage fall-off, reduced range at which damage fall-off begins, reduced clip size, and reduced damage per shot. Taken altogether, these changes should make automatic weapons quite a bit less powerful than they were before.
  • An experimental 5-second delay in respawn time for the Sentinel class and increased damage fall-off by 20% on Sentinel’s BXT1 Rifle. (Singling out one class for a delayed respawn time sounds very much like a band-aid fix to me, but it’s nice to see Hi-Rez finally seem to acknowledge that the class is imbalanced.)
  • Fix for an issue that was allowing players to flat impact walls at high speed and instantly move 180 degrees in the opposite direction with no speed loss or damage taken. This issue had led to the emergence of “rock routes” on multiple maps that had rendered traditional flag routes significantly less effective by comparison.
  • Over a dozen more minor changes, which you can find in the full patch notes.

As you can see, this patch is a doozie. Adding weapon variants or making sweeping balance changes would have had significant effects in their own right, but taken altogether in a single patch, these changes represent a pretty big shift in the way the game is currently played.

The patch went live earlier today, so you can hop on and play right this minute. Which change from today’s update is your favorite?

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About the Author

Brandon

Brandon started his PC gaming days playing Doom II (IDDQD/IDKFA for life) and has been hooked on online gaming since the original Starsiege: Tribes. The way to his heart is through proper grammar, corn dogs, and cookie cake.



2 Responses to Tribes: Ascend Adds 27 New Weapon Variants, Changes Weapon Upgrade System

  1. Ofenlicht says:

    This is the exact opposite of Infinity Ward…right here!
    And surprise…surprise: the community loves Hi-Rez.

  2. lukepetro99 says:

    AWESOME

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