Tribes Acend: Tartatus Update, And Potential Impact on F2P Games Everywhere

Tribes released update version 1.0.961.0 earlier today, also known as the Tartarus patch for the new map it contains. After putting in some time with it, I think it is very impressive from both a player and from a game design standpoint. Tribes Ascend is a F2P model that continues to excel.

The video will do a much better job at explaining the new elements than I could, but what really got my interest is how Hi-Rez Studios is setting the bar for all F2P games and not just shooters.

For example, the part of the video that explains loadouts is extremely interesting to me. It is no secret that I’m enthusiastic about Guild Wars 2 and the ground it is breaking for the Free-To-Play MMO market. The Loadout model of Tribes Ascend, where you purchase new custom setups slots for gold and experience, could work just as easily in Guild Wars 2 when it came to multiple specs across a single profession. Instead of gold and experience, in GW2 you could unlock multiple specs with either gold or gems. Where in Tribes you save loadouts for weapons and perks, in Guild Wars 2 you could save loadouts for weapons, traits and utility skills. Giving players the choice to do this with currency from both in game and out of game would be a great way to boost the cash shop without it being unbalancing or “Pay To Win”.

I don’t think it would be too terribly difficult to add this kind of feature to Guild Wars 2. So long as spec swapping can only occur out of combat, I believe it would be an excellent convenience feature that many players would be willing to pay for. I know I certainly would.

Only time will tell what ArenaNet has in mind. Moving foward as the game gets further into development, I find it refreshing that we may see more and more comparisons of GW2 to other highly successful F2P games and less and less comparisons with older, last-gen MMOs.

In the meantime, I’ll be enjoying Tribes and trying not to get my ass shot off! Thanks to High-Rez for this quality update!

Oh, and someone needs to swap Katelyn Pitstick’s coffee to decaf. She’s flashing those wide Redbull eyes at the camera, and it’s kind of creepy. RELAX KATELYN!