Loading... November 1st, 2010 - Trials and Tribes-ulations

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Starsiege: Tribes was a foundational multiplayer experience for many multiplayer FPS enthusiasts, and now Hi-Rez Studios, makers of Global Agenda, announced their intention to bring Tribes into the new millenium with Tribes Universe. We'll look at a few of the features of Tribes Universe and why TU marks a new step on a well-worn path for Hi-Rez in today's Loading... Trials and Tribes-ulations.

The Pulse

You vote with what you view at Ten Ton Hammer, and the result is the Ten Ton Pulse (What is The Pulse?).

Today's top 5 Pulse results:

  1. World of Warcraft
  2. EverQuest 2
  3. EVE Online (UP 1)
  4. Lord of the Rings Online (down 1)
  5. Dungeons and Dragons Online (UP 2)

Biggest movers today:

  1. Rift: Planes of Telara
    - Up 7 to #19
  2. Runes of Magic
    - UP 3 to #14
  3. Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning
    - down 2 to #7
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For gamers of a certain age, Starsiege: Tribes largely defined the multiplayer FPS experience, especially on a LAN. Released in 1998 and known simply as Tribes, the game revolutionized the FPS experience by adding jetpacks and z-axis gameplay (I'm trying hard not to say "verticality"... damn, I just did) to the mix. That makes all kinds of sense, because its publisher (Sierra) and developer (Dynamix) were at least as well known for its engaging, RPG-esque flight sims (Red Baron, Aces Over Europe, etc.)

That year (1998) was my first at college, and I fondly remember getting schooled in Tribes by upperclassmen floormates. Weaned on the Dooms, the Quakes, and the Unreals, I could track jumping, running, and strafing players, but when range of motion becomes less limited by gravity than by jetpack fuel on open terrain, things get complicated. It's the same sort of mind-expanding feeling I had when first playing Global Agenda, though flight is arguably more about movement in GA than it was about combat in Tribes.

Succeeded in graphics and name (but not in reputation) by Tribes 2 and Tribes: Vengeance, Tribes included a variety and number of maps (40+) on a scale we'll probably never see again, along with seven different map types. It was also the first really successful multiplayer-only triple-A game that didn't carry the MMO moniker.

On nearly the three-year anniversary of the shutdown of the Sierra Master Server, Hi-Rez announced that Tribes Universe was in active development at its Atlanta studios. Hi-Rez's freshman title, Global Agenda, was itself in many ways a Tribes successor, bringing jetpacks along with a persistent campaign map, MMO-ish social layer, and UE3 smoothness to the MMOFPS scene, so in many ways the IP has come full circle.

In a Tribes Universe Q&A published today at Ten Ton Hammer, Hi-Rez noted that Tribes Universe will capitalize on the silky smooth action of its predecessors, but also "emphasize group strategy, counters, progression, specialization and tactics that are more extensive than anything a Tribes game has had before." Hi-Rez also opened the discussion on large-scale, persistent PvP, non-combat specializations (transporting troops, etc.), and vehicles.

Even if you're not a Tribes or MMOFPS fan, you have to be cheered by Hi-Rez's success. They join developers like Mythic, Turbine, and NetDevil who, having launched a niche success story, acquire bigger and more promising IPs. Let's just hope that Hi-Rez avoids the fate of a few of its indy predecessors - selling their soul to a hamfisted publisher and becoming a shadow of its formerly creative self.

Were you a Tribes player? Have fond memories to share? How can Hi Rez preserve that old-timey Tribes nostalgia for you while bringing the game into the 21st century in a persistent format? Share your thoughts in the Loading... forum.

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the Day

From our Vanguard General Chat

The truth about Vanguard

Talk about your undead rising--here's an epic thread about Vanguard, the long-forgotten contender that reeked of potential but then showered in fail. One of our newest forum members dropped by to offer a (lengthy) bit of conspiracy mongering labeled as the "truth." It's an interesting read, but the wall o' text doesn't have our community convinced. Will it convince you? Read on and discuss!

Awesome Quotes from the Epic Thread

"If the game was as great as the revisionist history people would have us believe, then you would have stuck it out as the game was 'fixed/improved' over time instead of 'quitting the game pretty quickly' and then deciding to hitch your wagon to the 'Vanguard was the greatest game that never was' band wagon."

- Annatar

New and Exclusive Content Today at Ten Ton Hammer

5 new Ten Ton Hammer features today! 5 original features in November! 1169 in 2010!


Tribes Universe Q&A – The Coming of Sci-Fi PvP Action
We here at Ten Ton Hammer love first-person shooters, so we became delirious with joy when we heard the announcement of Tribes Universe. This online multiplayer shooter is based on the Starsiege: Tribes universe and will probably result in many missed hours of work when it is released. Ten Ton Hammer sat down with Hi-Rez Studios to get more details.

Champions Online Q&A with Shannon Posniewski – Fighting Crime without Spending a Dime!

Champions Online has made a lot of news recently. First, there was the release of the Demonflame adventure pack, and after that came the huge news that CO was going to go to free-to-play in early 2011. To get the lowdown on all the recent events, Ten Ton Hammer talked to Executive Producer Shannon Posniewski.


The Fate of Microtransactions in Guild Wars 2

Dungeons may be for sale in a Guild Wars 2 near you soon and many are pondering just what that means. Although nothing is confirmed, a recent interview it was revealed that GW2 may sell dungeons, XP potions and more in the GW2 store. Are dungeons as DLC a good idea or are expansions much better for that type of content? Come to Ten Ton Hammer for our take.


Ten Ton Hammer's Beginner's Guide for LotRO - Where Should I Be Questing At My Level?

As The Lord of the Rings Online grows and new players join in, many for the first time and with little or no previous knowledge of the game or the setting, the progression from start to finish can be a bit confusing. LotRO does not advance in a straight line; moving from one area to the next adjacent region can see massive leaps in mob levels. So the question often arises: "Where should I be questing at my level?" Our newest guide has the answers.


TERA Screenshots Show Off Spooky New Content

Today's Top 10

  1. World of Warcraft Race Guide Portal
  2. Combat and Abilities - Rift: Planes of Telara Reader Submitted Q&A #4
  3. WoW: Introducing Tol Barad
  4. Champions Online Q&A with Shannon Posniewski – Fighting Crime without Spending a Dime!
  5. Ten Ton Hammer's Beginner's Guide for LotRO - Where Should I Be Questing At My Level?
  6. Hands-on with the Diablo III Demon Hunter
  7. Tribes Universe Q&A – The Coming of Sci-Fi PvP Action
  8. WoW Cataclysm: Goblin Portal
  9. BlizzCon 2010: World of Warcraft Dungeons and Raids Panel Overview
  10. Exclusive! DC Universe Online Screenshots – Dr. Fate’s Lair

Thanks for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!

- Jeff "Ethec" Woleslagle and the Ten Ton Hammer team

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Tribes Universe Game Page.

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