In July 2013, Hi-Rez co-founder Todd Harris said that the studio was going to take a six-month break from updating free-to-play shooter Tribes: Ascend so that they could focus on Smite. Fast forward more than two years, and the studio has surprised us with patch notes for a new update due this month.
Among other changes, we know from the preliminary patch notes that this upgrade includes a new Capture the Flag map (Terminus), class changes (e.g. that all have been condensed to three choices: Light, Medium, and Heavy), and other tweaks.
Hi-Rez hopes to release Version 1.1 for public testing on or before September 14, so they can gather feedback and fix bugs before doing a proper release. Over at the Tribes sub-reddit, creative director Sean McBride has pointed out that the changes listed so far are "just the early changes and do not represent the entirety of the actual patch".
McBride is new to the creative director role. According to his LinkedIn (opens in new tab) profile, he was art director at the studio from 2006, until last month, when he got the new job. His job description suggests this new update represents significant reinvestment in the game:
"I oversee development and set the new direction for the Tribes:Ascend revitalization project. I'm passionate about Tribes and with a high level of involvement with the community we intend to move the game in a direction that works for everyone."
Given that Tribes: Ascend was good enough to get an 88 when Evan reviewed it for us, that looks like good news to me.