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Tribes: Ascend "Accelerate Update" to remove XP cost for upgrades, add 27 weapon variants

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tribes_update

The next major Tribes: Ascend patch, the Accelerate Update, is coming later this month. It's named for a big change to Tribes' player progression system: weapon and gear upgrades will no longer cost XP. Instead, you'll earn upgrades over time by using your equipment, and only have to spend XP on them if you want a shortcut to mastery. The change will "dramatically speed up" weapon upgrading, says Hi-Rez Studios COO Todd Harris.

That's just for upgrades, though -- you'll still need to purchase new weapons with Gold or XP, and there are 27 new variants coming. The new weapons are tweaked versions of existing guns, and offer stat trade-offs rather than new mechanics. The Devastator Spinfusor, for example, does less area of effect damage than the Heavy Spinfusor, but gets a direct hit damage bonus. Aside from the obvious motivation -- having more things to sell -- it sounds like Hi-Rez is attempting to add deeper customization while minimizing the risk of a major balance upset.

On the subject of balance, Harris says that the patch will introduce "the most comprehensive balance changes to date," which were conceived by watching and conversing with competitive players. He didn't list any of the adjustments, but they'll be in the patch notes when it's live. Have a watch of the update announcement trailer below:

Oh, one more thing: Hi-Rez also released a dramatic teaser to announce that the next step for the Tribes series is already on paper (opens in new tab) , along with Todd Harris' head.

Tyler Wilde
Tyler Wilde

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley alongside Apple and Microsoft, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on the early personal computers his parents brought home. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, Bushido Blade (yeah, he had Bleem!), and all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now. In 2006, Tyler wrote his first professional review of a videogame: Super Dragon Ball Z for the PS2. He thought it was OK. In 2011, he joined PC Gamer, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. After work, he practices boxing and adds to his 1,200 hours in Rocket League.