A new Tribes: Ascend patch was released yesterday, adding two new weapons and a pack for the brute. The patch also reduced the hit box for plasma weapons by 12% and modified the way Rage (a perk) works in order to increase the viability of chasers, as well as adding Youtube and Twitch.tv integration into the game.
The first of the new weapons is the Gladiator, a primary weapon that shoots timed explosives that can either stick to things before releasing three shockwaves dealing sequentially less damage (800, 500, then 300) or immediately explode on a direct hit to an enemy player. The Plasma Cannon is the a more powerful version of the Plasma Gun given to the raider in its content update, it deals more damage (575 on a direct hit) than the Plasma Gun but has a slower fire rate.
Also included is the Survival pack, which increases the Brute’s energy pool by 15 and can be upgraded to health by 200, movement speed by 25% and health regen by 15%. The brute has been the least valuable class up until now, not really having a specific role, this update very much specialises him towards offensive, indoor combat and is very welcome. These additions to the brute also appear to be very well balanced, so it appears that Hi-Rez are listening to their community.
This patch also changed the way the perk “Rage” works; the perk now also decreases a player’s weight from knockback by 35% for 10 seconds (drastically increasing the speed gained from disk jumps) whilst you are near your flag when it is grabbed in addition to its increase in energy regen and the 25% heal. The are in which you had to be around the flag has also been increased by 33%, taking it to about the size of the Drydock flag stand. These changes have been introduced in order to increase the validity of chasers – these chasers will, with Rage equipped, be able to get to higher speeds more quickly making the role more effective. Again, it’s a welcome change that the community has wanted for a while.
Finally, this patch has also added another option to the main menu. ‘Watch Now’ is a new service that enables you to watch live streams, Hi-Rez’s latest videos, a large collection of video tutorials, and community videos. The live streams are all from Twitch.tv whilst the rest of the content is on Youtube and the implementation is simply a browser window that opens in-game, but it’s certainly a welcome feature, especially the video tutorials, which could be of use to new players.
The video released by Hi-Rez detailing the patch (embedded above) also has a homage to Robin Gibb of the Beegees at the end, who unfortunately died recently. Whether or not the name of the patch (and its presentation) is part of the homage is debatable, as it also has relevance to the game (“gen room disco” is what brutes throwing lots of fractal grenades inside the generator room has been christened). Either way, it’s a nice thought and an excellent content update.