Tribes: Ascend creative director: ‘We made a lot of mistakes in a lot of different places’

    
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Unbreaking what we screwed up forever.

The history of Tribes: Ascend is a strange one. Like the first few titles out of Hi-Rez Studios, it launched to decent reception, had some patches, then dropped off of the face of the planet. What happened? In a recent interview, creative director Sean McBride discusses the game’s initial trajectory as including several mistakes, not the least of which was a reluctance to listen to community feedback:

Once the high scores rolled in…PC Gamer gave it Editor’s Choice, and we got a couple 10s and a bunch of nines and a few eights. We did pretty well on the scores. I think at the time we were very resistant to changing the game. We were like, ‘people like it, it scored really well.’ It wasn’t until the numbers started to fall that we really would consider even changing it. There was a big resistance to listening to feedback from the community, which wasn’t the right call.

McBride singles out the developers bloating the game with more weapons than it could reasonably support as well as being too penny-pinching with its currencies. However, the team working on the game is pleased with the reception of the game’s first patch in forever, and the plans are to continue offering more such patches to repair the game as a whole. There are cautionary tales about how the game was managed, but the first new patch released last week, and the hope at Hi-Rez Studios is that it can be a cautionary tale with a happy ending.

Source: PC Gamer
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Sorenthaz
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Sorenthaz

bearmans Yeah.  I mean I liked the PvE aspects but it does feel like an outdated mess despite only being like 5 years old or so.   
And it was their first game, so I’m willing to forgive them over it some more.  Tribes Ascend as well was a case where they were basically following a standard used by all the shitty F2P Shooters, yet it had AAA design/polish for the most part and was well received initially and so on.   But they fucked it up by not being willing to take more riskier monetization strategies (i.e. don’t put $ tags on weapons and focus more on cosmetics/vanity purchases) which they did in SMITE to great success.

Smiggins
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Smiggins

Lobby shooter, meh. Give me a real MMOFPS.

LordSolarMacharius
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LordSolarMacharius

Wild_Phil LordSolarMacharius Companies so rarely admit mistakes and try to do the right thing nowadays that continuing to pillory them after they sincerely try to do right by their customers is self-defeating for the consumer. I mean, why bother if you’re just going to be strung up by the hateorade chugging crowd regardless? Better to just leave it broken and avoid drawing attention to yourself and silently pulling the plug.

bearmans
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bearmans

@Sorenthaz that’s reasonable, but hardly the whole story. I mean, before the game was f2p it was a b2p game, after all. Ahead of its time in some ways, but frustratingly poorly handled in many, many others. Adding the hands free jetpack? Adding “open world” pve? Changing the loadout system? The post release was just a steady stream of utterly incomprehensible decisions from the perspective of the people who actually liked the game.
But I guess it wasn’t that they didn’t listen. All of those things got shoehorned in in an attempt to make a game that appealed to everyone, and in doing so they managed to make a game for nobody.
I guess I may have a suspicion as to why they tried so hard to ignore the community in Tribes..

Sorenthaz
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Sorenthaz

bearmans I was.

bearmans
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bearmans

They did. And if you think Tribes was bad, boy, you should have been around for Global Agenda…

Polyanna
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Polyanna

And by the time they make the next game, they will have churned and burned through half of more of their staff, so it will be all new people, probably new to the industry and never made a game before, who will make all the same mistakes all over again. It’s the price of constant hire-and-fire and shitting on people until they quit; you never actually benefit from experience, because it’s never around for long.

CastagereShaikura
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CastagereShaikura

LordSolarMacharius CastagereShaikura Yeah it really was a blast.

Sorenthaz
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Sorenthaz

thegirlwiththehair sonicblue31 And they are making plenty of it off of SMITE and eventually will do similar with Paladins.

Tribes Ascend is a personal pet project and while money definitely has an impact and they’ll likely be aiming to get some more sales on stuff, they’re mostly doing this to improve the game for the hardcore niche fanbase that’s still around and give a solid F2P shooter for those looking for something different.

Sorenthaz
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Sorenthaz

Roke Yeah and honestly if you look at other shooters from back then, they all had similar if not worse F2P models as far as buying weapons and junk went.   Several F2P shooters still do similar junk to this day, and some of them won’t even let you obtain permanent weapons unless you shell out real money – they’ll just let you rent stuff out and that’s it.