Is it just me or does Tribes 2 suck?
First, it has poor performance on most machines, and what's worse-- for very little graphical punch. At least Giants *looked* good, which justified its high system requirements. Can't say that about T2. And T1 had no problems running on the Voodoo1/2 cards of the day.
One of the big reasons Tribes worked so well was because of the sheer novelty-- huge open terrain, 32+ player support, decent netcode, comprehensive teamplay support. And remember, this is very early 1999 we're talking about! It was extremely innovative for its time. T2, on the other hand, feels like a rehashing of Tribes. It's like the world has changed, but Tribes hasn't.
And truth be told, I think one of the reasons Tribes was so popular in the first place was because it lacked any sort of cd-key validation. Hard to believe in this day and age, but any pirate could just copy the CD and play online indefinitely.
Sheesh. Even the single player tutorial missions feel half-hearted and derivative. Which is too bad, because the game has a very steep learning curve that I had completely forgotten about!
I was honestly shocked how completely uninterested I was in my copy of Tribes 2 after investing a couple hours in it online and off. The early-1999 novelty of Tribes 1 has completely worn off. The gameplay strikes me as tedious and needlessly complex. It's a LINUX users' concept of game design: all features and no soul.
Word on the grapevine is that even avid Tribes 1 players don't like Tribes 2.. and that's not good. I certainly don't see it catching on with the casual audience that likes CS and TFC or even a little vanilla deathmatch or CTF. So if it doesn't fly with the Tribes 1 community-- it's pretty much dead.
Oh well. :P
By Robert Mayer on Wednesday, April 4, 2001 - 01:42 pm:
Well, I haven't played Tribes 2 enough to comment on how good or bad it is, but I will say that I don't consider ease of piracy a virtue in a game. Mind you, I do hate physical copy protection schemes like Safedisc, but I've had little trouble with key disk systems. And I would rather think increased piracy as happened, apparently, with Tribes, won't exactly help the industry in the long run....
By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Wednesday, April 4, 2001 - 02:28 pm:
I'm not sure that it was exactly piracy, per se. You didn't need the CD to play the game. You could install it and then pass along the CD. I was told that the designers did that on purpose, so that you could be sure and play with your friends, without everybody having to buy their own copy.
By Robert Mayer on Wednesday, April 4, 2001 - 02:59 pm:
With all respect, Michael, I seriously doubt that the designers intended for legions of fans to be playing gratis. I've dealt with those guys, and I never got the impression they were doing this as a charity. Passing the CD along so everyone can play without paying anything is indeed piracy, without a quibble. Any company that facilitates that sort of distribution is cutting its own throat.
By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Wednesday, April 4, 2001 - 03:13 pm:
You're probably right -- perhaps my naivity got the better of me. Or perhaps I just believed it because I wanted to. At any rate, without a decent internet connection, I never really got to play it, anyway.
Still -- games have been requiring the CD to be in the drive to play for years. I can't imagine them allowing the game to be played without the CD otherwise...
By Aszurom on Wednesday, April 4, 2001 - 04:39 pm:
Just for the record... you CANNOT pass the cd to your buddy. It will not let two games spawned from the same cdrom online at the same time. You can give it to a friend and he can play when you're not, but that's it. I know this because I had to buy a 2nd copy in order to have both my boxes online at the same time. I tried using a friend's cd, and then he couldn't play when my other machine was in-game. Anyone who logged in with a pirate copy was named DaJackal, and easily identified.
They just burnt the serial number right onto the cdrom itself it seems. I wonder why they didn't do the same this time.
By wumpus on Wednesday, April 4, 2001 - 04:49 pm:
"I know this because I had to buy a 2nd copy in order to have both my boxes online at the same time. I tried using a friend's cd, and then he couldn't play when my other machine was in-game. Anyone who logged in with a pirate copy was named DaJackal, and easily identified."
No, this isn't true.. there was no CD key in Tribes 1. If you didn't CHANGE YOUR NAME you would be DaJackal, since that was the default from the install. But there was no validation of any kind, sort of like Quake and Quake 2. As I recall, the whole CD Key validation started with Half-Life. Anyone think of one earlier than that for FPS games? I think that was the first.
WGF] I saw an interview with someone on the TRIBES team (I can't remember who, and I can't find it) a while back stating that TRIBES 2 would use the WON Network user validation as an anti-piracy measure. Was piracy a big problem with the first TRIBES?
[Nels Bruckner] Piracy is one of those things that is hard to measure. **The suspicion is that Tribes was heavily pirated.** Part of the design of Tribes 2 will be an account/validation system that should fix that problem.
By wumpus on Wednesday, April 4, 2001 - 04:54 pm:
BH: What prompted you to go this route?
MF: Well, obviously TRIBES didnít have any copy protection, and we decided to make it harder for the thieves out there to rip it off. But we were also strongly motivated to give the community some means of handling abusive and disruptive players. The vote-to-kick and the server ban features of TRIBES 1 donít seem to be enough to keep the real jerks from basically ruining games for others.
By Jim Frazer on Wednesday, April 4, 2001 - 05:29 pm:
I like how Blizard handles CD spawning; if you spawn the CD on another machine, that machine can only play in games that are created by the PC that had the originator CD up and running. It gives people a great tastes of the multiplayer portion of a game, but if the people with the spawns want to play with anyone else they have to get their own copy.
By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Wednesday, April 4, 2001 - 06:54 pm:
I concur -- Blizzard definitely had a great idea with that one. I think that may be a method that other developers should consider. It seems to work with Blizzard, after all. I have a spawned copy on my wife's computer, for when the guys come over...
By Geo on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 12:20 am:
Can't we get back to Wither Doest Tribes 2 Sucketh? :) I was somewhat interested but if the bot's and single player are useless and the main game isn't much improved over the original, tis a real disappointment.
By Robert Mayer on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 10:22 am:
My brief foray into Tribes 2's solo play wasn't terribly enlightening, but then again it was on my work machine (PII 800/Radeon 32MB) and with very little time. One day a million years from now I might get time to play it. After Fallout Tactics, Kohan, my ongoing Combat Mission games, Tropico and Arcanum betas, etc....
By Aszurom on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 01:11 pm:
Tribes 2 gameplay does not suck.
Tribes 2 WRAPPER sucks eggs by the carton.
I wish it could be considered a rarity that software was released in this condition... but it isn't, and the general public - while they scream and moan about it profusely - seems willing to accept it as acceptable unacceptability.
Let me list my personal peeves:
1. Inability to join a server by IP from within the interface. You can hack it from the console, but this is pretty silly.
2. Inability to stop the LONG server refresh process if you find a game you want to join before it's done.
3. In concert with #1 above, the master server list appears to randomly dole out a group of servers, inconsistently at best. By this I mean that if a friend says "we're on server XYZ tonight" you might have to refresh the list 5-20 times before you actually see that active server appear on your list.
4. Long load times, due to forced verification of every single object file in the game. This is a good way to prevent cheating, but I note two things about it: My machine often hangs in the process (redjack problem) and if you watch the console as it's doing this, everyone I've talked to has had several .dts files that fail the check... but they're still allowed to join the server - so what's the point?
5. REDJACK. Oh Jesus, I feel a rant coming on. Redjack is the name given to the chronic problem of being disco'ed from the server either during the validation process or within the first few seconds of the game. It's a client centric problem, and once you've got it you MUST reinstall the game. I'm a chronic redjack sufferer... every time they patch, I get it again - and they're patching daily. Not fun.
6. Buddy list is inexplicably tied to the "browser" function in the wrapper. This is rock stupid. Why must the client query the server to obtain a list of buddy names, when this could be stored locally in a text file?
There's my $ .06
By Anonymous on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 01:18 pm:
"Tribes 2 WRAPPER sucks eggs by the carton."
I agree with all of your points except #2:
"2. Inability to stop the LONG server refresh process if you find a game you want to join before it's done."
I'm able to join a server before the list is done. And the list refresh has gotten (for me at least) much faster after the last patch.
By wumpus on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 02:06 pm:
"Tribes 2 gameplay does not suck."
Actually, I think Tribes 2 gameplay does suck.
Tribes 2 (and Tribes, since they are 90% the same exact game) has the most unsatisfying 1 on 1 combat of any FPS game I've ever played. Easily.
1. The ground is all over the place, so half the time you end up sliding down a hill while fighting someone.
2. Almost every weapon in the game is a high-ping-friendly, loosey goosey splash damage type. It's all a question of timing your splash damage so the other player is near the detonation.
3. The jetpack. As if the items above were not bad enough, we've got people hopping around like rabbits. It's as if every Quake 3 player could jump 50% higher. People complain enough about the bunnyhopping as is, but Tribes takes it to the extreme (we rock the mic like a vandal). It is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to hit people in the air. So adding to the frustration of items 1 and 2, we have to time our combat so the impact coincides with the brief periods when players are actually touching the ground.
Regardless of how good the other elements may be, the bread and butter of FPS gaming is combat. If that isn't satisfying.. there's no way the rest of the game can be.
Bleh. The vehicles are about the only interesting thing in the game. Did I mention there's a sniper gun which can't kill anyone in a single hit? Now that's just retarded.
By Aszurom on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 03:01 pm:
It appears as though you are unhappy with the game because it is not quake-derivative. Of course that's precisely why I like it, so we'll just have to agree to disagree. I too hate the "bunny hoppers" in CS and Quake, because it's a very unrealistic and out of place tactic. In tribes, however, the powered armor suits have integral jumping ability, and that - combined with the expansive outdoor areas - is what sets the game apart from other quake-derived shooters. Because the jumping ability of the armor is plausible and necessary to the style of gameplay upon which tribes is based, it's expected and required - rather than being an affront to the intended gameplay style.
I think the "selling point" of tribes, beyond the teamplay aspect, is that the environment and mobility of the players compliment each other well. It definitely is NOT well suited to a deathmatch style of gameplay, and I think there is nearly zero interest in using it for such anyway... as a quick glance at the server listings will show.
Desert of Death in the first game, and whatever the obnoxious desert level here is called, both are irritating and obnoxious levels that usually get voted off the server shortly. They don't have the key elements that make the game fun: inventory shopping, vehicles, variable armor type, base equipment to defend and destroy.
In short, Tribes is not quake. It is a totally different play-style that happens to share a few similar skill sets.
By Jim Frazer on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 04:07 pm:
"Because the jumping ability of the armor is plausible and necessary to the style of gameplay upon which tribes is based, it's expected and required - rather than being an affront to the intended gameplay style."
Bunnyhopping is the entire reason I stopped playing Tribes 1, and it's the reason I won't be buying Tribes 2. If the fact that in the future there will be power armor that lets you jump so far and so fast that a normal weapon can't hit you, it also would make sense that weapons of the future would compensate for this. Perhaps a sniper round could change direction at a rate of 10 degrees a second, or a disk could have a proximity fuse.
Hell, the most effective weapon in Tribes 2 would be a World War II flak gun. I swear, a person shouldn't spend more time in the air then on the ground unless they're playing a flight sim.
By wumpus on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 05:03 pm:
"Hell, the most effective weapon in Tribes 2 would be a World War II flak gun. I swear, a person shouldn't spend more time in the air then on the ground unless they're playing a flight sim. "
I agree. They would immediately develop a heat seeking rocket launcher and/or flak cannon, and that would pretty much put an end to the flying. I wish I had those in Tribes 1/2. There is a rocket launcher but it will only lock on to specific stuff, eg, vehicles and ground turrets. Too bad.
"I think the "selling point" of tribes, beyond the teamplay aspect, is that the environment and mobility of the players compliment each other well. It definitely is NOT well suited to a deathmatch style of gameplay, and I think there is nearly zero interest in using it for such anyway... as a quick glance at the server listings will show."
I'm not arguing that we should be playing deathmatch, I'm arguing that the COMBAT IS INTENSELY UNSATISFYING for the above reasons. That makes it hard to have fun! All play modes involve combat the last time I checked.
Plus the ratio of work to fun in Tribes is exorbitant. You spend a hellacious amount of time "getting ready." For example: running to the equipment station, grabbing your equipment. Then running to the vehicle station, loading up your vehicle, flying to the enemy base. Once you get there, you're rewarded with 30 seconds of actual (unsatisfying) combat before you get killed. Repeat ad nauseam. There's something very, very wrong with this formula.
Worst of all, the maps are insanely, pointlessly large. Just getting from point A to point B is tedious as hell. I've gotten lost inside my own base many times.. lots of empty hallways. Even with 32+ players, you'll sometimes go for half a minute without thout seeing another soul on these huge maps! This is so completely counter to the logic of multiplayer game design. I want to SEE my teammates all the time! Otherwise what's the point of playing with others at all?
I can't help feeling that Tribes 2 is just like Tribes 1, but with some new problems plus all the old problems. FPS games with lots of players aren't a new, novel concept any more-- plenty of 32 player TFC and CS servers out there.
By Anonymous on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 06:11 pm:
"It is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to hit people in the air. So adding to the frustration of items 1 and 2, we have to time our combat so the impact coincides with the brief periods when players are actually touching the ground."
Wumpus later wrote:
"Once you get there, you're rewarded with 30 seconds of actual (unsatisfying) combat before you get killed."
So it's impossible to hit anyone, but you consistently die within seconds of coming in contact with an enemy. I certainly can't convince you that you actually like Tribes when you obviously don't. But it does sound like the problem is with your frustration at not being able to utilize your hard-earned Quake/UT/CS skills and not with tribes itself.
By wumpus on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 08:33 pm:
"So it's impossible to hit anyone, but you consistently die within seconds of coming in contact with an enemy."
Well, I was exaggerating a little. My deaths/kills ratio is probably about 1/1. The larger point is that.. well, there's very little entertainment there. Seriously. The next time you play Tribes, mentally take note of how much time you spend fighting vs. getting ready to fight.
I remember spending about 8 solid hours enthralled by Tribes back in early 1999. I ultimately decided it wasn't for me, but the sheer novelty-- huge open areas, good netcode, lots of players, etc-- was worth a lot in my book. I was willing to put up with the frustrations because I had never seen anything quite like this.
Well, here in 2001, that novelty is now gone. Under closer scrutiny, the game just doesn't hold up. I was hoping Tribes 2 would be some kind of evolution, but it isn't.
"I certainly can't convince you that you actually like Tribes when you obviously don't. But it does sound like the problem is with your frustration at not being able to utilize your hard-earned Quake/UT/CS skills and not with tribes itself."
Tribes is the LINUX of online gaming. If that's what turns your crank, go for it. But I believe it's poor fit for the general FPS audience, for the reasons I list above.
Lord knows I've tried to enjoy it. I keep joining games, and wondering if this will be the magical server that makes the game fun.. instead I just keep finding more WORK.
By Supertanker on Friday, April 6, 2001 - 02:03 am:
So in its current patched state, has the performance improved from initial reports? I have a PIII/733 with a GeForce2 GTS Pro, and I am holding off buying the game due to performance concerns. I'm a bit surprised by that, as my machine kicks the ass of any other game on the market. I had toyed with the beta on a midrange machine (PIII/600 & TNT2), and even with details turned down it would only manage 5-10 fps in combat.
By Aszurom on Friday, April 6, 2001 - 06:58 am:
I've got an A-850 and GF2, and it's quite acceptable at the default detail level + a few notches up at 1024.
I wish I could play it though. Ever since the 3rd patch, I've had chronic "redjack" and can't join a game to save my life.
By Xaroc on Friday, April 6, 2001 - 09:03 am:
Super it is playable on my 1Ghz Tbird at 1024x768x32 with everything turned up to max but the performance varies drastically between maps.On one snow map I was getting 60s up high and 20-30s in combat then on a jungle map I was getting 30s and down to the teens in combat. I am sure you can handle it with your machine at default settings with maybe a few tweaks.
It just depends how much you liked Tribes as to how much you will like the game. My son bought the game and I just tried it to see how it ran on my system and see how it played. It ran ok but the weapons haven't changed much from the original from what I can remember and the maps were a mixed bag.