Wikipedia article about Tribes

Talk about Tribes (anything but RPG) here.
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Wikipedia article about Tribes

Post by phantom » Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:02 am

Wikipedia used to have a very detailed article about Starsiege: Tribes. A large amount of information has since been culled from the page.

Here is a link to the how the page looked page before the culling:
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?tit ... =300671444

You can go there now to see how it looks after, but it's pointless to try to add the information back. Other editors there will prevent anyone from adding in the information, and the article will end up locked again as it was for a while after the culling.

The information on that page was useful for learning about the game, it is a shame it has been removed.

So that the information is not entirely lost, I'll quote some worthwhile sections here:
Vehicles

Tribes was one of the first games with team-oriented vehicles. They normally are not the focus of the game (unlike the sequel), but just a convenient feature. It is possible to use the vehicles in kamikaze fashion often to great effect, although this is looked down upon by many players.

The scout, while initially overlooked due to its stiff flying controls, was reborn with Writer's scout sensitivity script. This allowed for switching of mouse sensitivity in-game, providing a super-sensitive setting for flying.

There were numerous bugs related to scouts, and the most famous "skipping flag" bug was never completely corrected.
Jetpacks

One of the defining elements of the Tribes series is the jetpack. With a press of a button, the player is accelerated upwards (or in whatever direction is pressed), "jetting" into the air until the armor's energy is used up. This ability is absent from nearly any other popular first-person shooter to date (with the notable exceptions of 1996's Duke Nukem 3D and April 1998's Outwars). The incorporation of this third dimension gives some Tribes players the satisfaction of believing that they are playing one of the only truly 3-D computer game. Use of the jetpack is crucial to crossing large amounts of terrain when vehicles are scarce or unavailable. Jumping an instant before firing the jetpack is crucial to getting the most height out of the boosted jump before the armor's energy is drained. Without jumping, firing the jets with heavy armor will not even boost the player off the ground.


Skiing

During beta testing of Tribes, several players seemed to cheat in order to slide down hills without slowing and picked up enormous speed. The players had in fact discovered "skiing", the act of rapidly pressing the jump button to avoid friction. (Later on scripts were introduced that automated this action simply by holding down the jump button.) This technique may have been adapted from Bunny hopping in Quake.

This was originally an unintended side effect of the physics system implementation that caused players to encounter less friction with the ground when going down hillsides than on level terrain. The reduced friction was put in to make it harder for snipers to take out enemies. The reduction of friction was proportional to the slope of the hill; this meant that the steeper the terrain, the faster players could travel. Skiing allowed players to traverse Tribes' massive game maps in under 15 seconds in some cases instead of minutes.

Skiing, although somewhat angering to new players and to purists (initially), has become an integral part of the game. Both sequels (Tribes 2 and Tribes: Vengeance) have made special arrangements to allow for easier skiing by modifying the physics and providing tutorials for new players. Skiing has also passed onto a few other multiplayer games; including Enemy Territory: Quake Wars.

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Post by phantom » Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:07 am

Continuing:
Community Support

Since the initial release of Tribes, and even more so since the closing of Dynamix, the many members of the community have made mods, maps, scripts, HUDs, new interfaces, and external programs to support the game and provide various other useful functions. Programs like Hudbot give Tribes support for 8/24/32-bit TGA textures, a substantial improvement over the game's existing texture color limit. (In the area of 128 colors per texture) Another program, Tribes Live, provides players a way of supplementing Tribes with updates provided by the community.


Competition

CTF gained great popularity in both public recreational servers and competitive servers. Dynamix ran several servers located in New Jersey and California. WON.net operated "east" and "west" servers as well. Since broadband was in its early stages in the US, players tended to play on servers that offered them the best ping times. As a result, tribes tended to have members who were located in the same timezone. Players sought to compete in a ladder environment, and in the first year, the clear ladder of choice was OGL.org. There were roughly 100 active tribes on the OGL from all over the country, with a few overseas tribes as well. One tribe's primary playerbase hailed from Hawaii. Match scheduling was a touchy subject for many reasons. Lower pings and minimal packetloss made a significant difference in gameplay. Logistics of organizing teams of 10 players on opposing coastlines meant that matches could start at 9 pm EST/6 pm PST and end anywhere from 2-4hours later. After about a year of competitive play, the Tribes playerbase had outgrown OGL.org and OGL's servers were going through a streak of unreliability. A new ladder emerged from Teamplay.net. This ladder would later be replaced by Tribalwar.com. Today's (9/2007) Teamplay.net and Tribalwar.com do not resemble their predecessors.

Due to the anonymity of the Tribes engine, "smurfing" was hard to detect and likely prevalent in match play. Smurfing is when one player plays as another. Tribes allowed players to create as many character profiles as they desired. High profile players would often play under a number of different callsigns, and some would even play for other tribes in competitive matches. Ladder competition was fierce, and for a while, it was all that the community desired. After some time, the community developed individual player ranks based on server records and fantasy draft leagues.
AI / Offline Gameplay

Tribes was one of the first games to cater exclusively to online multiplayer gameplay. As such, there are only a handful of offline training missions available. This made the game much less enticing for players without internet connectivity. One of the first community-based AI opponents was Spoonbot, which is a Bot capable of using most of the game's weapons and vehicles. However, since it has been written entirely in the game's scripting language and hence has to work within several technical limits, this bot is no real substitute for human opponents. It is possible to enrich online multiplayer games with a number of AI opponents. Spoonbot reached v1.0 in 2001, the last version was released in 2003. The Spoonbot codebase can also be found within several other gameplay mods.


Mods

Starsiege: Tribes comes with built-in mod support. While the game has never been directly packaged with any kind of SDK, a number of websites offer or have offered downloadable tools to modify existing game scripts, textures and models. A Tribes server can be set to run a mod simply by adding an extra parameter to the command line.

The most common type of mod for Tribes is the "server-side" mod: a mod which requires no content download on the part of the connecting player. These mods can dramatically alter gameplay elements without forcing the mod to lose "server-side" status. Mods can add, remove or alter weapons, turrets, armors, deployables, gameplay mechanics, station behaviors, jetpack energy, even the very game rules themselves and still remain "server-side". It is only with the addition of new models, textures, sounds or other such resources to a mod that the player is required to download anything in order to successfully connect to a server running it.

A number of the mods for Tribes were created by members of the Tribes development team. The Flag Hunters mod was created by game dev Kidney Thief, and was sufficiently well-received that the Hunter gametype was included in the release of Tribes 2. The Base++ mod, created by game dev Mark Frohnmayer (alias Got Milk?), included a number of additional features, bug fixes, weapon adjustments, and controversially a significant limit on skiing speed. While the Base++ mod was not explicitly included as part of Tribes 2, many of its features and "adjustments" can be found in the game's "Base" mod.

Few client-side total-conversion have been released for Tribes. One of the few examples is the Star Wars Mod, which featured custom vehicles, weapons and deployables set in the Star Wars universe. Such mods never gathered a significant playerbase.

The sequel to Tribes, Tribes 2, includes mod support similar to that of Tribes, though some types of gameplay modifications are much more difficult to accomplish than in its predecessor, while the subsequent game, Tribes: Vengeance, has no official mod support.


Tribes RPG

Tribes is a very moddable game, as evidenced by mods such as Tribes RPG. Tribes RPG is a mod that completely remade Tribes into a hack and slash multiplayer adventure game, in which players could create one of several player classes and level up gaining new skills, armor, and magic. The Tribes RPG mod also included a feature known as "Remorting" by which a player at level 100-110 could begin again as a level one character with more power than possible on the first playthrough and access to the "Uber Dungeon." Tribes RPG was such a successful mod that it was also modded, creating entirely different worlds, character classes, enemies, and leveling systems depending on the server.

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Post by phantom » Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:13 am

Continuing:
Game Firsts

Mods to the original game made Tribes one of the most innovative games for years to come. Most of the mods done to the game would be copied later on by other software titles. Some of the most memorable mods would give users items that were mimicked later by other software titles:
-Grav Gun- Made popular by Half Life 2 and thought of as revolutionary, yet was created in Tribes many years earlier

-Ability to build bases and place base items- A first for a 1st person shooter game. Players can deploy things like doors, wall, force fields, turrets, inventory stations, supply stations, sensors, missile launchers, turret control stations, teleporters, jails, amongst many other items.

-The SEX Mod had machine guns that launched self deploying laser turrets, allowing the user to deploy hundreds of automated turrets anywhere on the map, even while fighting

-The original Warzone mod would let the players build their base from scratch (building, turrets, and stations) and then let the players play with their custom bases.

-T-Mail- A serverside mail system which automatically gave connected players a MailBox/InBox/OutBox/SentBox/Contact List/SaveBox and many other options that popular e-mail systems have all within the games Score TAB Menu.

-Demo Drop- Feature that allowed the game to record a first person game play with an automated format type to save it, convert it, store it, watch through the Tribes gaming client, but moreso it made it to where Fraps, or Gamecam or any third party screen capture were not needed to record games. The feature also did not diminish fps or gameplay, making it very easy to run and perform on all systems.


Piracy

Tribes was subject to rampant piracy shortly after release. The game lacked strong authentication for online play, allowing pirated clients to join and participate alongside legitimate users. Creating illegal copies or distributions of the game for this purpose was an almost trivial matter, as the game also lacked any real form of copy protection.

One of the most widely used illegal distributions was dubbed DaJackal. New players with this release (who had neglected to properly configure the game before going online) could be easily identified by the altered default player name "DaJackal". A few mods (notably Shifter and sub-variants) even included code which would automatically kick any player with this name attempting to connect to a server running the mod. Similar code was included in one of the later official game patches, which would kick the player and then send the following message: "The FBI has been notified. You better buy a legit copy before they get to your house."

The game's developer clearly learned from this experience: Tribes 2 is noted for its integration of authentication for online play.


Sequels

Although sales figures were relatively poor, Tribes established a large cult following. Dynamix decided to try to make the gameplay more easily accessible and improve upon the game's graphics, releasing Tribes 2 in March 2001. Together, sales totaled almost one million copies.

Since Dynamix was shut down shortly after Tribes 2 was released, Sierra licensed the franchise to Irrational Games for a third installment; Tribes: Vengeance was released in October 2004. Tentatively referred to as Tribes: Story during development, this sequel promised a full single-player campaign as well as a full-featured multiplayer experience. By March 2005, however, Irrational had abandoned plans for further work on Tribes: Vengeance at Vivendi's behest in favor of future projects, such as the tactical shooter SWAT 4. A combination of poor sales and a gameplay style that did not please hardcore Tribes fans led to the release of only one patch that fixed minor bugs. Retail copies of the game have since been liquidated and the game retains many gameplay balance issues and bugs.


Re-release

On April 9, 2004, Vivendi Universal announced that they would release Tribes and Tribes 2 for free on May 4, 2004 on a DVD-ROM with Computer Gaming World magazine and on FilePlanet.com. This was to promote the release of the upcoming sequel, Tribes: Vengeance. It can also be downloaded directly from Vivendi Universal's web-site. However, the installed version of the game is only patched to 1.8, not the most current version, 1.11. The patch can be found in varying locations online, including the official website and FilePlanet though the patch program has been known to fail completely on certain systems. There also exists an unofficial "1.30 Last Hope" patch which makes the game compatible with all 1.11 (and previous) servers, as well as special "Last Hope" servers which employ certain anti-cheat measures. Since the "patch" is simply a replacement of the Tribes executable it can be used in instances where the official patch fails.

The re-release can easily be turned into a portable application by the user. After installation and application of the patch, the whole directory can then be moved or copied for use as a portable app without having to install the game on individual computers the game is played on. Several individuals offered pre-packaged versions containing the game in this installed and patched form. Since Sierra Entertainment's master servers have been deactivated, players need to either manually update a configuration file with the new master server data, or download a ready-to-play game archive that already contains the new master server addresses to be able to play online.


2009 Revival - 1998 is Back

After the March announcement of GarageGames purchase of the Tribes IP, the website www.playtribes.com appeared with the Tribes logo and subtitle stating 1998 is Back with links to GarageGames sites. GG's intention is to update, re-release and revive the game utilizing their InstantAction web gaming technology as a platform, though players can opt to play via a client side application. Beta testing of version 1.40 is currently underway.


Shazbot

One of the voicechat options in Tribes to voice frustration is "Shazbot!": which is an allusion to the situation comedy Mork & Mindy, in which Mork says the expression during the opening credits. The phrase carried over into the sequels, Tribes 2 and Tribes: Vengeance. It is possible to chain up voice chats, if you selected them faster than the sample played. This led to many interesting variants on the voice chat broadcast function such as the request "I need a shazbot" which was usually complied with by many players.


Alvy Elna

Scott Youngblood, the Lead Designer of Starsiege: Tribes, created a tribute to his grandparents, who died during the development of the game. He put their names in the terrain of a game level called Broadside. On a hillside it says "Alvy Elna." (This is most easily seen while flying.)

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Post by Dawn » Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:37 pm

Didn't know wikipedia was so smart. xD

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Post by Ned » Fri Sep 10, 2010 6:55 pm

That someone took the time to write so much is very impressive anyway, sad to see all that work go just probably because others want more attention on the newer tribes/games.

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Post by sheogorath » Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:29 am

Ned wrote:That someone took the time to write so much is very impressive anyway, sad to see all that work go just probably because others want more attention on the newer tribes/games.
I agree.
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