Hi-Rez ‘Exploring’ Map Editor, Tools as Tribes: Ascend Updates Slow

Official content updates for Hi-Rez Studios’ Tribes: Ascend might be all but ended, but it’s possible players will soon be able to take up the task of building new maps and other features where developers are leaving off.

Hi-Rez co-founder Tod Harris said in an interview with Game Front that the developer is potentially exploring some elements community members have been clamoring for since Tribes: Ascend was first announced: a map editor and mod tools that would allow players to create their own content.

“Really, the main community request we’re hearing, which was always a part of Tribes, is for some way for the community to create their own maps,” Harris said. “So, over the next six months, as far as what’s next for Tribes, that’s really the area we’re going to be exploring. We don’t really have any details on that, but that’s what we’re hearing mainly from the community. They’d like a way, independent of our own map schedule, which is obviously slowing down, to be able to update their own maps. We’re going to be exploring that.”

“We’re looking to give users more flexibility rather than less. We’re just in the scoping process now. I don’t have any other specifics I can give other than the intent we’re going to support it.”

Hi-Rez announced on Reddit earlier this week that its focus had shifted away from Tribes: Ascend, instead falling primarily on its upcoming MOBA, SMITE. It also said that game updates had been effectively suspended indefinitely:

“There are no major dev updates planned for Tribes: Ascend in the next six months.”

“For the next six months our primary development focus is SMITE. Beyond that it is GA2. And beyond that a TA2 would be more likely than a major update to TA; but to be clear no devs are currently working toward TA2.”

“Per the development blog on our forums, the recent TA work has been Kate developing some additional maps. If time allows then these new TA maps (along with some bug-fixes) would be finalized and deployed but no committed date yet.”

“We continue to support TA servers, online community events, tournaments with prizing, bringing Tribes to offline events like recent RTX and upcoming QuakeCon, and live-streaming.”

Tribes: Ascend — which Game Front named one of our top games of 2012 — has only been officially released since April of that year. A free-to-play title, its business model relies on regular updates and players purchasing small bits of content in order to keep the game going. The focus away from development on Tribes: Ascend has raised questions about the title’s financial success.

Mod tools and a map editor could potentially fill the gap regular content updates leave off, but Harris’ comments are by no means a guarantee, despite how excited players may be to have them. But it does seem there’s hope going forward for new Tribes: Ascend content, even if Hi-Rez isn’t producing it.

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