It turns out I played my very first PUG game with a group of experienced PUG players. My failure to play the LD role accurately lead to team frustration, and rightfully so. The community really took to going out of their way to point me down the right path, and my comments about crude in-game remarks were not representative of the vast majority of the Tribes PUG community.
New players make sure to join the Newblood channel where you will be eased into the PUG enviorment and mentored properly. Please dont let this article discourage your from giving it a try, thats not what I wanted to do. In fact , my intentions were quite the opposite. Tribes PUGs can be a great time and a good place to meet like minded gamers. Take a moment to try it out, I assure you it is worth it.
Those of you who have me as a friend on Steam will know, Tribes Ascend is my go-to PC game right now. Its the game I jump in when i’m not really sure what to play. While i’m not a seasoned vet, I think of myself of an at least somewhat capable Tribes player.
While taking care of websites at my dayjob, I noticed a post from the Tribes Ascend facebook encouraging Tribes players to take a moment to check out the Tribes PUG (pick up game) scene. They posted a link to the simple but effective playapug.com website. Pick up games are different than a random Tribes Ascend match in many ways.
1. It is allways 7 vs 7 CTF
2. All the players are in the same chat
3. Players fill specific roles
4. The game is highly organized and lead by a team captain who calls out orders.
My best class is soldier, typically playing a flag defence role. I quickly learned that this playstyle is labeled as Light Defence (LD) by the Tribes community. After reading through the instructions on the Tribes Playa Pug website I logged into the mumble server and sat myself in the LD lobby waiting for a captain to pick me for a team.
After about a 15-20 min wait, we had our teams worked out and I found myself logged into my very first Tribes PUG match. I made sure to tell everyone on my team to be patient as this was my first time playing in a Tribes Pug match. My team captain said “everyone starts somewhere” which I found reassuring. Unfortunately for me, the rest of the team didn’t seem to be as forgiving.
To give some perspective here , I am level 18 in Tribes. I definitely understand the game mechanics and have a rough understanding of high-level meta game. The Tribes PUG scene is MUCH more challenging than a random capture the flag match. Despite having played dozens and dozens of hours in public games, I immediately noticed the higher level of skill required. I was struggling to pick off flag cappers, something I found easy in public matches.
My job was to ‘stay at home’ and defend the flag – I took this very literally and kept on playing the same class, staying in the base. I focused intently on guarding the flag and keeping an eye out for incoming cappers.
I felt like my team didn’t really give a shit about me being new. They didn’t explain any of the PUG specific jargon. I did watch the recommended video , but still .. I feel like new players will need at least a bit of guidance when jumping into something like this. Because of this I found my teammates getting frustrated with me for not “crashing” at the right time or not getting into position for the “standoff”. I played for about an hour or two before deciding I wasn’t quite there yet to play with this group.
I did enjoy the way the game played out with an organized group, but I think I’m going to look for a scrub league to get my feet wet a bit before voluntarily exposing myself to people bitch and moan about how the teams defence is doing a shitty job. When you have new players in this kind of environment, leadership needs to step up and do everything possible to make that new players experience a positive one. For my time in the Tribes PUG scene, the leadership failed to do that and I won’t return to try it again until I hone my skills.
So , my thoughts on this are – definitely go give it a try as it can assuredly be a lot of fun – but proceed with caution and try to get in with a group that is willing to coach you as a new player. Have fun and good luck! If you want to try organized Tribes Ascend go to playapug.com.