Starsiege Tribes tips

When Starsiege Tribes was released, deathmatch games like Quake were still popular. Tribes stood out because of all the cool things one could do, like using vehicles, deploying and remote controlling turrets, sensors, etc. Over the years competitive high level play somehow reduced its playfulness and vocabulary so to speak, so it aged poorly in that respect. Graphically, it's still interesting in crisp software render. Textures are competent and the inherently monolithic low poly art direction works.

Anyways, when Tribes Vengeance was released, Tribes 1 became a giveaway, and I found some install files in a backup folder on my Ubuntu/Linux machine. With Wine installed, you can often just click on .exe files and they'll run... more or less. Quake 1&2 randomly craps out on me. Photoshop 5.5 does run but iirc the copy paste buffer doesn't work. How would Tribes fare?


Success! Note that I also managed to install the patch. There's a text field here for a player specific script, but I made a config/autoexec.cs instead. Below is a random ski script I found. Back in the day I skied manually and clumsily though. This script also has mouse wheel weapon switching.

// Jump/ Jet/ Ski script by Plasmatic
// drop this code into your Tribes\config\autoexec.cs
// Or drop this file into Tribes\config and add:
// exec(Plasmatic_Ski); 
// to Tribes\config\autoexec.cs


BindCommand(mouse0, make, button1, TO, "Plas::Jet();");
bindAction(mouse0, break, button1, TO, IDACTION_JET, 0.000000);
function Plas::Jet()
	if(getMountedItem(0) != -1)	//check weapon slot -no jump jet with no weapon
		postAction(2048, IDACTION_MOVEUP, 1);
	postAction(2048,IDACTION_JET, 1.000000);	
bindCommand(keyboard0, make, "space", TO, "$Plas::skiing = true;Plas::Ski(true);");
bindCommand(keyboard0, break, "space", TO, "$Plas::skiing = false;");
function Plas::Ski()
		postAction(2048, IDACTION_MOVEUP, 1);
		schedule("Plas::Ski();",0.05);	//jump jump jump	
BindCommand("mouse0", "zaxis", TO, "nextWeapon();");	//scroll weapons

There are no bots in vanilla Tribes, but I know there are fan patches out there which do all sorts of things. The official multiplayer servers are long dead but there might be others. I have not looked.

I had some problems with both Quake and Tribes: rocketjumping and discjumping wouldn't work. The player wouldn't shoot because clicking right then left button quickly on the mouse somehow doesn't work. This was due to the touchpad on my linux laptop, so I disabled it.

Here are some screenshots of tribes running under linux (Ubuntu MATE). Enjoy!

Blastside spawn. The match start wait with all players readying and chatting adds a nice pause to the game.

Inventory station. The wall textures are kinda fun here and there, though they sometimes look a bit clippy/misaligned.


Inventory station menus.

Now we're at Raindance.

The bunker was vulnerable to mortar shots. Sometimes a heavy could set up its own little base in the enemy bunker and cause all sorts of grief.

The bridge. I like Software render the best. Also, the Tribes landscape textures are very concrete, with distinct patches of grass and mud. Other games were a blurry mess. I may be wrong, but I think Tribes 2 had more jagged terrain than Tribes 1.

There are some texture distortion issues it seems.

Command station view.

A snow map.

Another snow map, with a crashed pod-like ship.

Approaching chunky shapes.

Leans on the inside.

Some iconography.

Another map, with strange corridors.

Faction markings.

Moody lightmap.

Rock landmark.

A base.

Grabbing a repair pack.

Scout jet has some Giger thing happening.

Side view.

Texture distortion again, under Wine.

Containers of some sort.

Simple but effective texture work.

Nice looking console.

Blasters are seemingly standard issue for Tribesmen, so I imagine that engraving the handle is perhaps some sort of ritual. Unsure if made out of wood, which could be valuable in a world without trees.

There's a common theme in many textures... maybe broken circles. It's not such a good idea to put noisy textures behind an inventory station like this though.

A derelict. Well, not really. There's a base inside. But it would be neat with derelict ships. Or repurposed wrecks... something like that might fit the "Griefers".

Maps with vulnerable flags are more popular it seems.

Hovering temple structures are a staple of Tribes. Unrelated thought: Are there any trees in Tribes? I mean, it's conceivable that the Masters and later the Cybrids did a lot of ecological damage on Earth and humans were left with grassy/mossy plants for colonization/terraforming purposes. We mostly see flat terrain in ES/SS. Unsure about Cyberstorm or later games. T2 has a few barren looking trees on some maps.

Medium armour engineer. Terrain on this map is somehow finely wobbly making it harder to ski.

Capture and hold.

Energy pack.

Heavy with shield pack.