Tribes: Ascend, the persistent world FPS from Hi-Rez (not to be confused with their more MMO-based outing, Tribes: Universe) will follow a free-to-play model.
The developers have apparently taken inspiration from League of Legends in how to apply free-to-play. But where League has purchasable characters (obtained with either in-game currency or real dollars) alongside a rotating selection of freebie heroes, Tribes: Ascend will have different loadouts.
These pre-defined loadouts will determine what armour, weapons and benefits each character will be taking into the fight. One loadout may offer medium armour (for increased speed) and a rapid-firing weapon, while another might consist of heavier armour and the ability to place turrets and mines.
Cosmetic items like different ‘skins’ have also been confirmed by Hi-Rez, which does raise the question of how wise it is to offer such wide customisation in an FPS title where identification of enemies and team-mates is so vital.
Tribes: Ascend is due “later this year” as a digital download on PC and Xbox 360.