Obviously, there are quite a few new players in Tribes: Ascend. Many don't have any weapons or classes besides the default ones, due to the high XP threshold. This guide is going out to help those players, give insight on what is worth your hard earned XP and what's not, and tell you how to earn it the fastest. To clarify, this guide is aimed at players who have a basic understanding of the combat mechanics and how the gameplay works.
Two things you need to avoid: Deathmatch and Arena. They give far fewer opportunities to earn a high amount of XP in a match, and are so quick, that you won't meet the requirements for badges as easily.
One of the easiest badges you can earn is the "going fast" badge. What you'll need: -A basic knowledge of Shrike handling (use the training mode if you have to) -A public CTF match (as of the recent Raid and Pillage patch, you cannot earn badges from Custom servers, just XP) -4500 points (for purchasing a Shrike) -Impact Nitron
Get in a Shrike, preferably on a hilly map like Raindance or Temple Ruins, then right click to boost. Once you reach top speed, press 'G' to jump out. Immediately start skiing, and once you are on the ground, boost yourself even more with Impact Nitrons. This should get you a very easy 320km/h+ skii, and a nice lump of XP from the badges.
On to the class badges and accolades:
The first thing you should look at unlocking is the Technician class. This is because you can earn kills (with turrets) and accolades (by repairing static defenses) passively, with less effort than other classes. Focus on repairing your Generator and your base defenses, and use any points you get from it on upgrading them. The base upgrade and base repair badges are arguably the easiest badges to unlock, and you can earn a pretty penny from doing so.
After this, it's up to you which class you want to play and which ones you want to upgrade.
From the top, I'll list items that are (and aren't) worth purchasing.
*Bolt Launcher - A better dueling weapon than the light spinfusor, though arguably harder to land shots with. If you plan on doing a lot of disk jumping, this is not the weapon for you, as it will do more harm to you than good. If your purposes are purely from a dueling standpoint, however, it is definitely worth a try.
*Light AR - A very good finishing weapon, and also gives the Pathfinder more versatility for fighting airborne targets. It is an obvious improvement over the shotgun, which requires you to be up close, and has a higher DPS (damage per second). A good purchase.
*Thrust Pack - The thrust pack's usefulness is debatable. If you aren't great at energy management, than it probably isn't the right choice for you, but it does allow you to get higher velocity from a static position. It comes in handy if you do a lot of flag returning, and can give you at the very least a 50km/h faster grab if you use it right. If you really play the class a lot, go for it.
*Explosive Nitron - A variant of the Impact Nitron that does higher damage, but does not force flag drops. It comes in handy when dueling, as well as getting some extra speed if you already have the flag. Honestly, the fact that it doesn't make you drop the flag really isn't that big of an advantage. It does enough damage that it will reduce you to around 200-300 health, and if you have already used an explosive to launch yourself at the flag, it would be suicide to use. Basically, if you aren't using the Pathfinder class in Deathmatch or Arena, it isn't a necessary unlock.
*Phase Rifle - A variant of the standard sniper rifle, that does not require you to scope to have full damage, but uses energy. I would say, avoid it like the plague. It doesn't let you fire fully damaging shots as often as the BXT, and is basically useless without the Energy Recharge Pack.
*Falcon Pistol - Yes. For the love of God, yes. Why are we even discussing it? It's such an obvious upgrade from the Nova pistol that there really isn't any downside to having it, and it can get you out of sticky situations in close quarters. A must buy if you play the Sentinel often.
*Energy Recharge Pack - Having this would require you to lose your drop jammer, and it's not worth it. Unless you plan on using the Phase Rifle, it's not necessary, and honestly, the BXT is just better. Don't waste your XP on it.
*T5 Grenade - Not really worth it. Most combat that you'll get into as a Sentinel is open-field (unless you're playing the class wrong) so grenades aren't really effective unless your opponent is willing to walk into them. Keep the claymores, they are great for flag defense.
*Stealth Spinfusor - A great weapon for open-field combat, is arguably more effective in-doors than the Jackal, and just looks cool. If you plan on doing a lot of flag disruption and slaying in the enemy base, this is the weapon for you.
*Jackal - A very easy to use primary weapon that can deal big damage. You generally don't need to shoot more than one or two clips to kill someone, while the Spinfusor can take more, so if you plan on cloaking often, go with it. It has been reduced from it's previous damage, but is still effective. If you are planning on doing a lot of lurking in the enemy base, it's the weapon for you.
*Throwing Knives - A very obvious upgrade from the SN7 Silenced Pistol, it gets from Point A to Point B faster and does more damage, at the cost of a smaller clip. It doesn't take long to reload, however, so it's an obvious choice.
*Prism Mine - great for base defense and enemy base disruption. It received a damage buff recently, and is a great tool to have. However, sticky grenades are far better if you want to destroy static defenses.
*Smoke Grenades - Smoke grenades let you instantly cloak after firing a weapon, and for a few seconds, getting damaged will not break stealth. These are great for enemy base disruption and slaying, but if you'd rather destroy base assets, the stickies are a better choice. This is basically just up to your playstyle when playing Infiltrator.
*Spinfusor - Yep. It does more damage than the Thumper, is easier to get midairs with, and has longer range.
*Eagle Pistol - Yep. A great finishing weapon, and it compliments the Spinfusor well.
*Anti-Personnel Grenade - I would advise against this particular item. It does not do a whole lot more damage than the XL, and has a much smaller radius, which makes in less viable for open-air combat.
*Proximity Grenade - A definite yes. This belt item is arguably when of the best in the game for dueling, as it explodes whenever it gets near an enemy. Midairs? You betcha. Flag defense? No problem. If you want to give the Soldier class more utility, this is the item for you.
*Utility Pack - A definite buy. + 20 energy, and when upgraded, gives you +1 grenade, +100 health, and +10% run speed. An obvious choice.
*Thumper - A powerful weapon, which really helps the Technician in combat. An obvious choice.
*Sawed-Off Shotgun - I wouldn't recommend giving up your repair tool for it. Technicians don't need a finishing weapon (unless you feel like being a jerk and putting down turrets in Deathmatch or Arena).
*Sparrow - See: Sawed-Off Shotgun.
*Motion Sensor - A great utility. If an enemy touches it, it gives you a warning and drains their energy. Great for keeping cloaked infiltrators from surprising you.
*Grenade Launcher - A good weapon for clearing flag stands and shooting around corners in bases. Not so great for dueling, but, neither is the Arx.
*Plasma Gun - An extremely easy weapon to get midair kills with. It is the best option for the Raider if you want to duel opponents, rather than clear flag stands. Just know that it may get nerfed beyond all recognition soon.
*NJ5-B SMG - A sidegrade secondary. Has a slower firerate than the NJ4. It doesn't do any higher DPS than the NJ4, but it can fire in scope, and has larger projectiles, making it easier to hit with, and does more damage per shot, making it a better finishing weapon.
*Jammer Pack - A great utility for base defense. Lets you see cloaked infiltrators in your base. It is not as useful for offense as the Shield pack, but I assume you could already guess that.
*Whiteout Grenade - Blinds enemies. Strangely enough, it got buffed a while back, making it impossible to look away from the blast if you are within the radius. If a blind instead of direct damage appeals to you, go for it.
*Cluster Grenade - Has an initial blast, and breaks into five explosives upon detonation. Good for flag stand clearing and area denial, though it does not do as much damage as the EMP grenade would against single targets.
*MIRV Launcher - It's usefulness is debatable. It is not as good for open field combat, as it takes longer to apply it's damage, making it easy to dodge. It really shines indoors, for both Generator defense and offense.
*X1 LMG - A great weapon, with high firerate and DPS. Almost as high damage as the Chaingun. If you have the Spinfusor Disk unlocked, this is a must have weapon.
*Spinfusor Disk - A hand-thrown Spinfusor projectile. Does the same damage as the Soldier Spinfusor, and can be thrown at a much faster rate. However, you can only carry 3 of them (or 4, if you have Safety Third equipped). Don't get it if you do not plan on using the X1 LMG.
*Heavy Bolt Launcher - It's not worth it. The Chaingun has the highest DPS of any weapon in Tribes: Ascend if you can aim it properly. Just stick with it.
*Mines - Definitely get them. Great for flag defense, which is what you should be doing with the Doombringer.
*Nova Colt - A hard to use, but high damage finishing weapon. Great for taking down weakened opponents, and can be used at a greater distance than the automatic shotgun.
*Light Sticky Grenade - Not as useful as the Fractal Grenade. It doesn't do as much damage as the Infiltrator sticky grenades, and it's arguably harder to get into static defenses with a Brute anyway. Stay away from this item.
Thanks for reading my Beginner's Guide to XP! I may add a Perks section later on, but I think this is all I'll upload for now.