Roles are jobs assigned to or assumed by players in Tribes: Ascend in order to maximize teamwork effectiveness against the enemy team. This article is restricted to the Capture the Flag game-mode, as other game-modes do not have such definitive roles.
Roles by Type
Capture the Flag insists many roles that must be assumed by players to win the match. Below is a list of these roles defined by type and how they're performed and where.
Also known as its contracted name, LO, light offense is not restricted solely to weight class, as it can be performed by both light and medium armor players. Its main goal is to provide the offending team flag grabs with minimal defense from the enemy, simply by killing the enemy players, or targeting the flag-stand directly. Stand-clearing, in particular, is a role often assumed by more powerful medium classes such as the Raider or Soldier, but can be readily re-enforced by lighter classes performing LO, such as the Infiltrator. This role also includes generator offense; often a viable tactic to draw enemy defense from the flag and allow for even less resistance. Light Offense is the most mobile offense available, utilizing faster, more mobile classes for offensive capabilities.
Contracted to HO, heavy offense assumes the same basic concept as LO, providing powerful offensive strikes to the enemy team using weapons such as the Juggernaut's Fusion Mortar or MIRV Launcher. Subjectively, Doombringers will assume the defensive role of Heavy on Flag, or HoF, or just general defense, and often do not participate in HO combat, but are not restricted to defensive roles. Heavy offense roles can include anything from long-rage base bombardment, using, but not limited to the aforementioned bombardment weapons, to generator offense, assisting those performing LO.
Flag capturing is a role most often assumed by Pathfinders, but can also be performed in many cases by other classes, not restricted to weight class; for the fastest, most efficient grabs, Pathfinders are best suited for the role. Often called the capper, this player's one and only goal is to capture the enemy flag in the fastest and most efficient way possible. There are many ways to perform this role, which are explained in the main article. Efficiency relies on capper speed and accuracy, as well as team defense and offense on the flag-stands; lack of either often causes problems for the capper with the presence of dedicated chasers, mines, force fields, and claymore mines, forcing the team to rely on slower-moving or llama grabs.
This role is seen as the game's prime and most important role. However, without proper enforcement of the above-mentioned roles, capturing the flag can be a daunting and impossible task for some teams. Considering that any role is more important than another is foolish and can cost a team a match; teams need to have roles distributed evenly based on current match events. See: Tactics
The defensive counterpart of Light Offense, LD refers to light and medium armor classes assuming a defensive role centralized on, in, or near their respective team's base, providing cover to a Heavy on Flag and the rest of the team's defenders. This role's main goal is to shut down the opposing offense. LD also exists to assist the HoF in preventing the enemy flag capper from escaping with the flag. Sentinels especially are a focus of light defense. The scope on their rifles as well as their long range damage capability make them ideal for spotting incoming cappers and preventing their health regeneration. Light defense's goals are accomplished in various ways, often by dueling the enemy offense, but also by setting up static defense such as the Technician light turrets, Doombringer forcefields and other deployables, as well as sniping. Light defense can also include base repair (generator, turrets, etc.) and chasing.
HD is a role most-often assumed by Doombringers as the Heavy on Flag, but may also be re-enforced by LD as well as other heavy classes performing heavy defense tasks. HD focuses mainly on flag defense, while LD is often concerned with general base defense and chasing. Heavies performing defense will often utilize perks such as Super Heavy to inflict damage on enemy impact, and Safety Third for extra belt items such as mines. These perks are not required and are entirely based on player preference.
A chaser, often a Pathfinder or other similar fast-moving class, is a role which specializes in chasing enemy flag grabbers after a successful grab. This role is usually played by the Pathfinder class. Pathfinders use perks such as Rage and Lightweight, and tactics such as nitron jumping to allow them to catch up to the enemy flag carrier, in order to cause flag fumbles with impact nitrons or kill the enemy carrier. It is the chaser's job to follow the friendly flag when it has left the stand and return it as quickly as possible.
A sniper is essential for spotting incoming attackers and shooting them down from a distance. Played exclusively by the Sentinel class, snipers are always on the lookout, watching common cap routes for cappers preparing to grab the flag, and shooting them down before they can grab, or taking them out after they grab. They are also responsible for defending the flag stand defense from LO and HO. Sentinels can have drop jammers to reveal infiltrators or conceal defenders, and can deploy claymores to assist in base and flag defense.