Hi-Rez has taken heavy criticism for the way it handled the development of the game, even from players of its other game, Global Agenda. They accused Hi-Rez of dropping Global Agenda as soon as it became unprofitable and started working on Tribes: Ascend, instead of fixing the existing problems. This pattern was later seen on Ascend's development. Instead of fixing the problems Tribes had, or implementing the features that were requested by the community, even during the beta, like Demo Recording, were ignored, and implemented in the company's next game, Smite. Smite also had 70 developers working on it during its beta, and yet, no one could be spared to support Tribes.
While the developers claimed to have put out a lot of new content, especially weapons, most were just slightly altered copies of previous weapons with different textures applied. What the community wanted the most were maps and bug fixes. Eventually, new weapons were no longer created either, with Hi-Rez claiming that it took too much effort to create new content. It would appear that Hi-Rez chose to create a Free-to-Play game without realzing the amount of work involved in doing so.
One of the biggest complaints against Hi-Rez is that it ignored the community. During the beta, the community suggested ways for Hi-Rez to monetize the game, and also pointed out potential problems with how the game was progressing, most of which were ignored. One of the big points was made in regards to the eSports scene and how there were not enough tools for it, but nothing was done, all those features were later added to Smite. Hi-Rez also promised that Tribes: Ascend would not be a "fire and forget" type of game, but more of a service, but nine months after Ascend was out of beta, it received it's final patch, and a few months later shutdown all of the official forums.
Tribes 1 and Tribes 2 veterans have complained that the game was too easy, which made a lot of them leave. Casual players have also complained that the game was too hard, which made them leave as well. So you have a game that the casuals do not like, and one that the Tribes fans do not like. Neither of which is good for the longevity of the game.
Tribes: Ascend is frequently called Call of Duty: Ascend due to the high amount of weapons that lean more towards Call of Duty rather than Tribes. As of patch 1.0.1055.0, Ascend currently has 7 Sub Machine Guns, 7 Pistols, 5 Shotguns, 4 Assault Rifles, 3 Thumpers, Claymores, a Whiteout Grenade (Flash bang now a black out grenade), and melee/knives, these are essentially found in every Call of Duty game. Hi-Rez tried to compensate for this by adding in 11 different Spinfusors, 3 mortars, and 2 plasma weapons. If you were to put jetpacks into Call of Duty, it would be very similar to Tribes: Ascend. It is also sometimes referred to as Global Agenda 2.0 since Hi-Rez also develops this game.
Bullet based projecticle weaponry was rarely seen in the Tribes series, yet it has a major presence in Ascend. This development makes it hard to place into the timeline. By having the powered armor suits, it must take place during or after the Tribes 1 timeline, yet the heavy use of projectile based weaponry would suggest that it is pre-Metaltech: Battledrone. There are also no floating bases, which were very prominent in Tribes 1, implying that the technology is not available, placing it back before Tribes 1. The use of HERCs also places the game in the pre-Tribes timeline as well. The inability of the Technician's repair tool to heal players, would also suggest a regression in technology, along with HUDs that have a limited zoom and weapons that have ammo readouts instead of being directly linked to the HUD.
Hi-Rez has currently misused at least two pieces of lore. The first is the term Firetruce, which is an event like our Olypmics, yet they are making it sound like a treaty. HiRezSean says, "[Diamond Sword] is going to break the Firetruce and attack the Blood Eagle." Unless the Diamond Sword attacked the Blood Eagle at the Firetruce, this does not make sense. The second piece of lore that is misused, is the HERC. In previous games, the HERC is a bipedal mech, which was abandoned due to the impossible task of maintaining them. The planned HERCs in Ascend will be tanks, not bipedal mechs, even though in 6 of the previously released, and one cancelled game, were all bipedal mechs.
Unlike previous Tribes games, Ascend is unable to handle high pings. Players with pings over 100ms will suffer from increasing amounts of lag. While mod tools were discussed and map tools, the CEO later mentioned that they are just too expensive.
While there is a lot of criticism revolving around Tribes: Ascend, most of the community is glad that a company at least picked up the game and tried to make it successful. Hi-Rez's art team also did an amazing job with the game assets. If the community could use those assets to make maps, there would be some stunning maps.