They aren't slowing down, they completely stopped supporting the game outside of MAYBE a map (and the bug fixes for the map) coming in the future and helping with LAN tournaments. There are a lot of things wrong with tribes that aren't being fixed, the only redeeming thing is the mods that might come IF they allow it (something that was asked for since the beginning that was usually declined).
Tribes Ascend had a lot of potential, but with HiRez, it won't go far and is slowly dying.
On a side note, there is another issue with HiRez's patch program that runs in the background from start up that is supposedly monitoring your computer even when you aren't playing, breaking the agreement you accept to play the game stating that it only monitors when the game is in play (to find hackers).
This is one of the large issues with investing into F2P games and this is terrible news for those who invested in it. I don't mean to gloat but I saw this coming a mile away with this game. The developers who are a small studio took on several projects when they likely could only handle one and there is a-lot of F2P competition out there. I think this game was doomed the moment Planetside 2 came out as this game failed to be as good as Tribes 2 and couldn't even give us 64 players like that did 12 years ago. A shame really I've been a longtime Tribes player and I really wanted this game succeed.
Hmm, this game is great but it takes a decent amount of time to learn its dynamics and that lower the player pool.
Its sad cus its one of the hardest games that ever existed ( Broodwar/quake 3/unreal tournament/cs/tribes ascend would be my top picks ).
User generated mods would be amazing. I've played Tribes since Starsiege: Tribes in 1999, and I can definitely say that T:A is fantastic. It would be glorious if they had mods, though. Despite claims that the updates are slowing down, the community is certainly still alive and kickin'. I don't know if anyone remembers this, but back in the T1 days, there used to be a mod called Annihilation. It was made by a guy named Plasmatic. The dude is still playing T:A, I saw him online a couple of times!
At the end of the day, mods or no mods, T:A is so wonderful to play. There is no other game that gives me the satisfaction I derive from the mid-air disc, or from simply having a jetpack.