My suspicions of a possible bait-and-switch plan targeted at whales in the updates for Tribes: Ascend have been stoked after having experienced the Raid & Pillage update first-hand and after having thought through my response to another GameSpot user's response to this update.
While I am certain that any newly released weapons that most players find overpowered at their release state would be nerfed, that the previous Infiltrator pack also had the same problems is feeding conspiracy theories about Hi-Rez resorting to a bait-and-switch scheme to encourage whales to part with their money, you can read an example of a rather heated discussion about this on Reddit.
Click to get larger picture. The picture was uploaded by tyrannus, a Tribes: Ascend player who used the recently released Plasma Gun and mentioned that it is overpowered in a Penny Arcade forum.
As has been mentioned by other people in both threads, it's still too premature to suggest that Hi-Rez is resorting to such a scheme. However, the gist that I want to pose is that Hi-Rez can legally get away with this "bait-and-switch", even if this conspiracy turns out to be true.
After all, that other players would whine and complain and demand nerfing makes for a damn good excuse to swap the initial version of a newly released weapon that whales paid to get for a reduced version that the whales certainly did not pay for in the first place.
UPDATE: The Plasma Gun has been nerfed, having its hitbox reduced by nearly 40%. This is a rather huge amount, and one that Hi-Rez's testers apparently didn't request implementation for during testing, for whatever speculative reason.
Of course, if you are a free-loader and you won't give up Tribes, you will probably stay away from the game whenever a new update pack is released, awaiting the eventual nerfing (and maybe mooching off a match that is already underway to grab the First Victory of the Day XP bonus), i.e. such a scheme wouldn't affect you as long as Hi-Rez makes certain that weapons eventually become balanced.
However, if this supposed bait-and-switch scheme is all too true, what would you do if you happen to be a whale that has paid for an overpowered weapon and have it taken away from you in a nerfing update or a free-loader that has considered the whales' feelings?