@Exquisite- it sounds like you haven't progressed to the higher level servers. The other weapons are not superior to the ones you start with, they just play differently. Upgrading your armour, weapons.etc gives you a 20% boost total, all perks have their various advantages. You'll do best starting off picking a certain class and developing that one at a time which doesn't actually take too long. Opponents being difficult to hit makes it extra satisfying when you do land a hit and as your skill improves you find yourself scoring hits more and more. Tribes has plenty of humor and plenty of variety of gameplay. Again, I'll bring up higher level servers. You have people being far more creative with their classes there with the freedom of movement that the game allows. Tribes definitely is not play to win. A skilled player with starting gear will rip apart an average player who paid and bought the best gear. The difference made is marginal, it all comes down to preferred style of play.
Jet packing around is probably more fun than trying to kill people, which can be annoyingly difficult with targets mostly very far away, and/or moving very fast. It's pretty fun, but I much prefer TF2 which has more variable game play, more distinct classes, humor, and no possibility of P2W (all new weapons are balanced with benefits AND drawbacks)