As a fan of tribes 1/2, I think ascend is pretty awesome, and this GOTY edition is an absolute STEAL considering you normally would have to pay upwards of 60 bucks to unlock all that stuff. I spent 10 bucks on a vip membership for some weapons and bonus xp.. but I think im gonna nab the %19 edition as well.
I dont think skiing was ruined what so ever... skiing was a bug in the original series and many of us couldn't do it properly all the time. Ascend makes it much more easier and much more enjoyable. If anything, I consider the flags are always too open.. I liked a lot of the old maps where the map was in the base. Also I think vehicals need some work.
Still these guys have been spending a lot of time balancing maps and weapons and adding new content for a free to play shooter, we can only hope others in the future look twards ascend as a model.