Where do you get this 1-3% figure? Based on the people who log into the Alpha testing environment that isn't open to all players yet? Based on the numbers of active forum users?
I for one who purchased a kickstarter pack the instant it became available, haven't visited the forums in over 2 years. I just came back with the introduction of Patch 5.7. Back then I knew almost regardless of how the game would come out, I would play it. That's only because of my bias, as I've been dreaming of a spiritual successor to Shadowbane for over a decade. So don't take these arbitrary numbers into account.
Also, are you comparing a long standing extremely well established mmo's steaming numbers to one that is currently in development?
Now onto the actual topic, Skill training. I don't particularity like it but I understand why they chose to go that route, and can't complain as it directly benefits me.
I have a job, an actual 9-5 that I'm sure a lot of other people have as well. (kind of a part of the whole "society" thing) This means that I will always be at a disadvantage to others who have more time to put forth to the grind. I play Rust, a group oriented PVP sandbox FPS that is centered around crafting guns and building bases to protect your loot and raiding other player's bases, or at least I use to play. I love the game to death, I've played it for more than 5000 hours, can't get enough of it. But without the time necessary to sink into it to protect your base and loot, there's no point in playing. It's a sad thing to realize.
Rust is suffering from a hardcore only type of gameplay that punishes, or basically handicaps players who have real life commitments. To an extent ArtCraft trying to remove this negative aspect from Crowfall giving everyone a level playing field. There's a pun in there somewhere. This doesn't mean I won't still be at a disadvantage, those same players who don't have a job or school will be able to farm in the spring much longer than I would, and at off peak times, making it easier for them.
That being said, I do not like how disposable vessels feel. They feel like they have no investment, for how little attributes affect stats. I do not like how the vessels name is pointless, as it displays account names for all characters. I know that this isn't a finished product, and comparing the game in it's current state to how it will be released is stupid. I would still like to see something in addition to the passive skill tree, possibly similar to Runescape/EQ where using the weapon type in actual battle increases your skill with the weapon type.