Not @ me I know but your answer seems to ignore a huge portion of what I agree with in this thread. ->Ahh you mean the server you have to BRING GEAR INTO? That means you have to have ALREADY SPENT 40-80 man-hours on resources in another server, crafted, and banked in order to import and "just fight". With how "valuable" Spirit Banking is, you have to see why that's an issue.
I 100% agree a "just play" server would be awesome. Disable spirit banking on it, have "free gear" generated from the start and via the combat itself (better quality gear dropping off of enemies corpses based on lv difference or whatnot) and bam, instant action that's not "teh kraps." It might provide fun AND useful balancing information that currently locked behind a timewall.
Little story: As a total noob first hour of gameplay I joined an abb server cause there's NO EXPLANATION about what it is...and got constantly naked-killed by the few other people online while i was still trying to push over a tree with my hands. It took me talking in allchat wondering WTF kinda manure did I just spend money on to finally (after the manditory ***-talking ***whits spent 5 mins degrading me for asking questions) to finally figure out that i needed to connect to a server with worse ping because it actually had a beachhead and rudimentary NPE. Ya Ya, "current dev state" blah blah->not having a signpost is just lazy development. It takes all of 45 seconds to write a string of text and have it displayed.
Unrelated to above, but related to the topic: Myself and the ENTIRE GROUP OF FRIENDS who all bought/backed the game at the same time have dropped away from the game and testing of it for exactly the same reasons the OP listed. We occasionally remember to login and spend our max-bank skill points in hopes that once we have the skills between the entire group(in a month or so by basic math, if we remember/care by then) We MIGHT find that the investment/return is worth our time. If I'm to believe the bits of info I've gleaned, that means about 10 months of time once it goes gold. That right there is some psychiatrist's wet dream in self-infliction before we even get into the ability to do the actual early-midgame.
On old hats and their blah-blah: just cause yer a white haired ex-marine in a rocking chair on your front porch yelling at the kids to "get off da lawn" doesn't mean your opinion is any more valid. Everyone paid, it's therefore everyone's lawn, and being a hooligan without being helpful is exactly that shotgun-rockingchair mentality that makes people wanna hurry you along to your grave. Maybe the VETERAN PLAYERS should try BEING PRODUCTIVE with comments like we talked about this part in "linked thread which was buried in locked subforums away from general view" instead of being elitist knobgobblers.