You never mentioned FTP, you said new and casual players. In both those original cases that you mentioned I would recommend joining a large, active family guild, and then you won't need a "free ride" through the expansion, you can group through it. As for FTP, they too can and should join a family guild where , in most cases, there are helpful guildies who put T1 gear in the guild bank or sell it to guildies for cheap. When I was first coming up I was in what was a family guild that also raided, and I found all of this to be true, at least for me. Edited to add: If you don't want to grind for the gear, then you may have to pay the piper (baz prices). Most things in life (and in the game) are a trade-off. Speaking for myself, whenever I have not liked the Baz prices on any given item, I just go camp said item. Oh, and don't get me wrong, I may grumble about "stupid idiots in Baz pricing stuff like morons, blah blah blah" (lol) but I don't expect DBG to take action on the situation.