Hi everyone, I started playing during the bonus experience week. I picked a defiler shaman to start out with, thinking I would get groups. I joined a big guild that helped me out with my newbie questions. I spent the last week slogging it out, leveling up this slow *** defiler - doing the kunark ascending and pop signature quests in hopes I could group after getting to the last level. I hoped I could get groups in dungeons leveling up and queued in the agnostic dungeon system, but there was no one doing them, so I leveled up the hard way. Someone kind took pity on me, and boosted me a bit at lower level. The 95-100 leveling experience is extremely tough. Getting those five levels is a pain but it can be done. I finally got to level 110 soloing this class, and wanted to group, and was informed that my hit points needed to be 20 million plus and my potency and other stats such and such. I looked at my stats and I despaired as I only had 3 million hit points and was unable to group. That's was with the mix of free gear given in the box in plane of magic at level 100 and a mix of quest gear I got leveling up. I asked how do I get my stats up? I was told to get the orange adornments at least level 4, championship, glory, witness and juxtaposition. The level 4 orange adornments require doing 190 or so runs of this instance called a proving ground. It is a robotic instance where you are given an avatar and mash buttons to kill content. It finishes up in at least twenty minutes if you are new and you can get the run down to 7 mins or so I've been told. You can only run this instance once every three hours. To effectively farm this instance, you need more alts to keep doing it over and over as the marks you get from it are account wide. But it's a mind numbing tedious task! It takes 850 marks to get a level 4 rune. You get 18 marks a run on a gold account. That's 48 runs. So if you do one run a day it takes 48 days to get one rune. Now there is a weekly quest that gives you a few more. Most people who log in, log in after work and probably would only be able to get one run in a day because of the lockout. If they use the 100 boost from the last expansion, they can run it twice probably a day. That means a rune every 24 days or shorter if you do the quest. I think you can only use alts level 100 plus. I tried going into the proving ground on a level 25 toon to see if I could. When I clicked the proving ground portal my client crashed. When I logged back in I was somehow in the middle of thundering steps zone with mobs beating on me. The proving ground system I've heard is extremely buggy too. Anyway, that means you are stuck paying a subscription for four months before you can actually play the group game. The last expansion added level five of these runes, and now you can get those runes commissioned by another player who grinded out the recipe. Now the commissioning system allows a player to make a no trade item I think but I've never tried it. One forum post I read said the materials for one rune cost 8 million plat. A krono is 1.6 mil plat at the moment. So five krono will get you a level five one. That's what the forum post I read said and not sure if the prices have gone down. So it takes twenty kronos at 18 euro each, which is nearly 200 euro to actually start this game grouping after you reach max level. People on this forum tout that you can make hundreds of thousands harvesting a day and that you can grind out the money harvesting or doing solo instances for the materials if you have a soloable class. That's quite fine, but I got my harvesting up to 625 and managed to get a few rubicite ore and darkstones and the most I made was like 20k after hours of harvesting. It's a pile of hogwash really. Alts? Not a chance in this game! This game is great and I enjoyed the 1-110 run during the bonus week. But the thing that got me most was choosing a healer to solo level up, only to be put down when I eventually reached max level and told to buzz off - you aren't getting a group yet. Seems to me this game is completely newbie unfriendly and completely alt unfriendly. Locking the group content behind a massive grind wall or pay 200 euro up front is not my idea of fun. I can't afford the 200 euro to get these runes and I tried grinding out the proving grounds for a while but it's not really fun anymore. I also tried grinding money through harvesting. Nothing really appeals to me to get these runes. I just wanted to leave a message to new players who come to the game like I. I'd recommend choosing a soloable class like a necromancer to consume the content. After that - well I've highlighted what you need to do to get into the group game. If that's acceptable for you, by all means continue playing.