Disclosure: I was an early max pack founder and have been subbed to the game for years on at least one account but at times subbed on 4 characters for farming and crafting purposes. I did not sub for a few months somewhere in there because the game was in bad shape and I thought it would shut down. I have 100 max mastery for all of my favorite weapons and professions in crafting.
There is no easy way and it saddens me so I will just say that I'm getting the feeling the game is on its last leg and will explain why.
When the game was in beta the population was very high and that is the time I believe they reached that 200,000 player mark that they promote here and there when they want you to buy something.
When the game released the population was still high but not as high as the beta b/c I think some players just decided they didn't like the game.
One year after release the population had dropped quite a bit but everyone who remained actually bought the game cause the game was still btp and everyone I knew had a premium sub or multiple premium subs.
At FTP launch the population seemed as high as it was in the beta with players everywhere and towns not even able to load character models because there were just too many people.
A few months after FTP the game population while still a tad bit higher than pre-ftp launch is made up now soley of entirely ftp players.
I played in multiple PVE only guilds pre ftp launch filled with people with premium subs that played daily and now almost ALL of those people have stopped playing. I know this because my friend list lists the amount of days since their last log in and all of them stopped playing entirely after the ftp launch. We are talking about 60'ish people who flat out quit a game they had paid for and played for years. In the last guild I was in not a single new recruit had a premium sub and made it a point to mention repeatedly that they were "completely ftp". <--our guild let premium subs open chests first as a superstitious thing is why we would ask
At first I thought FTP would be great because it would bring in more people and it would improve every aspect of the game but the opposite has happened. Stuff sells for less on the market, gathering nodes are no longer farmable in any regular world zone and there are even fewer english speaking players than there were before - no disrespect just truth.
Is this yet another example of how ftp can destroy a game and if it is what's the reasoning for it? For the developer it's obviously greed but it is a failed model anyway you look at it when something is btp then goes ftp it almost always fails. SOE and Trion is the most recent real world example of it so why do devs keep repeating the same mistake? For players I understand the philosophy of not wanting to pay for someone else's free entertainment and I understand but for devs why repeat that same self destructive move that has collapsed wealthier companies before. Reminds me of that saying I heard in high school...
‘Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.’