I'm very interested in trying out BDO, although I've heard from numerous sources that the gear which drops isn't that different in looks (if at all) to what your character starts off with. Is the only way to change the looks of my character's gear by buying it off the cash shop? I wouldn't mind in the end of course, but whilst leveling I like my character to have different looking gear every so often so he doesn't look the same... Speaking of which, I saw one guy on a stream had the same looking gear on from level 1 to 50, although the stream is old now so I'm not sure if anything has changed in game recently regarding gear.
On a sort of related note... Is it true that you can't tell another player's level? So you could have a guy at level 1 with powerful looking gear he bought from the cash shop and I'd be fooled into thinking he's some super strong high level. Basically is there any way to find out the levels of the players around you?
Finally, is it true there's a free trial week this week? The BDO site's been down for me for a while now, so I've not been able to check.