I think everyone needs an opportunity to be the victim of their own earth-shattering stupidity. It’s a great learning experience.
On the eve of my eighteenth birthday (many years ago), I was hanging around in my free-to-play MMO of choice. I was relatively well respected on my server. Not super famous, like the 13 year old Israeli kid who was the highest level person in the game and once asked me to hold his farming spot because he had to hide from bombs. But people sort of looked up to me. Random, awe-inspired whispers were pretty normal.
I started out my MMOing career with free-to-play games, commonly abbreviated as f2p. Actually, it probably went more like chat rooms -> Neopets -> free MMOs, but I’m not here to talk about internet creepers or angel paintbrushes. I think I started playing MMOs about a year before WoW came out, and then well into the first two years of its existence. The last two years of high school were spent with my face buried in a CRT monitor, burning away six to eight hours a day grinding in these games (high school is a weird time for most people). Thanks to that, I’d like to think I know (or knew) a bit about hardcore f2p MMOs.