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Same here. A lot has improved this year. More than happy to show any newcomers around. And if anyone from CotP is planning to start up and expects to wear cloth or leather get in touch with me and I'll set you up with a nice set for free.
The developers announced that Chapter 1 for SotA is free to play no level restrictions or trading restrictions. The only thing is you can't participate in Universal Chat (aka Global chat) but you can purchase an orb for 2 dollars to have access to that. I have close to 3700 hours in this game spread across two accounts. There has been a lot of quality of life improvements but the game still has a lot more work to do. The learning curve is still difficult but I am happy to help anyone out to learn the basics.