I reinstalled PSO2 few night ago to see if I would have a better time as a ranger called Jupiter.
Knowing how the game works better now I reached level 25 in under 2 nights of playing.
I would still give the game a chance @Ike if your looking for a online game to play.
It can be played without spending any arks cash but it does cause a lot of inventory management issues. You will find yourself full of inventory well before finishing a quest as loot drops constantly.
Having only one mag per character can also be limiting as you won't be optimal later on if you enjoy switching class types a lot. Extra mags can be acquired with arks cash.
You can make up to 3 characters per ship so if you wanted to play classes to their full potential theres always that option.
From what I learned playing the game you basically just want to pick up items with the most affixes to use them as fodder later on for modding your gear. Anything with less than 3 affixes isn't worth picking up.
Meseta is very easy to acquire in the game as you advance difficulties, one npc gives Daily Missions that give you a more financial based rewards where as Client Orders give more reward in the form of experience points.
I would encourage using multiple characters if you need meseta for gear as the daily limit on Client Orders and Daily Missions are on a per character basis, so on the same Ship your three characters can all earn meseta between them.
For me premium status is unnecessary as most things in the game can be purchased from player shops for gearing up and its totally viable upgrading gear yourself too. Only thing that might not be worth doing is the crafting systems as you would only be able to use items made yourself as you can't sell items in the player shop if you don't have premium status.
Gathering however is worth doing as theres client orders that can earn you in excess of 100k meseta if you want some easy meseta once a day.
I will play the game for now at a casual pace on the xbox one but will switch to the Windows 10 version whenever it releases because playing ranger on controller doesnt feel natural like mouse and keyboard does. Playing as a force on controller is manageable and quite fun nuking enemies as I have been ever since unlocking my subclass at level 20, Gadwin is level 45 at the moment.