There are actually a surprising amount of people starting up. The problem is to play together you have to be within levels and be on at the same time and normally people come on randomly in different time zones so it feels like there's no one else online to play with.
I do suggest soloing a while to get a hang of the game and acquire cheap upgrades off the market. This is in fact how the game used to be. Then once you feel you have enough gear and you know how to use which abilities etc, look for a group climb
. Otherwise maybe a two man climb with someone else st arting out could also be fun/ fair.
This is not the kind of rpg where you can just come in and play and supply yourself. If you don't invest forum gold you won't have items to play with.