There’s normally a crowd in the middle of Agartha. Agartha is much easier to navigate in SWL than TSW (though I do miss the 2-jumps to Transylvania - I got quite good at that [main platform - venice - Transylvania]), and there’s a social hub in the centre of it.
There’s still the option to /chat join Sanctuary, which I usually forget to do (cba adding it to a script) where you can sometimes find a few old hands.
Well, technically, given instances are essentially the successor to dimensions, you can still meet up on someone in another ‘dimension’ to switch yours. There’s just little reason to, usually, but people do it all the time during the Anniversary Event for Hatekeeper summons.
Don’t drop a dime until you’ve played long enough to be sure whether you can stand the insanely grindy gear system long-term. (If yes, your call on whether/how much you want to support a game that seems to be in maintenance mode already; if no, look for greener pastures and be happy you saved.)
Home dimensions still exist, but they’re assigned at character creation based on population rather than player choice. Unless the character was created during a period of high activity (launch, events) it’ll most likely be on Dim 1 (Cerberus). One downside of this system (or upside, depending on your point of view) is that characters who aren’t on Dim 1 are even less likely to run into other players in the wild because they’ll end up in an instance on their home dimension even if there was still room in one on Dim 1. TSW used the exact same instancing, it was just far less likely to fill one up naturally than with SWL’s much lower caps.
Technicalities aside, SWL should be much more vocal about its aggressive instancing system. Hardly a day goes by when there isn’t someone who asks if the game is dead because they never see other players.
I don’t entirely agree with this. I think patron is worth getting even if you’re not planning on pursuing end-game content.
My advice for new players: Savor the story and the missions. Don’t rush. Don’t skip content unless it frustrates you. It’s looking increasingly unlikely that there’s going to be much more of it in the future.
You posted around 7 AM UTC or 1 AM EDT. Not exactly peak hours.
As for hanging out, I can’t speak for everyone else, but personally I just don’t. When I’m in-game I’m usually doing stuff. I pass through Agartha on my way to and from activities, but I rarely stay for more than a few minutes at a time.
When I’m in game, I’m usually hanging out in KM (I love seeing the new bees buzzing about). I pretty much never go to Agartha, unless it’s to get to Dark Agartha, the faction missions or during events.