I actually agree with giving a very weak weapon to new people. Even a staff would be okay (you can still get free staves, but you have to go to the Red Castle at the moment). The game wouldn't really become any more death matchy than it is now (I still don't understand why people think this is the case).
The point is, any idiot can come up and stab you, as soon as he's spawned. If you're about to finish mining 5000, that'd **** you off. If you've just finished buying the legend sword, and some guy walks up behind you, stabs you, and steals it from your corpse, that'd **** you off. If someone kills him, he doesn't have to buy anything, he can just come straight back, and do it again. And again. And again. And again. And again.
Any idiot can kick or punch you when you're about to finish mining 5000 and get the same effect. The heated argument which flooded this page of the thread is pointless, as well, because it really is nearly impossible for somebody to sneak up on you on top of Excalibur Tower; the ladder climbs exceptionally slowly, and you would notice the culprit riding up behind you. There's nowhere to hide up top to wait, either (not that anybody even has the patience for that).
Now that localized chat and name identification is in, the largest problem is indeed the complete helplessness of new players and the monotonous gold collecting exercise. On the 22nd server, I rarely collect gold at all. I just ride into battlefields, pick up some loot from the corpses, and ride off again before anybody realizes I was there. Looting the 5000 and 2000 gold chests and ore mines is tactically unsound, anyways, due to the risk of somebody attacking. I always go for the 200 and 500 chests because they go fast enough that I know I will make some
money even if somebody bursts in and attacks me (I'm not even entirely sure that it's faster to take the 2000 and 5000, either, though I imagine it must be).
I feel like gaining money for being in a certain area instead of having to mine something would be better design, if it's possible.