I was on Steam and I noticed this game is now free-to-play. I have never played an MMO before, so I am completely inexperienced with this sort of games.
Does this game have a decent community?
How friendly is the game to newcomers?
The community imo is a piece of crap, like most f2p. It wasn't that great before. Find a friendly guild and turn off general chat. Not sure how fun it would be right now at lower levels, will be pretty grindy for you. When the game was new and masses of newbies were doing Rifts and invasions it was fun, not sure how much it would be now. It's free so just try it.
Yeah the game isn't that populated WOW is still the most populated mmo with 7 million players. Sadly if you wanna good mmorpg starting out I would recommend guild wars 2. it's 40 bucks and there is no monthly.