I appreciate the insight, Prometheus (and all). As a non-backer ignorant random internet gamer, obviously take my feedback with as much salt as needed. As a developer (non-gaming) myself I know that customer feedback can make or break things so I always try to share.
I hope I didn't give the impression that I hated the experience, that was not my intent. It simply did not line up with my blind expectations. Obviously this is an alpha build and there are tons of things left to do but one thing I would strongly recommend is more direct messaging about progression, especially when doing these open to all events. I did hear some of the phrasing around progression but made the assumption "horizontal" meant "not an eternally growing treadmill" rather than the more accurate "not vertical".
If very shallow vertical progression is the goal, I would strongly recommend an equivalently shallow ramp of NPC difficulty around the starting areas. I believe that horizontal progression requires experimentation and exploration to feel right. My radius of relatively safe exploration was quite small, strongly implying that there should be equally steep paths to vertical power gain.
I heard similar "there isn't supposed to be a tutorial" or "there's no spoon feeding here" comments from experienced players when they were responding to other new player's questions. I would strongly recommend changing that thought process and language.
There must be a tutorial. The tutorial is a game's hook as well as a how to guide for playing. When I first step into a game, I am not at all invested in the world. I literally do not care about the game yet, I'm simply interested in seeing if I might be. That interest needs to be nurtured until it is strong enough to support "spend some time playing around with things, there's a lot to learn."
The first thing new players see should never be "get gud" or phrases like "no spoon feeding" which trigger similar negative emotional reactions. Well, at least not if the goal is to broaden the community. Again I, or anyone else seeing Fractured for the first time, have no skin in the game. If the community is off-putting right out of the gate? That's just encouraging me to walk away.
Ignorance is not the new player's fault, it is the necessary beginning of their journey. Rather than "there's no spoon feeding" or the like, I strongly recommend a concerted effort by the community to speak to this ignorance as a positive. "I remember when I first started, having to learn all of the systems about how things worked - I miss the rush of figuring everything out for the first time. I'm happy to help with some of the basics but I don't want to rob you of that feeling. It's a big part of the Fractured experience."