As a player who played free weekends and trials prior to becoming a paid player, I do have a suggestion. Why not restrict trial players to "non-destination (busy)" servers. Since those players are mostly going to be on the starting and cap planets, they'd have the opportunity to play with lots of people who were also playing for free. It would also:
- Keep fleet and planetary populations at the levels that paying subscribers are used to.
- It would keep potential players from reading the often scathing threads in General chat.
- It would also provide more of an incentive for trial players to take the plunge by allowing them to transfer their characters to a prime server once they start paying for the game.
- When trial players can't speak unless spoken to, they often resort to "rude" tactics to get the attention of other players, including sending random group invites.
I fully understand the value in allowing someone to play a game to a certain point to decide if he wishes to play. In my case I choose a server that was less populated for my trials as a courtesy to those who were paying for the game. It also helped me to establish that my computer would be able handle the hardware demands of the game while still allowing me to enjoy myself.