So as a returning player I have two questions. One, are the servers friendly towards lower level players? (Populated most of the time or just in general friendly?) Two, what would be the best class to take if I wanted to be a ranged character with a crossbow focus? So far my research has pointed me to artificer (with apparently lots of free feats in repeating crossbows and a spell to conjure bolts) and a 'mechanic rogue' (which has lots of mini-feats for crossbow damage).
I know they are not popular as weapons (one reason I want to use them), but I would like to play something different and crossbows would scratch that ranged itch while not using the overly popular bow. So any help would be appreciated.