The best way not to be punished for 'not using' some gold is the faster servers. I promise you, these slow servers drives impatient gamers to their paypal accounts. For every plus there is a minus. Slow servers are a bit more forgiving to the casual player, but they pick the pockets of the impatient.
I've used more freakin gold in the last six months than the past three years of playing grepo. Unfortunately I am past the point of no return. I've been sucked in by Upsilon.
I say 'never again!' to a slow server, but I've said never again to playing grepo for 2 years now.
Is there a Grepo-Anonymous?
The fact that you've achieved this much wthout the use of gold is very very impressive. I have known some top shelf, spitze klasse grepo players who have not used gold. I am not in such an elite class of players.