Hello! I'd just like to throw my two cents in with a two part post. The first part is to address @Arphee and @Helm are saying, about the grind. The second, is to address my own personal takes: the focal point this game sells itself on on its splash screen - the roleplaying.
While I don't have the time right now to poke at the second part, I at least want to get my thoughts out on the first. These are my opinions, and are subject to scrutiny, but again - remain my personal thoughts on the topic at hand.
To start, like @Arphee said, by the time you hit level ten in however many hours it takes (because - let's face it - not everyone will spend every moment available slaving away at killing enemies.), the player should have access to the tools listed above... unless they don't.
While they may have access to these tools, it doesn't guarantee the player gets them. While that's good on a certain front - establishing a goal for the player to achieve - in other ways, it can be a misnomer on what they player has in their arsenal. I know he's highlighted it already, but I want to give that area a bit more depth, to really shine a light on how hyperfocused this game is on its grind.
1. You get this for free - definitely. (And this is only from my perspective as a Leaf-nin. I was reading the Wiki and, to the best of my knowledge, other villages don't have an academy?)
2. Access to ranged weapons is only available at 2 Ryo a piece - which, for low levels, exclusively comes from either handouts or drops. Handouts are relative to missions they may complete, which is a grind. Drops are from, you guessed it, a grind. Getting out there and fighting is #goals, sure, but if they end up dying over and over again, just to attempt to get their foot in the door, it can be frustrating for a lot of people - especially without a lack of direction.
3. I personally love this quest - it's a break from the constant combat that has come to define this game. It's something simple, but fun - as it gets you roaming around your village (at least, in the case of the Leaf), and coming to understand your surroundings. It gives a sense of appreciation for the scale of the town, and then, as a result, of the game itself. It's not an easy quest, as you'll end up backtracking if you don't have eagle eyes, but it keeps you in a relatively safe area, and lets you explore.
4. This is the same deal with the 2nd point - access to this skill is equally tied to either handouts or drops. Handouts being from the random mission that gives you a scroll... if you find a scroll. And the drop being from, yep, a scroll. It does encourage the fighting, which is still a very important aspect of the game, but it discourages anything and everything else.
5. This is relative to each "class", but the level of flashiness isn't really the best. Sure, the numbers are higher, there's new spicy animations, but then there's trade-offs, like attack speed. This is a bit of a non-factor, but it's something I figured I'd bring to light.
6. Fuuma's a cool skill, but it's only really accessible under the same circumstances as #4, and it only works at its best with those scaling along the INT route. It's visually impressive, but the difficulties behind getting it, and the usefulness of it leave a lot to be desired.
7. Mastery is without a doubt, the goal for the new players. Everyone's excited about getting a chakra nature, and want to get what they want to get. It's exciting to be able to hit such a milestone. But there's... no real fanfare. It's just "pick one, okay you got it". And then, beyond that, it's the same deal as #6. And beyond that, it's just back to the grind. The fire goes out immediately, and you're left directionless - save for "get to level 50 for the next one". It's disheartening, in my opinion.
These are all my opinions, and therefore, are subjective - a person may be inclined to agree, or may not be, it's up to you. But these are points that I've felt, and several people I've asked and spoken to, kind of shoved together into a post.
With any game - or any accessible media for that matter - opinion is formed relatively quickly, as @Helm has mentioned. If the goal of this community is to expand, which I'm understanding it does, accessibility is necessary. That might mean compromising on certain ideals - such as difficulty level, or focus on combat - especially when the game is being purpotedly touted as a roleplay-focused game. I want to help in whatever ways I can to lift this community and game to its peak, though, please don't misunderstand. It's just, I feel like there's no real hook, other than the inspiration for the game. While the stated hook is supposed to be the roleplaying, there's little to no emphasis on it. With that falling through, the hook then becomes the combat, which can be grindy at best, and impossible - due to rampant player-killing, single-digit drop rates, and limited move pools - at worst.
My solution would be to lean a bit more towards that roleplaying element this game is supposed to be based on - so that Rory doesn't have to scale back the difficulty of the game. It's clear that he enjoys the curve of that difficulty, and who am I to hamper someone's creative passion (I love when people are excited about making things!) - so I want to see if we can't find another avenue to help other players, ones that aren't as much of a fan of the difficulty, to find their footing.