I'm in the exact same situation you are, only, I have played before.
I'm playing as a Lvl 10 RDM Mithra, and I only have the 'Starter Pack' edition of the game (if I see myself playing the game further, I'll purchase the complete pack and just use the expansion codes). I played some years ago, and never found it difficult to get into parties, or join linkshells. Now everyone I meet seems to be off the type 'can't stop, busy!' and because of that, I've come online to try and join a linkshell.
My ingame name is Esian and I'm located in Windhurst, hoping to hear from, well...anyone!
I'm in the UK, and as such, play during the daylight hours of GMT.