It is free.
But to unlock all the goodies you need to grind, grin, grind.
And some stuff can only be had trough 7 cash.
Honestly not really all that bad of a thing
Grinding in that game isn't all that bad. It took me a great deal of time to get my Vanu fighter up to where I wanted it to be, but it was worth it
Focus on one class and on one thing. That way it won't seem as bad as you progress