Yeah that sucks. I was thinking of a suggestion where instead of $, in game currency that is premium and earned from advert boost to unlock hirling but also supports developers just as well. Helps anyone and even in the worst of countries probably (unless internet connection wouldn't let that happen?).
I remember not being able to pay for the hirling slot even though I had the money so yeah. Eternium shown me that suggestion tbh.
I think I remember some kids I suggested to this game turned off by the 0.99$ even though it was easy to pay for in my school as well when I was almost finished in secondary education. Probably because they couldn't get parents to pay for it, don't have account of their own or don't have gift card or some other related reason. It gave them the impression that the game is pay to win and they didn't give it a chance.
I have seen good solo only farm builds that work very well in the forum and I think even Griffin made one at one point. In fact, I even made one myself back before floor 500 farming was a thing and it farmed like a beast even though I was a newbie.
Crushing flames does considerably help alot for solo farm when you can't get hirling but even before that existed, there was Arcanist for high floor farming and before that, just crushing blow and high hits per second with survival. Single farm builds just don't generally deal much damage but that wasn't an issue until floor 500 legends came . But then again, poison used to be OP at one point so even then it would t have been an issue so yeah developers have made solo farming fairly easy and now easier.
Also Ascensions definitely helped too.