Hey everyone, thank you for your insight and feedback in this! We can 100% understand that it’s difficult to play the way you want to with your friends.
At this time, when you are starting out, once you enter the world, you can start playing with your friends by completing the first quest to receive the boots. Don’t accept the next quest but meet up with your friend in your chosen starting area and continue the questline from there. If you don’t want to do that, you’ll eventually meet up with your friend at the “hermit” quest in Fisherman’s Bend around level 12-13.
I understand that these aren’t ideal solutions but I figured I’d try to provide you some workarounds just in case you want to do that. The team is well aware that people want to be able to play with their friends from the beginning (and even share quests with them) and these pieces of feedback are being discussed.
I hope that helps!