No, it wasn't.
I played on Hindemith starting the very first month the game left beta; I played for over three years.
L2 Classic did not involve an absurd cash shop because it had a proper subscription model, and it had a decent economy in spite of the botters.
I could solo as a Elemental Summoner. I didn't even start dual-boxing till my final year of playing. I did Cruma Tower, no soulshots.
Look, I get it. A lot of us veterans were looking forward to L2 Classic. But sadly it's not going to be found here, with NCsoft running it.