As a player who has been HoTS for nearly 10 years ,I have to say that this is not the kingdom for noobs because of the lack of PvP restrictions and the lack of players in the kingdom. There is a rather pervasive lack of trust in new characters because of the sheer number of alts and spys that can crop up from time to time. And yes, there is definitely meta-gaming going on in Wurm, maybe not as much as some people say but enough of it to be a bit of a problem in my opinion. Anyways, I am going off topic. Because of the lack of trust, many veteran HoTS players don't wanna take the risk of letting in a noobie only to have their stuff stolen or their base infiltrated. This doesn't happen anywhere near as much as it used to, but hey, still a thing to look out for. And from my experience noobs tend to be a little more hostile than more veteran players because they still don't understand the difference between a venerable account and a character who has only been working on skills for a few months. Not to mention many of the people I play with don't take toxicity too kindly.
The lack of trust and sometimes open hostility isn't the only reason it has been difficult as a new player in HoTS. Another reason is because of the low player base and therefore the prevalence of Valrei mobs that can be difficult even to strong chars, especially if they are lacking the knowledge to deal with them. Some more minor reasons would be that it is very difficult to harvest, botanize, and forage from tiles, trees, and bushes because you must have damage to absorb Mycelium. Sure this may not seem like a huge thing, but there is a 30 second cooldown between each absorb, that is a lot of downtime per tile to maybe not even find much of what you are looking for. We couldn't find white dotted flowers for the longest time on our home server to finish our temples and such. It also makes setting up a starter farm take that much longer.
Anyways, healing covers are still important to some extent, but I will admit Mycelium does help negate their usefulness to us quite significantly. Domesticated animals are quite a bit more scarce because they don't spawn as commonly on Mycelium. Sure we can set up some grass and steppe areas but these often become overgrown with Myc eventually and/or take a lot of time and effort to create. I can't speak much on our spells because I don't know enough about them, but from the discussions I have had with well-versed priests our heal doesn't work half the time and when it does it is kinda negligible? On top of that zombies are weaker than they once were. But, I think I should say to take that bit with a grain of salt, as I said before I am not an expert on this. Someone more knowledgable can clarify.
Sorry for the rant, didn't expect to type so much.
TLDR; From my long term experience in Wurm HoTS has never been an easy kingdom to be a noob in due to many reasons, mainly the lack of PvP restrictions, meta-gaming, open hostility between some players (especially in the past), and some other minor grievances.