I've been a member here since 2011 and I've often come and gone reading the forums. I took a break from following the hype but just noticed that the founder packs are giving Alpha / Beta access.
I cannot afford funding the £110 to play the game and was wondering if you guys knew any giveaways currently occurring and/or any methods to testing out the game without forking the cash, legitimately.
I've heard of the Russian sign-up procedure but I'm unsure if that's the best way to go about things.
I would recommend watching Trion's weekly stream on Twitch. Go to their channel and FOLLOW it, and then be in their chat when they're doing their stream. They typically give out 1-3 keys. If you're lucky, you'll win one.
Otherwise, there are other streams of the game on Twitch that sometimes give away keys. Follow them and watch them and try to land a key that way.
Other than that, just be patient and wait for an Open Beta(If there is one, which I don't know). Considering you're probably somewhere in Europe, and since Trion won't be having Alpha(maybe Beta too) servers in Europe, you'll likely get pretty bad ping rates, making the game not so much fun to play at times. So you're not missing much. They should have European servers at launch though.
Based on the schedule, it looks like Beta will come near end of July. If all goes well, I suspect the earliest time the game could be released is end of August. Though given Trion's record thus far and the uncertainty of it all, I highly doubt launch will be that early. Perhaps Sept or Oct if we're lucky.