Then MAKE the prizes good bro ;3
Like giving a few AP items or a set amount of AP or a bunch of rare or even uniquely created weapons.
i.e. a weapon modelled after the legacy sets that increases in power depending on the character's level. of course, this would render crafting useless so it would have to be a blue weapon with no ability, but it would, like a normal blue weapon, have rather higher damage/mdamage|def/mdef (if shield) than a regular weapon of that type and level For example, a "Scavenger's Sword," when equipped by a level 18, would have a lot more damage than a Sword of Dawn, except it would possess no special effects and no prefix. It would be an excellent starting weapon for any class and means that those who dont have enough money to buy or make the oranges and yellows (that destroy pretty much anything) can still have a reasonable damage bracket and wont get trampled on by highbies looking for free kills or mobs that are usually defeatable by a reasonably equipped player but a noobie in whites would struggle against.
Just a suggestion that could be helpful, sorry if im necro'ing or whatever. Have a good day.