Long post below:
Yeah but that’s pretty normal for a dedicated player. So that doesn’t mean people were “cheating”.
You can use sc2coop’s exp calculator, input that you’re m90 (presumably period to ascension), then aim for A1000. Back then stimpack was a thing for 30days with CO purchase, so you can add that in.
So for full brutal missions with bonus, it takes just over 2750 games while without bonus it takes just under 3050 games. These are assumed at 20min per game on average. So it is quite doable and standard for the average player (and not dedicated pros).
So what does that look like? 3050game x 20min/game / 60min/hr = 1016.7hr… or 127 days for 8hrs per day. That is very reasonable and not cheat-acquired. Just about 4months for not accounting for daily bonus and weekly mutation bounties.
On the other hand, a semi-cheese-cheat like the tomato farming method on CoD, netting you something like over 1mil in under 1 hour. So that’s 5 ascension levels per hour using this method. At 910 ascension levels that’s 910 / 5 = 182hr or 23 days of 8 hours per day.
Cheating is still by far faster for sure but I think a lot of people mistake seeing A1000 after 1month to 3months as “people must have cheated”. I mean I don’t know for sure if they didn’t but the math for really reasonable (again dedicated) player playing coop is just that.
Similarly, I believe even if this is the case for post A1000 cap removal, it’s not a big deal.