So many things I'd like to comment on but I'll try to keep this post as short as possible.
First of all, my background; I can't call myself a new player by any means. I've played Shaiya since back in 2008 on and off. I haven't played in 2 years and only now came back to check the Phoenix server and might stay for a while. However, the issues which made me leave are still there.
I'm an alt-oholic, I can never play the same toon for too long, I like the diversity of playing different classes. This in and of itself is kind of a problem because at some point (in my case lvl 54 UM) the grind takes too long and too much effort to be worth it. Considering that when I started you had to unlock HM as well (lvl 50 NM at the time), I've sure put some long hours into this game.
New player retention.
It has been said so many times already but I'll say it again. The huge gap in 1-15 pvp is the biggest problem. 20-30 pvp doesn't suffer at all that much but not due to game mechanics but due to player ethics. I think that's true across the servers, in Canta the ubers actually seem to care about the pvp rather than their own kill-count most of the time. The suggested scaling of enchants which was posted somewhere looks like it could help a lot.
The second biggest problem is the powerlevel-issues. Reinstating the lvl-cap would go a long way towards addressing this issue.
Fix those two issues and the game will retain a lot more new players but to take it a bit further you need to do more.
A newbie chat with newbie guides available in it.
Setup a quest between players with a minimum level gap.
Higher level players party and help lower level ones accomplish important goals.
Decent ideas, along with the idea of adding a "newbie guild" would do a lot to help new players in my opinion.
For the new player retention issue; those that don’t mind the grind are probably being run off by the community. How many times have you seen the following in TC? “What is a good build for a Warrior?” and inevitably seeing some wiseass reply “full wis”.
This isn't a community-issue.
It is rather an issue with the effort of finding that information out for yourself. Gamers these days are lazy, they want their builds/gear/gold handed to them on a silver platter. The information is readily available if you are willing to look for it. Making it available in-game would make it even better.
The stats have tool-tips which explain the purpose of each stat. Those tool-tips aren't very helpful at the moment and could be formulated differently or expanded.
Another issue as I see it is that the restat- and reskill-stones aren't as readily available to new players. Sure, deleting a toon and remaking them isn't all that hard if you're below lvl 20 but it shouldn't be required. Make restat- and reskill-stones available to be purchased from an NPC or make a restat/reskill NPC whom you could talk to to reset your points. Make that option level-capped to, let's say lvl 30 or 31 (to allow for accidentally out-leveled pvp toons to restat to a grind-build) if you like so that people can freely restat/reskill for free up until that point.
- Make sure the 30 to 60 grind where people are not really able to PvP anywhere takes less time in terms of hours needed to gain the necessary xp - this is supposed to be a PvP oriented game - enable people to get there before they lose interest.
I support pretty much anything Billdoor says in this thread but I'd like to comment on this part.
In my opinion, one of the flaws in this game is that the lower levels are extremely quick while the higher levels are extremely slow. I'd like to see them being balanced out time-wise a bit so that the lower levels take longer to gain but the higher levels take less time.
Basically increase the exp required to a more linear progress. I see no reason why each level after 30 needs to have increased level requirements per level to be honest. Make the exp-curve flatten at an earlier stage instead. I was trying to find a good graph on the shaiya exp-requirements to demonstrate what I mean but couldn't find any decent images.
Quests are insignificant in this game as they currently stand. Quests could be a good way to gain both exp, gear and gold but they aren't. This is a minor issue really but would be something to help retaining new players in my opinion since a lot of new players start out doing quests solo anyway. Quests are also a good way to make players go where they need to go.
PS: I've never been good at keeping my posts short.