I like Tiana's idea (COBD chat essentially). Also, after the initial rush to gain main skill, people will be all over the place training and gathering materials anyway.
I both liked and disliked the chat system there, it detracted from the RP masively and often decended into chaos, Its probably why I only sporadicly go on discord (maybe we need one called accord ;P) , that said you could often chat with everyone and gain help even from your enemies, though now I think of it there was a invite into private chat area for raiding, organising boss fights, being generaly neferious etc now that would be useful.
An ingame chat keeps everything inhouse a new player doesn`t have to download extras that could be offputting but does then need monitoring properly and please bear in mind I have no idea how hard easy any of that is to code and keep secure
I agree that lowering the softcap will not bring players back to the capitol. Even the quest does not seem incentive enough for a lot of players to go back to cap right away..for sure they will go get it at some point and the reward is well worth it, but it doesn't really bring in much activity if you are just going to grab quest and leave.
I know you guys are busy, and have lots to work on. But I would like to suggest a bi-weekly/monthly event(maybe just in the beginning to keep interest). Something to look forward to that we would need to do as a faction. Similar to the giant squid/crab fight on the boat. Bring back the players to capitol area, force us all to work together (older/newer players) to fight a common monster threat to our home base or something of the sort. You could reward leadership xp for participation, wouldn't even have to be much as there are not many ways to get it so we all want some; maybe even some sort of points towards ranking system as has been discussed previously or faith? I could just be thinking of the impossible, I don't know anything about code or how complicated this would be to implement, but I feel something fun and group oriented will definitely start encouraging group efforts and more open communication within the faction. This should hopefully also break up the monotonous grind we have become accustomed to.
PS: a faction chat ingame would be ideal to help communicate with new players..Not everyone wants to join discord. I think this will probably be the most beneficial way to keep new players. No matter what is done players will always be moving away from capitol to explore. New players need an immediate form of communication for reassurance and I feel like they would want that ingame.
That is my estimation of the current stable player base (I'm sure you have a better number than I can come up with, Belouch). Factor in the new joins, and the small percentage of those new joins who choose to continue playing because they see the merits of the game; maybe ~1-2 players/month added to the stable player base, over the long term. Enough to replace people quitting or going inactive for long periods.
If the server can handle a fully featured chat client, through a web interface, then it would help retain more new players; it's a feature that is very common in most games and they're used to it, they need to ask rather than explore and discover. It's the only way to keep those players playing. Adding the layers of discord, and forums isn't something that interests them. Most game forums, even of games with large player populations, are frequented by a relatively small number 'fanatical' players, the rest of the playerbase doesn't participate.
They won't really stay with the game if they're not participating/watching in discord chats and forum interactions (or a good in-game chat client). They won't really understand what is going on, what the dangers are, etc, and so will probably end up quitting after having their characters killed in a raid once or twice, or dying too often by wandering into the wrong areas.
The game can go on as it is, just accumulating players slowly, without changing too much from its origins, or it changes in ways that compromise its integrity and purpose to make it appealing to less inquisitive players. Both extremes are likely to kill the game, eventually, so making a compromise somewhere in the middle would be a good idea.
As i said, this is not really a debate on how to make caps more appealing (though new ideas are of course welcome). We already have many things in the pipeline for this purpose, but they are all mid-term / long-term work.
And I strongly disagree with those who think secundaries will not bring back some players closer to cap. You won't be training a 10 skilled secundary on teratorn mountain.
Personally, I feel that I don't really travel back to cap often. The only time I do go back is to turn in the quest and I couldn't care less about the quests honestly since I'm training my main currently. And as mentioned before, the newbies may not stick as they feel like they do not belong to others who roughly have an idea of how Agonia works due to past experience in Stax/Lambe or other worlds. When I first started Stax, I needed a lot of guidance from the elites in order to get myself to feel like I belong.
Even if I did vote for the lowering of soft cap, it's mostly because it gets me to train my seconds quicker