One way to keep players around is to give them a fighting chance.
When I started out my IC hobby, I was told to read the guide and FAQ to learn the basics of the game. I did so and that helped me to get a good start. I still had a lot to learn, but it was easier when I had the basics covered. I still have stuff to learn.
That was about 15 years ago and the guide has been updated last time about the same time. I think it is time to update the guide and the FAQ and link them into the game, so when a new player needs help, (s)he can get real tangible info to help her/him make the right choices.
Current guide tour is a joke compared to the info old guide gives. For example different formulae help a lot to plan things and take the playing into a whole another level. These days only old vets seem to know how much NW each of the units, science and whatnot gives you or which opps or spells alert the enemy when failed. Etc.
Of course anyone who knows about old guide can go and check these things (and hope the data is still accurate enough). Old guide and FAQ are not advertised though, because those have not been kept updated.
In the end, not many are willing to read the guide and the FAQ, because there is so much info, but those who will or at least constantly check info from those, will be better players, have better chance of gaining success in this game and are more likely to keep playing and investing even more time into it. I think we ought to give new players at least a chance to educate them in intricacies of this game.
I bet many older players would benefit a lot from reading those documents too…
@Zanharim agreed the guides are a joke, but they are so very old. What the game needs is a more interactive walkthrough, with splendid popups and hints and tips especially when players are in virgo. For example, when a new player goes to the planet page it could popup and suggest what they should build to get them going. The game could draw their attention to each different tab and explain what they are used for. You could have a what’s this icon which could provide even further information.
@OrBit’s take is what we’re heading for in the long term, and will be made more viable by the frontend work that’s in progress.
We could still benefit from an external guide though, for reference material for the deeper details that @Zanharim is mentioning. The main problem with the existing guide and FAQ is that making any changes to either requires code changes, and there are far more pressing development priorities.
The good news is, we have The Wiki, which is a far more practical solution that can take player-contributions. The FAQ has even been ported over there, though it is in need of some cleanup.
The existing guide and FAQ will not receive any further updates and should be considered permanently dead. We need to focus on the wiki instead, so that players can actively help instead of having to ask and wait for staff.
Recruiting help for this isn’t a priority right now, which is why there’s no active request for contributors. However, since it’s coming up in this conversation I’ll make the request here: if anybody is interested in helping port our existing guide into wiki format, please let me know and I’ll set you up with an account.
There is no need for this to be dependent on code changes, but we need contributors.