I know that in it's current state, when a new player joins the game, they are expecting to have danger from the start. They expect a world with, well, other players. and it is true that some login and get killed immediately by a bear or once in a great while another player... but then they get to see the reality.
If it were not for a few of us working hard to take these new players by the hand and lead them to a tribe or an area where other active players play, and if global was not turned on where they can get talk to those of us who are active, then guess what they do?
I believe they login, see nothing happening, run around a bit and log off to never return. Shoot many of those we lead to other active players rarely stay past a day or two.
We need then to stick around!
What many have said to me is that it seems empty and they cannot figure out anything fun to do.
This happens 90% of the time now. Perhaps the developers do not think the game is ready yet. Perhaps there are other issues. Developement is very slow and needs to be adjusted... and quick or the actives you have will leave as well.
Next patch... put in something that is FUN.
Roaming mutants, sea monsters, rampaging bears, wandering vendors that sell rare items for resources. ANYTHING that would keep folks around and make them feel like they are entertained.
Arch recipes and the like are important, but remember guys its a game... we play to be entertained, not depressed even more with each patch .