Over the years many things have been done to increase new player retention, whether it be creating official and community guides, improving default gear, renovating the tutorial area, even having it continue into the real game once said area has been passed, performance, game balance, and more. And while all of these are genuinely areas where concern exists, though I would say especially historically, and most relevant the closer to launch we look, many, but definitely not all of these areas are in a pretty good state at the moment. One thing however, which I believe to be one of the biggest factors that keeps new player retention from growing at the current time, what is bottlenecking progress in this regard, is the flow of the game; new players start off with a good tutorial that teaches them enough to get started with the good gear they start off with (arguably less so for vehicles, particularly in the nonweapon slots). However, without consistent, sustained battles to facilitate the ability for new players to practice and learn the rest of the game, it's not the new player who says no to planetside, but rather planetside who says no to the player. Fights dying instead of persisting and moving across the map defeats the purpose of this game, as sitting in menus looking for a new place to deploy is not too far off from a lobby shooter, except the game doesn't find a place for you to fight like they do. And in a game that is built around and supposed to be an open world continuous war on a massive scale, this reality can make it feel more stop and go than such lobby shooters, and poor management of the amount of continents and active lattice links doesn't help. Rarer are the instances like those early on in the life of the game where fights were beating and plentiful. So what changed? In the early days, as mentioned, the most relevant issues for player retention were the things listed above. At launch, there was essentially no tutorial at all, the game was at its grindiest, many couldn't even run the game in a playable state, and more. These days we are more in an opposite state where focus should be moved to the game itself. One of the biggest issues is that in attempting to solve the initial issues that plagued the health of the game is that side effects were created and compromises were taken: as a side effect of OMFG many bugs were created, most little, persistent, slowly chipping away at the sanity of players new and old, not giving a good impression to either, as well as, at least a perceived (I don't know the numbers, this might be false) reduction in the maximum amount of players per continent. Fewer players means fewer fights, less support for fights to increase their lifespan and temporal scope across the lattice. This reason, the flow of the game, is one that affects not just new players, but also those who have played for years, myself included, and it makes trying to play the game an annoyance in too many cases. Experienced Auraxians burn out, and both become disinterested. The lack of hype created through marketing is also a factor, however this growth is artificial, temporary, and not organic and sustainable. So what can be done to improve the situation? It appears the devs are currently taking a closer look at the spawn system, which is a good start. At the moment it's in one of its better instances depending on who you talk to; I would say so, but it certainly isn't perfect as vehicles still lack influence in the flow of players across the map, and the resulting lack of vehicles partly due to this and again lack of direct influence also in capturing and defending 90% of bases results in fewer spawn logistics and logistics defenders to keep a fight alive (the codex should also have an entries explaining exactly how such systems work). Server performance and stability, which has also recently been, and may continue to be a big issue, is also imperative to improve upon. I don't know what kind of hardware and drivers these servers are running, but over time it's important to ensure that they become more performant to increase player count on full scale continents to ensure that frontlines do end up feeling more well watered with fights. The state in this regard is decent currently, but still leaves lots of room for some areas to feel very empty, and sometimes literally empty. Bugs have also seen increased attention more recently, and I hope that more people can be hired to solve even more bugs; the rate is good at the moment, but should be better, especially since many of these have plagued the game for as long as some of us can remember. Having all of these persisting bugs fixed and the game working as intended would put many of us in a state of joyous disbelief and relief. What can the players do? Unfortunately, I don't think we can do that much at the moment. There are many factors which affect the flow of battle, and most of these are related to the game's systems themselves. What we can do, however, is keep a discussion going on this topic to let the developers know that we are interested in the refinery of this fundament. As experienced players we often discuss things which immediately frustrate us about the game like balance, and those discussions shouldn't stop, but it is these fundamental aspects of the game which need the most attention right now. Thank you for reading and considering.