Maybe we need to start thinking back to how we found Layo, and what kept us hooked, and then try to resurface those more if they have dissipated and maybe make more of it if it is still around. There is a great community here, but why do we stay? For many of us, it is the love of our characters. But maybe it's time to think back to when we first joined, and what made us like it. When I first joined I was only 9, and I mainly enjoyed playing with my dad, Merlin34. That may not be the greatest of examples, but its all I have. But each and every active player has one of those examples, and that's a fair enough sample size to make an assumption on what people are looking for, and focus something onto that in game or on the forums or elsewhere.
What worked for me was a sense of discovery, this was comprised of a couple factors which may not be practical anymore, but anyway;1) Going to Hlint and seeing a crowd gathered around Ozy, listening to his stories and/or prevarications. This also held true for Rhizome and others who almost always seemed to have time to devote to new players and their questions.2) Bruenor Wildbeard and one or two others that would take groups of newbies and lowbies on quests or just out to kill something. Or a bunch of somethings. This enabled Gunther to get to a level where he could almost fend for himself. Once Gunther got to that point then I felt confident in signing up for quests, mining ore for crafting, and exploring more of layo. Whatever may have been said about old Bruenor, he was an extrovert and went out of his way to invite people on trips and make them feel welcome.Anyway, that's what worked for me way back when.
"Ermahgerd... I have to TALK TO PEOPLE." *Proceeds to rip hair out*
I'm part of that 10% minority of players who's never really had an epic character.... well okay, there was Amgine, but he permed almost immediately after reaching level 21. He had a couple really bad strings of rolls versus the Soul Mother in his earlier levels.