There are two factors that play off each other poorly.
- To provide a consistant new user experience, new users need to appear in a part of your world designed to accomodate them.
- When all sorts of new users appear in the same place, they tend to detract from the experience.
I like YoVille's party system, because its easy to find and it gives even the newest players a framework for discussion. TOPICS.
The ourWorld experience starts with a mission-based tutorial, but that doesn't last long, and it doesn't satisfy the need to establish communication with the other players. Those other players also don't know what to say, so its common to see a crowded room full of people not talking (or talking crap.)
I will say that once ourWorld players do make some friends, they have a lot of fun. Our loyal players are extremely loyal, and I think its because our work is paying off with a strong, entertaining, experience. (of course, I'm biased.)
No solutions today, but food for thought. That might be even better.