Hi! I am a newer player (grey) and wanted to add my feelings about this game. I can't play often (games I can't pause are hard with toddlers) but I love this game and loved TA when I was a kid. Here's the challenges you face as a new player. I'm sure this has all been mentioned but these are my two cents.
A.) This game is terrifying. Most the players see this game on Gyle and wow, it's amazing. And then you click ladder and it can be really intense. Even Gyle, who isn't really a retained player, says how much he panics when playing. Point is watching is way more fun than playing, at least when playing is terrifying.
-I think recognizing to new players the game will be hard but encouraging them (on the client say, or in your personal communications) would do a lot to help them give it another go.
B.) This is one salty meatball, you all can't deny! Ok, its like what, one out of 10 people? And yeah, the internet is salty, but still. If you screw up the stupid Astro build cause you don't just farm Astro games - well getting called out doesn't feel good. Even Aeolus can be quite salty, which makes sense when you are all friends, but it's interesting as the face of the community.
C.) Eco is really hard to get a hang of, and screwing up your eco in this game is worse than making a tactical error. The eco feels so intensive you can hardly do anything else. Eventually it becomes second nature (I hope) so you can focus on the fun stuff of blowing things up.
-The hardest part of eco is the transfer from T1 to T2, it's not as intuitive as building up factories. It does look like there are some campaign-style tutorials, which is a great idea. Like someone else mentioned the campaigns are all about screwing you for playing normal so good to have a less-intense method of learning.
D.) It's hard to find a game, or especially a game that's fun. I'm sure the issues with team games have been beat to death so I'll leave them be. But the new team matchmaker is a great idea. Because sometimes Faf and chill on Dualgap is fun but when that's the only thing to play without waiting forever...well, yeah.
E.) It's hard to connect with people. I could do better at this myself, but is there a way to add people to friends or foe based on recent replay (so I can keep track of the ragequit Alt-F4 crowd) or add someone who was really cool? I know friend requests are stupid but one benefit is that both people know there is a connection there. The only other idea for building community is giving a reason for it, like bringing back Galactic War. That would help with D and E, build a community and make interesting games on interesting maps. As an aside I'd love to get that going, but I don't write computer programs.
Anyways I know lots of these problems simply come with the territory, but that was the question we wanted to address.