New players are the lifeblood of any MMO.
DDO is hard on new players. It doesn't play like D&D for the tabletop gamers, it doesn't play like most MMO's with preset characters and auto combat. Knowing where to go, who to talk to and finding someone to play with can be complicated.
Changes to Korthos are a step in the right direction. The new auto-LFM system will hopefully help. But what newbies need is someone they can feel safe talking to, someone to show them the ropes.
A dungeon guide would be a player who's been around a while and knows how things work. A dungeon guide would get stars instead of wings next to his/her name to identify him/her as a guide and LFM's led by a guide would also show a star to indicate that it is a training/guided run.
Guides would be pleasant, friendly people with a mic.
A guide would answer questions in advice chat and happily answer tells with specific questions from players.
A guide would assist the party but not dominate it, letting the other players do most of the work and find the way, only prompting when the party is stuck.
A guide would give build and gear advice as well as coaching a party on roles and teamwork. A guide would teach strategies, not "stand here" "Stay back" and "jump up on this tiny ledge".
A guide would leave no toon behind, even in Tempest Spine.
A guide would not solo the content to get a completion for players, but would play his/her part. Learning to recover from a party wipe/near wipe is part of the game.
Guides would be useful at every stage of the game; many people get stuck transitioning to mid- and high-level content.
Why would you be a guide?
2 TP for every completed quest or raid.
Free character slot for the guide toon.
Monthly allocation of BTC bracelets of friends, teleport rods and Siberys spirit cakes.
Access to rogue hirelings.
Private guide forum for discussing issues and ways to better help players.
Possibly access to some guide-only gear.
The personal satisfaction of helping people learn the game and the social interaction with lots of people.
Who would get to be a guide?
You would have to apply for the program, pass a test on the basics and an in-game tryout. One guide toon per account. The guide toon, when played, must always be helpful and regularly post LFM's as well as handling requests for specific content runs.
What about bad guides?
Complaints would be monitored by server guide coordinators. Legitimate complaints about guides would result in the guide toon's deletion.
What would this cost Turbine?
Staff positions. You'd have to have an employee for each server to manage guides, respond to complaints and vet new guides for the program. Then you'd have to have a coordinator in charge of the program.
The TP earned by guides is game money, reinvested in the game. Nearly free.
What would Turbine gain?
Player retention. With all the new players who join, get frustrated and leave, a mentoring program would probably convert a fair amount of FTP'ers to premium or VIP. It would keep players from getting frustrated and leaving the game.
How would this change the game?
Imagine logging onto your favorite server at any time of day or night and seeing LFM's up at many levels with stars. Guides would be global, covering all time zones.
You could put up a PUG for content and have a higher percentage of people join who knew what they were doing, having played with guides already.
You could feel comfortable joining any starred LFM knowing you weren't going to be ridiculed for not knowing where it was or not having the "right" gear. A guide would be able to tell you before you enter the dungeon what you needed to prepare. Joining a guided LFM would mean you wouldn't be left to die in the wilderness or left behind because you fell off the path and don't know where to go next.
A guided LFM would not be a fast completion, it would be a way to explore a dungeon with someone who can lead but doesn't dominate.
Real People Are The Answer
In a game as complex as DDO, the best way to hook people on the game is to give them live help.
Live help is expensive, but utilizing players who love the game and have time to devote to building it up (while earning TP for their account) would solve a lot of issues.
I hope you will at least consider some variant of the idea!