I disagree with a lot of you Orienites about this newb vs vet thing. I pulled this out from a discussion started elsewhere b/c I felt it was muddying the vague points of a thread I admitted starting as a "rant" anyway.
(1) Playtime Is Irrelevant
The amount of time you've been playing this game has almost no correlation with how good a player you are. You can't be uber on day one because DDO is very peculiar. But if you're smart enough and coordinated enough, then you can be uber from day two. Conversely, just because you've been playing DDO for a looong time, doesn't necessarily mean you're any "good" at it in the sense of knowledge, skill, temperament, or ability to play well with others.
I've seen "Founders" who've been playing since 2006 who don't know how to raid. I've seen people with 50k+ posts on the forums talk excitedly about completing their first Shroud = their first raid completion ever (not counting TS ofc). There are plently of players who've been playing this game for a long time, who've TR'd toons, who've run 1,000 Shrouds, who are still flat out NOOBS.
On the other hand, I've seen new players who are very smart and very diligent. They are in the extreme minority, and I want to "help" them, because I'll be learning new things from their fresh perspectives (they'll be helping me!). These are the "newb" players that become frustrated and seek out our guild, and we welcome them. If two applicants show equal skill and grasp of the game that's good but not uber, and one has been playing for two years and one has been playing for two months, we will likely reject the two-year "vet" and accept the two-month "newb." The idea is that the two-year "vet" has probably plateaued, whereas the two-month "newb" has uber potential.
(2) No One Needs Their Hand Held
Like a lot of people I hadn't even heard of DDO before it went F2P a couple years ago. When I started playing the game, all newbs were encouraged to start on the newly opened Orien server. There were extremely few "vets" who migrated or visited from the older servers. And no one had any raid gear since it was a new server. The TR'ing feature had not yet been introduced to the game. Essentially, Orien was a server populated almost entirely by nekkid newbs...
It was great! We learned almost everything from scratch. We fumbled and explored. And soon enough, like flotsam in the primordial ooze, players started to coalesce. Altaholics and flower-sniffers saturated Korthos and the Harbor. Raiders camped out in Meridia, farming Shroud every day gearing up for the "real" raids.
The best part of my early experience with DDO was learning things for myself. I was also inundated with conflicting advice about EVERYTHING. Good thing I'm a critical thinker... Using my own experience, logic, and BS-detector, I was able to filter out the good advice from the bad and became a better player. While I love to boast, especially about my guild and our individual and group achievements, for me the real satisfaction of playing this game is figuring out new things and exploring the full breadth of the game, every quest, every raid, on every difficulty.
(3) No One Knows Everything
DDO is complex, and always changing. No one knows everything about the game, no vet, no completionists, not even the game developers who make the game know everything about the game or there wouldn't be any bugs.
I've learned a lot about the game, from my own experience and experimentation, and from the exploration shared by others (which I like to confirm myself whenever possible). I've learned a lot about the game mechanics from my guidie Vanshilar, who's been very generous with sharing his results with the larger forum community.
But I'm the first to admit that I'm ready and willing to learn more. I always entertain new ideas and new strategies. Everyone in my guild is very proactive about learning new content, new features, and mechanics changes. It would be boring to rest on one's laurels. It would be stifling to never alter a raid strategy b/c it works, and if it ain't broke don't fix it. It would be futile to b*tch about every new change and proposed feature instead of learning to adapt to and adopt the evolving game in order to enjoy more of it.
(4) No One Is Obligated to Play with Anyone Else
I won't be playing this game forever, but it's my first MMO experience, and it's kept me interested. I've met a great group of people I enjoy playing it with, and I look forward to meeting new players who share my attitude about the game. But I don't want to play with everyone. I don't want to help everyone. I want to enjoy my leisure time, and I think everyone else has a right to enjoy theirs. To that end, the best strategy is to avoid people that drag you down or bum you out. This is a game after all.
In far fewer words: