Maybe it's just me but in my past experience of playing from when I first joined it was easy to PUG at every level for the quests you wanted to do.
Now, either less people are playing, or more people are soloing or staying put within their respective group of freinds, either way less LFMs are up.
Less people are posting on the forums.
Prospective players either use the forums to determine the pulse of the game or see it in game itself as they are lacking the PUGs to quickly join as they advance in heroic levels.
Most new players are not going to be soloists (toons capable of doing it on their own, or even willing to solo as they want to group up)
I know I prefered to group with fellow first lifers in my first time through heroic levels. And enjoyed the quest options from the LFM, even for a f2p.
I was also inclined to post my own LFM for quests I wanted to do and was able to get full groups very quickly (within 10-15 minutes)
Now this is not the case. I put up LFM, wait 10 minutes, start the quest I can solo at this point anyway and post IP - I usually get 2 who join before I complete.
Here is my request:
This game is amazing. I felt it when I started and I feel it now going through Heroic levels (epic is missing endgame atm, but no worries as epic levels is a more recent addition to the game)
What DDO needs to do is begin running animated clips of the game foabout around the same time they expect the enhancement update to come out - not the outdated cartoony movies they have from preveous updates, but rather like the diablo 3 character action clips - introducing the classes and class abilities in live action sequences. Take away the UI and being able to zoom out and around the characters as they leep, climb, flip, tumble, jump, attack (cleaves..etc)
This way non DDOers can see exactly how classes play and approach an encounter - some different then others.
Most people on the outside do not have a taste for what the game is. If they even know what it is, it just feels old and outdated. DDO needs to give them something to see and hear - give some umph to game.
DDO is very capable of WoWing potential gamers with its limitless custamization, its fps gaming style, and its sheer scope of innovative quests.
What say all of you? Do you think that smart advertising will pull enough players to really revitalize the game and breathe fresh air for the rest of us?
Disclaimer: I am not saying the game is dead. I just feel that there are so many more players who would play the game if they really knew what it was.