Newcomer retention seems poor.
Some characters appear to have been around for years but it seems that many newcomers are leaving DDO when they reach Level 10 or so. This is not too surprising since grouping becomes necessary at that level and most random groups and guild groups move way too fast for most players on their first time through the quests.
This problem is amplified by guilds recruiting any and all players thay can without regard for basic things like playing speed, roleplaying, or exploring. Forming a group containing a player that wants to finish the quest ASAP and another that wants to explore every part of the map is a recipe for disaster.
Now DDO needs to attract large numbers of newcomers and retain them long enough to spend some money. [Besides the typical "horse armor" there are some things for sale that are an excellent value if only the new players would stay around long enough to buy them.]
Hirelings can work for newcomers up to a point but at a certain level disarming traps becomes mandatory. If a new freeper can't find a trapper to group with the only other choice is to buy expensive rogue hireling contracts with real money. Most newcomers seem to be moving on to other titles rather than buying that sort of "horse armor".
Too bad too because DDO had real potential as a sort of multiplayer Morrowind-ish kind of idea.
All that is needed is a few good guilds for newcomers and most of them would probably stick around long enough to buy a few things and help to keep the servers going.