Title should say it all. I think a thread on this would be beneficial since any ways the newbie experience is improved would affect other ways, so may as well have it all dumped in one place?
So, here are mine. Other players (especially newer ones) append your own down there so the admin can take a look over this whole thing and decide what they want to use
The newbie help system that received wide release is a great start IMO but I'm sure other things can be done.
What if newbies could "tag" a skill (and it would secretly "tag" the associated stat) as their 'main' expertise and gave them some bonus raises right outta chargen?
This "tag" could also be used to pass out maybe a little starting gear. So far players come out buck naked with a handful of chyen. It would be neat if they could get a doohickey or two to help them along - only stuff that's relatively cheap and readily available in shops, mind you. People with artistry tagged could choose between some materials, a tattoo gun or some canvasses. A mechanic or electrotech could get the relevant toolbelt and so on. A chemist could start with some drugs.
To prevent abuse you could have the items "arrive" only upon history approval. Like having the stuff held up by customs.
This would give them the ability to start selling their services to other players right within a couple days. Of course, combat characters would get shortchanged out the gate, but that should be a disadvantage that comes with making something twinkish.
Now I realise if someone runs enough packages they can make the money for this gear within a couple days if they have high enough charisma, but that argument can also be made the other way around. If it's so effortless, why force people to jump through the hoop? They'll need the money anyway eventually, and it's best if they meet other players as soon as possible rather than run crates as soon as possible. In my opinion anyway.
Another idea which I've spoken of on OOC chat but I figure should be written down, would be to have a "starter quest" system. Have an automated system that randomly selects 2-4 newbies and sends them each a message (by NPC/ambient courier or SIC) to meet somewhere at a certain time and place (ideally a few days after the letter has been delivered to give them time to sort out their RL schedules). Once two or more of the newbies are in the place within a certain window around the "appointment" time, they would be given another letter by ambient NPC courier describing a task that requires two or more players to perform. Once the task is completed (i,e. a key item for example is delivered to a dropoff point), each player receives a bit of cash. So you have 2-4 newbies that have now met each other, have a reason to stick together for at least a little while and become friends or enemies. This means more RP for the new people.
I'm sure existing players would be happy to help write the scripts for this stuff and the template letters necessary for this kind of system.
That's what I have so far.