It can be really challenging for a new player. Hell, every new character I've had has had a rough start. I've seen two common pieces of advice given here and they seem to form this feedback loop that can be challenging to get into
One is to engage the player base. That real progress is made by RP with other players. That it is how you go from zero to mattering.
Th other is that if you want people to RP wih you, you have to make yourself matter. That you have to give them value, a reason to RP with you.
But in order to matter and gain, you need to RP with people but if I want to RP I need matter and have value and so it goes.
I'm not saying that it's hopeless, just that I can see where new players are coming from. The fact is that it simply takes some time and effort but it is not impossible to start making your way into these cliques and that loop
Things that help in my opinion:
- Get a job or find another reason why some characters are expected to spend time and communicate with you.
- Stick around, and give it time. SD is not a game of instant gratification. Things take time.
- Get out and about. Don't sit in your pad all day.
- Keep an eye out for IC events and participate. Maybe make one of your own.
- Don't be scared of striking up a conversation. Look at the other characters and listen and try and find a reason why your character might engage them. Make a reason, even if it is you bumping into them on accident.
- Once you start getting flash, even if it is not a lot, try involve other PC's in it's use. Go to a PC tailor instead of clothing shop. Pay someone to go to the shop for you. All that. You might spend twice as much but you make connections on the way.
- Don't be scared of engaging NPCs. They are there for a reason and can help you achieve goals (or smack you down in your attempts). Just don't expect too much from them. They have their own goals and quirks.
The best things, from what I have heard, come from your character having a goal and them taking risks to get it done. I'm still pretty crap at this but I have seen characters go from knowing no one to having huge networks in just a few weeks and these characters all seem to be driven risk takers that take the bad with the good.
You keep at and, sooner or later, someone will take the bait. It will happen!