Great idea centurion, i feel alot of prospective players shy away from playing online in fear that they are just going to steam rolled in the first 5 minutes of the game.
That is a significant concern nowadays since there are a great many good players out there and relatively few new players. What I've been telling newbies on ICO is that this is a tough game to break into and that they have to change their criterion for having fun and they need to be patient. Insead of demanding that you win the game and/or beat someone, your criterion for having fun needs to be:
Did I do all I could to help my team?
Am I progressing and becoming a tougher player over time?
Did I learn something new about the game and the game's strategy today?
Even though I got beaten, did I go down kicking and screaming and being a big pain in the ass, occupying one or two opponents for a while so that my team could beat the other opposing players?
Hack mentioned that people need to learn the mechanics of the game. I agree. This is really something that should be done offline though in single player before coming online. I do recommend that people play the game offline for at least two weeks first and play a couple long games with each race in order to fully flush out the tech tree. So, when you come online, you don't want to be asking, "How do I take those mineral extractors (neutral extractors) that are in the gravity wells where there isn't a planet to colonize?" Instead you really do want to have a solid grasp of the game's mechanics when you first come online.