It wasn't the inability to conjure new players out of thin air that I was trying to get at though, Star. There is another potential demotivational factor to the main ones you mentioned- low player counts, lag, minidumps- the issue of poor game balance, which alienated many experienced players. At least the balance is the best its been for a while, though it could use further work.
While any online coaching efforts are always welcome, noone expects the clans to devote time to noobs. However what I feel is missing are quality replays, which stems from the absence of quality games. What is the point of of clans which don't play each other? The real culprit here are the 5s pugs, which draw new players in who are unable to play at a decent enough level to remain enthusiastic. 5s pugs are just noob-stomping grounds, given a facade of respectability by having elite players divided between the teams. It doesn't alter the basic problem that noobs are having to play elite players, which would not happen in a well-run multiplayer scene. Also such games tend to be useless for balance testing purposes. Who can tell if Advent are weak if an elite player can just roll a noob with any faction?
So what we need is more games that match the elite players solely against each other. Also, not just 5s- many of the problems with lag and to a lesser extent dumps are because you play 5s all the time. Why don't the clans play 2s or 3s with just top players? A set of 3 or 5 games between 2 of the best players from each clan, or even an internal clan matchup, would produce great replays. Why has there never been a singles or doubles tournament for top players? It doesn't have to be all on the same night, after all? All you have to do is announce the matches and when they have to be played by, and let the players themselves sort out when the games will take place?
You could play a 2v2 elite bo3 series after this noobstomp walkover, for instance? It might be useful to illustrate current issues with the game?
Anyway, thats what I meant by giving a structure the game, I wasn't blaming the clans for low player counts.
Boshimi, Trophy Bass 3D is an angling simulator. You might say fine, so what, you could speed time to get to the next time you hook a fish, real time angling needn't be about going to sleep in front of the computer with an occasional flick of the mouse to stop the screensaver coming up. However, it had online multiplayer... chat was a major feature, as you might expect. Perhaps my polemic on noobs was overly harsh. I had a heavy cold and ICO dumped me four times in a row. Good luck with the game tonight, it 'll be fun to watch you crap 500,000 credits out of your ass. Damn, there I go again. Its just that whenever inexperienced players imagine that they have valid input on balance, it reminds me of Agent of Karma and his constant whines that the Skirantra was underpowered.... At least your team doesn't include noob-who-can-stay-happy-unlike-uptight-geeks-because-he-has-tons-and-tons-of-girlfriends!