I have to agree with kontrolz Pub is our first introduction to new players.
Most games sort this out with levels or maps for advanced players.
We do not have the population for that anymore.
Pub is where people come to warm up, Pub is where people come to have fun, Pub was the original.
Even if its just changing the color of the tetris blocks making up the base do it. Start off small then move up to bigger things like maybe updating the front page with more events like ohhh I dono at least one or two a month hell even if its bugs zombies battleship tanks mario cart ect...
The people will come back meet old friends and get sucked back into the love that is subpace
As for the changes in ships those are mostly to please individual's imo
Hell even if its more word games or something we can get the population back up.
People need to go on twitter or any digital site facebook even ewwwww hate them but yea and talk about what a great time you had on this old shooter last night and how tight knit the community is.
I rarely see it above 130-40 lately
Like was said Public Arena is the first face people see when they come into the game. The more friendly ie ZH or some other helper pm's the new guy and asks if they need help or training or hell anything.
This doesnt need programers or bot makers just people even not mods to help out and spread the word.