*is waiting for Akka's inevitable lengthy retaliation*
Hehe, Roman, harsh but you're quite correct
Shame about mods is that there isn't really any worthwhile ones imo. cRPG is Grindy McGrind (though it does admittedly contribute a different form of gameplay which is probably good if you're into that kind of thing; but I am not), 1866 was a novelty theme that got tired quickly, same with MM and they never really added anything to the game; they sort of just gave it a new coat of paint. Invasion was a good idea but it was the same thing over and over and was pretty unpolished imo (occasional map crashed) and was not tailored to Oceanic clans, so the fascination with it died pretty quickly. Classic PWMod was worthwhile because it actually gave the game new gameplay elements, but the spirit of it was ruined by griefers and it's not up on any servers now because people prefer Fantasy PWMod for some reason. Don't know about any other mods so I can't comment on them personally. Vanilla Warband is still the best game type, imo, but it's just old by now. Adding new maps on the GoN servers was a good move, freshened things up and got me interested in Warband again for a few nights.
Another frustrating aspect making new players leave might be the learning curve for developing any skill, and the fact that for most people their abilites are going to plateau somewhere south of players like Toad, Thorn and the other more adept clan players. I know I'm still rather terrible despite having played since before we even had Aussie servers and I can tell you it's frustrating at times knowing you're pro-bait and you ain't gunna get any better
Another drawback is that with Warband, being a skill based game (rather than say a point and shoot FPS), is that if you stop playing for a little while you lose any edge you may have developed; which is also a drag for casual gamers. New players who got the game for a dime on Steam also arent going to feel the same attatchment to the game that we vets do who nursed it along through the beta days.
Regardless, I doubt the community is the main reason behind the decline, even if it probably is a contributing factor; there are plenty of other reasons for fresh recruits to leave that are probably more influencial. Unfortunately they aren't things we can really help.