I would not continue to play if we returned to the previous situation of no pre-registration. Yes, it does bring some problems, but, it also encourages the building of relationships across rounds. This is a game of co-operation and strategy and, as such building good long term relationships is key.
But, I agree, there is a major problem with newbies and keeping them in the game. And, yes, I noted the rank 5 player who was a "newbie"! There has to be some way of stopping this from happening.
Last round, a small group of us landed in the city recommended by the AI and found ourselves somewhat isolated. We had so many newbies around us it was impossible to cope with them or include them all. We wanted to keep them, we wanted to help them to enjoy the game, but, it was an uphill and ultimately impossible struggle.
This round we are much larger and pre-registered. Era 1 is nearly over. We would love to help a newbie. We have not had one made available. I check daily. I assume this is because our city and the immediate neighbours are showing as full. This is something the AI should have the ability to rectify. If a large association has an empty
newbie slot it should be able to recognise this and place a newbie, or two in that city. Perhaps a tick box should be available so that an association can choose to accept a newbie automatically into the newbie slot when the newbie joins the server. Newbies who are made welcome and feel included are far more likely to stay and to do well. It might even be possible to allow more than one to co-operating associations as long as there is some way to prevent them being "carried over" into subsequent rounds. The newbie slot is not intended to be an exploit and the loop hole which permits it should be closed firmly.