The war mechanics should be the next item to be updated. Finding the right balance so we have less time between wars. Quicker post war rebuilding or less damaging wars, not sure which way to go.
But what it really comes down to is retaining new players and the best way to do that I believe is to get them in an active alliance where members bond and become friends and CN almost becomes secondary to thier alliance community.
We have many longtime members in the STA who keep playing the game simply because of friendships made over the years. Many have friendships outside the game. Should our alliance go the way of the dodo I would guess 60% of our members would call it a day.