Some points to think about
I like the previous idea of a more customizable profile
(name, avatar, bio, etc ... ) not necessarily linked to a competitive ladder. Could be linked to other info (YT / Twitch channel ? website ? etc ... )
But if the player wants competion, then he can get into a ladder system
, for those who want.
It could be also just a Level / Exp system
, with level corresponding to ranks (Soldier / Officer / General / ...) , like in RPGs. The more you play / win, the more you get exp. But losing a game doesn't make you lose exp and fall. So it's less competitive, but still encourages to progress.
Finally, there could be an achievement system
, which could add some fun to the game.
For instance : "Build 50 tanks in 1 game" / the bot challenge / "Capture 5 enemy buildings" / "Kill 500 in 1 game" / etc ... The achievement would then appear in-game and later in the profile.
Maybe some people get bored
because of the quite slow-paced start of a match ?
I know this is common in RTS ... but still here in RA you need at least 3 min to maybe start having some aggression.
Not sure though if this is the real problem ...
Read my reply above, "newbies servers"
But also, being able to directly download some best replays
? (just like we can DL maps)
They could be sorted by votes / num of downloads / etc ...
Creating some fun events throughout the year, and showing it in the game.
For examples, the tourneys could be announced in-game
, with some changing graphics
(splash screen), in-game sign-in, etc ... So that when you download the game, you see at once what will be the next events, the past events, ...