The unfortunate truth is that people don’t read unless forced to do so. We could sticky a new user welcome topic to the top of every page and most visitors still wouldn’t read it. It’s also important to know that we receive most first-time visitor traffic from search engines, so new users often end up directly within a popular topic rather than the index or forum pages. It’s likely they’ll sign up right there and post immediately without digging around first.
I think we’re sometimes a bit rough on new users here. I understand it can be annoying when someone shows up and asks a question that’s been answered a thousand times already, but we have a lot of content for someone new to restorations and fan edits to go through. It’s important to remember that these people are fans of the same things we are and a little help and patience are more productive than admonishment.
When ot.com was new, it had a reputation for being a welcoming environment for Star Wars fans of all kinds — from casual to rabid. It’s natural for communities to lose that “family” feel as they grow, but I’d like to think we can still be kind and helpful to new users. We’ll always have people who sign up, post once to get an invitation or link to something, and never come back, but I don’t want that possibility to drag down how we handle all newcomers.
Regarding controlling or limiting new users’ posts, I already have some automated control on the roadmap (new users can’t start new topics until they’ve made X replies to existing topics, for example), but that’s geared more toward spam control. I’d consider implementing a probationary period requiring mod approval for a new member’s first 5 posts or so.