Private Hudson over at Wife Agro wrote a very thought-provoking article about new players. While on one hand he complains that the lower level areas are becoming ghost towns, he also reports that he's actually seen some genuine new players on his server recently.
I remember reading a story a few months ago in the short-lived (now deceased) MMO Gaming Magazine about one of the writers who attempted to play the original Everquest for the first time, starting from scratch. The author spoke of the attitude he got from the established high-level players and how difficult it was for him to get his feet under him when there seemed to be nobody on the server who would help him with even the simplest task because nobody believed he was truly "new" to Everquest.
Private Hudson goes on describe and differentiate between two kinds of new players, and proposes that the good of the game is best served by helping them rather than mocking them or ignoring them. We were all new once, right?
A year ago when I was on Thorium Brotherhood (before The Burning Crusade), I remember guild events where we used to help new players, where we'd give away free bags to at least try to help them minimize the number of trips they'd have to make into town. Now you can shoot a cannon off in most of those zones, or if you do see people in them they are leveling at warp speed with their eyes closed because they have done the quests so many times.
Do you go out of your way to still attempt to be helpful? Or is there no point in wasting time on low level players when most of them are just re-rolls? How do you balance your availability to your own in-game goals with the task of welcoming new people instead of turning them away?