My first suggestion concerns the economy, and takes ideas and viewpoints from this thread which was speaking about the way the Auction plays it's role and the way items have decreased the value of everything and so on. One thing I want to point out is that this is a PVE server. Normal servers like Vanilla, Factions and Survival all have a relatively similar economies just because of the way the "lifeline" of their wealth goes. It is based on crops, which you grow, then sell and then use your money. Through raiding and stealing by other groups and factions, the economy works itself out and whoever is on top ends up getting overthrown over time which is a good thing. This cannot happen on a PVE server due to the fact that we cannot steal from each other and is a good thing too, because people would just create massive untouchable farms hindering the economy useless. Where I'm going with this is that there are pretty much only 4 ways to make money on the server. Selling Items and setting up a shop, training for money, selling Pokemon and voting are the only real ways to get yourself a sort of income. The one bad thing about these 4 things is that besides shopping, the money flow is one sided. It's all pretty much going to one person, who doesn't have to give up anything in return as they're producing it for free. One way to fix this would be to add a loss of money from losing battles, like in the regular game. The way this would work would be that if you lost a match, 5-10% of your balance would be taken from you. There would also be a tax put on this, which would actually make the money worth something. For example, if I had 100 PD and lost a battle to Lemonita, I would lose 10 PD and Lemonita would receive 7 PD. The tax is important because it helps from creating what is currently happening in the economy, that nasty inflation since the money is never lost unless you buy things from the server store. More pros to this idea would be that it would reward Gym Leaders by winning battles, encouraging them to do their job more and sort of paying them for it as well. Another pro is that it would be easy for new players to understand since it happens in the original Pokemon games anyway The one problem with this is that people who have extremely high balances would not want to battle as it would cause them to lose a great deal of money. Two points to be made here are that there really is nothing that expensive to buy, and these people with the crazy amounts of money would be losing a lot, but it's not like they would be using it on anything anyway. The way to fix it however would be to do one of two things, put in a cap to how much people would lose (Which would have to be moved higher and higher depending on the fluctuations of the economy), or make it so that after losing X amount of battles, a cool down is applied and you won't lose money until that time has passed.
One of the main selling points to the server are the gyms. Especially with the influx of new players, I feel that there should be some universality to the gym times. Don't get me wrong, I feel that the way the gyms are handled now are great, but there were things you had to fix in the past to get the system to the point it is at today and I feel like this is one of those things that will put the gym system on the next level. All it would require from gym staff would be to go through and ask every leader what time they are most active at, and how often a week they think they can do it. I know that Gym Leaders are volunteers, but like volunteers in the real-life workplace they can be trusted with some accountability. Of course there wouldn't be any real consequence besides maybe losing your job due to inactivity, but this would definitely make the whole system a lot smoother. If when asked "When will the Rock gym be open?" you could say at 12:00, people would be lining up ready to go. It would just be a lot more efficient as a whole rather than the current system, which is waiting until one gets online and hoping they open the gym. Pros to this would be you could put signs up outside of the gyms, telling the times in which they are projected to be on and people would also be able to schedule around the times, making the system a lot smoother all around. Again, I know that the leaders are just volunteers. I just think that this will make the whole system a lot better and there is no harm done if they are on at the time and are busy and just have to say can't open right now I'm busy.
I want to clarify this further, this would apply per each individual gym leader. So out of all the Rock leaders, each of them would have a sperate time that they can be expected to open the gym at, which would work best in their schedule.
This point ties into the first one about the economy and this post I mentioned before. In the auction, Pokemon that had 5 ivs used to be worth a lot and were a scarcity, but due to people flooding the market with their massive breeding plants they become common and easy for people to get if they know how to access the auction. On Kanto, you could just auction any Pokemon you wanted and find one with 5 ivs and bred moves and it would only cost you 200-300 PC. While yes you should be able to do whatever you want and price them how you please, it was just one person with these low prices. Without getting further into detail on that note, I will lay out my suggestion. A cap on the amount of Pixelmon you can have at the auction at one time. If you could only place 10 Pokemon in the auction at one time, you wouldn't have such low prices for these sort of rare commodities. It would encourage people to put them up for higher prices, and while yes they could still put them up for lower prices and assume they would sell fast and put more up, you have to think that they won't sell that fast because you're only putting up 10 out of the whole Pokedex worth of Pokemon (Or the ones available in Pixelmon atleast.)
Alternatively (Or you possibly both of these ideas together), you could put a limit on the amount of Ranch blocks a player is allowed to place. This would limit the amount of massive breeding farms that flood the economy with these high iv pokemon, since they just continue to get them and throw them into the economy since they have no use for them. I understand it should be your right to make a giant farm if you want, but I don't see the real harm in putting a cap at 15 - 20 ranch blocks. Both of these ideas would allow more people than just the select few to take part in making money from the Auction.
My suggestion for a tutorial is one of two things. Either when you join, have a tutorial plugin similar to this that flies you around the map and shows you points of interest, mainly the gyms, plaza and the Pokecenter and FORCES the new players to acknowledge certain things. One thing in particular is the level cap. Something needs to be done to teach players about the level cap, and I think a tutorial would do this.
In place of a plugin to make a tutorial, you could also make it so when a new player spawns they have to walk through a hallway and they have to look at the signs which are displaying information to them, including how to make Pokeballs, level caps, etc. I have played on multiple servers that have utilized this to show new players about special features, and it was very informative and helped a lot.
- I know this is a lot to read, but try to have an open mind about every idea and put personal bias aside.