I find the many options quite overwhelming to new players. Having no clear direction to go in, the first few turns, they are floundering.
Like the introductory version of At the Gates of Loyang where players are dealt out a regular customer that they may select, I'm suggesting an introductory version of Helios:
Each player is dealt out one random character, dark side up, during set up.
- The player is the only one who is allowed to hire this character during any character phase.
- The player can hold onto the character as long as they desire and if they so choose, may never hire it.
- The player may return it to the character pool in exchange for 2 mana as their turn in any character phase.
I find that it gives new players a direction from the start to get the game going.
If you do use this version, please post how it went with your group. Thanks.