The responses in this thread are really funny.. "no newb wants to base.." haha. Basing is definitely the most appealing attraction to this game. There really is no argument for dueling against basing. Simply put, a great basing game >>>>> a great dueling game.
Having said that, the main appeal for the vast majority of new players from 2000-2005 was pub squads. Pub, when it wasn't littered with the whole money system and all that nonsense, used to just be an individual point race to a 1,000,000, or a kill race to 10,000, or to an Ave rating of 200.0, until the scores reset Wednesday. The best pub squads (ie, FMM, Scumbags, Floydians) were actually desirable to join as a pubber. Watching players like Sweet Leaf or Twisted 1! or DUTCH MADNESS reach 10,000 kills and 1,000,000 points, or Relativity_17 going 2:1 with 2,000 kills and a 200.0 Ave was actually "inspiring" for a newbie pubber. The best squads had the best overall pub stats. No joke, make fun if you want, I remember being 10 years old and getting my first 1,000th kill (granted, I was like 1000-1500), I legit got up out of my chair applauding and PM'd the guy I killed congratulating him on being my 1000th kill and thanking him. That's how much fun pub was. (para I know you're reading this so stfu in advance in advance)
Even LT'ing was fun, because back then pub was bumping, no newbies playing for 2 months complained about LTs, and you could actually hit 2,000-3,000 bounty with a good terr like Y ? or spacedust. Things have changed because of the strange upgrades made to pub, and also because of the (warranted) emphasis on competitive play. We exchanged having a great pub system for having the ability to earn "cash" to buy "fireworks."
tl;dr: good pub squad dynamics = better pub player experience