For me personally - dying with Warrior was an anticlimax. Very very disappointing. And I haven't really had time either, anyway.
For others, I dunno, maybe an anticlimax that only a few top players were successful. Maybe they think everyone who make it in Ironman or vanilla MAng is a cheat. We've seen a few examples. Lvl 1 players in town with experience pots. However I don't think most newbies would've noticed this. I dunno. I think it's just random, interest goes up, down, up, down. The player base probably isn't big enough to keep servers busy at all times and when a large percentage of the player base either is busy or don't feel like playing I guess the servers will be empty.
-- Mangband Project Team Member