Rage quitting in Pantheon would start to go away and/or not matter if they made a few changes such as making the death timer scale with level, starting lower and working up higher either with deaths and/or with level, as well as scaling the xp/gold gain.
Reading these forums and going by my own experiences there are just some things that make the game not very fun at times.
1. Length of time it takes to actually play. Obviously this is something they're working on.
2. The steep penalties to dying. What's fun about staring at the screen for 30 seconds waiting to be able to play again? What's fun about playing a hopeless battle for the next 45 minutes because your death allows the other team to level a couple times and buy some nice gear to make you easier to kill next time? Unless you're on a skilled team, having someone on your team die early in the game almost guarantees your team will fight a losing battle of attrition. Some sort of "Underdog" code could work wonders to keep the game fun for both the losing and winning teams. Strengthen the losing team if the power difference between the winning and losing team passes a certain point. Give the losing team a boost in more health, or more attack, or more gold, or more exp or a mix of them. There are lots of variables that could be increased by a little or a lot to help the losing team become more competetive making the game more exciting for ALL players.
3. Ragequitters leave you with an extremely non-effectual AI player. Well, if we fixed the reason causing people to ragequit this might be less of an issue. But even disconnects causes this as well and probably deserves some attention. If someone leaves the game, that Demigod either needs to be jacked up in its strength, or the team as a whole needs to have some of the previously mentioned variables boosted by a little or a lot.
The idea here is to make the game fun for everyone, whether they're a newbie or they're some uber-leet-demigod-master. If the game scares away newbies it makes it less fun for everyone since the game relies on the multi-player aspect. Only the most immature uber-leet players won't get bored of easily crushing newbies left and right. The more mature players with lots of skill enjoy competition and a challenge.
So to make this game fun for everyone, newbies and pros alike, it needs to be challenging to both newbies and pros alike. Right now it's only challenging to newbies, and so much so that they can't fully experience the fun of this game.
That's just my experience talking with other newbies in game.
Firstly it is important to point out ragequitting will not stop no matter what they do. There's still jerks that will curse/claim your demigod is OP/says their teamate sucks and then leaving. Therefore, complaining about rage quitters and telling them to "fix it" will not work at all, they can't change people's attitudes. Attitudes are the problem, not the game.
1: The length of time to play is just about right. 30 to 45 minutes is great time for a strat game. If you're talking about the fact that there's no option to resign, that's coming soon.
2: The way to stop the death penalty is not to die. Once you think about it adding an "underdog" ability would be abused to death and not be fun at all. If you're dominating the other team you deserve to dominate. It would not make the game more exciting at all, the players with skill deserve to win. Plus, the example you use, is of a teamate dying. 1 death at the beginning doesn't make or break a game for pete's sake. They aren't going to go buy the all father's ring with the 800 gold they will get from it. How fair is it if a team is dominating on a football field and the ref decides to give the losing team the advantage of 3 extra players and 15 extra points? Would that make the game more "fun?"
The death penalty is perfect as it stands. What fun would it be if your enemy died and instantly respawned? You'd never down the citadel, and if you nerfed the gold and exp, there'd be no reason to kill another demigod at all.
3. They are fixing AI. Once again though, you suggest a system that would be abused and just plain unfair to the winning team. If you get an AI partner stick with it and hope for the best.
You say you want a system where newbies and pros can have fun, and we already have it. New players just need to learn how to play. What is NOT fun, is me losing to a new player who has only been playing 1 day while I have been playing since the release of the game, because of some underdog system that ramps up his stats and he instantly respawns at the citadel, which makes it unkillable. There's nothing unfair or cheating about it if an experienced player beats a non-experienced player.