What the game really needs is a sort of quick match making option.
A way for people to just queue up for a game and be matched based on their elo on a random ladder map.
Main issue for new players is to get games going simple as that, no one wants to wait in a lobby or in war2bne channel forever without knowing if they even will be able to play.
To better understand that problem try making a smurf and do not tell anyone who you are and try getting a game going see how long it takes if you are not at a peak hour.
I think more than anything else this is the main reason we struggle to make players stay.
See the good thing about an automatic match making is you can tell people roughly how long they may wait before they actually get a game and also they are "kinda" guaranteed to get one at somepoint.
Also an automatic match making based on elo would make elo more reliable since teams and players you face are not decided by the players themselves that would be an additional bonus.
As for the MPQ shortcuts and all this is raw data client side there is absolutely no way of "protecting" client side data, that is why most games today are server-side when they can afford to.
That said no one ever cared that much about this than you I never saw a new player complain about hacks ever. It is not like hacks are the one reason people loose their games.
In all the time I played on war2 on ru I encountered only one time a real hack and it made me laugh I wont say who it was but that was in free castle and man that bot was way over 2000 apm and he didnt need a fortress to make dragon lairs etc XD.
Most new players would loose even if they had infinite resources... I mean sure an addon to set shortcuts for everyone to use easily would be nice but I would not say it is a priority for new players at all...
Most of us haven't have edited our shortcuts and are still playing the game quite happily