To be a warrior, you must train
. Likewise, to play E2
well, firstly you must identify your goal
You may want to be a power player, trying to accrue as much XP (and hence I high score, and bonus powers)
to gravitate to a particular level (either to improve your writing ability or to justify becoming an editor)
to have a high node-fu (WU:XP ratio),
to have more votes and C!'s to shape the noding experience of others (and to patronise newbies - see New Approaches to Noding)
to gain respect from a community of a few hundred regular users, who statistically speaking are a dangerous group of people, not to be meddled with.
to successfully contribute some complete subset of knowledge to Everything.
to pass time.
Now, you should have a look at Everything University. This node is not about your writing style or the philosophy behind E2.
If you are a power player, the best advice I can give is to come back often. The more input you make, the higher your chance of increasing your XP. Leaving for long periods of time without addressing complains and corrections in your own WU's increases the chance they will be downvoted and nuked, at cost to you. Start using the chatterbox regularly. Ask and answer questions politely. Don't worry about "butting in", most of the conversations in there are pretty aimless, and replies can always be delivered directly using /msg.
Your second friend in this battle is the User Search system. This gives you an easy way of checking the status of your own canon, and allows you to analyse the writing style (successful or otherwise) and content of others.
Thirdly, if you're not an editor and can't cool your own stuff (cough*jessicapierce*cough), then you still have the option to nodevertise or softlink your stuff somewhere popular (and relevent).
Once you ascend a few levels, try to ensure you use up all your votes and, if you have the inclination, start a daylog. The activity of "votedumping" (that is, randomly casting votes to nodes with prolific numbers of WU's) is frowned upon, but there is one instance where I think it's justified : if the first couple of WU's tell you all you need to know, and then the remaining 5-399 simply go off on a stupid set of one-line comments and reiterations (and feeble jokes), let loose the downvotes. This phenomena is not entirely restricted to GTKY nodes.
As with a(ny) good RPG, if you keep your goal in mind, you will make more tangible progress towards it, and consequently you will enjoy your experience more. You can pursue multiple goals if you wish, and even switch between them as events here and in meatspace dictate.
To my knowledge, there are no Roleplayers on E2 (with the possible exception of --OutpostMir-- and EDB).
Also, if you enter the Konami code into your browser, you get infinite continues. Nate told me so.
This WU is steeped in my own personal experience and tempered with some simple Cognitive Science theories.