I am not sure the suggestions or feedback do a ton of good but I still think this is a core issue that could be improved. The population is basically more or less exactly what I predicted and expected after launch and I still have hope/wish the game could be more appealing to new players. I do not claim to know the inner workings of what can and can't be coded into the game but I think there is fundamental issues that can be improved or hope they can. I will make my main suggestion/feedback and then throw out some other ideas.
I think Realm has some charming features and qualities, but player population and grouping continues to be a huge issue. Players who do not run atleast 4 accounts will likely be at a large disadvantage. Even running 4-6 accounts is very grindy to chase end game/elusive items you would need to pretty much make Realm your main game and really put some time in. If you want to go for chase items or top tier items you need to be able to run caves efficiently that require grouping - which let's face it is mostly solo players running multiple accounts.
This is often confusing or frustrating to new players, or returning players who return to the game only to find that drop rates and current meta encourages strongly running multiple accounts solo. Sometimes I can run heroics for 5-6 hours straight with a full group and find maybe 1 item that excites me, imagine having to sell that and split profits with 2 or 3 other players. That's why no one groups.
Buff solo play strongly, so that group play and multi-boxing is still top tier for those who invest the money and effort into doing it, but solo players can compete and progress through heroics in a more reasonable fashion.
Hunter's Boon - this level 4 sorcery spell is available to all noble citizens. When you are in a dungeon you will gain +500% HP, +400% Spell Damage +400% Melee Damage and +30% Mysticism Resistance. This spell has no effect in PvP or group play.
Theory: This would allow new and returning players who pay to be a noble citizen basically be as powerful as 4 characters in dungeons only. However, it would still have major drawbacks to groups. You can only take 1 action per round, its 4x strength not 6x (max group size) and it would likely still not be as efficient or good as a real group.
However, if a new player started playing the game I could look them in the eye and actually say - you dont need to run 4 or 6 accounts to be competitive wealth and progress wise, if you're smart and use a well rounded character you can still keep up to some degree. This may seem like a drastic change but I garuntee you plenty of people will STILL pay and play mutiple accounts while it will open up another avenue for people who only want to play one character.
I am saying this as someone who DOES play multiple accounts, can do it, doesn't mind doing it, but can't recommend the game to friends who have never previously played Realm for this reason. I have tried and its a huge turn off. Most players playing MMORPG's dont want to be told "well.. you can just play by yourself" when they are smart enough to know their progress will be a joke in comparison to others.
I also think the game could use some quality of life and transparency upgrades. Such as a NPC that will give you the directions or walk you to a dungeon for a small gold fee.
"Dungeon Master: "I can tell you the directions to Thieves Hole (level 30 recommendation) or for a fee of 500 gold coins I can walk you there."
Pay 500 gold > your character automatically walks the screens and uses TP NPC to go to the right town and stops at dungeon screen.
This is more advanced, I am not sure if this is possible but this would help a lot with new players who aren't sure where to go or what content is good for their level.
Kill tasks suggestions:
Weekly kill tasks for silvers / xp such as - kill 200 snakes and come back to me for 50,000 XP and 500 Silvers.
Dungeon / variety suggestions:
Create a rare/exotic dungeon that has a 1 in 500 chance to teleport you inside from any heroic dungeon. Such as "unknown dungeon". Have various spell books and baldrics drop there some good look, this would be very exciting if you are just plugging away at heroics and then randomly get the rare dungeon spawn every now and then.
In conclusion, I am not a game designer I am sure some of this would be difficult or maybe even impossible. But. If solo play was buffed substantially, we added easier and clearer ways for new players to interact/get to caves/learn where things are and we added some more kill tasks/rare dungeons/rare triggered events (rare bosses, rare dungeon proc,) it would go a long way toward making the game more marketable.
I also think if this game is ever able to be ported to mobile devices or cross platform, having a large solo play buff/boost like that would make a lot of sense again - even at 4x-5x power you can only take one action per round its still not gonna touch a 5-6 character group it will still be slower.