I don't know if it's just me but I've been noticing lately that the market place as well as other public areas have been pretty quiet lately and that less and less people have been playing recently. It seems that compared to other free to play MMORPG's that ddo may be falling behind and needs to overhaul some of it's key components in order to adapt and continue doing well. Here are some ideas I believe would go a long way to accomplishing that but feel free to add your own as well. I honestly hope some of the devs see this.
1. Overhaul the combat system: The combat system hasn't changed much since the game came out it still consists of run around and hit stuff with your weapon of choice and hit your special move buttons so it seems some new dynamics need to be added.
A. Reach weapons such as spears, halberds, tridents, spiked chain, 3 part staff, etc are needed to add new fighting styles.
B. Add more combat maneuvers such as charge, overrun, bull rush, grapple, trample, swallow whole, disarm, pin, and others that would add new dangers and strategies to the game. If your tank gets eaten you'd better have a plan B, and if you don't want that pesky cleric healing his monster friends, grab him and knock his block off. Don't grapple a giant though or he may just launch you across the room. That kind of thing. You just have to make sure that the enemies can't grapple through walls and whatnot.
C. Add new spells: There are so many resources for ideas on and off line for new spells for DDO. Honestly I've been waiting for new spells for 5 or 6 updates now and it really makes playing casters a lot more fun when they have new strategies to try out.
D. Add epic (lv 10) spells: In tabletop level 10 spells are available around level 21 or 22. Here we are with a level cap of 28 now and we're still using our 9th level spells. Yes they're very powerful but they'd also cost you a lot of sp so balancing it shouldn't bee too much trouble.
2. Overhaul the character creation system for character appearance: Every other MMO has gone to sliders. Sliders allow one to make their character tall, short, thin, fat, slight, muscular, petite, curvy, or whatever they'd like instead of having cookie cutter characters with different faces. The slider system also has some preset faces but then allow for a world of customization as almost every aspect of their facial features can be fine tuned. If this were added I'd give all the characters a appearance respec token of some sort to let everyone have at their characters and customize their appearances.
3. Update crafting: The high level items have so many effects on them now that one prefix and one suffix for weapon crafting isn't enough to make comparable items. Allowing the addition of a middle quality, additional pre or suffix, or other such addition would make item crafting more comparable with other high level items that you find and more worth all the work it takes to level you crafting abilities up to higher levels. The new item abilities should also be added to the crafting system.
That's all I can think of at the moment but I'm sure there's more. This in itself would go a long way to making the game a lot more fun to play and would attract many people who either haven't played before or have left for other, newer games. If DDO is going to survive, it's got to keep up. Give you ideas everyone, but I'd like to keep it more general and less class/race specific.