The Big Guy
I'm very glad these forums are back, I used to participate a ton in the Paxia forums back in its hey day and was even on the Nocturu council at one point.
My advice for Paxia in general is to flesh it out in terms of character. People don't feel any sort of loyalty or resonance with elements, they feel that way towards characters or personality traits, something that is relatable and interesting. The first three clans had elements of that, with Aerodu being aggressive, Nautica being scholarly, and Geoto being....uh...something. I want more of that for the other clans, and a reason/ideology explaining why they want the McGuffin, in this case control of Paxia. Why do they want control, and if they were in control how would that affect Paxia and the other clans? What are the stakes in this conflict? Would the clans be wiped out if one side won, or would they be controlled in some other way? Those are the questions that need to be explained for people to really bond to their clans and stick with one, along with the community aspects. Furthermore, they need to be included in the game itself, whether through an updated "Explore Paxia" quest or just through updated clan headquarters. I know clan members can make up stories themselves, but for this to be really effective people need to know what they are fighting for and that goal be reflected in the game itself.
As for the community aspects, the best thing I can suggest is to make the community stuff affect the real game. Even knowing how far ahead content is scheduled in advance, there has to be some way to get Paxia daily, weekly or at least monthly content either in the forums or in game. I think the forums are the best bet, and maybe having the Paxia Wars game that people were playing on the forum previously be relevant is an interesting answer. A couple options include having the winner of Paxia wars get some advantage in the next Paxia content, or an exclusive item for their clan. Maybe have a daily quest for each clan that when you complete it adds extra mobs to a clan war with a clearly defined start date (so people know how long they have to prepare). Having the forum influence the game is the most effective way of getting the forum back off the ground, because like the characterization it creates a reason to participate.
Finally, Unity needs to go. In my mind, that was the worst possible route Paxia could have went story wise, and singlehandedly ruined my enthusiasm for the clan system. Why make an eight way conflict where people feel loyalty towards a specific clan if the only way for a good story ending is if you abandon your clan and fight with the collective? Why should I bother if I have no say on which side wins since the story dictated that Unity was the only way to prevent being uncreated? If there is one common thread with my suggestions, it is that there needs to be a reason to participate, through emotional resonance, clan loyalty and through other clan members. Don't undercut that by casting people as chaotic and evil for not joining a collective effort in a clan system. Please.
Thank you for reading, and I hope for great things.