I'd say as a server we are progressing. The progression has slowed a little but I am still noticing new faces every day.
I think what has been said about XP rates is true. Many people I have seen come on and complain about it taking to long to train. As old members of VPK we were obviously more inclined to train and not care about the XP rates, but think about it from someone coming to the server due to runelocus or another voting site. Most of the time a player is just checking out the server to see if they like it and that includes a couple hours of playing, maybe. After that first log out they either decide they like it and come back or move on. If the couple of hours they spend on the game is training and they still haven't gotten anywhere significant that is discouraging. Maybe give new players something they can accomplish within their first few hours of being online. Say maybe a low leveled boss that drops items that would be beneficial to low levels/pures. It could drop Morri Javs/Axes at a low increment each drop (i.e. 5-10) This gives low level players a way to make money from high level players. Yes a high leveled player could farm the drops, but it would be much more beneficial to PVP or High level boss at that point.
The chest needs some altering. It was okay in the beginning to get PVP armor into the game and Sol you reduced the droprates before too much was introduced into the game so that's good. However some of the strongest armor in the game shouldn't have the chance to be received from a key you can get by killing yaks/rock crabs. Make it so PVP armor is only obtainable from killing others or as others have suggested monsters in the wilderness. Maybe Revs? Have them wander the wildy so they can't just be camped and there is an actual risk involved with trying to get the armor.
I think putting Void into the chest as previously stated is a good idea as the "best items" you can get from chest. Make it rare, but not so rare that someone could train 99s on Yaks and not have a full set. I imagine it would have the possibility of spicing up the wildy as well.
I think Coinshare needs adjustments but only while the server is young. As of right now we don't have enough players to actively keep a steady economy, and this allows for price manipulation. Each GS Shard's price (among other items) being manipulated to make more money is helpful in the short term to the players abusing it, but hurts the game in the long run for everyone. This would be hard to fix, but it is definitely a problem.
The one thing that desperately needs to be changed is the newboss. There is not one thing beneficial that guy introduced. Sure it was a way to get a bunch of items into the game all at once, but those items would have been so much better introduced through seperate content. Nobody wants to do anything but kill the newboss because then they will be at a huge disadvantage to everyone else spending all their time on it. You just introduced Slayer and the only incentive to train it is so you can get D boots at 83. Why not make some of the random items the new boss drops come from High leveled slayer monsters? Not only that, but it was quickly exploited and now there are a ton of items in game from when it was easily safespotted. The racist remarks made by the boss are completely unnecessary. They serve no purpose to the game and turn people away from VPK. If I was a newcomer to VPK and I saw that it would immediately paint a negative picture of what VPK was and how the community interacted with each other. The only people I can imagine who would even think it is funny are the exact ones who would be toxic to this game. I hope this addition is not permanent or even semi-longterm.
Here are just a few little things I think would help
Make it so ::updates reads from the newest at the top to the oldest at the bottom. The more updates that are done the more scrolling. This would make it easy for players to log on and quickly see whats been added.
As of right now the GE doesn't have many items in it, but when it does what about adding a search feature? Keep the mainpage with a giant list of items, but other users to search for specific ones within the ge.
It may be time for a staff member, in order to bounce ideas off of and they'd be able to transfer the player's voices to you easier.
I've seen a lot of people get on and ask "how do I claim vote", while I personally don't like voting rewards, many people vote specifically for them. Maybe add various tiers of mystery box's that can be bought with a certain # of voting points and can contain a # of random items helpful to players.
These are just ideas and I'm sure there are better fixes than what I thought of but it is a start. These are the things I think have the potential of holding the game back in the longterm view of things. Sure it is fun right now for maxed players to make a ton of money and what not, but we aren't gaining a rapid amount of new players so all it is doing is creating a giant gap of wealth just like VPK suffered from before. We've got a great server here with a great admin and a great community. With a few proper tweaks I can see us going a long way