Hunting and encountering players down in the wasteland, when stakes were high - is what made Reloaded and 2238 great. Period.
That moment when you find a person or group, and spawn into the unknown; is it TB or RT? is it a cave or a city? are their mutants or other NPC's? What loot will I steal or lose? Or when someone spawns on you; or traps you in the bowels of the glow.
Not Timers, Grinding, or empty solo-instance dungeons.
Some other fun draft concepts that could save the game:
-All resources should be bottle necked; and publicly accessible, PVP enabled. No private mines or farms.
-Single location Resource spawns, to encourage players to group play to gather/craft.
-Car sales at one location, stores limited.
-Yes their can be NPC guards in some areas; lots if/as necessary; but not this unlimited spawn off the map a dozen at a time and shoot players crap.
-Make crafted weapons awesome; over their non crafted counterparts.
-Reduce map size, or make sections require better gear/perks/radiation-resistance to travel through; which also have much more challenging encounters
-Make stores and towns extremely heavily guarded but with some lootable/raidable vendors/stores.
-Enable stealing. But give victim ability to shoot culprit when caught; with a notification instructing them that they can
-Enable lockable/unlockable doors at all but hub location
-Enable use of Cars ability to leave in TB
-Hub is fine as safe zone.
-Enable PVE events/scripts, where towns get attacked by mutants or raiders; and players can participate in attack or defense.
-If you kill someone with worse karma, your karma goes up, if you kill someone with better karma, your karma goes down.
-If you have bad karma - Hubcops or bounty hunters, by the dozen; track you and your friends down.
-Karma reset expensive
-Enable NPC guarding purchase. IE you can hire hub cops to travel with or meet you at locations to protect your for X amount of time.
-Create an ultimate endgame goal that can be achieved by X,Y,Z, events; after X amount of time has passed; or other events have been completed. Make it extremely challenging. Something like fighting 100 APA enclave in RT; in close quarters on the oil rig; so as to get to and kill Frank Horrigan. Upon completion; Playerbase gets one week to vote for soft wipe or 3 month extension.