I may be about to volunteer an unpopular opinion or two, but opinions seem to have been solicited so I shall boldly go.
The problems I've seen that seem to have dismantled this forum are the following:
-Old members mistreating new faces out of some sort of misplaced territory protection feeling.
-Lack of or infrequent participation by the remaining members.
-No uniting format of post/roleplay (not necessarily a problem.)
The old members one is fairly simple to answer at this moment: those people are gone. Thank the gods. However, it is a danger for the future. Reboot the board, give it a year, suddenly everyone who was new is old and the danger of mistreating new faces simply because no past relationship exists returns.
Maybe there needs to be something added to general rp forum rules, but nothing chases away new faces/newbies faster than having them told they are playing a mary sue and are an uncreative bother.
I mostly state this because it would be a real shame to get the place humming again only for it to crash and burn for the same reasons the last iteration did. (I like things to screw up in new and interesting ways.)
The infrequent action or lack of action thing is what really stops things up pretty badly. I know people get busy, disappear, and have other reasons for not posting or letting anyone know they are going, but I've watched waiting for someone to post destroy rps that looked very interesting and like they were going to be successful.
I know Srki has been advocating for choose your own adventures and other non-commitment related story-telling, and maybe that will be good for some people, but I know the idea holds no attraction in my book. (I wouldn't want to create one or participate in one). I've never seen the post based rp as a huge time commitment, but I'm aware I may be a freak.
Still, something needs to be done to make posting more frequent and to stop people from simply disappearing without another word. I'm currently involved in about four group roleplays, and only one of them has seen a post in the last three weeks. THREE WEEKS. Almost 1/12th of the year. I don't know all the reasons this is the case, but that is the sort of thing that really damages roleplaying on this forum.
I know I may be harping on this because I had such a terrible experience coming to this forum, but there is no uniting format of post or roleplay.
I know every does CS and world creation differently, but the actual posts are where things get complicated and confusing especially if you are new and are being told you are doing it wrong when there seems to be no actual format.
By format, I mean that some people just write in normal paragraph with no bolds or colours. Some people use bolds and colours in normal paragraphs. Some people use play/screenplay format. Some people use play/screenplay format with colours and bold.
(Obviously as someone who likes normal paragraphs I believe I am TOTALLY DOING IT THE ONLY PURE AND RIGHT WAY. But it might be useful if there were some uniting way to format or that needs to be included in rules in some line about writing any way you feel comfortable.)