I've been playing for about 6 months, my own active cycles come and go. But here are my opinions about what would make me want to test more and be excited to play when Crowfall is released.
Give us a reason to fight besides the fight itself. Some long term goal, something that can exist outside an individual campaign. Maybe something connected to EK's, which in the current state of the game, seem to exist essentially as alternate place to craft or an easier means of transferring items between characters in different factions, but are not a reason to fight.
^^^ THIS. If the world actually became more dangerous as seasons advanced, that would add something to the feel of the worlds, it would be more engaging, at least for me. Maybe as the seasons progress add a multiplier to mobs raw health, damage, and/or resists. Make winter dangerous! (And yes, I realize this would punish people who came to a campaign late)
Come up with some way of addressing numerical imbalances between the factions. This is gonna be a tough one, there likely aren't any solutions that cannot be gamed with sufficient persistence, cleverness, or money.
Advantages AND Disadvantages - Right now everything exists as an additive advantage - skills, powers, disciplines, crafting 'optionals'. Take necromancy as an example, necro additives are raw increases, and so are not really perceived as optional additives, they are a requirement. Which is why you had such an uproar when goggles were added and the RNG drop for them was ridiculously low. If they came with a bonus and a drawback (You get +Dex, -Int! Or +slashing pen, -slash resist) they might no longer be perceived as required.
There are also some other excellent ideas and comments sprinkled throughout the thread.