I bought Rising World the other day, and even in alpha phase I already love this game, it looks beautiful and I can see such a great future for this game, the programming on my suggestions should be fairly easy to implement and it will make the game so much more fun to play (and in this way boost the sales for the developers and increase community of RW Players). The players should also be able to enable or disable any of these options depending on each individual and their style of playing. Here are some ideas I came up with and Hopefully the developers takes the time to read this post and implement some of the features
Currently your character is basically a flying pickaxe, exploring vast biomes, but with a few improvements the developers can really make the player feel like their character is alive.
General attributes are strongly recommended, some characters are stronger (affects encumbrance and speed of mining) or quicker than others (affects running speed, because currently you can outrun a bear in rough terrain), others have more charisma (affects trading with villagers and trust), so with the implementation of Strength, Agility and Charisma one can already create a character close to your hearts desire.
Face customization has actually became mandatory in games already, no sandbox RPG character is complete without an epic beard option.
Naked characters does have its advantages if you're into that type of thing but I feel that custom Clothes creation can be quite beneficial ie shirts, pants, jackets, hats etc. Clothes can affects your skill points in certain areas. Example a leaf shirt will camouflage better when hunting so you can get closer to the animal before shooting it, but will have a penalty in trading with villagers because they think you're some type of caveman, also high tier expensive clothes (this is either clothes which very expensive or need a LOT of materials to create) will get NPCs to like you more, because they think you're rich.
Also wearing clothes of a certain faction (pioneers, bandits or natives) will cause that specific faction not to attack right away (We will cover factions a bit later), this basically automatically assumes you can loot corpses.
There can also be a Good/Bad reputation feature for your character, so the more good you do for people the more they will like you, and generally trust you in unlocking more difficult/rewarding quest and unlocking higher tier trading items in the villages, the more evil you are, the easier you can intimidate people and/or join the bandit faction.
Voice acting of player (male or female), When certain events happen, the player grunts, or says something example "I'm Starving", "My head is killing me", "Im carrying too much", sighs, yawns etc. Also letting the camera sway a bit to the left and right makes walking feel a lot more realistic, also terrain makes it faster/slower to cross, in its current state one can sprint up mountains in a few seconds. These small things makes your character feel alive and its really not a lot of programming involved to implement these small features.
Head injuries/arm injuries/headaches/flu/hypothermia/Malnutrition/cholera etc. These illnesses will affect Stamina, health loss, crafting speeds, this will make players want to build shelters rapidly so that your character doesn't get sick so quickly out in the cold and rain.
-Hunger and tiredness must also play a massive role in movement and fighting abilities, certain foods can also poison you (berries, rotten meat and unfiltered water), also no one can stay awake for 30 days without rest.
-Can create custom medicines to cure these illnesses (some plants are very rare to find, forcing one to trade with villagers), certain medicines and remedies apply only to certain illnesses, example, a salve won't work for a stomach ache but will help with a rash received from poison ivy (this automatically assumes that there are poisonous plants out there).
There is a very wide range of weapons one can choose from Bows and arrows, shields, different armor types (leather armour, chain mail, full plate armour etc), muskets and pouches with gunpowder and lead bullets (all these things has to be made/mined), swords, sabres, machetes axes etc. Each faction has certain weapons assigned to them, but there must be a balance, example muskets is an instant kill, but is a lot slower than using a bow and arrow. The sword is little slower than the native axe, but it has longer reach.
There can be 3 basic factions (the developers can make more factions or fewer according to their discretion), each with their own respective abilities, towns, quests, trading items and weapons
-The three basic factions can be the Pioneers, the Natives and the Bandits.
-Natives can be people using native stone/bone bows, arrows, spears, axes etc
-Natives should also be living in native looking houses and wear animal skin clothing etc
-They sell very rare plants (at an incredible high price) that can be used in medicines and trading at other villages/factions for a profit
-Pioneers can have muskets and machetes and lead bullets, gunpowder etc
-They can wear the European clothing from 1600-1800 period
-Random Bandits on the road who would rob and kill you and they also live in random houses in the middle of nowhere
-Bandits generally live in caves underground/underground railways/forgotten castles/forgotten forts and are generally hostile, unless you trick them into liking you (by wearing their clothes and starting to do quests for them)
-You can build reputation points with each faction, depends on the amount of trading and quests you do for each. Your rep points with each faction determines which items you can trade with their traders (high reputation = rare trading goods assigned to that faction and visa versa) and also the quest difficulty.
-Each faction has different villages and forts/castles or underground lairs etc
Example the pioneers will live in wooden forts (or castles) with a small village inside where the native tribes will live in either grass huts or clay houses (or both depends how many factions the developers would like to create).
-Each village will also have their guards, so if you attack someone in the village the will attack you (unless a quest specifies that you take someone out). Also the guards will attack you and chase you if you raid their crops or steal their water, causing the player to initiate trading trying to find rare items in this way.
-There can be an option to buy land in the villages (villages offers protection, water and food), if you're in good standing with them
-Each village also have their leader, and you must be in very good standing with the local villager before one is allowed to speak to their leader for quests/purchasing grounds in villages. After a very long time of interacting with the leader you can challenge him/her to replace them (via combat or you can buy them out, depends on the leader) to own the village where you can then collect taxes from villages and give order to the villagers (and eventually they can maybe build small houses for you, causing the villagers to breed to populate the town).
With these features, it will encourage the player to explore a lot more, because at the current state of the game, there is no reason to go past your spawning point and just creating a house right there and living there.
-Random Traders/Trading caravans slowly travel on roads between Towns to trade, as a player you can either trade with them, hopefully finding rare items on them, or you can rob them to get a few coins and an item or two but risking losing rep points with that faction.
-Quests can be generated randomly, the creators can create a few 100 quests and the game randomly generates a quest each time keeping the game exciting
1. Collect something for someone
2. Dig out a family heirloom
3. Go Ransom a kidnapped villager
4. Find a certain cave/location
5. Make/Purchase a certain high tier item
6. Help save a village from wild animal/bandit attacks
7. Assassinate a person (This will obviously make you lose rep points)
8. Deliver a package somewhere in another town
These ideas were taken from the top of my head, the dungeons and dragon society has many "Top 100" lists for ideas for side quests.
As mentioned earlier, the higher your rep points with a faction, the more rewarding/difficult the quests will be.
-Gold can be used to trade obviously, but it can also be used to buy lands in a certain area within village/fort/town limits, and one has to pay rents to the leader of that town. This forces a player to plant crops and go into animal husbandry to afford the rents
-Gold must be difficult to come buy, one can mine for it or trade to get enough to afford rare items and to buy land etc.