The most pressing issue right now is probably the requirement to talk talk talk. Everything what happens IG is decided in Discord and even people who enjoy diplomacy say that it is too much. Even for them.
My idea to reduce this Discord-diplomacy-requirement:
1.) there need to be a real IG "diplomacy system"
2.) realms are only allowed to conquer towers from realms they have openly declared war upon (that is visible in the realm's profile whom you have declared war upon)
3.) you can only declare war upon realms you have a border with
4.) portals have to be in the same 'area' your ark is. (so you cannot conquer a tower from an ally and build a portal there because you presumably have no connection to the ark)
(so you can still raid everybody, kill troops from everybody, but if you want to conquer, you need to declare war. And that only works on your neighbours.)
That could still lead to the situation that you have 3-4 of your neighbours declaring war on you and if that happens you should still lose the war, even if you are individually stronger than any single realm that attacks you. But if you are significantly stronger than 2 of them they shouldn't be able to beat you.
To address that problem I also have an idea:
Make realm-ark-power count for something:
1.) PVP-Battles now produce significant amounts of ark power.
2.) At certain realm-levels you can now unlock additional warlords for the realm. Either "realm-Warlords" that you can only use defensively or you just get regular additional WL-slots for everyone in the realm.
3.) Because PVP does now heavily influence your realm level realms actually become stronger by doing PVP.
=> Now you have created a PVP-incentive and you have made realm-levels meaningful. (At the moment there is no PVP incentive and realm-levels are utterly meaningless.)