Just thought I'd post a little idea I had that would hopefully revitalise roleplaying if it were implemented. So to get straight into it, I think they should get rid of roleplaying realms. Instead, you should be able to toggle on/off a roleplaying phase, which using phasing technology would put everyone with it toggled on into their own phase of the world were they could RP in peace and then return to the default phase whenever they wanted. This probably seems a little controversial but hear me out, there are plenty of benefits:
No more people accidentally entering roleplaying realms. This is quite a big problem with RP realms, where newbies accidentally pick a RP realm and are too invested in their characters to leave when they find out. This also causes a snowball effect, with their friends joining them on the RP realms despite having no interest in RP. With the RP it'd be much harder to accidentally turn it on, and if you did the problem can be solved in a click.
RP is made more accessible. I think part of the problem with the dearth of good RP comes from the fact that if you want to do it you have to create a new character cut off from the rest of wow's community and then have to dedicate time to this character. If players could just hop in for some casual RP in their spare time I think we'd get a lot more activity in the RP community. It works both ways as well: even dedicated RP's might wish to take a little holiday from RP without having to do it on an entirely new character.
Would help populate so realms which don't have many players, as realms would be merged together.
Also just to address some problems you guys may have with the idea:
This could admittedly lead to a lot of people going on RP realms to troll the RPers, although we already get trolls and I don't think the problem would escalate too badly. A blacklist function could also be implemented to get people banned from the RP phase or even banned full stop. Another potential problem is noob RP's who don't know the lore coming in and messing things up, but I genuinely don't think this will be any more of a problem than it already is. These people actually want to RP so they're already going to take the effort of going onto RP realms. Again, a blacklist function could deal with the really bad ones, but mostly I think we need to teach the noobs how to RP properly.
So there's my idea. Enjoy