Take a gander at the ongoing thread here.
Now, it seems to me that generally when a few posts in a forum are made, that’s the minority of the population speaking on behalf of the majority. If this is true, it appears the Endless Trial is bringing a whole lot more people back to the game, along with true noobs, than many have given it credit for. Sure, T1 isn’t as balanced as it used to be considering the number of twinks involved (haha!), but for the most part this hasn’t stopped people from subbing to the game one bit. Honestly, when you think about it, having a heavily twinked out free trial is more representative of the end game anyway. One does not walk into T4 and pwn, after all. You’re subjected to the same sort of twinky nonsense that you currently get in the Endless Trial.
That being said, populations are growing. Like any recent game WAR had it’s super-highs supported mainly by marketing and propaganda, with a dash of WoW/EQ/LotRO apathy, which then took a pretty sharp decline over the next 9 months. I believe after Aion was released that we hit the subscriber base (all those layoffs were a bit premature) of about 45k. Now, with the 1.3.x patches, MOST of the issues with Warhammer have been all but squashed. Yes, Bright Wizards and Sorcs still dish out STUPID amounts of damage (it’s their job), and your Warrior Priests and DoK’s are nigh-unkillable (again, their damn job), but class balance is working itself out as people L2P and spread the common knowledge around willy-nilly. Indications like this forum post are a spot of brightness in the blood and gore spattered fields of WAR we commonly know.
I’ll just get it out of the way, WAR is on an uptick. T2 and T3 have had more action in them than I’ve seen in a long time, hosting 30-40 players in RvR during prime hours. Development has slowed down, but is far from stopped or going into maintenance mode. There’s even some whispers of change coming with the next patch that further compliments changes to the T4 experience. WAR isn’t the all-out success that many of us hoped it would be, but it’s starting to become the PvP/RvR niche game that it’s been aiming for all along.