Well, there's been a lot of great discussion here already, but i'm going to leave my 2 cents anyhow
When I picture a sequel to a game, a successor to it, I picture improvements, enhancements, better + new subsystems, and such. But I don't picture radical changes to the design philosophy.
It's not the realm without levels. It's not a sequel to the realm without levels. It's some re-imagined version of the game that differs drastically from the experience I want in a sequel.
The story involving the gods, the mist, the dragons, and so on are big parts of the realm. So are skills, spell books, rare spells, levels, point buy stats, mana crystals, and so on.
One thing I loved about the realm was that you didn't have to reach max level on a character to participate in the end game content. But that by spending the time to get those levels, you could make that content easier on yourself. And whoever you were playing with. But doing so required an investment in both time and effort.
I actually really enjoyed the fact that the level cap was so high. I'd love it if the sequel had a ridiculously high level cap as well. Hitting that cap should be a real accomplishment, one of time investment and skill.
As a side note, I think bind-to-character gear is terrible for a realm sequel. It goes against a huge part of the realm gameplay, which involved item trading and setting out starter sets for newbies. I really appreciated it when someone gave me a set of chanted mithril for my lowbie wizard, and later I enjoyed handing out starter gear to new characters.
At the same time, having gear that was only usable at higher levels ensured that people were more connected to their characters. They couldn't make a new character, throw the best gear on him, and start running the end game content. They had to experience that gameplay, learn how the slight differences in carryweight, dexterity, intelligence, and strength affected how their character acted and reacted.
I'm trying not to get disheartened. But it's starting to seem like the game we end up with is only going to share tertiary gameplay elements with the game I want to play.
Honestly, what I really want in a game banking on the realm's history and player base is a game that runs mechanically like an updated realm, not a re-engineered realm.