This was my wish too & my biggest worry. I have never seen a successful remake of any game.
(* unless you consider profits there's been plenty)
You look at D2 - Much like Realm - high replay ability, simple and addicting, permanent build choices.
D3 - no attributes, super casual builds can change whenever you want, now don't get me wrong D3 is a good game now but when it released it was soooo bad & nothing like D2.
You look at AC - AC2 not even the same solar system didn't look, feel, play like a similar game. The list goes on and on.
At the same time, if Im Stephen - it would be hard to put forth the effort to completely remake a game and make it almost identical to an old one but yes - I am with you.
2D, screen hopping, turn based, economy/free trade driven, open world and safe pvp,
would I like to see modern updates like a navigation system? new graphics, flashy effects, new home building options - vast and varying more items for builds, a little more in depth skill tree and questing, sure. but the core I'd like to see the same. You give me REALM as it sits - with a new coat of paint, a balanced loot table, 5-10 more dungeons, a trading system, and balanced PvP? That's all it needs IMO. if it gets marketed properly - free to play - it would be very popular.
It already seems like its going far from that in theory - its funny because I see people arguing over such small details as mana crystals vs mana and then something like having 0 levels instead of 1000 puts that in perspective. I think there is going to be some very radical changes. The game may be good but I quickly came back down to planet earth - how could anyone replicate the magic of a game and make it even better ? So far I haven't seen it done without it not feeling like the same thing.
At the risk of pissing Stephen off that's just the truth - as someone who's played about 100 MMO's in all generations an forms all starting with The Realm - my two favorite games were The Realm and Asherons Call - I've been hoping for this for 10 years but I think we all really need to see the kick starter and what the details are and be prepared.
I am going to back the project no matter what - but I think my very unrealistic expectations of it being Realm 2.0 fresh paint and more polish is not realistic. I'm sure Stephen wants to make a game he wants to play and that will involve changes that people will agree and disagree on nothing is perfect
I can say straight up I may be a tad over reacting, but without seeing it written out in super detail all I can go off of is my instinct.