If speaking honestly I would say main problems in TNR are lack of motivation, excess bureaucracy and no clear vision.
Lack of motivation comes in when you can see that some people in content/design side have obviously lost nearly all interest in the game. For example you have chipotle and zanelegend/tdragon86 who more or less went AWOL from what I can gather. Terriator has been pretty inactive and if he wasn't owner would probably also have been dismissed. Aet quit since he was basically tired of doing all of work for nothing with others getting in his way from what I can gather. Even people like me that in the past would have been willing to help now looking at current state of project can generate no real enthusiasm and if anything I would just work on a new game from scratch. Tragically it is fairly contagious so many staff members who start out keen end up losing it and userbase is very fickle and unappreciative at times.
As far as bureaucracy goes there are two problems. Firstly when you have inactive/apathetic people in positions it means no one can replace them. For example as Terriator is "coder" it means that TNR isn't actively looking for a coder as they already have one, even if he does nothing. Second problem is that very quickly teams generate dead weight that if anything just impede active members of staff. If everything is done by committee instead of taking a couple of hours to get it done you have to spend 2 hours making idea, 2 hours presenting it to team, 2 days waiting for feedback, another two days answering points, making a few modifications for no reason other to appease someone's ego and at the end of it you've got something that in many cases is worse than what you started with. Very often people quit just cause they're tired of pandering to other's wishes and that's how TNR loses a lot of it's best staff so they're left with dead weight that accummulated. Evidence is that balancing team has had half members quit and other half get cleaned on systematically when found to be incompetent.
As far as clear idea goes, currently I have no idea exactly what game is aiming to be or why people are expected to login. I think current thinking is if people come to play TNR we need content to keep them happy. However they have it wrong way round and it should more be we need content and/or a game that attracts users and is entertaining. Core 2 worked well when it started although I think with increasing moderator intervention and game mechanics not being tested at higher stats what was an innovative game quickly grew into a sterile environment. As far as combat mechanics go once you're capped it's very dull and CFH just kills any smidgeon of excitement possibly left. Training is impossible once you have capped stats. Villages cannot really be meaningfully improved since only thing you can gain is regen that is pointless if you have capped stats. Clans also seem relatively pointless. Only thing it has going for it is a tavern that is a socialising area although game itself has little redeeming values at the moment and at best is just grinding requiring no thought whatsoever, hence why bots have been so common.
As far as solution goes I think only way TNR is really going to have a future is if they decide to design a completely new core 3. In it there must be a stat reset since having loads of capped players cannot be good. It would need to be thoroughly tested at all points and be designed to have a much more interesting and dynamic combat system, village system, MPvP etc. I think core 2 is pretty much irretrievable as it's a patchwork quilt of updates of which half needs to be replaced. It is also vitally important to get highly competent staff to work on it at least to get it started and imo getting professional help would not be a bad idea. Most games that make money also spend money so it could be viewed as an investment. Kind of question you can ask yourself as to whether it is a good game is if that game had a single player mode with AIs would you want to play it? Games like Call of Duty tend to pass while games like TNR don't and that's what you need to pass so it's a game would play alone that is better since you have friends and rivals