1. Did you check the actual number of online players with the /online command? Sometimes players put themselves as anonymous, which means they won't appear on the online list.
2. When were you playing when this happened? If it was during a peak working hour or after a server crash, the number of players will naturally be lower.
I do agree with the sentiment though. The PWO Community is a fraction of the size it once was, and it can often lead to the game feeling rather empty and lonely. While we don't aim for PWO to be a massive community like one of the major MMOs, we do want to foster a sizeable community of friends working, playing and enjoying themselves together with as much diversity and inclusivity as possible. We're working on a number of updates to attempt to grow the game over the coming months and offer more for players; but of course, the best way to grow is to tell your friends and bring other people in to share the joy with you
I'll always miss PWO. If only for one day, maybe through some max effort communications, we could call back everyone to just see old "faces" and just hang around in game, it'd be so amazing. Just dreaming here, not holding any unreal expectations.
It was an escape, but it was amazing.