Lonewolf hit the nail on the head. That’s basically how it goes. Zuluhotel always has been a sandbox game. The reason why most shards are active is because of the active community. Without an active participation of players the shard will become dull and slowly die out. Doing staff events will only help for so long. We do intend to add some automated events at some point.
People nowadays see Ultima Online just as a secondary game. Play your main game while macroing your Ultima Online character on the side. Once that’s done you just play occasionally and when that gets boring you stop. Hence the low player count.
@Sparks: I will add some new player starting money. New players will now start with 1000 gold instead of 100. Britain is considered a newbie zone. After that you can head for Minoc.