I am picking up on the sentiment in this thread that RGs do not so much have an overall population problem as a lack of population willing to PvP.
We have an overall population problem. Go into the club sometime, and count the number of FKs and compared to RGs -- there's a pretty dramatic difference.
The silly thing is that there is no real difference between the factions; just the names, the colors, and that initial description. But for some reason people overwhelmingly went Free Knights.
Some of it I can kind of see. #1, the RG colors are ugly -- our basic cyberskin is pale grey. The gold makes it better, but most players don't see that for a while. If we had something flashy on that first selection screen, that might help draw people in.
The second problem is the name. In the US at least, "Free" is better than "Royal", and a knight is at the peak of the warrior profession where a guard is at the very bottom of the barrel. And reading the descriptions, it seems like the choice is between reckless liberty and authoritarian order. I rolled RG when I realized that they had the exact same story, just because it seemed to me that the RG story was the 'finished one', but I did pick Free Knights first just because they look cooler and have a cooler name.
Now we're also getting to where the underdog effect is sapping out the faction. Every time a BG ends it's followed by 20 minutes of whining in shout, and Caergate chat is often full of complaints about the numbers. It's something that anyone who PvPs is aware of, and as new, cross-faction zones are introduced it's going to start sucking for the PvEers too.
Another weird thing, I realized today that the RG is very likely to have fewer cluster bombs in the BGs. Both sides have the same opportunities to get the clusters through daily quests, etc. But with the same 20 or so RGs queueing every time, we go to a lot more BGs; since I usually see about 60 FKs waiting, it's reasonable to assume that RGs go to 3 times as many BGs. So it's very likely that most of us have used all our clusters in any given BG, where the FKs just won't have had that opportunity.
And going to more BGs doesn't really help us on things like farming dogtags, since we're usually the ones getting farmed. I've been paying attention to what my lower level characters in more balanced BGs earn, and they get 4 to 5 times as many dogtags as my level 29 characters. Free Knights usually hits two towers in Janus while RG only hits one too.
All of that means that RG gets much less benefit at higher cost. You'd think that going to more BGs would help, but we're likely to get nearly nothing (except for loot from the boxes in the beginning) in BGs where we get farmed.