tis is animebaze not weeb baze..I don't think the forum being slow has much to do with the site itself. AB's issue is that it's a forum with few active users. Whatever caused the problem was long ago, and changing the site isn't the solution. Forums aren't joined primarily for their features. The very first things people look at are how many pages the discussions generate and how much content they can find(so accessibility & visibility ARE notable concerns. E.g. mobile support & improved section placement). Everything else comes second. The site could offer all the features in the world next year and it'd still be slow just because it's slow. It's like trying to sell an empty book by improving the texture of its covers and pages; There's still no content.
2020 is almost over and how many active 2020 members have you seen? The site isn't growing. It's just riding on the coattails of dedicated members. The most that additional features will do is retain members. Probably not even because of the features themselves, but the effort put into them. I'm not trying to say "thus it's worthless to add features," but that expanding is probably in your hands more so than any moderation changes or minor tweaks.
Imo, the only way AB grows is through either RP or unique content. The whole reason NB shifted to AB was so that it could cover more content, but look at what that amounted to. The additional sections just became empty chapters. Same would happen with additional events and, by extension, badges.
Only real option is to invest into RP, Mafia, and/or introduce additional sections along the lines of them. Part of the reason those sections are still alive is because half of the joy in those games involves you creating content. Taking inspiration from that, my suggestion would probably be a monthly project. I remember there was this forum game where we'd each write 3(?) words to build a story. What I have in mind is more like crafting a world over the course of a month that works similarly.
Each month has 4 weeks, and each of those 4 weeks expand on a specific part of the world. Like fanfic, but without all the effort.
Week 1: Checkup on the character & his(or her) current thoughts. Done through a description and/or art.
Week 2: Checkup on what's in his area and how he interacts with his surroundings. This would be done through a description and/or art.
Week 3: The action the character takes based on what his surroundings and thoughts pointed him towards.
Week 4: Checkup on the world as he has it mapped(it'd probably start blank like and be updated after the character has taken the first 3 steps). If he's been stationary, he'll just draw what he experienced(e.g. battles or training). If he simply walked through a town/house/cave, there'd be another map or just a detailed description of what he saw(style of houses, types of stores, etc) throughout it as some sort of diary.
Week 2 & 3 would extend if necessary, and, if the character ever had to be rebooted, we'd just keep the map and world but get a new character. The actions and descriptions chosen would be picked through polling. The magic system, world, plot, etc would happen naturally from descriptions. It sounds like a lot, but I don't think it's actually that much effort since you're essentially just answering 1 question every week. How the character feels/looks? What's around him and what is his surrounding doing? What's he doing now? What has he drawn into his map or written into his diary now that he's got downtime?