So let’s just go all in with thralls. As it stands right now you are pretty much your thralls sidekick which is fine, people don’t seem to mind too much. So, use this to facilitate sorcery and more defined character classes. Have very specific fighters that benefit from certain armors or weapons more, sorcery thralls that cast spells, buff up the animals and make a hunter thrall.
A gameplay system that focuses on finding specific thralls who you in turn specialize by crafting very specific armor/gear to accomplish certain tasks/abilities unique to thralls. Impose survival aspects on them like extreme temperatures (maybe not to the extent it harms them like player characters but it could unlock or prevent certain actions on part of your thrall)
The player decides to get obsidian, but obsidian to be mined effeciently requires a thrall wearing good heat resistance armor and equipping it with a pick allows it to aid you in mining this resource. To make the best armor for this thrall who prefers say medium armor you know need to unlock/find the epic armor for say relic gear (not even sure that’s heat resistance). To craft it you need to hunt certain drops, to increase the rate of certain rare drops you should probably get a hunter thrall, this thrall will benefit from certain gear/armor…so on so forth.
Other thrall ideas could be:
Assassin thralls (gear em up and send em out to kill other players thralls without you having to be present)
Various sorcery thralls each specializing in an element perhaps. (An ice mage thrall can be used in the volcano to great effect but not the cold north and vice versa for a fire mage)
Hunter thralls that can be specific to a biome, having one join you increases likely hood for rare drops from skinning specific animals from certain biomes
Fighter thralls that specialize in armor/weapon type combinations. In fact have special abilities attached to armor that unlock with certain thralls. Ex: a dmg boost to nordheimer thralls when they are in the cold state.
Imagine showing off your T4 Hyborian sword/shield thrall wearing full epic cimmerian that unlocks skills like dmg boosts in cold weather, a random party defense aura, a taunt ability, etc.
Or a ranger thrall that is useful as a ranged healer with healing arrows that sports armor with anti aggression stats and a passive camouflage effect to prevent them being targeted.
You get the idea