1) 3 Faction System
Current Guild v Guild system caters to a very select few. It basically boils down to communist guild systems fielding their 5 best players, while the rest of the guild gathers and crafts for them. 99% of the player base never experience GvG. In a faction system, more people can participate in the effort.
Territories would need a rework: Major territory; ie Castle, City, and 4 support territories that feed the Major territory; 1 x high in fiber, 1 x high in ore, 1 x high in lumber, 1 x high in hide. The major territory is attacked / defended by factions. These battles would be 20v20 or higher. The support territories are controlled by guilds in 10v10s or higher. In order for a major territory to be taken, its support territories would need to be taken first (in essence weakening the major territory and making it susceptible to attack). A single faction must control all 4 support territories before making the assault on the major territory.
Once you join a faction, all characters on your account are automatically added to the faction. This eliminates spies and people rolling alternates to be murderers.
2) 2 Zone Types – Black and Green
Black zones would allow full pvp / loot for factions and murderers and resources and terrtories up to tier VIII.
Green zones would be safe areas up to tier IV.
Yellow and red zones will become obsolete with the other changes recommended.
3) Reputation – Return of the Dread Lords.
Some people have no desire to pvp, or be forced into pvp all the time. With a faction and reputation system in place, you would eliminate much of the forced pvp. If someone is not in a faction, then the only pvp they would get is by being murdered. Murderers would have to be non-faction characters (they can be in a non-faction guild however). There would be stiffer penalties for murderers, such as loss of fame on death, larger silver drops (bounty rewards?), etc.
Why would someone want to be in a faction? Faction control of territories would give safer harvesting options and possibly zone buffs such as speed boosts, health boosts, etc.
Why would someone want to be a murderer? Instead of getting just fame, murderers would also get infamy. Infamy would unlock a separate destiny board with abilities that would help them to survive in a world where they would be hunted, ie better stealthing options, access to zones that cater to murderers only (a guardless town?), etc.
4) Travel Changes
The plans for travel changes sound great, but would would be made better if the gallop mode only worked on roads. You open up more pvp encounters when people know that the roads will be the most heavily traversed.
5) Crafting, Gear, and The Destiny Board
Rework the destiny board and remove specializations. For example, a bow user should be able to use all bow types with the same level of efficacy. A leather wearer should be able to wear all the leather types with the same level of efficacy. A bow crafter should be able to craft all the bow types and the same for all the leather types, etc. The different “styles” would be just that…cosmetic only. All spells would then be consolidated into the pieces.