Very glad to hear that they're going to finally get guesting working - I've currently got friends spread across multiple servers, and it'll be nice to actually see some of them again...
I hope they sneak in many quality of life things in there too! (still can't fathom why I can't WP to LA for free, thereby gating us into traveling to HotM for 2 load screens instead of one)
Or even better, assume whenever waypointing that you're going to take the most efficient route to do so. Waypointing to any
of the six major cities should be free (you can HotM to LA then gate to the city in question, it just costs several loading screens). Waypointing to any part of the world could then be measured from the closest point you can get to for free.
Or, y'know, they can get rid of this silly idea that waypoint fees are good for the game in the first place, especially if they want people to go to less well travelled parts of the game world.
Changing up the WvWvW rewards is interesting - I would have to say, in fact, that at the moment WvWvW feels a bit too much like it's rewarding being the proverbial big fish in a small pond too much - being the top world in a bracket will get you big rewards, while being "promoted" into the bottom of the next bracket could result in getting creamed and your world being worse off overall.
To be honest, I have my suspicions about Blackgate's progression to the top bracket in the last cycle. Don't get me wrong - I think they deserved it and were going to get there anyway - but they did suspiciously well considering that I'd heard grumblings on the Sanctum of Rall server for at least a month or so beforehand that people were tired of going up against Blackgate. While I didn't see any discussion to deliberately make it happen, I suspect SoR's players as a group just decided to let Blackgate run rampant over them in the last cycle in the hopes that that would accelerate their promotion - a tactic that, given SoR was winning its bracket last time I looked, seems to have paid off.
In order to reduce the 'big fish in a small pond' effect, I'd probably recommend the following:
1) Give worlds some small bonus depending on their overall ranking. Probably wouldn't want it to be too good, lest it provide that much added incentive for people to flock to the most successful worlds. Perhaps if your world is higher in the rankings, you get a certain number of the world bonuses when the match resets (which would also serve somewhat to reduce the impact of the sudden loss of those benefits at the start of the weekend when the resets happen).
2) Add a little randomness about who fights who. Ranking changes seem to happen fairly rarely, so servers do generally end up fighting the same other servers on a regular basis. While clearly it wouldn't be fair for, say, Eredon Terrace to suddenly find themselves going up against JQ or SoS, having the server from the bottom of a bracket occasionally swapping places with the server at the top of the next bracket would help keep the matchups from being repetitions of the same matchup all the time until there's a ranking shift.