I like a lot of these suggestions, but many seem targetted towards long-term players and not new, causual players. What SWC needs is to encourage more players to continue after they first start, and not feel a need to grind in order to be competitive and have fun. Grinders can certainly advance quicker in the game, but the casual player should be able to attack and defend at their (lower) level. If not, then they will tire of failing to win an attack or getting destroyed on defense and quit the game.
To that end, I have a few suggetions.
1. Fix matchmaking for PvP
Players should be matched with someone close to their attack or defense ability. A level 7 continually being rolled by a level 10 player with buffed jumps/jets is discouraging. A level 7 being shown dev bases (no resources) or level 9/10 bases where they can't recoup the lost resources from the level 10 attack is also an issue. Given the number of players, planet reduction makes sense. Concentrate players on fewer planets so dev bases aren't needed. And place a steep penalty for attacking down HQ levels. The penalty would cover resources that can be looted as well as conflict points and EP points. Basically, attack someone your level or higher or make 3-4 times the number of attacks to get the same results.
2. Reduce the grind
For PvP, it always comes down to who has the better amrory perks. Who has the better troop buffs on attacks, who has the better guard reserve on defense. A causual player can never compete, as getting frags requires griding - a lot of grinding. Heroic defenses on 6 planets, bronzium crate objectives on those same planets (usually requiring multiple attacks), getting ultra-chrome on conflicts, and getting 10+ elite conflict crates for the EP events. How can a causual player who logs on for 15 minutes 1-2 times a day compete with this? They can't, and they end up quitting. I would suggest making lower-level perks easier to come by, so a causual player can unlock the armory buffs. And make higher-level buffs less powerful and harder to come by. There will still be a benefit for the grinder, but it will be smaller and a causual player with good skill will be able to compete, and hopefully won't quit the game.
In game name: Paper Tiger, officer in Hostile.Warfare
Line ID: paper-tiger