I can see myself playing either side.
The thing is, I agree with the side that thinks there’s far too many guilds with only a handful of active players. That’s part of why climbing to any particular rank is a slog: you have to claw your way past hundreds of guilds that are abandoned, or only have 3 members, etc. There are a lot of other mechanics that might assist with that, but I don’t want to get bogged down in a lot of them. They’re all “good ideas” and at least some of them should be implemented.
So if fewer people “left a good active guild to start their own” without 20 people following, it wouldn’t be so hard to climb the brackets, and it’d be easier for smaller new guilds to pull in high-performing new members. But look at it this way: the top 100 guilds represent 3,000 players. Those slots are perpetually full: everyone wants to be in the top one. What about 101-1000? That’s got room for 29,970 players if they’re all 30-member guilds, or 999 players if everyone forms a 1-member guild.
The more 30-member guilds exist, the more rewards are distributed to players.
To me the most sensible way to satisfy your request is to encourage “guild death”. There’s probably a huge ghetto of inactive guilds at the bottom that just need to be deleted. The most elegant way to do that without hurting feelings is to do this at “rollover” every week:
For each guild:
For each player, sorted by rank:
If this player is the leader and inactive > 30 days:
Mark the player "inactive" and pass leadership to the next-ranked player.
If no "active" players remain:
Mark this guild "inactive" by:
* Removing it from Guild Wars brackets.
If the guild is "inactive":
It loses one bracket of GW standing.
We could bicker about the various balances but I think that’s the most fair. If a guild leader quits, the guild eventually passes to the next-highest ranked member, if some last survivor wants to keep the guild they have to wait at most 30 days. Guilds consisting solely of inactive players stop hurting other peoples’ GW rank, but if their members suddenly come back they can start competing again. But if they stay inactive for a long time, they’ll fall. (I added that part because I predict shenanigans among highly competitive guilds abusing alt/sister guilds. I don’t understand how it would work, but I think going “inactive” should COST something to a guild.)
Anyway. You need 27 members if you want the 40k guild chest. That’s a thing you should think about if you want to leave an active guild to start your own. It’s sacrifice. You need 26 people to follow you. It’s harder than you think, and if it were easy, I think it’d be more “optimal” for guilds to organize around smaller groups. Think “abusing sister guilds to protect your main guild’s place in the rankings”.