When I first thought of the "countdown to war mechanic," that's actually specifically what I wanted addressed. Obviously it helps protect against blindsides/suicides which is nice, but a small tag or suicider bunch with no intention of being able to win should have the damage they do massively mitigated by the larger tag, and having the larger tag involved in the first strike should make a declaration of victory eminent. In theory, you should be able to declare victory in the early hours in a lopsided affair.
While it doesn't eliminate the ability to grief completely, it should be rather easy to win those types of war very quickly, and gain a sum of money for damage caused. It's more of a nuisance than a set ruiner.
And again, the onus has always been on the players to work SOME diplomacy to protect themselves. I can think of reasons for just about every suicider ive ever had, and whether or not I agree with the merits, I got hit because people were mad at me. You shouldn't be protected if you want to act like a big jerk all the time. It's completely fair to suffer some grief for bad politics as diplomacy is part of the game.
Also, when QZ and I discussed onboarding pacts into the game and making them ACTUALLY UNBREAKABLE, I think he liked the idea, but kinda kicked the can on it to focus on building a good ClanGDI system. Not saying it is part of the plan, but it has definitely been talked about as a good idea and something he hopes to do in the future since it's a larger programming commitment then a simple mechanics change. Leaders would need a whole new portal etc.
Yea, this is much more complicated. We've got a TON of the groundwork in now though, which is helpful. Just even having the concept of "official" clan wars is huge.
I'd also like to note that there is currently NO NEWS associated with these events. That's something I'll rectify sometime in the next while. It's not a game balance thing so I'll just put it in randomly when i get around to it.