WvW should not be a one-size fit all game-mode. It's time to understand that and plan accordingly.
If the last five years have taught us anything, it's that the WvW playerbase has many different skill levels, interests, and playstyles. This proposal would be used in conjunction with Server Linking to give different players in WvW different experiences depending on which server they play on.
WvW Host servers would now be divided into three Tier Blocks, called Tier Leagues. Tier 1 would be Gold League. Tier 2, Tier 3, and Tier 4 would be Silver League. A fifth tier, Bronze League, would be added. Server linking will allow ANet to use the remaining 9 servers to balance matchups within those tiers.
1 Up 1 Down would operate in Silver League only, while the matchups remain constant in Gold League and Bronze League.
Changes to WvW can address a specific League. For example, PPT might be the scoring method of choice for one League while PPK might be implemented in another League. The goal is to cater to the interests of the players in that League.
Let me talk about the Leagues, which servers would be a part of them, and the different intended characteristics and playstyles of each League.
For those looking to compete at the highest activity levels of WvW play, with non-stop action, Gold League is the place for you.
Host Servers in this League: Blackgate and 2 of the following: Yak's Bend, Sea of Sorrows, Maguuma, and/or Jade Quarry
What all of these servers have in common is organization, skill and the ability to use the mechanics of the game to their fullest potential. For example, Blackgate has consistently kept up server organization and coverage. Maguuma has a lot of skilled players and use scouts and roamers very effectively. Sea of Sorrows also has a good amount of organization.
Playstyle: Generally, going for rewards and fights (bags) rather than server competitiveness since the Tier is locked.
Changes to Game Mechanics for this League: Minimal. Gold Tier should remain as Tier 1 currently operates, except that the Host Servers in this Tier are set. Link servers and the open/closed transfer system would be used to balance the perpetual matchup. 1 Up 1 Down would no longer apply to Tier 1.
Rewards: Increase the rewards for killing enemy players.
For those looking for an experience akin to the Tournament experience of old, with a group of competitive servers and a great deal of server parity, Silver League is the place for you.
Host Servers in this League: 9 of the following: Maguuma, Yak's Bend, Sea of Sorrows, Stormbluff Isle, Dragonbrand, Fort Aspenwood, Henge of Denravi, Tarnished Coast, Crystal Desert, and/or Jade Quarry.
From my experience, there is a good amount of parity between these servers already. Links can further balance the matchups. The only issue for these servers is winning a T2 matchup and spending a week in Tier 1. This would be eliminated by separating Tier 1 and Tier 2 - 4.
Playstyle: Use all the resources available on your server and compete for first place within this League. Server pride would play a much bigger role.
Changes to Game Mechanics for this League: Slightly reduce the map cap for each server, reducing zergs and making each side more competitive during each other's off hours.
Rewards: Increase the rewards both for winning the week's matchup and for your server's rank on the Leaderboards (like a boost to magic find or gold/badges/karma accumulated in WvW depending on the rank of your server).
Note: For those who would not like to see a Tier 5 added, the following servers could remain as Linked Servers to balance the Gold and Silver League matchups.
For those looking for smaller scale, more casual WvW, Bronze League is the place for you._
Host Servers in this League: Gate of Madness, Ehmry Bay, Darkhaven or Sorrow's Furnace
From what I've found, these servers although small are still alive and have retained their communities.
Playstyle: Smaller groups, roamers, casual WvW, testing out ArenaNet's potential changes like portable cannons or siege repair hammers. Because the matchup is perpetual, the focus (like Tier 1) should not only be to win the matchup. A good place to learn how to WvW.
Changes to Game Mechanics for this League: Reduce map caps by a larger margin than in Silver League, Only Tier 2 objectives, and consider removing one of the Alpine Borderlands, leaving just EB, 1 ABL, and 1 DBL map.
Rewards: Increase rewards for capping camps, sentries and ruins.
Adjusting Leagues Every Re-Link
The four groups of servers that will be created through this system are: Linked Servers used to balance matchups, Bronze League Servers, Silver League Servers, and Gold League Servers. It's possible for a server to gain enough transfers or lose enough population that switching two servers from one League to another may be warranted. This would happen at ArenaNet's discretion and be enforced upon Relinking. This may not happen every Relinking but the option is available.
This concept of WvW Leagues hopes to do what WvW as a whole has not: cater to the different groups of people that enjoy this gamemode. If you have a suggestion about the implementation of this concept, or about the individual Leagues, please leave them below. I will be looking over your responses and updating the OP with your suggestions. Thanks!