Lots of good suggestions in your post however, I can only comment on this as I have some information on this. We have been looking into a recruit a friend system however, it is so easily abused. Since there isn't a fee to play, you can easily recruit yourself over and over and create multiple accounts. One way to bypass this that we have looked at is blocking multiple logins from the same location but that would make multi boxing impossible which is allowed in the open world and dungeons.
Sorry, we see that word and it's an instant no. The reason behind that is because we have seen what that did to the old Cruel WoW and ultimately, was the end of Cruel WoW. We do not want to ever risk the chance of that happening again so as such, there will be absolutely no pay2win. We have been throwing around ideas for the shop and we think that some of those, you guys will like. More information on that will be shared at a later date.
We would love to do this! Don't have further information than this unfortunately.