From what I understand, I'm feeling that this game would be really cool! And it really could work as a card game, except with just not as many cards/options, but yeah, the concept is really cool I think!
...Can't offer much more than that Inspiration is a bit low at the moment to give any real feedback or suggestions, other than that it sounds really interesting and you should definitely get a playable prototype out there!
how do you deal with people that join a group late, or swap guilds for perks.
Each clan perk can have a certain level. Each player has a "clan level" or "clan ranking", that grows the more the battle with a certain clan (battle with, as in participate in battles on that clan's side). The higher clan ranking, the higher level clan perks the player gets. Everytime you switch to another clan, you have to build your clan ranking from 0, which would make players commit to a certain clan to finally be able to access the high level perks.
I can imagine jumping into a fight with my clan, and there's some clan perk device that heightens all players health for a period of time, but it doesn't affect me since I joined recently, and don't have a high enough clan ranking. That would make me want to belong to the clan more, and really try to get to that perk level by winning points for the clan.
You mix lots of things that it is difficult to understand your backing points...
First, you say that a player will play the first FPS they buy, but after playing many, they'll throw them away and not want to play anything similar. Then you admit that lots of players like FPS's, CoD and Battlefield, etc.. that don't have much challenge in learning (though they still have lots of challenge that is expressed through situations that happen because of the game mechanics (Unique stand-offs between players in some random location)). Rather than seeing that as a problem, I simply see that as defeating your argument.
Second, you get into the tangly world of "real games". How can you define a real game? Why isn't a real game the infinity runners, the physics shooters, the physics construction? Even while I don't agree with your definition of a game, Angry Birds still qualifies. The player learns the mechanics of the game, and what to do, and later on, the many levels are all tests on how much he has learned the mechanics. Your definition is extremely non-exclusive, but in my opinion at the same time limiting, since it enforces the common view that all games are meant to be built around being FUN, ENERGETIC, and CHALLENGING! (some are, some aren't at all)
-A good gameplay with great mechanics -A great story with an awesome voice acting -I'm an Art guy so, graphics, unique, artist and "realistic in its own way" -Competitive Multiplayer - And for last, in single player games, Affection for the characters... the thing that I like the most in Metal Gear Solid.
Your idea to make a great game is "to make a great game"...You haven't even brought any ideas to the table yourself yet. Do you really think that all game designers and developers try to make another CoD? Have you seen any of the amazing, unique indie games already out there?
What I'm trying to say, is "making a great game to bring back PC gaming" isn't a crazy new idea you just had, it has been the main goal of 99% of developers since gaming started.
Offer something specific, or this thread has absolutely no point at all.
Another option is to again go for the real-world realistic scenario, a child follows in a father's footsteps. So every game tick there is a chance the total amount of soldiers will go down, or up (the upper limit could be set by the player in terms of a budget, so their army's upkeep doesn't get unexpectedly high). This could work with each profession, so that they all more or less stay the same, with still some fluctuations.
The player could then have abilities like "Advertise Military", and in that way people join the army on their own. Something like that, so the player can direct how many people are working where indirectly...
Not sure what the rest of your game is, the above idea might be too different!