I think there are 2 sides to the coin.
One side is protecting starting players.
For this the level 1-5 protection is sufficient.
Making a cap per 5 levels also suits well, so I see no need to change that, but I’m not against making level 20+ free for all
The other side is, that higher rankers will always be able to bully anybody 1 or 2 levels below them, making playing this game frustrating.
I have a thick skin, otherwise I would have stopped playing this game as I seem to be somebodies punchbag for life, who’s just a little above me.
Some kind of payback to bullying should be introduced.
Could it be possible to introduce “Mobs”?
This should be something different than Guilds, capped in size and with a small lifespan preferably.
It would make the game more fluid and less fixed in a Guild orientated mindset.
It could also be a way to remove the need for “Protection Caps” at levels above 5.
In this Mob up to 3-5 players from any Guild can team up.
Players can only join 1 Mob per day and the lifespan of the Mob would be a few hours max or so.
By combining their stats, lower level players could hit back to higher ranked players, sothat nobody can become “untouchable”.
This way the “head start” by testing also is compensated for.