Problem: Endgame content is primarily a raid scene. At level cap, people without the ability to schedule hours worth of continuous play time into their lives will have a very limited amount of content to experience. This will limit character growth, gear options and overall enjoyment of the game = dropping subscription.
Proposed solution(s): Introduce content via the Grand Companies that allow soloers, duos and small PUGs to progress their characters in smaller time windows.
Escort Missions: Each Grand Company will ask the player to take either a chocobo drawn cart, single NPC or group of NPCs to a specified location. Depending on the time the player has available there will be short, medium and long escort missions available to undertake.
During the mission several possible events can take place. Examples include: Cart breaking down requiring crafter activity to fix (no specific class would be required), bandit raid attempts that must be beaten, chocobo breaking free requiring the player to locate/rescue. Other unique events could be included/added.
Difficulty/duration of events would be determined by number of players participating and whether the player chose the short, medium or long escort option.
Outpost Defense: Players will be able to assist with the building, supply and defense of outposts across Eorzea. Each Grand Company will have an NPC that tells which outposts are under threat of attack (with enough there could be an impending outpost raid quite frequently).
Gatherers will be able to go on missions to collect specific resources to bring to the outposts and add them to a stockpile at any point in time. Number and quality will offer GC Seals/Currency. Resources will be put towards barracks and other buildings = more guards/more potential defenses. Crafters will be able to craft weapons, armor, food, potions and other useful things and add them to stockpiles at any point in time. Number and quality grant GC Seals/Currency. Guards will be better equipped (weapons/armor), have more health (food) and be able to heal themselves (potions).
Crafters will be able to assist with the building of fortifications (walls, traps, ballista, Archer towers, etc...) during a 'build phase'. These will utilize generated resources and those brought by DoH (Higher quality goods = more structure HP). Each will give a bonus to the defense effort (ex: ARC and DoM can attack from towers to avoid harm)
During the attack phase DoW/DoM will face approaching enemies in waves of increasing difficulty (trash Melee/ranged/magic attackers, elites, NM Boss - mounted/siege would be cool too!). During the attack, defensive structures will be targetted along with players and NPC guards. Crafters will be able to assist in repairing these structures between waves or else they will be destroyed.
SURVIVAL MODE!!!: Every game that is remotely combat oriented needs a survival mode...
A GC NPC representing each company will be able to issue challenges to adventurers (1-8) to a 'training exercise' in which they are put in an enclosed, rather large, multi-tiered arena against wave after wave of enemies. Enemies will increase in number and strength with each wave. Enemies spawn at various (some inaccessible) points on the map in random formations/numbers to avoid zerging spawns with AoE madness...
Some waves will include elites, structures to destroy and NMs. Some waves will involve special objectives (ex: structure must be destroyed before certain mobs can be killed, certain points on the map need to be reached to access...something, guard a specific point, eliminate certain targets in specified time limits, etc...)
Each wave completion offers a modest GC Seal reward and renewed HP/MP. Waves continue until party wipes. Wipe returns player(s) to issuing NPC who gives final reward based on number of waves cleared and special objectives completed.
Each of these events will award GC Seals/Points (whatever they're called now) that can be spent at GC shops to obtain gear outright OR materials that can be used to craft awesome pieces that are comparable to raiding gear. Progression in this manner will not grant an instant reward (as opposed to a dungeon run where gear is awarded periodically and upon completion), but still grants players without multiple hour blocks of time available an avenue to get good endgame quality gear on their own time.