I'm excited! Seems like some great changes are on the way. Looks like it will take a while for everything to roll out. I'm secretly hoping that my area is one of the areas for beta access to the raids.
Gym stuff sounds good. Gets rid of the 10 pokemon gyms and requires people who control them to do a bit of maintenance to keep their spot. Also gives you another reason to use berries. Gyms were fun for the first little while but eventually they became impenetrable fortresses.
This is actually true! I'm not currently playing that much, but I came back for a bit when the new species had already been out for a while and... you start seeing the lures and noticing other people playing the game a lot more when you are playing it yourself.
Having gyms flip that frequently would be too frantic, IMO. It sounds like raids will be happening all day long. There's an image that shows the raid finder, and there's like 5 simultaneous raids going on at once. I don't think they are going to be rare events.
Trainers will actually want to get their pokemon back at regular intervals now, so it won't just be a contest to see who can make the most unbeatable tower and stay on it the longest. Only time will tell how stagnant gyms end up being, but I don't think forcing them to flip is a very good way to prevent stagnation. I'd be pretty upset if I just fed my mons a bunch of berries and then all of a sudden the Gym flipped due to a raid.
That's how gyms should've been from the beginning. It was impossible to beat gyms as even a slightly less than hardcore player on account of people having ridiculous cp mons due to playing 24/7. It's definitely what turned me off as a casual player with absolutely no chance to compete. And it's about time they implemented the raids they teased in the very first trailer. They need to put more of that money to use and beef up the content more than they have.
Reading up on how raids work, I'm more interested than I thought I'd be. The implication seems to be that raids will happen pretty often, and with a bunch of new gyms also in play (it looks like they added five or six in the immediate area around me alone!) it seems like raid participation will be pretty easy, at least for urban players. I think one of the screenshots showed a mixed-team raid group as well, which means I could theoretically play with my friends, who are both on different teams.