A great Idea. Will reduce tt greatly, also more Bp's. But they would a limit to the numbers of players that could join each world, depending on the Size. Smaller world's would theoretically mean more Intense Action.
I like the concept and this idea would certainly require a change in strategies. I can see some developmental issues but those could be overcome. Be a interesting world to try if a world was created to test this idea.
I would recommend that if it is tried to start with a basic sphere and see where it goes. To me, the use of ice caps would be optional but if there are mapping issues, they could be used to resolve that issue.
I think, if you are using the idea that ocean 59 connects to 10, you are using a cylinder, not a sphere. To make it spherical Ocean 59 would have to connect to it's grid plane opposite, in the north, which would be 99. Unless you have a different grid scheme in mind.
But when I think back to mythology I thought the prevailing idea was the world was flat and you could sail off the ends of it...with this in mind maybe they should just add cliffs with waterfalls on all 4 sides to represent the map ends... you could have it that sailing off here returns you to the other side of the map, with a small delay...
well, back in gamer hell (galaxy online) when it was still working, that's what the mapped looked like (spherical), and it was divvied up into six factions, each of which competed for map space, starting from sections on the outer edge and fighting their way to the center, where dominant factions would have special bonuses for as long as they could manage to hold center.
the larger sector started with, the lower advantage a faction shared.
having been there and done that, i am in no way suggesting a c/p of those mechanics, just an example of how its been don in the past in at least one version
agree with LY
while it may be interesting to look at in the future, how about cleaning up some of the issues we all have first (cheating, spamming, unequal application of rules/ punishments), getting the devs full morale "plan" in place so we can then address further changes players think are need (rather than speculating and complaining about the current system), and better player experience (decreased lag without constant refresh, actually fixing bugs that were in updates months ago, app players being able to rename a city, in-game mods actually answer a question (knowing how to code) rather than giving the corporate answer)