Raiding is only a chore for end-game players where they have not much else to look forward to. We can address this by how the raid mechanic works by adding in "long" quests that isn't reducable by castle boosts that lasts for like say 8 hours. It would give a large multiplier to the raid rewards.
Wanting new players to quit before they become a consumer in the gems market place is really a poor way to look at the health of the game. That sentiment largely boils down to the "worth it" factor when it comes to spending gems. To me, the use of gems is hardly desirable. Between really shitty chest rewards to getting nickle and dimed out of gems for artificially inflated time sinks, the gem mechanics in the game is really frustrating.
Buying gems just isn't "worth it", let alone spending it. We could solve this by addressing the garbage items from chests, and the massive amount of gems required for certain things. I would personally like to see all store upgrades be gold only, and lower the "time saver" gemstone costs by 3/4th the original value. Telling me to spend at nearly a 1 minute : 1 gem ratio in time saving is pretty absurd. It should be maybe 3 gems : 10 minutes.
The most commonly purchased gem item is the gem fountain, at a 100 gem income/day i should feel like that 100 gems should make my day's worth of play time enjoyable. In the current model, thats enough for maybe 2 rush productions, or maybe repairing 3 items from quests. That is just really poor in the value. If the staff wants me to purchase gems, then they should make me feel like my dollar is worth spending. I also disagree with the whole packages mechanic, but I think that is an entirely different subject.