I am excited about the caves, as this is one aspect of the game I expected to find when I joined, and was disappointed they did not have. Will let you know how I feel again after my heroes get back, lol!
I like the new Shield and attack times, gives your alliance more time to help you and is more realistic. A 3 minute assault should not be able to burn a castle, even if it is low on troops. a fully armed castle should take at least 20 minutes, gives you time to get your alliance in, especially given the instability of the site and the fact that you might have to refresh while moving from one realm to another.