Lower amount of players does not mean that the quality of the sage increases. It simply means, that you would hunt down one side and eliminate in order to secure the winning side, before you turn to the next field (as has been a popular strategy in many other browser games with low amount of players and an elimination option).
Also, this option still would ont be considered "fair" by the lowest 30% of the players, seeing as they would be top 30% of the next lower bracket (most likely).
If anything, give it a cooldown before you can attack player X again (which still does not help you, when you are in the lowest 30% of the field).
i think a good way to make sage fairer would be to actually freeze the winners for 20-30 seconds instead of the losers and to increase exponentially the cost in coupons to 'unfreeze'.
Btw, for the OP. I think reducing the number of people per field actually makes the feature fairer than is now since is actually true the difference in power would not be that wide if you have 3 battlefields with 36 people instead of 1 battlefield with 90 (like is now).
Yes, the 30% lower powers would not feel good regardless but only 2-5 of them would not get any advanced refinement rewards and since the average time per fight would actually increase by a lot in comparison with now would be more appealing to cut streaks of high powers than to select people wholly randomly.
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