First, game search tagged them as PvP servers so you actually had to know what to look for, unlike full PvP or PvE.
Next, waiting for half an hour or more hitting refresh on favorite only list to join on the server I started building base doesn’t really feel like low population. Sure, it might be low when people are actually at work, school or whatever. You know, this concept was actually good for people that do other things than sit home playing games for most of the day.
But as you wish, best idea ever is to screw up the people that most likely has most income to spend, I’m sure.