There is mod like PIPPI that not give confusions to players but just better administration tools. And players can make choice to cancel the connection if they don’t want mods.
I have did many tests. Once PIPPI mod is added, there is nobody on the server. Once there is no mod, there is many news players coming and the server life is better. And I don’t have more useless mod, just PIPPI.
When I ask to all poeple how they have found the server. they said that they have never seen my server in server list, just heard comment about it… So not download mod issue but visibility issue.
I know it’s not a good attitude from a player but it’s a fact. There is 6000 servers and 3500 players. So players don’t lost time about it. they will just conect on unmoded server.
On Ark game all servers are displayed on server list. No favoritism between moded or unmoded and there is no problem.
You can check on battle mettrics. All fully PvP server have no mod. It’s not a chance, just a mod display issue.
Auto download can help, but it’s not enough.
If all server are equal displayed, the best server will be the one that is better administred, and not the one that is just more visible.